The Book of EPHESIANS
James J. Barker
THE WORKING OF GOD’S MIGHTY POWER
- Last week we looked at
Paul’s prayer for the power of God
- Tonight I would like for us
to consider that mighty power (1:19-23).
POWER WAS WROUGHT IN CHRIST (1:20).
- Raising Christ from the dead
was a demonstration of God’s mighty power (1:20).
- Christ’s ascension into
heaven was a demonstration of God’s mighty power (1:20b; cf. Romans 1:3,
- Christ’s second coming will
be a demonstration of God’s mighty power (cf. Acts
- The “right hand” of God
signifies His mighty power (Eph. 1:20b).
- The LORD says in Isaiah
48:13, “Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right
hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they
stand up together.”
- Isaiah 62:8 says, “The LORD
hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his
- Jeremiah 22:24 says, “As I
live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were
the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee
- Psalm 110:1 says, “The LORD
said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies
- Our Lord said in Matt.
22:44, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
till I make thine enemies thy footstool?”
- In Matthew 25:33, our Lord
said “He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on
- Our Lord said in Matthew
26:64, “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of
power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
- Mark 16:19 says, “So then
after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat
on the right hand of God.”
- Luke 22:69 says, “Hereafter
shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of
- Peter said, “Therefore being
by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the
promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and
- Acts 7:55, 56 says, “But he
(Stephen), being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and
saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And
said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the
right hand of God.”
- The apostle Paul wrote in
Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather,
that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also
maketh intercession for us.”
- Colossians 3:1 says, “If ye
then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ
sitteth on the right hand of God.”
- Hebrews 1:3 says, “Who being
the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding
all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins,
sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on
- Hebrews 8:1 says, “Now of
the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest,
who is set on the right
hand of the throne of the Majesty in the
- Hebrews 10:12 says, “But
this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on
the right hand of God.”
- Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking
unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set
before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the
right hand of the throne of God.”
- First Peter 3:22 says, “Who
is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and
authorities and powers being made subject unto
- In Revelation 1:20, the
seven stars (the angels of the seven churches) are in our Lord’s right
hand (cf. 2:1).
- Revelation 5:7 says the Lord
Jesus Christ (the Lamb) “came and took the book out of the right hand of him
that sat upon the throne.”
- This will signify the
beginning of the tribulation. Our
Lord will begin to open the seven seals.
IS OPPOSED BY SATANIC POWER.
- Ephesians 1:21 says, “Far above all principality, and power, and might,
- These principalities and
powers are unclean spirits – devils or demons. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
- Paul prayed that the
Christians at Ephesus would receive “the spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge” of God, and that the eyes of their understanding
would be enlightened (1:17, 18).
- Once we develop this
spiritual discernment we become keenly aware of the spiritual battle raging
- As the Christian grows in
his knowledge of the Lord, and his eyes are opened to the spiritual realm,
“there comes the startling realization that the very heavenly places, into which
he has been introduced, are the habitat of the powers of darkness” (John
- John Macmillan wrote, “His
acceptance of his seat with Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6) ‘far above all principality,
and power, and might, and dominion,’ provides him with authority and power for
full victory, so long as he maintains his place, wearing the defensive armor,
and wielding the offensive weapons. But, unless at this stage of progress, there
is received clear instruction as to the divine provision for overcoming, he is
liable to spend many months, or even years, of fruitless struggle and defeat”
(The Authority of the Believer).
- In the heavenly places there
are different degrees of power in the angelic realm. But no matter how great their rank, the
Lord Jesus Christ is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and
- And we are “in Christ” (1:1,
3, 6, 10, etc.).
- Sin did not begin in the
Garden of Eden. It began in heaven
when Satan rebelled against God, and one third of the heavenly host followed him
in his rebellion.
- Ephesians 1:21 also says,
“and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is
- Kings and presidents,
dictators and emperors, popes and ayatollahs are all subject to the King of
kings and Lord of lords.
- Romans 13:1 says, “For there
is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of
- The word translated “world”
(Eph. 1:21) literally means “age.”
POWER IS CONFERRED UPON BELIEVERS.
- We read in Ephesians 1:19
that God’s power, “the exceeding greatness of His power,” is “to us-ward
who believe, according to the working of His mighty
- There is a great emphasis on
God’s power, but let us not overlook the words “to us-ward who believe”
- God’s mighty power – His
immeasurable power – is “to us-ward who believe.” There is no reason for us to be
discouraged or defeated, God’s power is available to
- H.A. Ironside wrote: “The
wonderful thing that the apostle dwells on here is the power that did all that
for the Lord Jesus is the power that works in us as believers if we do not
hinder it by our frivolity and worldliness. Do not, I beg of you, ever complain
again that you have no power to meet temptation, that you have no power to rise
above some sinful habit. If you
find yourself in that condition it is because you are out of fellowship with
God. Get right with God. Judge the sin that has hindered
communion and then, as when you make the electrical connection the power flows
through the wire to operate the mighty machinery, so you will be in living touch
with God, and divine power will work in and through you to enable you to triumph
over sin and live to His glory.”
- “And hath put all things
under his feet…” (Eph. 1:22a).
- The writer of Hebrews
(probably Paul) states that at this present time “we see not yet all things put
under Him” (Heb. 2:8).
- But one realm where Christ
reigns without question is “the church, which is His body…” (1:22,
- Just as God showed His power
in raising Christ from the dead, and setting Him at His own right hand, He also
showed His power by putting “all things under His feet” (1:22) and making Him
the head of the church (1:22, 23).
- The church is the body of
Christ (1:23). No relationship can
be closer than that of the head and the body. As members of the same body we are one
in vital union and indwelt by the same Holy Spirit.
- Just as the head gives
direction to the body, we get our direction from the head of our church, the
Lord Jesus Christ.
- “The fulness of Him that
filleth all in all” (1:23) means the church complements (see Scofield
margin) the Lord Jesus Christ, who is everywhere at one and the same time. Just as the body is the complement of
the head, so the church is the complement of Christ.
- Consider this: Christ is
omnipresent – He “filleth all in all.”
Is the church everywhere?
This suggests that when we fulfill the Great Commission, we are also
fulfilling our role as the body of Him that “filleth all in
- As the head of the church
the Lord Jesus Christ imparts the strength necessary for us to accomplish each
and every task.
- Our Lord said in Matthew
16:18, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it.”
- Let us not forget that God’s
mighty power is “to us-ward who believe”