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RESURRECTION POWER – Ephesians 1:15-23


I love the prayers in the Bible. We learn to pray by hearing others pray. When we “hear” the prayers of the saints as recorded in Scripture, we learn to pray. Among the great prayers in the Bible are three in the epistle we know as Ephesians. The first of these is in chapter one. The climax of that prayer is in verses 19ff. He had just prayed that we might know the hope to which God calls us and the riches of His inheritance in the saints. He continues to pray that we may know…

…his incomparably great power for us who believe. 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. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. – Ephesians 1:19-23

W O W! What a prayer!

He began by praying that God give us “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” We may know about God without the Spirit; we will never know God without the Spirit. Here is the intimacy of personal acquaintance with the Creator.

Next, he prayed “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” Enlightenment does not come through the wisdom of the world; it comes through the Spirit of God.

This enlightenment gives us knowledge of “the hope to which he has called you.” What is the purpose of God’s call to us? Later in the epistle, Paul answers that question:

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self…; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24

We have one hope. That hope has aspects that are both present (in this life) and future (in the age that is to come). In this life, our hope is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). In the age to come, our hope is that we will be like him, for we will see him as He is (1 John 3:1-3). The process of becoming like Him begins even now.

Paul prayed, also, that we may know “the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” We think of ourselves as being heirs of God – and rightly so. Have you ever thought of the Church as being the inheritance Christ receives? God has “appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is…the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” We, collectively, are the inheritance Christ has received from His Father! Since we are “joint-heirs with Him,” the fellowship of faith is also our inheritance! That is a wonderful inheritance now – and will be even greater in the age to come.

The climax of this prayer, though, is that we may know the power of God for us who believe. This power of God for the believer helps us to understand the power of faith, for this is the same power God used when He raised Jesus from the dead.

Paul used four words to describe this great power:

  • dunamis – This word is in Romans 1:16 to say the gospel is God’s power to save those who believe.
  • energeia This is the word from which we get energy. It means strong, effective working.
  • kratos – Thayer defines this word as “force, strength, power, might; mighty with great power; a mighty deed, a work of power.”
  • ischus – Thayer defines this as “ability, force, strength, might.” Strong says it is “his forcefulness.

All of these are dynamic, active words describing the power God used when He raised Jesus from the dead.

This is the power Paul says is for those who believe. He prays that we may realize that this power is there for us.

In the next verses, he says:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus….” – Ephesians 2:1, 4-6

God’s power raised Jesus from the dead when He was dead. Likewise, when we were dead God raised us up with Christ. God’s power exalted Christ when He raised Him so that He sits at God’s own right hand above all rule, power, and authority. Likewise, He seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms.

Now, were you saying you are too weak for God to overcome sin in your life????

NEXT: Ephesians 2:1-10 – God’s Workmanship

PREVIOUS: Ephesians 1:3-14 – To Praise God’s Glory

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