Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power

Temple Baptist Church - 7-7-2010

Ephesians 1:17-23


A. In the first chapter of Ephesians, we see Christ as He is—not as the world perceives Him.

1. The world has a warped view of our wonderful Lord. They see Him as “god” but not as “God!” If we see Jesus Christ through human eyes and mind, we get a worldly perception of Him.

2. Often, the believer has such a view of Jesus Christ. We see Him as “God” when things go right and as “god” when circumstances change and doubt arise! As faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, so our perception of Jesus Christ must (and I re-emphasis MUST) come from God’s Word. Our faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Whom having not seen you love! Whom having not seen you believe! We must believe what the Bible says about Him in order to perceive Him right.

B. The Holy Spirit is giving us a right perception of Jesus Christ in these verses. This perception has nothing to do with our circumstances. It is a perception that is “far above” anything and everything that can touch us or threaten us. We cannot have a right perception of God unless we see Him as both all-powerful and all-wise.

C. Jesus Christ has no weaknesses; He has no limitations; He has no doubts or worries. There is nothing that He cannot do; nothing that He does not know; there is no place where He cannot be found; and He knows the end from the beginning so we have absolutely nothing to worry about! That is the “God” that Ephesians speaks of.

D. I want to look at these verses tonight for a few minutes in such a way as to possibly change our view of Jesus Christ. I say “possibly” because no matter what God said, it is up to each individual believer as to how we perceive our Lord Jesus Christ.

E. I find it of great interest that the chapter ends with a dissertation on the Power of God. As the Spirit of God is our Earnest, the Power of God is our Guarantee!

F. Notice the wording: “exceeding greatness.” God has power that is limitless in both its scope and demand. Not power “in us” but power “to us-ward!” His power is used in relationship to our daily needs. He not only can but will perform upon our behalf! He is “God” and He loves us. He cares what we feel, think, and need. He is not only able but He is also willing to meet “all your need” in every respect.

G. What a wonderful description verses 21-23 give us concerning the “exceeding greatness” of His power:

1. Jesus Christ Is Far Above Principality! The commencement, order, time, or rank of God’s power. The first estate. God had power before anything was!

2. Jesus Christ Is Far Above Power! Any force, influence, capacity, or strength.

3. Jesus Christ Is Far Above Might! It speaks of miraculous power. Force beyond any and all ability to do.

4. Jesus Christ Is Far Above Dominion! Mastery, dominion, or government. God still rules in the affairs of men; setting up and taking down authority at His sovereign will.

5. Jesus Christ Is Far Above Every Name! Either literally or figuratively! In both majesty and importance.

6. Jesus Christ Is Far Above All Things! Things in heaven, earth, and under the earth! All things were made by Him and for Him. They are both inferior in position and power.

7. Jesus Christ Is The Head Of The Church!

H. Psalms 62:11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (Power both belongs to God and comes from God.)

1. God has power over things in heaven. Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. (Angels are subject to Him. Satan is under God’s authority and power.)

2. God has power over creation. Psalms 135:6-7 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. (7) He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries. (The wind and waves obey His voice.)

3. God has power over human government. Romans 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (He raise authorities up and He takes authorities down.)

4. God has power over authorities. Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (All nations and all kings are under his control.)

5. God has all power and nothing is impossible with Him. 1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (He can do anything, anywhere, and at any time.)

I. We all know what I have just said is true but none of the above areas of God’s power are of any use to us if they are just facts concerning His omnipotence.

J. Our text says, “to us-ward!” This affects our circumstances and, therefore, our confidence. Each of us, in one manner or the other, have trouble in the area of faith. We can talk of faith when we are up on the mountain but, when we get in the valley, it is another thing. We believe and yet sometimes live in unbelief.

K. My problem is most often this: I do not doubt that God can do something for I believe that He can do anything but I sometimes doubt if He will!

1. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Salvation - Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Saved by God’s power alone. You do not get any more saved or secure than that. Many try to add personal merit to either saving or keeping or both. I am so glad that my salvation is entire of and depends entire upon God’s power.)

2. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Preservation - Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (The exceeding greatness of our salvation is in its eternality! What can separate us from the love of God? Romans 7 says, “NOTHING!”)

3. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Sanctification - 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (We can do all things through Christ which strengthens us! We can be anything and all things for Him.)

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

4. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Protection - Psalms 121:1-8 A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (3) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (4) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (8) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (We are truly “hedged in” by the Lord! The only things that can touch us are the things that He allows. As tough as this may seem at times, God knows what He is doing and He can be trusted in our hard times, which brings us to our next point.)

5. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Predicaments - Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (This one is a little hard for my family at this time but I still believe that God can be trusted with our lives as well as with our things. My family has been protected and will face December with the full assurance that the God of this Bible that I preach will do what He says! When thou “passeth through the waters … walkest through the fire” they will neither overflow us nor kindle upon us! You can trust God in the bad times just as well as you can trust Him in the good times.)

6. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Provision - Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. (30) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (31) Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (God has promised to supply all my need! I have not starved as you can well see. God has been so good to my family and I fully expect Him to take care us until He takes us home!)

7. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Promises - 2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (I still believe that you can take the promises of God to the “bank” and expect them to be made good! God cannot lie nor can He break His promises. We just have to learn to trust them.)

8. The Exceeding Greatness Of His Power In Our Providence - Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: (What a God! He is sovereign in all things and completely controls our lives. He will bring us to a right end! He both knows our future and has prepared for it. We will all make it to our desired destination.)

Psalms 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

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