Summary: We all live with different powers shaping our lives. Before Christ, we were slaves to this world’s power. With Christ, we are recipients of God’s power and we can be agents of God’s power if we’ll let him work through us! Third in four part series.
Forces in Society #3 – Power
By James Galbraith
First Baptist Church, Port Alberni
August 26, 2007
So far we have looked at how two different forces in society influence our lives.
1. Fear in many different forms can grip us and lead us into despair,
God knows that this world is full of things to fear.
But when we reckon with and begin to enjoy the healthy and healing fear of God,
we can start to put our other fears into perspective and trust in him to see us through them.
2. Image is how we see ourselves in this world, and again,
many things around us are ready to tear down our self-image and make us feel low and unlovely.
God, when we let him, can restore us to the place where we once again reflect his own image, as he created us and desires to sustain us.
There’s much more to both of these, fear and image, and if you want to know more I’m certainly ready to review them with you sometime.
But for now, we are now going to look at another force in society that controls much of our lives – the force of power itself.
To do this, we’re working through a passage that has much to say about power:
how we can be slaves to the power of the world,
how God’s power can overcome the world’s,
and how we can actually be agents of God’s power,
if we let him work through us.
Because of the way the passage is set up,
we’re going to start in the middle and work toward the edges.
Victims of power/Slaves to power - 2:1-3
We are all subject to the exercise of power on a daily basis.
To illustrate how much power we are subjected to,
I’m going to use the picture of a house.
Imagine every part of your house,
and in some way power in being influenced over you.
First of all, we all live under many rules about what kind of home we’re allowed to have. If you’ve every tried to do renovations you find out how quickly the municipal government gets involved in the planning, making and taxing!
- Kitchen/Dining Room - we live under rules of what we may/may not cook and also what we may or may not eat.
- Living Room - we live under rules of what we may or may not read/watch and more recently, what we talk about!
- Gardens - may/may not grow
- Basement/work shop - may/may not make or store
- Bedroom – one of our former Prime Ministers once said that the government has no place in our bedrooms.
It’s a famous sound bite, but it ignores the fact that there are many laws that are meant to control how we act as mates, right down to the most intimate of issues.
- Garage’s - may/may not drive
And on and on it goes - and that’s only the power of the various levels of government.
Add to that the power of public opinion, power of wealth,
power of charisma, power of information, power of skill and
the power of the military, and we live in a system where we are influence by many sources of power!
We are also slaves to the power of sin, we are so captive to it that it takes our lives away and replaces them with mere facades.
People under addictions illustrate this,
they are real people with all the potential of anyone of us,
and yet they are being literally held captive by an outside substance
What we have to realize is that without Christ, we’re all that addict, and even with him, the only thing keeping us from that state in some sense or other is the fact that we’ve been recipients of his inestimable power.
Recipients of Power: 2: 4-7
Giving our lives over to Jesus Christ removes us from our slavery to sin, and the change that we under go as recipients of his power is as day is to night.
God takes us from as low as we can go and puts us beside his own Son so that he can pour his love out on us.
Explanations of how this happens become full of the words that we often tune out as exaggeration, but these words are the only ones that come close to the effect of God’s love on us.
Many of us have lead relatively calm lives,
no drunken rampages or midnight escapes from scary homes or unexplained crimes in our closets,
so seeing the change that takes place isn’t quite as easy as those who are saved from demon possession or multiple addictions.
But the Bible has ways of showing us the parts of our lives that we wish we never had, thankfully in a way that emphasises our new state as opposed to our old.