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Summary: The truth is that man hasn't begun to comprehend the limitless power of God. But we see a display of His power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This power is not destructive power as in an earthquake or the eruption of a volcano. It is creative power.

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Ephesians: Our Identity in Christ

Part 5

Exalting His Majesty

Ephesians 1:19b-23

19. and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might

20. which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21. far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

22. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

23. which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

(Ephesians 1:19b-23)

On May 18, 1980, there was an incredible explosion which was estimated at 500 times more powerful than the force of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. This explosion occurred in the state of Washington, and it was so powerful that it ripped 1,200 feet off the top of a 9,700 foot volcano known as Mount St. Helens.

Although the mountain had been dormant for 123 years, within minutes incredible power was unleashed. Thousands of tons of volcanic ash were thrust into the atmosphere. The cloud of ash literally turned day into night in the surrounding communities. Communities were virtually immobilized as from 4 to 6 inches of the powdery substance fell like a winter snowstorm. What was once considered prime hunting and fishing country was decimated. 26 lakes, 154 miles of streams, and 195 square miles of pristine forest.

But, Mount St. Helens was not very powerful compared to a volcano which erupted in 1883. Mount Krakatoa, in Indonesia, erupted with a force that was equal to 30 hydrogen bombs. The power from Mount St. Helens was estimated at 500 atomic bombs. One hydrogen bomb is equal to 1,000 atomic bombs. So, Mount Krakatoa was equal to 30,000 atomic bombs. Mount Krakatoa was 60 times more powerful than Mount St. Helens.

During the eruption of Mount Krakatoa, tidal waves killed 36,000 people in Java and Sumatra, and a cloud of ash cooled the earth's climate for almost two years. [1]

What we have seen in natural eruptions of power is but a small example of greater forces at work in the universe. Although we have come a long way in our understanding of the forces which shape our world, we still haven't graduated from preschool. From the time when dynamite was first produced in 1867 by Alfred Nobel until the time of the present day discovery of quantum physics, we have learned a lot. But all that knowledge combined only gives us a clue to what the real power behind this universe is like.

Attempts are made from time to time to describe the power contained in this universe. The truth is that man hasn't begun to comprehend the limitless power of God. But we see a display of His power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This power is not destructive power as in an earthquake or the eruption of a volcano. It is creative power. And it may be unlike any power you have ever experienced.

You know, The release of this power in Christ's resurrection has implications for us today. One of its implications is that the power that caused Christ to rise from the dead can impact our lives as well. And if there is a power like that available to us, it would be a tragedy not to be aware of it.

The Power of God Demonstrated

. . . and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, (1:19-20a)

We pick our text up with the close of Paul's prayer for us as believers. Paul is praying that we might know God's power. He then describes this power it is the power which raised Christ from the dead. In other words, in Christ's resurrection we see the power of God demonstrated.

The resurrection of Christ, is the fundamental issue upon which Christianity either rises or falls. Our faith is based on it. Romans 1:4 says that Jesus "was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead." The power of God demonstrated in Christ's resurrection is the key issue of Christianity. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then He was a fake, and we might as well believe something else. CS Lewis said, that a man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.”

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