Ephesians 1:19-23 The power to transform hearts and save souls
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, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
The church is called to rule creation together with Christ by exercising positive influences over the community and society. To prepare the church for such a task, Christ imparts to her spiritual authority and power that is able to destroy the works of the devil. The spiritual authority that Christ possesses, not only raises Him from death, but also places Him above every name and entity. Therefore, every believer is tasked to exercise Christ’s spiritual power to uphold unity, justice and mercy in the world.
And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead…
Paul prays that the church may possess this immeasurable power and to exercise it. This power (the immeasurable greatness of his power) that raises Jesus from the dead is far more superior than any physical might on the earth or the resources and influence of man. Where physical might or earthly resources could bring temporal relieve to man, spiritual power break curses and regenerates his heart according to the virtues of Christ. By offering bread to a sluggard does not help him take personal responsibility, it may even enable him to sponge off others. What is paramount is for him to begin with transforming his mindset towards work excellence. Jesus says contrasts physical bread with the bread that comes down from heaven that gives eternal life, “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” John 6:49-50. Hence, God possesses not only physical might, but more importantly universal authority by which He destroys the power of death and gives life to all men. Therefore, Paul prays for believers to possess and exercise God’s spiritual power to destroy the bondage of sin.
… and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
God’s spiritual power not only destroys the power of the devil and the bondage of sin over humanity, His power has exalted Jesus as supreme Ruler over all creation. Therefore, Christ possesses spiritual power that gives Him a name above every entity, authority and created thing. The authority and power of Christ is now invested in the church where Christ is head: the church, which is his body. Thus, the church is entrusted with Christ’s supreme authority to destroy the works of the devil. It is through the church that the full manifestation of Christ’s supreme power is displayed: the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. There will come a time when Christ, together with His church will exercise absolute rule over all creation .
1. As a believer grows in spiritual authority, he exercises greater influence in communities by changing their values system and turning people back to God. Positive influences include the following:
a. The restoration of individuals from poverty to prosperity, from brokenness to wholeness and from slavery to being sons of God.
b. To uphold harmony, justice and mercy in the various communities and circle of influence.
c. To leave a legacy by raising up people to perpetuate the culture of God’s kingdom to future generations.
2. As the believer is found faithful in exercising positive influences in communities, God entrusts greater spiritual powers to him by promoting him to a higher position of authority. Christ, as supreme authority, delegates His authority to believers, so that they may rule the universe with Him. The agents of evil will cede power to believers, the agents of righteousness. The psalmist prophesies, “For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.” Psalm 37:17. It is important to note that spiritual power is entrusted by God; it is not something that can be acquired through human effort alone. Nevertheless, one who aspires to higher positions of influence must focus his efforts on developing his inner virtues according to Christ’s. In God’s time, He will entrust greater authority to the believer who is faithful to the tasks at hand. 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.”
1. Consider how you usually handle criticisms or oppositions. Do you tend to become defensive? Or are you passively aggressive? Do you receive all people with humility and genuine concern? Spiritual power is built upon the foundation of the fruit of the Spirit, displayed in the form of empathy and humility even in the face of aggression. And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23).
2. In your work place, are you more concerned about your territorial rights and getting things done your way? How would Christ have done it?
Dear Lord, I humble myself and recognize my responsibility to impute the values of Christ into my work place. Anoint me with the Spirit’s power to be patient and just in everything that I do. Cause me to be Your light, lifting the morale of the people and being a unifying influence at the work place. Use me to bring the gospel to them and lead them to salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.