Ephesians 1:3-20. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 1 starts with a glorious list of our spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ (v.3-14). It then shifts into a prayer by Paul for the saints (v.15-23). A prayer for knowledge – that you may know. He prays that each of us would know three things: the hope to which God has called us, the riches of glory that we will receive as God’s inheritance, and finally (the climax of the prayer) the immeasurable greatness of God’s power toward us who believe.
God’s power toward us.
This could be a very scary thought. God aiming his immeasurable greatness, and great might at us and pulling the trigger. Apart from our union with Christ this would be certain doom.
But because we believed now God’s power toward us has done an extraordinary saving work in us. Rather than destroying us it has made us alive. As alive as Jesus. It saved us just like it saved him. From what? From sin and death.
Jesus died. Jesus died guilty. On the cross he became sin for us. But then God aimed his power toward Christ. He rescued Jesus from death and separation. How do we know? There’s only one answer. The resurrection. The greatest display of God’s power ever.
This is the same power that God has used on us.
Let that soak in.
The divine power that raised Christ has raised you and me out of sin and death. Paul’s logic is that if God can raise Jesus, then he can surely raise you and me. We’re not just talking about a physical resuscitation here. We’re talking about a deliverance from the most powerful forces of darkness on earth. If God can lift Jesus out from under the full curse of the law, the eternal weight of sin, and the dominion of death, and then glorify him on the throne of Heaven, he can surely rescue us and complete our salvation giving us all the blessings of the heavenlies today and forevermore.
Power toward Jack Jack. Power in Jack Jack.
Notice that we’re not talking about God’s power IN us (yet). Because Paul’s not talking about that (yet – that’s chapter 3). Before we can talk about God’s power IN us we have to understand God’s power TOWARD us. It is a force from outside of us. An alien power. From God TO us. Never could your own strength or might save you.
This power toward us is HOW and WHY we have every spiritual blessing. God’s power toward us is what forgives us, redeems us, sanctifies us, cleanses us, adopts us, and places us into the realm of Christ. This power toward us is our hope. A hope that is sure because God’s power is sure. It is true. It has never lost a fight, not in Egypt, not in Babylon, and not in the tomb. And it won’t lose now with your salvation.
Of course God’s power TOWARD us becomes God’s power IN us as we are united to Christ by the Spirit. The implications of this power IN us are endless. But for today let’s just stay focused where Paul is here in Ephesians 1 – Because of God’s power toward you, you will be saved. Your future is guaranteed. You can know this hope and know the glory of the riches of being God’s inheritance because you can know that you will be resurrected. How? Because 1) Jesus was resurrected, and 2) you have the Spirit of the resurrected Jesus in you.
It’s that simple.
It’s that powerful.
It’s that permanent.
“To live is Christ” is to have the power of God acting upon you from outside of you bringing a new reality inside of you. It is all of God’s sufficient and immeasurable power guaranteeing your salvation. It is the cause of our future hope. It is the presence of his eternal life. It is the strength of our sanctification. It is our life. What grace.