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Christ's Resurrection: Infinite Power at Work for You

Christ's Resurrection: Infinite Power at Work for You

March 27, 2005 | Andy Davis
Ephesians 1:18-23
Resurrection of Christ

sermon transcript


Take your Bibles, if you would, and look with me at Ephesians 1:18-23. We're gonna be looking at Christ's resurrection, God's infinite power work for us. On the morning of July 16th, 1969, an estimated one million people gathered along the beaches and the roads of coastal Florida to look at the moon launch as Apollo 11 was getting ready to take off. And just a short time before that launch, Buzz Aldrin, who's one of the astronauts there, paused and looked out as he's way, way up high above the Saturn V rocket looking out and he saw the sun rise. And as he was looking at that, he was thinking about what was about to happen, this is what he said, “The most memorable thing I can recall about that particular day was the opportunity to stand alone by myself out there and look at the rocket and the quietness, and see the sun come up and realize that in a very few moments, we are going to be departing in a great roar and off for a momentous event.” Now, he could have looked perhaps the night before and seen the moon and think about the incredible journey that he was about to travel, just looking at it and seeing the hundreds of thousands of miles that he would have to travel and wonder and consider what kind of power would get him there.

Now, a mere eight years before President Kennedy had said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” The big problem was in the development of a rocket powerful enough to do the job. None of the rockets that existed at the time were even close, the payloads were somewhere around 50 or 100 pounds and they would need thousands of pounds to be lifted up into space. The distance from the earth to the moon, 230,000 miles. In order to escape the gravitational pull of the earth, they had to achieve a speed of seven miles per second, 25,000 miles per hour.

And over the next seven years or so they developed the vehicle that could do it, and that was the Saturn V rocket, it's an incredible thing. One of the most incredible accomplishments of technology in history. It stood 363 feet high, that's a 36-story building. It had five cavernous F1 engines delivering a total of 7.5 million pounds of thrust. The sound of Saturn V's ignition and liftoff was the second loudest man-made sound ever behind only a nuclear blast. It was fueled by a volatile mixture of liquid oxygen and kerosene, and its engines burned for 150 seconds in the first stage - listen to this - consuming fuel at the rate equivalent to three million automobiles. And you think you had a gas guzzler. Three million cars. The rocket weighed 3,000 tons. It flew in the air, 3,000 tons flying through the air.

And of course, you know that the Apollo 11 mission was successful and it marked a new era in human history. But I consider it a kind of a picture or a paradigm that I want you to consider with me this morning, and that is a picture of power. And I mean, power for a long, really infinite journey. The power of the Saturn V rocket doesn't even compare, frankly, to the power that's described in the text that was read for us this morning.

Now, what is power? Well, I think it's energy directed to accomplish some change. The energy to accomplish an effect or a change. We think, for example, of a powerful ruler like the Roman emperor, his word changes life for millions of people. He just speaks a word and a census is taken, and people are moving all over the Roman empire, that's power to affect a change. Or we think about, let's say, a powerful medicine. It produces a great change, like antibiotics, a great change in the condition of the patient, powerful medicine. Or powerful writings, a powerful book, changes hearts and minds, like around the time of the American Revolution. This Saturn V, this was a powerful rocket, it produced an incredible change of lifting 3,000 tons off the ground and throwing it toward the moon.

The Lasting Joy of Easter: Hope for the Future

The Most Joyful Christian Celebration

So what is the power at work in our lives? That's what's in front of us today. And how does it relate to Jesus Christ and to His resurrection? As Paul relates in Ephesians 1:18-23. Now, I love Easter, this is definitely my favorite time of the year. I know that as Christians, we're supposed to celebrate the resurrection every week, and we're supposed to celebrate it every day, and we do, but isn't there something special about coming together on Easter Sunday and just considering with great joy what awaits us, those of us who have faith in Christ? To know that the grave doesn't get the final word on us, isn't that wonderful? To know that your sin isn't the final word on your life, that grace is the final word on your life. Now, that's what's worth celebrating, and we do year-round, but especially Easter Sunday.

Rejoicing in the Future Glory

We rejoice over the future glory. The idea that we have in front of us an incredible vision of the glory of God that will be so powerful, it will transform us forever. 1 John says that when we see him, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And the glory is so bright, so astonishing, so powerful that it says in the Book of Revelation they won't need the sun or the moon or the stars, or any kind of light, that the glory of God will be enough. This is what it says: “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city and his servants will serve him. They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night, they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light and they will reign forever and ever.”

