This week Pastor Chris continued in our series, Freedom in Christ, in which he brought a two-fold message: we as Believers have been given authority in Christ to extend the kingdom of God and it is imperative to live fully in that authority. We must be aware that fear, anxiety and the illusion of control are not holding us back living in our full authority.

You Have Been Given Authority

Matthew 16:18–19 (ESV)
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 16:18–19 (MSG)
18 And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. 19 “And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”

No one has greater power or authority than Jesus.

Ephesians 1:19–22 (ESV)
19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,

Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

• Spiritual Blessing = spiritual resources, capacities, weapons, and gifts that are beyond our personalities or natural abilities.

Authority Given to…

1. The 12 disciples received Christ’s authority.

Luke 9:1–2 (ESV)
1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

2. The 72 disciples received Christ’s authority.

Luke 10:17–19 (ESV)
17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.

3. All believers have received Christ’s authority.

John 17:18, 20-21 (ESV)
18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

1 John 4:4 (ESV)
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

You Have Been Given Authority Over Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Luke 10:40–42 (ESV)
40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

1 John 4:18 (ESV)
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Philippians 4:5–6 (ESV)
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Psalm 145:18 (ESV)
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The Many Forms of Fear

  1. Fear of harm or loss of life
  2. Everyday worries
  3. Day-to-day anxieties
  4. Troubled mind
  5. Irrational fears
  6. Fear of failure
  7. Fear of man

A Trap of the Enemy

Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)
25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.

Characteristics of the Fear of Man

  1. It traps you to people’s opinion (John 12:42-43, 2 Peter 2:19).
  2. It traps you from God (Luke 22:54-62, Jeremiah 17:5).
  3. It traps other people through you (John 7:13, 9:22, 19:38, 20:19).

Fear of Man
• Popularity and reputation are of great importance to me.
• I need to be accepted always.
• I fear what other people think about me.
• I fear what others say about me (mostly imagined).
• I fear criticism.
• I fear humiliating myself in front of others (leads to passivity).
• I fear being rejected by those close to me.
• I fear people in authority.
• I fear communicating publicly.
• I fear confrontation.
• I fear being held accountable.
• I am often timid and shy.
• My self-worth is determined by others.

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Discussion Questions:

  1. It is possible to live out a theology that differs from biblical theology (practical theology vs. biblical theology); are there areas in your understanding of God’s authority over the enemy, its implications for your life or your authority in Christ that needs to come into alignment with biblical truth?
  2. We want to be a people who advance the Kingdom of God in a spirit of peace; are there areas in your life where you are managing fear and walking in anxiety rather than overcoming fear and walking in peace?
  3. A byproduct of fear can be the need to control your life. Are there areas of your life you try to control rather than trust God?
  4. Is there a root of hurt that needs God’s healing or forgiveness that needs to take place so you can trust God and live free of fear and anxiety?

Application Questions:

  1. Pastor Chris talked about thanksgiving being a powerful way to fight anxiety. This week make a list of things you are grateful for. Throughout the week tale your thoughts captive; as you feel anxious or overwhelmed, pause and reflect on that list. Allow gratitude to help you overcome anxiety.