The very same power that God used to raise Jesus Christ from the dead is at work in the life of every born-again Christian. It is that resurrection power which first quickened our spirits to see the awfulness of our sin and the holiness of our God. That power showed us the amazing mercy and grace that we were given when Jesus died on the cross for every one of our sins and then rose from the dead in forever victory over both sin and death. God and His ways were not beautiful to us before, but now that we are alive “in Christ,” we want to worship and serve and seek and obey the Lord. That is the work of God’s Holy Spirit! Whenever we see sin-hardened hearts softened and turned to God in repentance and faith and love, we see the resurrection power of God in action. As Christians, we are truly “powered by God” to live lives pleasing to Him from the moment we first believe until the day that we meet Him in heaven.
God wants us to know and experience that resurrection power. Paul’s prayer in today’s passage is certainly God’s desire for us. Remember from Ephesians 1:15-18 that Paul was continually asking God to open the minds and hearts of his Christian audience to deeply understand all that God has done for them in Christ, specifically all the blessings that he had just described in verses 1-14. Now he finishes his prayer by getting us to realize that the same power that the Father used for the Son in raising Him from the dead and placing Him back in the glory of heaven as the King of Kings is the power that is now saving our souls. When you became a Christian, you became part of Christ’s invisible church. We are now part of His spiritual body, and He is our head and captain, our leader. When we follow and abide in Jesus, we can experience the power of God every day. We access that power through meditating on His Word, praying honestly and openly, enjoying fellowship with other growing believers, and doing God’s will. My prayer for all of us today is that we would experience His resurrection power in all that we do.
The Text (Ephesians 1:19-23)
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Questions to Think About
1. Have you ever felt powerless as you tried to live for God? Look to Jesus today and seek HIS power to live the Christian life today! Jesus said that apart from Him we can nothing, but if we abide in Him (rest in, spend time with, focus on), we will bear fruit and so prove to be His disciples (John 15:1-8).
2. Have you ever tried to start reading the Bible regularly but struggled to get something out of it? You might need to change your approach. The Bible is meant to be read slowly and thoughtfully. You might need to reread a passage three or four times in one sitting, humbly asking God to help you understand it. Ask Him, “What are you trying to teach us (remember, the Bible was written for all believers, not just you!) in this text? What do you want Christians to know, believe, or do?” I would encourage you to give this a shot by going back and reading Ephesians 1 again and really seeking the Lord’s help in meditating on His Word. See what happens!
• In Ephesians 1:20, Paul discusses the resurrection power that raised Jesus physically from the dead. In Ephesians 2:5, we will see an awesome connection as Paul explains that as Christians we have been raised from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive in Christ. Listen to God’s Word and believe it: “Even when we were dead in trespasses [sins], [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
• The mention of Jesus being “far above all principality and power and might and dominion” in verse 21 is Paul’s way of saying that Jesus is better and stronger than EVERYTHING. Jesus is greater than all the human kings and rulers that have ever lived on this earth. Jesus is master over all the obedient angels of heaven as well as every rebellious demon of hell. For all the ages to come forever, Jesus will ever be Lord over all. As Christians, that idea fills us with joy as we marvel that God would allow us to be not just His servants but His adopted sons and daughters in Christ’s eternal kingdom.