Christ’s Central Promise: “Because I live, you also will live.”

Now, Christ's central promise to me as I think about resurrection day, as I think about the joy of this day, I've always thought since I heard one sermon in particular a number of years ago, about one passage in particular, and that's in John 14, where Jesus says, “Because I live, you also will live.” I'm promising you, my believers, those that follow me, I'm promising you the plunder of the victory I'm going to win. “Because I live, you also will live.” There's a complete and total link, therefore, between Christ and his followers. Colossians 3:4 says, “When Christ who is your life appears, you also will appear with him in glory.” Now, that is the joyful celebration of Easter, isn't it? The idea that Christ's triumph is our triumph, that because Christ destroyed death, we also will through faith in him. Well, Paul is praying in Ephesians that we would understand that fully, that we would come to grips with just what kind of power was at work in Christ.

Paul’s Three-Fold Prayer for Understanding

Paul’s Three Requests for Spiritual Understanding

Look what he says in verses 18 and 19, he says, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Now, there are three requests in there, and they all center on spiritual understanding. Let me give you a little context in Ephesians. I would like nothing better than to just preach to you Ephesians right here now, but let's focus on this one aspect and try to understand the context of this prayer.

Paul has been writing to these Ephesian Christians, believers in Christ, and he speaks of the immense spiritual blessings that are theirs in Christ. He says it's every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, chosen before the creation of the world, we are chosen to be holy and blameless in his sight. He says we are predestined to be adopted as sons. We are lavished with grace in Christ Jesus, given spiritual wisdom and insight to understand spiritual mysteries. And God's intention through all of this is to bring everything in the universe, all of the scattered aspects that sin has blown apart, to bring them all together and make them one under one head, Jesus Christ. Now, that is power.

And that's what he's doing, like sin had some kind of explosive effect and he is bringing everything back together and making it one under Christ's headship. Then Paul goes on to speak of God's absolute sovereignty over all things, that we would understand that this isn't a plan without power, but there is power behind this plan to achieve the very thing he wants. In Verse 11, “In him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” And then he goes on to describe the Ephesian Christians' personal situation, they were included in Christ when they heard the gospel and they believed it. They were marked in Christ with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Now having been marked, they're starting to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, they're starting to show good works. They are putting on display their internal faith, faith in Christ Jesus and their love for all the saints.

So that's the context. And in the center of all that, Paul prays for them, and he wants them to know of his prayer. He wants to teach them what he's praying for for them. I could say this for many reasons, one is to teach us how to pray, and if you don't get anything else out of this, just, I think it's good to just take this section and pray it for people. Pray this for your wife or your husband, pray it for your children, pray it for yourself. Pray it for your pastor. Pray it for friends. But that's what he does, he tells them what he's praying for, and in the center of Paul's prayer life, here at least, is that they would have a kind of a spiritual understanding. Look at verse 17, “I keep asking,” he says, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better.”

So number one prayer request here is that you, the believers in Christ would know God better, that you would know him better. And this makes complete sense, because it lines up with Jesus' prayer in John 17:3 concerning eternal life. “Now, this is eternal life,” he says there, “that they may know you, the only true God in Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

And so, Paul prays more and more that you may know God better, that you might have that kind of wisdom and insight to know him. And to know God better, you must know Jesus Christ better, because Christ has been given so that we may know God the Father. And so, just like Paul prays, or it says in another place in Philippians 3, where he says, “I want to know Christ. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead, I wanna know Christ.” This is the Apostle to the Gentiles, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, with special revelations that have been given to him, and he still says, “I wanna know Christ better.” I wanna know him. So that's what he's praying for, he's praying for wisdom and revelation so that we may know God better.

The Eyes of Your Heart Enlightened

He uses an interesting phrase here in Verse 18, and he says, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” What an interesting phrase that is, “The eyes of your heart.” Perhaps you never thought of your heart as having eyes. But you know that song “Turn Your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” You know, I always wondered about that song, maybe Eric, you've noticed this, people close their eyes when they sing it. Isn't that interesting? They close their eyes when they sing that song, and you know why? Because they're turning to the eyes of their heart, it's something that we don't see, it's something we believe by faith, and we want a vision filling our minds and our hearts with light and with glory at that moment.

