Ephesians 1:19-20 - Knowing Christ's Power in Us
Ephesians 1:19-20 - Knowing Christ's Power in Us
And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places.Ephesians 1:19, 20
Paul is Overwhelmed! So much so that he never stops giving thanks. What a thought! Are you ever so thankful? But with his praise he also asks God for blessings. He asks that the Ephesians may be given the spirit of wisdom, also that the eyes of their hearts may be opened, that they may know to what a great hope they have been called, what is the riches of their inheritance, and ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power in them as believers. It is about the latter that we want to say a few words in this meditation.
What a tremendous thing is happening to people if they are Christians. This is also happening to you right now if you are one of His people. The immeasurable power of Christ is working in you. Unbelievers, of course, have none of this; they are still slaves of sin, in the clutches of the devil. But how rich Christians are. A power that cannot be measured, in other words an infinite power of Christ is presently, right now, working in them. Surely such knowledge should produce blessed fruits.
Paul speaks of knowing this power. This is more than an intellectual something, although it is also that. It is the knowledge of experience. There is the knowledge of the mind and the knowledge of the heart. With the latter it becomes a part of me, this truth lives in my soul and in my daily life. In life there are all kinds of examples of the difference between mere intellectual knowledge and experiential knowledge. Take the example of pain. One can know a little about it intellectually, and try to describe it, but experiencing severe pain is something quite different. So too we can talk about the power of Christ, but to know it in the heart is a lot more than that.
What is this power of Christ of which Paul speaks? First of all Paul makes a comparison. It is the same power which God worked in Christ when He raised His Son from the dead and set him at His right hand in heaven. It is a spiritual power that completely put to naught and annihilated the tremendous power of death. And who does not know that death is inconquerable, as far as man is concerned. What can we do to overcome it? Absolutely nothing. Man with all the advancements of science still cannot prevent or conquer death. At best he can postpone it for a little while. A dreadful power it is. Paul calls it the last enemy, even for Christians.
But God raised Christ from the dead. Christ went through the grave. This in itself is an even greater wonder than the very work of creation. Then God created out of nothing, now with and through His Son He overcomes powers of opposition, of death; with the work of renewal, He doesn't merely make Christians out of nothing, but out of sin. He changes hearts of stone into hearts of flesh and He makes sinners saints.
Look, Paul means to say, how God showed this power in the case of Jesus. He also exalted Him to a position far above all other powers of men and angels, of all the dictators of the world, and of all the devils put together. It means that this Christ, because of this mighty power of God in Him, is now Lord of all. He is Lord literally over all, your and my Lord, over devils, men, authorities in this world, death, hell, and literally over every power that exists. There is no power that is not subject to Him.
Now this is the point of Paul's teaching here, this same power is presently working in all believers. The very thought is astounding. Such power in us, in little you and me?
How great is it? No one knows. It is immeasurable, infinite. Does it usually or ever appear that such a mighty power is working in us? The very opposite is often true. The Heidelberg Catechism speaks of the most holy saints having only a small beginning of new obedience. In other words, there is still so much sin in their lives. For this we are inexcusable. But at the same time, where there is just a beginning, there is this mighty power, immeasurable, working in us. And which Christian does not know, by experience and from the Bible that he so often is still so weak in every area of Christian living? But what a comfort, that he may know that this mighty power has begun working in him. And who is often not afraid of the powers of the devil, for us and our children? But be assured that with this mighty power in us, he can never snatch us out of the hand of our faithful Lord.
Then there is the power of death. How weak our bodies really still are. This we see and experience especially as we grow older. Just visit a nursing home and you will see the frailties of the human body. But in the midst of all these, Paul means to say, never forget that there is an immeasurable power of Christ working in you by His Spirit. It is the power of the risen and ascended Christ.
Such knowledge gives me peace, wonderful peace. Such knowledge makes me know how rich I am as a saved sinner. Such knowledge assures me that that power will never leave me and that no power in heaven or on earth can separate me from our Savior Jesus Christ.
In whom? In those who believe, says Paul.
Surely this power does not work in everybody. God's blessings in Christ are always very particular.
How important it is for us to know whether this power is presently working in us. And that it will be effective in us tomorrow. Who are those people and how can they know it? The answer of Scripture is always so simple, really. In those who believe. A child can understand it and partake of it.
Who are they who have such peace and comfort? Who have this mighty power working in them right now? Are they necessarily the intellectuals, the pastors, elders and deacons, or other leaders in the church? No, they are those who know and trust in this wonderful Savior Jesus Christ, who like a little child trust in the precious promises of the Lord. Also, they are those who live by the Word and who daily on bended knee confess their own weakness and frailties, and trust more in this great immeasurable power of their Lord. And this they want to seal with a godly walk.
Unbelievably great is that power of Christ. Indescribably rich are therefore His people who believe.
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