Dominated to Reigning

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-11

Topics: Authority, Blessing, Power

Study Guide

Many of us might have a complicated reaction to the idea that authority and power are a good thing. However, in Genesis, God establishes humanity with power and dominion over the earth—bringing blessing to it and helping it to flourish. He created a good thing by giving us power, intending for us to leverage it to bring blessing to others. Although power is often misused, through the Spirit in us we have the freedom to use our reign to further God’s Kingdom.
Application
  1. What is your experience with authority? Have you struggled with the idea of submission to people who have power or is it easy for you to trust and follow authority? How does that translate to your relationship with God?

  2. How has someone in your life leveraged his or her power and authority to bring blessing to your life? How has that impacted you?

  3. Jesus was willing to suffer and serve to bring blessing to you—are you willing to suffer and serve to bring blessing to others? If you are currently serving, in what ways can you lean in to someone’s brokenness instead of distancing yourself?

  4. People should look at us and be reminded of a good God. What does it look like for you to leverage your God-given power to bring blessing to others? Some practical opportunities include coaching, loving your extended family, giving, and serving.

Key Points
  • In Genesis 1:26-28, we see that God created us in his image with dominion and reign over the earth—in the beginning this power was good and meant for blessing.

  • God created us to use our authority for blessing, but in our sin we often look at power as a means to bless ourselves rather than others.

  • Philippians 2:5-6 reminds us that Jesus had all power and didn’t use it to his own advantage.

  • The dominion that we lost in the garden—Jesus restores; the responsibility that we are given to leverage our power for good—he models; and the power he was given—he lays down for the sake of those in need.

  • You might find yourself influenced by power as the oppressor (using authority to get what you want and bringing affliction on others), the oppressed (hurt by someone in power), distant (using your power to create a safe world or comfort bubble where brokenness can’t get in), or frustrated (simmering with anger and withdrawing from relationships). No matter where we are on this spectrum, Jesus has already given us the freedom to use our power to bring blessing to others through his death on the cross.

  • If you find yourself as the oppressor, remember we will be elevated with Jesus one day, so we are freed from the need to elevate ourselves here on earth.

  • If you are the oppressed, in Philippians 2:9-11 we are reminded that in eternity there is no confusion over who is in control, and it is our loving Father.

  • If you find yourself distant and frustrated, consider that there might be people within your reach who do not yet know Jesus and that you need to lean in to their brokenness instead of distancing yourself.

  • Lay down your attitude about power so that you can pick God’s up.

Other Scripture References