Summary: Knowing God’s power
Power Aid – Eph. 1:19b-23
Steve Simala Grant – Aug 12, 2001
Last Sunday we spent time looking at Paul’s prayer in Eph. 1:15-19, where he prays that we would know God first with our heads, with “wisdom and revelation” that leads us to a full knowledge of Him, and secondly with our hearts, where Paul asks that “the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened” so that we would know hope, who we are as God’s inheritance, and God’s power.
The last part of chapter 1 elaborates on this final request – that we would know God’s power. READ 19-23.
1. Power for us.
Before jumping in to the description of power, we need to first recognize that this power is for us. We need to see all Paul is about to say about the power of God as being available to us, purposed for us to live in and to know. As we walk through the rest of the passage, we need to constantly keep in mind that the power Paul is describing is for us who believe. Keep that in mind…
The second part of verse 19 begins the description of God’s power. Have you ever listened to someone try to describe something they are really, really excited about? Something that has completely amazed them? “It was great! It was awesome!! It was incredible, amazing, stupendous, unbelievable,” We kind of pile up words, one on top of the other, in order to try to convey some of our sense of excitement and enthusiasm. Paul does the same thing in the second part of verse 19 – he starts thinking about the power of God and I think he gets excited and starts to pile up words to describe it. We lose some of the sense of building excitement in our translations – the words are all there: “power” and “might” and “strength” and “exerted”, but we miss the building sense of enthusiasm. A popular paraphrase, The Message, captures this feeling a little more, where verse 19 says “oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength!” There is an exuberance here, an excitement as the topic shifts to describing the power of God for us.
2. Power Demonstrated.
And that excitement overflows into verse 20, where God’s power is demonstrated in 2 ways – the two greatest examples of the power of God at work. read vs. 20.
A. Jesus resurrected.
The first example of the incomparably great power is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. How much power did that take? Remember that Jesus resurrection was very different from when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead – Lazarus’ resurrection was temporary, he still would have died a second time. But in Jesus we do not have a temporary defeat of the power of death, but a permanent defeat of the power of death. In the resurrection of Jesus, we have an eternal life, a resurrected body, a deliverance from the permanence and hopelessness of death! The power of God which raised Christ Jesus from the dead was a victory – it earned a permanent hope in a new order, it provided a bridge back into relationship with God that gives us hope for eternity. All because God raised Jesus from the dead. The moment of Jesus’ resurrection is the great turning point in history – from a low, desperate point when it seemed that hope was dead, Jesus’ claim to be God’s Son in doubt, to one of victory and triumph of God’s incredible power over Satan and over death.