“That the eyes of your heart,” he says, “may be enlightened,” that there's some kind of a spiritual enlightenment that comes to the eyes of your heart. Now this is not like that Buddhist enlightenment, they're always talking about enlightenment, that is the wisdom of emptiness. How does that sound? The wisdom of emptiness achieved imperfectly on earth by meditating on such conundrums as, what's the sound of one hand clapping? So ponder that one until your brain is emptied of all cognitive truth, until you're just sitting there kinda floating in a sea of nothingness. That is not the enlightenment that Paul wants. Actually, it's quite the opposite. Paul wants you to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. He wants your mind just overwhelmed with truth, that the eyes of your heart may be filled with enlightenment, with spiritual truth. That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, he says later.

“The Hope to which He has called you”

Now, what's the topic of this divine and spiritual light, this “supernatural light,” as Edwards called it, imparted directly to the soul? Well, three things; the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Hope, riches, power, that's what he's praying for. Now, I'm gonna pass by the first two quickly, because that's not the focus of my message here today. But the hope to which he has called you is the hope that someday we will be perfect, holy and blameless in his sight. That we will be totally transformed, body, soul, and spirit. That we will be just like Jesus. And not only us, but the creation around us will be liberated from its bondage to decay, and that we will be in a perfect world and ourselves perfect. That's the hope to which he has called you, so I want you to know that hope.

“The Riches of His Glorious Inheritance in the Saints”

And secondly, he said, “I want you to know how rich you are, I want you to know how wealthy you are in Christ, and not just you, but an innumerable quantity of people from every tribe and language, and people and nation, they're rich too.” We're all rich together in Christ, we who believe in him, that you would know how rich you are in your inheritance. So those two things. Now, let me tell you something, that kind of hope and those kind of riches together would actually lead you to despair if you didn't understand what power was at work to get you there. It really would be depressing, wouldn't it? To know what you're missing, to say, “You know, that's what's up there for you, now, go ahead and get it.” Go get it, go climb the ladder to heaven if you can do it. Go through your own efforts and your own striving, be a perfect person. And from this point forward, travel that infinite journey, it would be depressing.

Third Aspect: God’s Incomparably Great Power For Us

So he prays this third aspect, and that is, his incomparably great power for us who believe. Now, note that Paul does not pray here that they would have power. He's not praying that God would give them more power, he's not praying that. He's praying rather that the Ephesian Christians would know how much power is at work for them already. Not anything new except that they would just understand what's at work in them to get them there. He wants the Christians to know, the Ephesian Christians to know how much power God is exerting around them and in them to guarantee that they will get that hope and the riches in the end. And so he says, “The same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him at the ultimate seat of power in the universe is at work in you. For you also were dead in your transgressions and sins, you like Christ were raised up and now you are spiritually united with Christ, seated with him in the heavenly realms and will be until you at last come into your full inheritance.” 

God’s Power in Christ’s Infinite Journey

Christ’s Lowest State

So he's drawing a link, then, between what God did in raising Christ up and what he's doing in you. So let's look at that, God's power in Christ's infinite journey. Christ was laid low at the cross, wasn't he? That was his lowest point, that's the starting point for this incredible journey that God's power took him on, he was dead on the cross, he was bloody, his head was down on his breast, he was dead. They shoved a spear up through his side and he didn't move, and water and blood came out the side. He was dead. He was rejected, totally rejected by humanity, rejected symbolically by Jew and Gentile alike, Pilate and the high priest conspired together to turn him over to his death, and in that way, he was despised and rejected by the human race. He was also in a mysterious and powerful way, rejected by God as our sin bearer, such that Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

It was a picture of rejection, a picture also of total powerlessness. Remember how the Jews mocked, “If you're the Son of God, come down off that cross,” and he seemed powerless to do so. Seemed like the cross had the upper hand on him. And how much more once he was dead, this picture of powerlessness was complete. Death, it seems, treated Christ like it treats everyone else, trampled him and threw him out, threw him aside. Death seemed the tyrant that we just cannot conquer. The iron boot across our neck seemed to be every bit as much across Jesus' neck, the way it is for all of us, and so therefore Christ dead on the cross, a picture of total powerlessness, and so it seemed. Now, Christ's burial sealed the picture. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus come and take him, his lifeless body, they wrap him up in strips of linen. He's lifeless, he's bloody, he's immobile, he's just a dead corpse. He's laid passively in the tomb, he's lying on a rocky ledge inside a cave, he's motionless.

