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Power Unlimited

Ephesians 1:19b-21
That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ 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 name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (NIVUK)

Paul had just prayed that the Ephesians will know God better (Ephesians 1:17) and be able to understand the glorious future for God’s people (Ephesians 1:18); also to know the extraordinary power God gives to His people so that they will arrive at the future He has planned for them (Ephesians 1:19a). Now Paul describes the magnitude and life giving nature of that power. It is the same power which God used in raising Jesus Christ from the dead, establishing Him as Lord of all.

Power is either dangerous, or wonderfully useful, or both. God's power is like that too. Dangerous for the devil, demons and all disobedient people (Matthew 8:29): but wonderfully constructive in giving new life to dead people (John 6:40) and for building a kingdom which will never fade away (Daniel 2:44). The most startling demonstration of God's power in Christ's ministry was not in the healing or feeding miracles, nor nature's obedience to the commands of Jesus: it was the resurrection of Christ that began the greatest cascade of powerful action since the creation. The resurrection was even more than giving new life to the dead body of Jesus, but giving Him a new body in which He could live for ever (1 Corinthians 15:42).

Although the cross was the place of atonement, the empty tomb was the place of unleashed Divine power; the early church used the resurrection as the convincing proof of the power of God in Christ (Acts 4:33). It is no wonder that Paul's ambition was to, "… know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…" (Philippians 3:10). For Paul and many martyrs like him, even being persecuted to death has no final terror, because Jesus had given physical proof of resurrection. Although Frank Morison's book 'Who Moved the Stone' makes such a compelling case for the resurrection that the author was converted through researching it, not many Christians discuss the resurrection with their friends. So why not break the mould and introduce the subject ... it cannot leave Jesus as just a 'good teacher'!

His resurrection means that Jesus is alive and therefore it is possible to have a relationship with Him. Such a connection is beyond the wildest of human dreams, because nobody is higher or more important or more authoritative than Jesus, nor ever will be: and we can be His friends. More than that, Paul is praying here that Christians might go on putting their trust in a God who powerfully raised Jesus; not just from the dead, but to a position of supreme authority. Learning to live with His power within is all part of our discipleship journey. That means trusting that God is not limited by any weakness of ours, and that He gives us His power to do everything He commands.

Father God. Thank You for raising Jesus Christ from the dead, and giving so many convincing proofs that Your power is strong and effective. Forgive me when I have lived in the power, or often the weakness, of my own flesh; failing to learn to live in the power which You have given to me. Please help me to know Your power, not so much by my small personal experiences, but by trusting what You have done in raising Jesus to the highest place of authority. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams