Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The working of power - Ephesians 1:19-21

"These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come." (Ephesians 1:19-21)
Paul had prayed that we would not only come to know the greatness of God's call on our lives, but that we might also come to know His power that is able to bring that calling about. God not only calls us for heavenly things, His power also works in us that we might arrive at and actually receive those things for which we were called. God does not just set out great and wonderful things before us and then says, "Go ahead and get them," rather He calls us to inherit heavenly things then works in our live to bring us to the point of actually receiving them. One is a call to work and trust in our our strength, the other is a call to embrace the work of God in our lives and to trust in the strength and grace He provides.

So what is this power God provides and what are the limits of its work and ability in our lives? God showed us just a measure of that power when He rose Jesus from the dead. It is a power that can give life to the dead and that can transform our lowly bodies and life into new and heavenly ones. It is a power that can impart immortality to our mortal existence and fit us for life evermore in the very presence of God. A power as great as this, is certainly powerful enough to heal us, comfort us, strength us, lead us, and protect us in our daily walk with God. A power that can raise the dead is a power that is limitless in what every circumstance and situation we might find ourselves today. Those who have such power resident within them are those who have nothing more to need.

God's demonstration of this power was more than in raising Jesus from the dead, it is also shown into where He was raise to. Jesus was raised to the right-hand of God and, in so doing, was seated above all else that lay below Him. Specifically, Paul mentions five things that the power of God raised Jesus above. First is all rule. This Greek word refers to all those who rule and who have first rank above men. This can be of those who rule in the natural and of those who rule in the spiritual realm as well. Jesus is now first, both in rank and effect, above all others.

Secondly is authority. This Greek word carries the idea of the privilege one has to act that flows from their ability, mastery, and natural strength. It is not the typical Greek word for "power," as some have translated it, but brings forth the ideas of authority, right, privilege, and ability. Some may claim the right to rule, but Jesus right is demonstrated through His resurrection and His claim to eternal life.

Third is all power. This Greek word is the same word from which we get our word, "dynamite." It speaks of an explosive power; a power that is able to leave an effect. There are many great and powerful men and many forces of nature that can be described as powerful, but Jesus' power extends over them all. There is no force that His power cannot contain, alter, direct, and modify for His pleasure and great purpose.

Forth is dominion and speaks of that over which one has control or influence. Our lives may be regulated by the dominion if the US government, but there is one whose rule is even over them. No matter whose domain we may live within, they themselves live within the domain of Christ. We may give our natural governors our loyalty and obedience, but our obedience and loyalty towards Christ will always trump that which we hold towards them.

Lastly, He has been raised far above every name that can be named both in heaven and on earth. Even more so, not only is His name above all other names now, but even in the age to come His name will continue to be exalted. Often we align our lives with the name of someone we wish to emulate. Names are also use as monikers of beliefs, principals, agendas that we find in common agreement with ourselves. We name ourselves in many ways: I am an american, I am a Republican, I am a charismatic, etc. However, far and above any other name or appellation we might use to describe and align ourselves, there is no other name more worthy and glorious than that of Jesus. First and foremost, it is His name under which must be born, aligned, associated, and classified with for, in the end, His name is the only name that really matters.

David Robison

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