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The Law of Agency

Last week we talked about the Law of Ownership which is the foundation for authority. All legal authority is traced back to ownership. We also talked specifically about delegated authority. The Law of Agency follows after this. Someone with authority delegates that authority to someone else to act on their behalf. You might be thinking, ‘I didn’t want a legal education thanks!’ But actually these principles are super helpful for understanding the Bible. Jesus has given us authority to rule and reign in this world. We are not intended to be ‘under the circumstances’!

Matthew 16:18-19 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

This is a statement of agency, of delegated authority. This is huge! When an agent grants authority to someone, he empowers them to act on their behalf. The first time we see this in the Bible is in the book of Genesis. Gen. 1:26-28 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Let them have dominion over all the earth. God is the rightful rule but he’s taken us and put us in charge. It’s a bit like being given a position as a manager of a business. You might not own it, but you’re running things! You’ve been given authority to run the business, tell the other employees what to do, make decisions on marketing strategies or whatever. You’re the man-ager! When Jesus Christ was raised from their dead, Jesus took back the authority that Adam gave to Satan in the garden. If you missed last week’s teaching, you need to catch up here.

Matthew 28:18 says; And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

That’s massive guys! Jesus used His position as the God-Man to retake the authority that Adam and Eve gave away in the garden. But more than just take it back, He took it to another level. Because He’s God as well as Man, He could take all authority in heaven and on earth! So a lot more than was given to Adam and Eve. But then watch what happens in verse 19: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Go ye therefore! That’s a commission to us to go. Therefore is referring to the previous statement. Go…in the authority that’s been given to me. Jesus is giving His authority to us. To do what? Verse 20: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus gave us authority to go into all the world and make disciples. It’s delegated authority, but it’s still pretty awesome! We have all the authority and power that Jesus has. Woah! Really? Religious people really struggle with this. This is why the church is ineffective, because we don’t believe Jesus’ own words. Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

That word for power here is exousía (not dunamis). It means authority. Jesus has given us authority against unclean spirits, to cast them and heal all manner of sickness. That’s good news! Of course, many people will say that it was only given to the apostles and it passed away with them. But Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

Also Mark 16:15-20 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Did you know ‘in my name’ is a legal phrase. It means ‘in place of me’. That’s the law of agency; when you designate someone else to act on your behalf. Have you ever heard of ‘power of attorney’? It’s the same thing. That is exactly what God has done. He has given us heavenly power of attorney. For those who are still struggling with this, let’s go to John 14:12-14 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Again we see agency. Do you believe in Jesus? Then you are counted in that.


These things actually apply to our lives as we seek to live out the great commission. Think about this. How many of us were raised in a Christian environment where begging and pleading with God was normal? When a pastor says ‘God can heal but sometimes He doesn’t’, all the hope and expectation in the room leaves. Why would you put your hope in a God who picks and chooses who He might heal based on what? Performance? Goodness? Even faith?

When Jesus healed the sick, even the apostles, did they pray? Did they beg God? No! Why? Because they understood that they’d already been given the authority and the Name of Jesus to do the works of Jesus. Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

What did Peter have to give to the man? He had the name of Jesus and all the authority and the power that comes with that name. The church needs to realise this truth and start walking in the delegated power and authority that comes with the Law of Agency. We’re going to discover more about this law next week and it’s going to fire you up, you won’t want to miss it!

Until then, have a blessed week!

Upstream Ministries



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