More from my dear friend Dr. Ken Chant …
Reigning in Life!
A study on spiritual authority
The great question for Christians is this: “How should we live?”
- some say: confident, aggressive, in full control of every event.
- others say: passive, fatalistic, meekly enduring whatever comes.
Both views are wrong! We cannot reign over life: for many things happen to us that we can neither avoid nor control (1 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 6:4,5; 11:23-28; etc). But neither should we fall under life – as though we are nothing better than helpless victims of fate, which would indeed be contrary to scripture.
Paul had a better perspective, expressed in his remarkable phrase, “We reign IN life by Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:15-17).
He means that the man or woman of genuine faith should be able to –
- complete all that lies in the will of God
- grasp every promise that is available
- make every event work for our good and God’s glory.
But this requires us to fulfil certain powerful principles –
CONFRONT YOUR HIDDEN FEARS
The great enemy of this royal life is fear, which is the remorseless preventer of faith. You cannot find victory, good health, prosperity, or gain mastery over Satan, while fear lurks within. Every fear must be confronted and ruthlessly cast out!
“Fear is nothing but surrender of the helps that come from reason” (Wis 17:12).
So discard all dread (except the fear of God) and let faith fill your heart as you live in expectation only of the good things that come from the Father’s hand.
CONFIRM YOUR ROYAL PRIVILEGE
Notice the contrasts Paul draws in our text between Adam and Christ – Adam gave us his “trespass” (mentioned 6 times); but Christ gave us his “grace” (mentioned 6 times; (Ro 5:15-17). And in that grace we are able to assume the mantle of royalty, for are we not God’s royal priests in Christ? (1 Peter 2:9)
Think about that for a moment. There is something awesome about a monarch who knows who he (or she) is, and knows that he has a divine right to the throne. Like true kings then, we should seize our royal title and stand in the knowledge that the blood of the King of kings is in our veins!
People fail to do this because they feel like usurpers; their reaction to the good news is like Saul’s (1 Samuel 9:21; 10:1,20-22). But contrast that with David, whose origins were much more humble than Saul’s, yet he believed the word of God, boldly embraced his new royal title and went from strength to strength.
CLAIM YOUR PRIESTLY ACCESS
Israel’s ancient Tabernacle had three parts ‒ the outer court, the holy place, and the holy of holies (where the glory of God hovered over the golden lid of the Ark of the Covenant). Using the Tabernacle as a symbol of Christian life, the idea is often promulgated that most Christians dwell in the “outer court” and never manage to advance into the most holy place. Indeed, it is said that we must stir ourselves and “break through” into the “holy of holies”, so that we can live in the presence of God.
But that is heresy!
Under the law of God no one could enter the holiest except by divine right. If anyone tried to force his/her way into the sacred place, one of two things happened –
- either they met with instant death (by God’s hand or by the temple guards);
- or else they found nothing!
We are God’s royal priests! We don’t have to “break through” to God because we have already been invited to step right up to his throne in Christ. The way into the holiest is already wide open for everyone who believes! So set yourself firmly against any teaching that denies your right of instant access to the throne of God simply by the precious blood (Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:19-23). Just speak the name of Jesus and step joyfully up to the very footstool of the Almighty!
CLASP YOUR PROPER AUTHORITY
No monarch has authority until he/she has actually ascended the throne. Does that disqualify us? No! For two reasons – first: we are already enthroned with Christ, who is, as it were, our proxy; and second, an ancient monarch was expected to be absent from the throne, out on the battlefield, whenever the kingdom was under attack – but with no loss of authority!
Remember too that a naked monarch, or even one dressed in rags, cannot behave regally. Satan uses the same principle! He either strips our royal garment from us, or persuades us to cast it aside. But refuse to be robbed of the royal robe of righteousness that was woven for you by Christ at Calvary, and given to you freely by his grace. Clothed with his righteousness, seated upon his throne (Ephesians 2:6), you can act and speak with the authority of Christ against every depredation of the kingdom of darkness! (Mark 11:22-24)
As royal priests, enthroned with Christ, and called upon to “reign in life”, we should ‒
- take mastery over all that we can change, knowing that we don’t have to be slaves to sin, living in fear of death, a victim of disease, at the mercy of every gust of wind in life.
- take mastery in all that you cannot change, for those who know the blood-royal should always, in one way or another, be more than conquerors!