Summary: Advent. Jesus has total dominion over all things. Paul give us theory of dominion and then practical advice on how to establish Christ’s dominion in our life.
This sermon goes along with the document titled Advent Reading 2007. This is for the second advent reading.
A few years ago Sports Illustrated came up with a list of the top ten comebacks of all time, not just in the area of sports, but in all areas of life. Among other items on the list they had Elvis Presley who was on it for a TV special in 1968 that revived his sagging career. Muhammad Ali made the list when he returned from a 7-year exile in boxing to reclaim the world championship. Harry Truman made the cut when he defeated Thomas Dewey in 1948. Even humanity was on the list, after recovering from the Black Plague of the 14th century when 25 million Europeans died.
Number two among the all-time comebacks was Japan and Germany, devastated in WW II and becoming world economic powers. What was the number one greatest comeback of all time? Sports Illustrated listed the greatest comeback of all time as, Jesus Christ. In 33 AD Jesus stuns the Romans and defies critics by his resurrection from the grave.
What are the editors of Sports Illustrated describing? The dominion of Jesus. All powerful, absolute, overarching, total domination. Checkmate.
This is Jesus Christ. Here in the advent season we remember our Lord Jesus, the preexistent third person of the triune God, entering our world as a child, coming to reverse the effects of sin that strangles our lives. We see Jesus as wise, loving, strong, kind and in many ways the ultimate example of perfect humanity. We see Jesus in this way and we also see him as divine…yet, I believe as an American church we fail to see one of His greatest achievements: Dominion; His complete, total control and domination over absolutely everything – no exceptions.
If we went out to the streets of Anchorage and asks folks what they thought of Jesus, we would get a variety of answers ranging from a good man, a great moral example, or a prophet all the way to the one and only God. But chances are, we would not hear about His dominion. If we asked these same people about the traits of Jesus we would hear answers like, loving, gentle, kind, generous and the like, but again, chances are we would not hear about His dominion. Why is that? Why is it that society at large and even those in the church don’t recognize Jesus’ dominion? Well, though Jesus has established His dominion, all things are not yet complete and second as maturing Christians, Jesus’ dominion is difficult for us to see. Understand that Jesus will dominate all things, and you will be there, everyone will be there – One day all will gather at the throne of God, that is you and I and everyone from all time and place, and there, before Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, whether they are a believer or not, that Jesus Christ is LORD.
See there are two ways that Jesus takes dominion: By force or by love and sanctification. By force. The forces who are hostel to the kingdom of God are put down by force and placed under Christ’s feet in victory. In other words, those humans who have refused to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and savior, will at some time in the future, be forced to bow to the domination of Jesus AND all hostel spiritual beings will also be forced by Jesus himself to bow to His dominion. On the other hand with the church Jesus exercises dominion in another way, by an act of supremacy worked out in love and sanctification. Force does not come into play at all, and in fact, the dominion of Jesus in our lives is nothing but beneficial, helpful, and as a practical matter, is there to help us overcome all things that stand against us.
As we open up the Scriptures, here in Ephesians chapter one, we see Paul speaking to the Ephesians about how he holds them up in prayer. Paul here, says several specific things about what he is praying for. As Paul prays for the Ephesians, the items he prays for that we see in verses 17 and 18 are tied to the dominion of Jesus. These items are not simply something that God can bless us with, God can bless us as Christians with these, because of what Jesus Christ has done by the power of his resurrection (verse 20) – but it is more than the resurrection, as we see in verse 20, it is the fact that Jesus not only is resurrected, but that He is seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly realms. This means that Jesus Christ is enthroned and given dominion, because of his resurrection and enthronement. This dominion of Jesus accomplishes what Paul is praying for in the lives of the Ephesians, and what can be ours also: the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, enlightened eyes of the heart, hope, incomparably great power.