Summary: Eighth in a series from Ephesians. Resurrection power is the greatest power man has ever known because it can transform our lives.
What is the greatest power in the history of mankind? Some might argue that it is manmade power and for them, the ultimate man-made power would certainly have to be a nuclear bomb. The world saw that kind of power unleashed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. And today’s nuclear bombs are thousands of times more powerful than the bombs that were dropped on Japan. There is no doubt that they have great power.
But others would argue, and rightly so, that there is no man-made power that can compare to the power of God. I think that all of us here this morning would agree with that premise. So this week, I was thinking about how God demonstrates His power. God certainly demonstrates his power through nature. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the destructive power that Hurricane Katrina unleashed on Louisiana and Mississippi last year or the tsunami that killed nearly 300,000 people in December of 2004, or the power unleashed when Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980. And that’s only a small sampling of the great power of God we have seen demonstrated in nature just in most of our lifetimes.
Or how about the power of creation? Can you imagine what kind of power it took for God to create the entire universe just by speaking it into existence? That had to be even greater power, it seems to me, than the power we frequently see evident in nature. The magnitude of that power is incomprehensible to our human minds.
But as we continue our basic training through the book of Ephesians this morning, we’re going to see that there is an even greater power than that, and what’s even more amazing is that that power is at work in the life of every follower of Jesus Christ!
Paul began his letter, by describing, in one long sentence, the spiritual blessings that are ours through the work of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We have been chosen by God the Father from before the foundations of the world and been predestined to become part of His family. We’ve been redeemed from bondage and an empty way of life through the blood of Christ. And the Holy Spirit lives in our lives as a guarantee that the best is still to come.
And then, beginning in verse 15, Paul responds to all those spiritual blessings by praying for his readers. We’ve already looked at a portion of that prayer, but let’s go back and read that whole section again, so that we can put this morning’s passage in context.
Read Ephesians 1:15-23
Paul begins his prayer by giving thanks to God for the faith and love of his readers. He then goes on to ask that God would give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they could have a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. And then, as we saw a couple of weeks ago, he prays that they might understand that God has called them into hope in the past, He has promised an inheritance of glorious riches in the future and that he has made available to all believers His power for the present.
In the passage we’ll look at this morning Paul goes on to describe that power in greater detail. Since Denny and I had to do some shuffling of schedules this week, this passage will actually be your memory verse for next week, so let’s just read it out loud together this morning.
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him 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 title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
Ephesians 1:19b-21 (NIV)
Paul wants us to understand that the power he is describing in these verses is indeed the greatest power ever known. So he uses every word he can think of to describe this power:
The word for “power” is the Greek word from which we get our word “dynamite”
“Exerted” is the Greek word from which we get our word “energy”
The words for “mighty” and “strength” are two more synonyms that describe the “incomparably great” power that Paul is writing about here.
And what is that power? It is the power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. It is the power that has placed Jesus Christ above any other power or authority here on earth or in the heavens and above every power known to mankind right now or that will ever be known in the future. It’s resurrection power! That is the greatest power ever – greater that any man-made power and even greater than the power that God displays in nature or even the power He exerted in creation.