The Progression Of Paul’s Prayer (Ephesians 1:18, 19)
V. 18a Prayer For Our Ability To Have Spiritual Understanding
V. 18b, c Prayer To Understand The Calling Of God (Heaven, Glorified Body)
V. 19 Prayer To Understand God’s Power To Accomplish These Things
I. To Whom And What
A. God’s Power Toward Christians
1. V. 19- “…toward us who believe…”
2. The “us” that Paul is writing to are Christians
3. Not merely those who believe that Jesus lived, taught, healed, died, and was raised.
a. Not mere intellectual assent or historic recognition
4. Paul addresses those who are trusting Jesus for their salvation and eternal life
a. Those who have a saving faith in the Biblical Jesus
b. Those who have made Jesus Savior and Lord
5. It’s not that God never helps unbelievers by His power.
a. He is gracious and merciful to all mankind
b. Matthew 5:45 “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
c. God blesses all mankind in temporal, natural ways.
d. But God’s power to deliver to Heaven is reserved only for Believers
6. His power is towards those who are born again and Heaven bound
7. His power towards us for now and for Heaven
a. Spurgeon- “The very same power which raised Christ is waiting to raise the drunkard from his drunkenness, to raise the thief from his dishonesty, to raise the Pharisee from his self-righteousness, to raise the Sadducee from his unbelief”.
8. The power that Paul is speaking of includes:
a. The power He exerted to save us from our sins (Ephesians 2:4, 5)
b. His power to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29)
c. His power to raise us from the dead & glorify our bodies (Ephesians 1:18)
d. His power over every created thing on our behalf (Ephesians 1:19-23)
B. God’s Power Defined
1. V. 19- “…exceeding greatness of His power…”
a. exceeding greatness– superabounding, superiority, excellence, power beyond measure, unlimited power, greatness of power
b. Paul will go on making reference to this power through 2:10
c. His power that raised us from spiritual deadness and changes us
d. No one could ever make or keep themselves a Christian. It’s God’s power
2. Read Vs. 19, 20-
a. Paul uses four words here to talk about God’s power.
i. power- dunamis– natural ability, inherent, residing power
ii. working- energeia– energy put forth, in operation, efficiency
iii. mighty- kratos– ability, force, strength, might
iv. power- ischuos– strength, force, mighty works
b. Paraphrase- “…His inherent power toward us who believe, such as when He put forth His ability to do mighty works, as when He 20… worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places…”
II. God’s Power Displayed
A. Over Creation- 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead
1. God had power to create nature and subject it to certain principles, such as death
2. Paul didn’t just use the example of creation when speaking of God’s power
3. The example is personal: His power that raise Jesus will raise my body also
B. Over Every Spiritual Realm
1. and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion,
a. Rankings of spirit beings in the universe. Jesus over all spirit beings.
a. principality- arche– a first one. Angelic or demonic rankings of leaders.
b. power– exousia– delegated authority.
c. might– dunamis-power.
d. dominion– kuriotes– lordship.
e. Jesus’ position is far above all these rankings, assignments, positions, etc.
2. every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come
a. Whatever a name can be given to, Jesus is far above that thing or person.
b. Not only in this duration or episode of time, but for all eternity
3. 22 And He put all things under His feet,
a. Power given to Christ to reign.
b. Put under– a military term.
c. Absolute dominion was given to Christ when He was exalted
C. For The Benefit Of The Church
1. 1:22b- and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
a. The church is led by Christ, not by men.
b. Men in positions of leadership need to seek the mind of Christ.
c. and gave Him.… Christ is God’s gift to the church
d. How wonderful that we have a Head who rules over all creation
2. 1:23a which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all
a. Christ is head over the church, but not just in the sense of being its leader or president.
b. The church is an organism, & there is a living relationship w/Jesus
c. He is the source of life, the power, the director, the giver of life.
d. We have a living connection with Jesus. I am the vine, you are the branches.
e. Moule– “Angels and archangels are subject to Him, but believing men are joined to Him”.
3. 1:23b the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
a. All varieties of Christians, styles of worship, different ways to minister.
b. Different emphasis on certain doctrines, different languages, culture
c. fullness– The Body of Christ, with all its variety, is filled by Him.
d. He is the energizing life force that fills and leads the church.
e. Who fills all in all– He fills the entire universe, he is over it all, it is by Him, for Him, and He is our organic Head, and He will take us to Heaven.