Realize the authority you’ve been given, Adrian Rogers says
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--Too many Christians live expecting spiritual defeat from the world, the flesh and the devil rather than making use of the authority that is theirs in Jesus Christ, Adrian Rogers said April 12 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Such defeat is needless once a child of God realizes the greatness of the victory won for believers in Christ and the authority to overcome evil that He gives to believers, said Rogers, who has served as a three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention and recently retired after 32 years as pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn.
Preaching at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus to a packed chapel audience, which included members of the seminary’s board of trustees and board of visitors, Rogers noted the spiritual war believers face every day. Unlike the wars seen in newspapers and on television, this spiritual war pits believers against three sources of opposition: their external foe (the world), their internal foe (the flesh) and their infernal foe (the devil).
“There is a greater battle, an invisible war,” Rogers said. “There is a philosophy of wickedness that you cannot destroy with a bomb or bullets. The only thing that will destroy error is truth, and God has given us weapons of truth.”
Rogers noted that people outside of Christ are still under bondage to sin and blinded by Satan, who has dominion over them. However, the glorious truth for Christians is that just as Kingdom authority to resist the enemy was lost by one man -– Adam -- it has been regained by the second Adam, the God-man, Jesus Christ.
Rogers distinguished the difference between authority and power, reminding listeners that although Satan is more powerful than Christians, they have more authority than he does because they have been given that authority in the name of Jesus. Similarly, he said, although a policeman is not more powerful than a speeding 18-wheeler, he has been vested with the authority to make it stop.
As a result of Christ’s work on their behalf, believers should live differently, realizing that they have been given Christ’s power to overcome, Rogers said.
“Where is our authority today?” Rogers asked. “Authority today is over the world, the flesh and the devil. You need to use the authority God has given to you. So many of us have been so defeated by the devil that we just expect [defeat] to come. Satan has no authority over you. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.... One of these days we’re going to understand the authority our Father has given us.”