Spiritual gifts and authority

Spiritual gifts and authority

What has the spiritual gifts got to do with authority? It has plenty to do with God’s granting us all authority to use our gifts as representatives of God himself. In 1 Peter 4:10, 11 God tell us:

1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Our gifts come with the ability to use these gifts with the authority from God himself. The one who speaks is to speak as speaking the “oracles of God” or the “utterances of God”.

While authority to operate in our gifts has been given to us, nowhere in scripture is authority given as a power to use over someone else. Jesus gave authority over the demons to his disciples, but the leaders of the church have not been given authority over people.

Matthew 10:1 Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

It was the worldly people who took authority over others as their right.

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.

But in the church, authority is only given as an authority to serve and authority to use our gifts. It is never given to be used to take control over another person in the church. The Christian way is service.

Matthew 20:26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,
Matthew 20:27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;
Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Since authority is to be used in the church for service and not for domination of one person over another, authority to use one’s gifts belongs equally to men and women in the body of Christ.

6 thoughts on “Spiritual gifts and authority

  1. Hey Cheryl
    Clear, succint and profound.
    It’s so sad that this seems so hard for the Body to ‘get’ and live out in practice?

  2. Cheryl and Kerryn, I think that they (church governments) don’t “get it” because they feel that men (anthropos) must be governed. They must be led by their betters. If men must be governed, then it follows that all aspects of church life must be regulated, even the exercise of spiritual gifts. In effect they are following the world’s model of authority. Never mind that it’s God who gives the gifts in the first place, we’ll (church leadership) decide how they’ll be used.

  3. I think the church is full of children in adult bodies. Its a product of the times… the sexualized culture, last days, lots of abusiveness by “authority figures”. As children, they got wounded by those in authority and they get stuck and have “authority issues”…. and “the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children…”

    I’ve been there. I was blind.
    Here is the way out:
    “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe” Eph 1:18-19

  4. Charis, I agree that it is time that we all grow up. We really do need all of us in the body of Christ to benefit from all of our gifts. If we refuse to learn from someone just because they are not of our race or because they are not of our gender or because they are not of our social class, then we are missing out on what God has supplied for our growth. The body needs to grow together so that it isn’t lopsided. Everyone is needed and maturity is needed.

  5. Dear Cheryl,
    Having been what you have just been through at the hands of “brothers and sisters in Christ” I wish you would re-consider what Rick Joyner has written. I know you had a run in involving your beloved daughter and the mama bear comes out, but I don’t think you should cross him off as “dangerous” and a “heretic”. (You know how that feels now. ) I did not read all of this, but if you have a minute, skim a few paragraphs and see if you can understand what he is trying to communicate about the condition of the church:
    The Final Quest

    The church has an enemy and it is not those fellow Christians with whom we disagree.

  6. Charis,

    I do not use the word “heretic” lightly as many do in the church. In this case I would use the word “deceived” because Rick has not chosen to test his visions by the word of God. This is the same thing that happened to our former youth pastor. His visions contradicted scripture but he refused to let anyone test them against scripture because he was so enthralled by the power that the spirits in his vision gave him that he could not for a minute think that a Christian could receive visions from anyone else but God. The fact is that many people claiming to be Christians have received visions that contradict scripture. Scripture tells us to test all things and visions are part of the “all things” that are to be tested by the measuring stick of God’s word.

    Unfortunately there are Christians who are easily led by strong leaders who also see those leaders as a type of god who is not to be questioned. Unfortunately that is how I see Matt’s followers. They do not question Matt and the ones who do get censored. That is how the cults keep their people unified. They insist on conformity and they kick out any who question the leaders right to rule.

    Keep testing all things like you have been. Don’t hold to anyone’s leadership without testing them by God’s inspired word.

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