Now that my friends is the starting point for this infinite journey, that's the lowest point. Low in the grave he lay, Jesus, my savior. Waiting the coming day, Jesus, my Lord. That's the low point for this incredible journey.

Christ’s Infinite Journey

Now, as the soldiers looked in on him, do you think they could have imagined what was going to happen in the coming days? Do you think they could have imagined the infinite journey that Christ would take, that this lifeless body wrapped in strips of linen, lying lifeless in the tomb would soon ascend through the sky and take its place at the right hand of the eternal? At the right hand of the emperor of the universe, at God's right hand, that this Jesus of Nazareth, the dead Jew, would soon be the King of kings and Lord of Lords.

That this motionless dead man would be the firstborn from among the dead, and that he would, in some amazing way, inhabit a body, which was the first fruit of a new creation, the new heavens and the new earth, first displayed in the body of Christ. Not subject anymore to death or corruption. Do you think they could have imagined that this body so frail and weak and fragile and dying so quickly would rise again, never to submit again to death, mourning, crying or pain.

That this body would be transformed to be glorious and unchanging, and as they gazed on his lifeless body before the large stone was rolled in front of the entrance, could they have dreamed that Jesus would rule heaven and Earth, and that they themselves and every person that ever lived would someday come before him as he sat on a great white throne, and that they would present their lives to him for judgment, and that before him, every knee would bow and by him, every tongue would swear that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. No, they could not. Low in the grave, he lay. That was the base of his infinite journey.

Aspects of Christ’s Infinite Journey

Now, what are the aspects of this infinite journey? Well, first simply, resurrection from death to life. The power of death actually shattered by Jesus Christ. I love what Peter said at Pentecost, in Acts 2:24, it says, “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death”  - Listen - “because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” Now, usually when we use the word “impossible” concerning death, it's impossible for us to break its chains, it is the most impossible thing ever. We have no power over death, but Peter turns the whole thing around, it's actually impossible for death to hold him. That's how much power Jesus had. Death had no power over Christ.

Secondly, we see the transformed body. Jesus had raised others to life. You know Jairus' daughter? Do you remember what he said to the mourners that were outside the house? “Do not weep. She's merely sleeping. The girl is not dead, but asleep.” Do you remember what he said to his disciples when he was going back to raise Lazarus up, you remember? “Lazarus has fallen asleep, but we must go and wake him.” Now, why does he speak like this? Because the existence into which they were awoken was the same as before they died. They were back under death and their bodies continued to decay and to be corruptible, and they would die, and those same bodies that Jesus raised up or resuscitated really at that moment would someday succumb to death. But not Jesus' body.

You see, he has a resurrection body. He's in a whole new realm of existence. 1 Corinthians 15 calls it a “spiritual body.” We mulled over that a year ago. What is a spiritual body? You're gonna be thinking about that forever, but Jesus has one, a spiritual body, not subject any longer to death or to decay or corruption. Romans 6:9 says, “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again.” Now, that's the difference between him and Jairus' daughter. And that's the difference between him and Lazarus. It says in 1 Corinthians 15:42 and following, “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” And so the body is transformed.

Thirdly, he ascended through the heavens. You know the astronauts, the unbelieving ones, said, “Oh, we're out here in space and there's no heaven up here, so that destroys the cosmology of the Bible.” Well, I wonder sometimes, don't you? Didn't Paul speak of a third heaven? So I wonder if the Bible, if we could understand it this way, I don't know for sure this is the right interpretation, but could it be the first heaven is the sky above us, and the second heaven is outer space, and could it be the third heaven is the spiritual realm into which Jesus entered, and so Christ passed through all of those, didn't he?

You remember in Acts 1, after he spent 40 days with his disciples after resurrection, a 40-day seminary with Jesus as the professor, what an incredible thing. You know, church history, Old Testament, Hermeneutics - No New Testament classes yet. Didn't need it. He said, “You're gonna write the New Testament. We'll get to that later.” Alright, but he's teaching them 40 days, and then after that, he takes them out and he ascends before their very eyes. And they're watching him go up, as he goes and a cloud hides him from their sight. He's passing through the heavens, and it says in the Book of Hebrews, Hebrews 4:14, “Since then, we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens. He's passed through the heavens. Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.”

So Jesus has, in some mysterious way, just passed through the heavens, and it says that he's seated at a position, the position of ultimate power. Look at verses 20-23 in our text here, Ephesians 1:20 and following, it says that “God 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.” Jesus ascends up through the heavenly realms and is ushered right into the very presence of God Almighty, and he sits at the place of power at the right hand of God Almighty, and he says in the great commission, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” That is the infinite journey of Christ from that low place in which he lay all the way up through the heavenly realms in a new resurrection body to sit at the right hand of God Almighty and to rule heaven and earth from there.

