Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ephesians 1:15-23 and God's Power

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:15-23)
In his prayer for the Ephesians, Paul asked God to enlighten their eyes so they could better understand the message encoded in His Word, especially the “exceeding greatness of His power.”

What is God’s power like? We see it displayed in:

Nature. The hymnist speaks of “Thy power throughout the universe displayed.” Have you ever marveled at the power of God in a thunderstorm?

Answered prayer. James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Changed lives. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” 
(2 Cor. 5:17).

Daily victory. When you see a Christian living above the circumstances (rather than under them), you can credit the uplift of God’s power (Isa. 40:30–31; 41:10).

Christian ministry. Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Acts 1:8).

Most of us don’t fully appreciate and appropriate God’s power in our lives. Paul devotes the last paragraph of Ephesians 1 to describing this divine power as:

1. Resurrection Power: verses 19–20 says: “...the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead....” How often we’ve stood by a casket and wanted to touch the body lying there and restore it to life. We can’t do it, but God can reverse the death process. The same power that raised Christ from the grave is available to change our lives, to answer our prayers, to resolve our difficulties, to give us immortality.

2. Exaltation Power: “and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places....” After Christ’s resurrection, He ascended and sat at the Father’s right hand. If we had a telescope powerful enough to peer into the highest heaven, we would see Christ now seated on the throne, exalted in layers of light, surrounded by His angels, enveloped with glory. The power that exalted Christ is available to change our lives, to answer our prayers, to give us daily strength.

3. Lordship Power: “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Christ is higher than the angels, greater than the demons, wider than the universe. He rules in the affairs of men and directs history toward its pre-appointed end. That Lordship power of Jesus Christ is the same power available to meet our needs.

4. Headship Power: “...and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Christ is the boss of His church, the senior pastor, the archbishop, the great shepherd. He’s our great High Priest. And the work that He does in this world, He does through His church. The parts of my body are useless unless directed by my brain. Christ is our Head, we are His body. Our only job is to obey His commands.

Are you living in the supernatural power of Jesus Christ? That power is measured by His resurrection, His exaltation, His Lordship, and His Headship. And that is available to change your life, to answer your prayers, to resolve your difficulties, and to give you everlasting life.