Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

21. God’s Power in Christ – Part 3

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Scripture: Ephesians 1:19-23
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”

Not only is God’s power seen in Christ resurrection, enthronement, and supremacy but fourthly Paul points to God’s power seen in:

4. Christ’s Headship (1:22b-23)

Paul says in verses 22b-23 that God “… gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Here we see the amazing connection between Christ and his church. It is important that we notice that it is the church, and not all creation, that is said to be his body. Today we seem to have placed a higher value on creation than we do the church. Sadly there are even many Christians who value creation more than they do Christ’s church. This world is full of people who are actually worship creation instead of the the Creator who made it all. Now Ephesians 1 says that God gave Christ to be the head of the church, and just as there is a critical connection between our heads and our bodies, so there is a critical connection between Christ and his church. There are many Christians who fail to understand the importance of this critical connection. Today with our independent mindset many of us act more like Lone Ranger Christian’s, failing to fully connect to Christ’s body the church. In fact there are a growing number of Christians who are choosing to connect and even commune with God’s creation over Christ’s church. There are many who come with a consumer mentality, looking for what they can get instead of what they can give. So they make it about self instead of how they can serve. Instead of doing their part to contribute, so that the body is healthy and thriving, they are focused on what’s in it for them. When we do we end up treating the church like a country club, where we attend when it is convenient, and serve only if we feel like it. When we get hurt or disappointed, and we will because there are no perfect churches, we will leave and either go somewhere else or just quit all together. But being united to Christ and being a member of his body, the church, means that we will take seriously not only our privileges but also our responsibilities in the church. What about you are you a consumer Christian or a contributing one? The Apostle Paul also says that as his body we are “the fullness of him who fills all in all.” This is one of the most difficult and challenging statements to interpret in the letter to the Ephesians. What does Paul mean? I think this phrase is best understand in a passive sense rather than an active sense. The church does not fill Christ, Christ fills the church. Paul is saying that Christ, as head of the church “fills it in a special way with his Spirit, grace, and gifts: it is his fullness.” Practically, this means that Christ has given us, the church, everything necessary to function fully, that is in a way that brings glory to God. Because the church is not perfect many become discouraged and even angry at the church, but we must remember that while the body is not perfect the one in charge of the church is. And as we submit to Christ’s supremacy and live in obedience to His Word a watching world will start to see His body as a blessing not a burden. While we may get discouraged about the church, we need to remember that he is the head, that he has given us his Spirit, his grace, and every spiritual gift we need to worship and serve him. It is critical that Christians understand what the Apostle Paul is praying for here. It is not that they may realize their need of power and then ask God for it. No Paul is praying that we would realize that this power is already in us. The view of the Christian which them as them as one who may have lived for years without this power of God, and who suddenly comes to a realization of their need and asks for it, and obtains it, is unscriptural. Because you cannot be a Christian even for a moment if the power of God does not sustain you. God demonstrated his immeasurably great power in Christ’s resurrection, enthronement, supremacy, and headship. But how does he demonstrate his power in us? He does so through his written Word and through his Holy Spirit. God’s power is always at work in those of us who are believers, even when we are unaware of it. Why not take time to pray and give God praise for His power that not only strengthens you but also sustains you.

 

 

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