Infinite Journey Requires Infinite Power

That is the infinite journey of Christ. Now, let me tell you, infinite journey requires infinite power, and God the Father exerted that power on Christ.

Paul’s Point: The Same Power is at Work in You Who Believe

And here's the point, the very thing that God the Father has done in exerting power in raising Christ up, that power is at work in you today, if you're a Christian. Isn't that magnificent? The very same power that raised Christ up from that cold tomb and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly realms is at work in you. Now, this is the very thing that Christ had wanted. You remember right, before he died on the cross? Just before he died, he said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” It says in 1 Peter, “He entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

And so the Father raised him up from the tomb and seated him at his right hand. And look at the language of power. Look at verse 19. It speaks of his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ. The ESV puts it this way, “What is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe according to the working of His great might?” It's like Paul is stretching language here to talk about how much power was at work in Christ, the same power at work in you.

It's incredible, greater in some sense, than the power He exerted in creating the heavens and the Earth to begin with. That's the recreating power of God at work. Now, the point of all this is the parallelism between Christ and his experience, his resurrection, and ours.

God’s Power for Our Infinite Journey

Our Infinite Journey

We also are on an infinite journey, and what is our starting place? Well, look at chapter 2 verses 1-3. It says, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” - That's your low point - “dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live, when you follow the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time. Gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts, like the rest we were by nature objects of wrath.”

That's your low point. Low in the grave you lay spiritually. You were dead. You weren't sick. Don't ever let anyone tell you Christianity is a crutch for the weak. Christianity is a resurrection for the dead. They speak too lightly in mocking our faith. Oh, it's far worse than you imagine, it's no crutch. I couldn't use a crutch, I was dead in my transgressions and sins, go ahead and toss a crutch to a dead person. Here, I want to help you, and the fact that you're unable to walk. Crutch isn't gonna help you.

Oh, no. You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live. Dead while you lived. But God raised you up through faith in Christ. And verse 6, it says, “You are seated with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Positionally, you're already there. God sees you that way. But likewise, you have an infinite journey to travel, and that is to end up totally and perfectly conformed to Christ in every way; perfect in your souls, in your mind, your will, your emotions and your character, perfect in your body, incorruptible and eternally alive with him with a perfect body that will never die again, and seated with him in heavenly power, reigning with Christ. That's the end of your infinite journey.

Our Incomplete and Immensely Dangerous Journey

Now, it's already begun, as we said, that God has made us alive with Christ, so we're already alive, but unlike Christ's, that journey is incomplete for you. You're not finished with it yet, you're not finished, because you have to be here listening to me instead of seeing the glory. If you were given a choice, see the glory, okay? But in the meantime, you get the preaching. We're not finished yet, we're not done being saved.

And so we have before us a long and perilous journey, very dangerous. We still dwell in bodies of clay. We still wrestle with indwelling sin. We still have divided minds and hearts. We still need faith and hope, our foes that oppose us are infinitely more powerful than we are. The devil has been successfully tempting people for thousands of years. He is immensely powerful. He's called the god of this world, he's a deceiver, he's a slanderer, he's a merciless tyrant, he is a soul slayer. He is vastly more terrifying and more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

And so also is this dangerous and clever and shrewd world system that he's set up to allure you and entice you and trick you and trap you so that you will not love Jesus anymore. So that you will not believe in him. And even worse, you have within you a rebel flesh that likes what the devil's doing, attracted to it, interested in it. A foe within the walls, and we have therefore the world, the flesh, the devil opposing us every step of the way.

God’s Immeasurably Great Power IN Us

Now, once Apollo 11 escaped Earth's orbit and started heading toward the moon, it coasted most of the way. All they needed was occasional nudge to do some course correction. Is that your experience as a Christian? I wouldn't think so. Every day you get up and you're told to put on your spiritual armor. You're told basically to slog for every foot of spiritual progress that you're going to make. You need immeasurable power to make this journey. It is a dangerous journey, and as a result, the Lord in John 17, when he was leaving, said, “Father, I am leaving, and they're still in the world, protect them. Protect them by the power of your name.” He considered it a great problem that you're still in the world, and so you need immeasurable power for your infinite journey.

