Although his name was Victor, he felt like he was a loser. He was such a failure in school that when he was 16, a teacher advised him to drop out of high school and get a job. How’s that for guidance counseling? But Victor didn’t fare much better in the working world. By the time he was 32, he had been fired from 76 different jobs.
But applying for the 77th job would change his life forever. As a part of the interview process, Victor was required to take an I.Q. or intelligence quotient test, which is used to measure a person’s reasoning ability. A score of 116 or better is considered above average. A score of 130 or above is considered high. Membership in Mensa, the organization for genius-level IQs, requires a score of 132 or higher. Victor scored 161. Victor had never before realized that he was not a dunce; he was a genius. The knowledge of that fact revolutionized his life.
Victor Serienko went on to become famous for his research in laser surgery and to become president of Mensa, all because of a test that revealed that he was special.
Obviously, it wasn’t the test itself that changed Victor Serienko. He had always possessed this extraordinary intelligence. But the test simply revealed a power that Victor already had, and he began to act accordingly.
Today we are going to examine a power that every Christian possesses but few ever tap into. It is a power that can totally revolutionize your life once you understand it.
If I were going to summarize the first fourteen verses of Ephesians 1, I would do so with three words: You Are Special. God, for reasons of his own, totally apart from our actions or our goodness, chose to set his affections upon us and shower us with his blessings.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before Him” (Ephesians 1:3).
Paul mentions seven blessings that have come from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
They can be summarized in these three phrases: God the Father has Selected us, God the Son has Saved us, and God the Holy Spirit has Secured us.
Paul then in verses 15–19, pauses and offers a prayer—a prayer that the eyes of our hearts might be flooded with light so that we can understand God’s work in our lives.
First, God has called you. Out of the masses of humanity, God has called you to salvation, to freedom from sin, to obedience. He has enriched you—he has provided an inheritance that is more than anything you could imagine.
1. The Existence of God’s Power (Ephesians 1:19)
Paul describes God’s power as huperballo—a word we looked at last time translated here as “surpassing.” It refers to the hyper or overactive power that is working in you because of your faith in Christ.
Paul then categorized God’s power as megethos—“greatness,” referring to power that is beyond measure. Paul then stacked four synonyms on top of each other to describe God’s power.
First, Paul described God’s power as dunamis—the common word for “power,” from which we get our words “dynamo” and “dynamite.”
Second, Paul described God’s power as energeia—“working” according to our translation, but it’s where we get our word “energy.” God’s power is operative and active.
Third, Paul described God’s power as kratos—“strength,” which is manifested in reality.
Finally, Paul described God’s power as ischous—“might,” which is endowed from one with power to one without power.
Put together literally, this is Paul’s prayer: “I pray that you might know the hyperactivity and measurelessness of His dynamic power given to us who believe, in accordance with the operative energy of the manifested strength of His endowing might.”
2. The Example of God’s Power (Ephesians 1:20-22)
This power that’s available to you is the same power that was at work in Jesus Christ. And Paul describes three examples of God’s power displayed in Christ.
- His Resurrection From the Dead (Ephesians 1:20a)
- His Ascension Into Heaven (Ephesians 1:20b)
- His Rule Over All Things (Ephesians 1:21-22a)
3. The Exercise of God’s Power (Ephesians 1:22b-23)
- The Source of God’s Power in Christ
The head needs a body to be complete, but the body also needs the head. A body without a head is lifeless. It is powerless.
This supernatural power we possess comes from our connection to the head, Jesus Christ. The moment we trust in Christ for our salvation, the Bible says that we are joined together to Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “For with one Spirit we were all baptized–joined together into one body.”
What’s the application of this truth? If you want God’s supernatural power in your life, you need to make sure you are connected to the source of that power.
- The Channel of God’s Power is Prayer
Prayer is the conduit through which the surpassing power of God is released into our lives. Only when we acknowledge our weakness to God and our need for his power to energize our life, our marriage, our witness, our relationship with Him, our church—only then do we experience that power in our life.
- The Evidence of God’s Power is Change
J.I. Packer, in his book In God’s Presence, writes, “The aim of prayer is not to force God’s hand or make Him do our will against His own, but to deepen our knowledge of Him and our fellowship with Him through contemplating His glory, confessing our dependence and need, and consciously embracing His goals.”
The primary purpose of this resurrection power that is working within us is not to change God, or circumstances, or even other people, but to change us—to give victory over everything that wages war against God’s purpose for our lives—the world, the flesh, and the devil. Paul told the Corinthian Christians, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
And that means that if the power of God’s Spirit is being unleashed in your life, there is going to be some tangible evidence of it. What kind of evidence do you ask? Paul refers to it as the fruit of the spirit.
The evidence of God’s power is a changed life.
Full Passage: Ephesians 1:19-23