THE POWER OF GOD WORKING
IN US – Ephesians
Paul, having learned the mystery of God, Eph.3:1-7, that both Gentiles and Jews are fellow partakers of the promises of God, started declaring it publicly, and suffered greatly for so doing. Even though he had suffered because of his preaching, he doesn’t want the brethren to lose heart (give up) v.13. So he offers a prayer that they “might be strengthened with might (power) through His Spirit (Spirit of Christ) in the inner man” v.16. This is God’s enabling power to “do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” v.20. By utilizing this power God will be glorified “in the church by Jesus Christ to all generations” v.21. Then the Christians will see the hand of God working in their lives far beyond anything they could possibly imagine. If his prayer for them becomes a reality they would experience the enabling power of God working in them v.20, and God would be glorified v.21. The same is true for us today. We can have this same prayer answered in our lives. We can experience the hand of God working in our lives far beyond anything we can possibly imagine.
Utilizing this power is much like driving a car. Until one turns the key that ignites the power in the engine the car won’t move. In the same way we will not be motivated and transformed in our lives to be what God wants us to be if we don’t apply this power in our lives. We are being challenged to “start the engine” so we can experience the power and glory of God.
What is this power Paul writes about? v.20. The Greek word, might v.16, power v.20 (dunamis - dynamite) occurs 118 times in the NT. It denotes the universal, inherent power, ability or capability, physical, spiritual or moral that resides in a person or thing, the driving force or cause for action or work. It is variously defined as power, ability, might, strength. It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead Eph.1:19-20. But here it is the spiritual power dwelling in the inner man, that allows God to accomplish His purpose, so He might be glorified in the church and in His Son. So, instead of putting a stack of dynamite under a person, Paul puts it inside a person. In Eph.1:15-21 he prayed that saints would come to “KNOW…the exceeding greatness of His power.” Since they know who they are, and this power Eph.1, USE it. Grab the power that will enable them to act like a fully functioning Christian.
How can they do this? By following Paul’s prayer 1. Be strengthened in the inner man v.16; Col.1:11. The inner man is the real YOU. We can see the outer man in the mirror, but the inner man is the inside you, the soul or spirit, the part that drives you. This is the part that needs to be strengthened, for the outward man is perishing 2.Cor.4:16. This strengthening is done by the Holy Spirit though His word 1.Pet.2:1-2;.1.Jn.2:14; Rom.2:14. Let the Spirit, through His word, instruct and lead you Gal.5:16; Eph.5:18b; Col.3:16. That is why we need to study and meditate on God’s book. Ps.1:1-3; 2.Tim. 2:15. Then we can apply the power in everyday life, and in so doing, experience the greatness of God’s power working in our lives.
2. Let Christ dwell in you. Being strengthened by the Holy Spirit and Christ dwelling is us are not two different processes. Both enter our lives the same way, by a trusting, obedient faith Eph.1:12-13; Acts 2:41, 19:5; Gal.3:37; Col.1:27. When Christ dwells in us, so does the Holy Spirt. This indwelling is not literal. We cannot literally inhabit Deity, nor does Deity inhabit us directly. It is thru the agency of the Word, received by the hearing of faith Gal.3:2; Eph.5:19; Col.3:16; Rom.8:1-5. This indwelling is an indirect, representative indwelling, the harmony of spirits, the indwelling of Deity’s attributes, not the nature 1.Jn.3:24-27; 2:3-6, 24. To dwell in or at means to be at home. Does Jesus feel at home in your life? He goes wherever you go Jn.14:23; Gal.2:20.
Rooted and grounded in love. Here is the idea of plants 1.Cor.3:9; Col.2:7. The seed is planted and a plant is produced Rom.6:5. A Spirit filled life and an indwelling Christ produces a healthy Christian (plant) rooted and ground in love Jn.15:9-14. Without love, no indwelling Christ, rather the works of the flesh are manifest Gal.5:19-21. Love is the soil into which we are to be rooted and grounded. Will it last? Love is essential to our wellbeing. God is love I. Jn.4:8. The first fruit of the Spirit is love Gal.5:22. Without it we are nothing 1.Cor.13:1-3, 13. This love is not emotion, it is action-love, as God’s love Jn.3:16. A little girl hears the preacher’ sermon. God is great and He is bigger than we are, and He lives in us. She asks her mother, If this is so, wouldn’t He show through? If this love is fixed and firmly established (takes root) it will be able to withstand the trials of life, not tossed about by false doctrine.Eph.4:14; 2.Pet.2:1-3; Jas.1:2-6. One will not have this type love until Christ really makes His home with us. But Christ will not dwell if the Spirit is not controlling the inner man. Only then will one be able to grasp, comprehend, seize the greatness of God’s love vs.18-20.
Comprehend the greatness of this love. How great is this love? Vs.18-19 catches the essence or concept of just how great this love really is. Comprehend means to personally grasp, lay hold on. Seize the mental concepts of this love. Notice the 4 dimensions of this love. The Breadth of this love. Broad enough to die for all men (sinners) regardless of standing, race, culture, education, social standing, wealth Rom.5:8; Matt.26:28. No one too good or too bad. Its length. How far He would go to save sinners, form eternity to eternity and beyond. It is unending 1.Cor.13:13. It endures even when one sins. He continues to make His blood available to any who want it. Its Height. From heaven itself down to undeserving man living on earth, His footstool Phil.2:5-9; Eph.4:8-9. Its Depth. It reaches down to rescue man from the very lowest pits of sin. Raised by the power of God to sit with Him in the heavenlies Eph.2:6. V.19 In reality love cannot be fully described in words. As Louie Armstrong replied when asked to describe Jazz. “If you got to explain it you an’t got it.” If you have got it you will know it.
One who knows this love will have the fullness of God, His attributes, not His nature. One who is willing to do these things will have access to the power of God. You know it, now seize it and see just how much this power can do in your life. In doing this God will be glorified and exalted in the church through His Son for all generations 1.Pet.2:9-10; Rom.16:27.
By Tommy Thornhill
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