Now, there's two kinds of power that God puts forth; one is a power in you, and another is a power around you, and both of them are worth considering. The power in you is transforming your heart. Changing it from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. You're being renewed by the transforming of your mind as you hear the word of God preached and taught accurately, and as you're listening to the word throughout the week, because you listen to tapes, you're reading books, you're being transformed. God's power is at work through the word of God, in you changing you from inside, renewing your mind.

He's changing your will to love and desire and yearn for, and choose to what he loves and desires and yearns for and chooses, so that you're conformed to Christ, convicting you also of sin when you transgress, so that you would hate it the way he hates it. Renewing your drive for holiness day after day, waking you up with incredible power, saying, “Let's get up, let's get moving, let's have our quiet time, let's pray. Let's read the Bible. Now let's go. Let's fight sin, let's say no to that temptation, let's stand firm, put on your spiritual armor, keep walking, let's do those good works that God has ordained that you should walk in them. Drive, drive, drive.” It takes energy. Paul talks about this in Colossians 1, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom in order that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works inside me.” 

God’s Immeasurably Great Power AROUND Us

So there's this energy, this power inside you to help you finish that long journey that's still ahead of you, but there's also an immeasurably great power around you, it's outside of you, orchestrating, controlling, working on things, not just for you, but for all of the church around the world, so that all of us can finish our infinite journeys.

Look what it says in verse 21 and 22, “Christ is seated 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.” Look at that phrase, “for the church.” His sovereign power seated on the throne as King of Kings and Lord of Lords is directed to a purpose to help the church. He's helping you, he's helping me.

What does that mean? Well, he turns the hearts of kings like a water course in his hands, directs it whichever way he chooses for the benefit of the church. He filters the temptations the devil wants to bring to your life so that you're not tempted beyond anything you can bear, but with the temptation, will give you the way of escape so you can bear up under. He affects political elections and private conversations and national economics and even sporting events, and the roll of the dice and the falling of sparrows, all of these things for a single purpose, that the church might complete its infinite journey and be holy and blameless in his sight, fully saved. That's the power at work outside of it, and neither you nor I will ever fully grasp how powerful it is.

God’s Power is Perfectly Effective

He's at work around you, and he's at work in you, and God's power is perfectly effective. He's going to be working on you, you know what? Until you're done being saved, until you're just like Jesus, body, soul and spirit. Totally and completely finished. That is the power that's at work in you.


Now, what is the application from understanding this? Well, first, I know as a pastor that on Easter Sunday, a lot of times people come to church, who usually don't come to church. And I think that's wonderful. I'm glad you're here, but I'd like to invite you to come to something better than church. I'd like to invite you to come to Christ. I'd like you to know the kind of power that was at work in Jesus in your own personal life. I'd like you to be born again, I'd like you to trust in Jesus. He has the power to speak into deadness and say, “rise and live,” and he will not stop speaking that word until you're in his presence. Trust in him today. His death on the cross is sufficient for all of your sins. Trust in him.

Those of you that are Christians, you came in here today, you have come to Christ, you come to him all the time, constantly to be satisfied, and you came to church too, and I'm glad. Let me urge you to think about what Paul is praying for here. Ponder the hope. Ponder the riches. And ponder the power that’s at work. Why does he pray for those things? Why does he want us to know how rich we are? Why does he want us to know what kind of hope is going to be realized some day for us? Why does he want us to know that the same power that raised Jesus up from his grave and seated him at the right hand of God is also at work in and around you? Why? To give you incredible confidence.

How much power do you have to take a step in that journey? If God left you alone and said, “Go ahead, why don't you coast for a while and see how you do on your own,” how's it gonna be? “Did we in our own strength confide,” that means put our trust, “our striving would be losing.” So you know what he's doing, he's saying, “Don't trust in your own strength, but realize there is incredible power at work in and around you, trust in it.” And as I said earlier in this message, pray like this, pray it for yourself, pray it for your spouse, pray it for your children, your parents, pray it for your friends and co-workers, pray like this, and then live accordingly, get up and be energetic. God has some good works for you to do even today. I know you're anticipating a day of rest and enjoyment. Well, good, enjoy that, but he has good works for you to do every day, do them according to the power that so mightily works inside you. Close with me in prayer.

Other Sermons in This Series

Seeing Jesus

April 17, 2022

Seeing Jesus

Hebrews 2:9

Andy Davis

Walk by Faith, Resurrection of Christ