Before the era of rapid international transport (such as cars, trains and aircraft) or virtually instantaneous communication (such as radio or telephone), diplomatic mission chiefs were granted full (plenipotentiary) powers to represent their government in negotiations with their host nation. Conventionally, any representations made or agreements reached with them would be recognized and complied with by their government. Both John Adams to England, and Benjamin Franklin to France were Plenipotentiaries. They had the authority to speak for their nation and to enter into negotiations on their behalf and to even sign treaties and make agreements.

When Jesus commissioned his disciples he made them all, and us all, plenipotentiaries. We have the authority to speak on His behalf. In Matthew 28, the verses that contain the great commission Jesus expresses this fact. He begins the commission by say, “all authority has been given to me… therefore go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that I’ve commanded you and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mathew 28:19-20). Further when Jesus said “As the Father sent me, so I send you” he was commissioning us as plenipotentiaries.

Today we have the authority to enter into contracts with other people that God has promised to honor. We can pronounce that, in Jesus’ Name, your sins are forgiven. A physician was once treating a Vietnam veteran who had been nonfunctioning for years. He had been responsible for many deaths in the war and couldn’t get beyond that guilt. Being a Christian, the Doctor sat next to him in his hospital bed and said, “I want to tell you that your sins are forgiven.” “What did you say?” asked the patient. The doctor said, “I have the authority to tell you through Jesus Christ that your sins are forgiven.” That exchange marked the beginning of a healing, and the patient is now back functioning in society. Dr. Wilson performed a miracle of healing, not as a psychiatrist, but as a Christian. We have been given that authority also! We’ve also been given the authority to assure people of their eternal destiny after death. The Apostle John explains why God moved him to write the words of Scripture. He says, “I have written these things to you who believe in Jesus, so that you will KNOW FOR CERTAIN that you have everlasting life” (1John 5:13).

“Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” Titus 2:15