His Great Power for Us

Justin MarshallSermons

“His Great Power for Us”    05/21/17

Have you ever thought about the different kinds of power there are?

Nuclear, solar, Political, Economic, Miltary, Information, Personal, Spiritual power

Paul prays that the church may know –

Ephesians 1:19–21 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Paul has already prayed that the church would come to know God better, to know the hope to which he has called us and the inheritance He has in store for us.  Now he prays for us to know God’s power.

Do you have a spiritual power-shortage?  Is there something missing in your walk with God?

People can know the words, talk the talk, but not have this power

People can follow all the rules, have lots of good deeds, but not have this power

If we are to be God’s people, if we are to carry out the work of God’s kingdom, we need to have God’s power.

1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

He is not talking about the power of positive thinking.  He is not referring to any power inherent in ourselves.  This is not the Force of Star Wars.  This is the very power of God Himself.  That’s what Paul wants us to know.  It’s been given to us, we simply need to connect to it

In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.

Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, “Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life.

For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.

Know by experience

It’s not enough to know about it.  God has given it to us to use, to help us in our daily lives.

Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

Incomparably great

Paul expresses this power in the strongest terms that language can find, both by speaking of its surpassing magnitude, and by using all the synonyms possible, four different words for power in this one verse alone.  It is far above and beyond anything we can generate.

Working – energy, always used in Scripture of supernatural rather than human power.

Mighty – to overcome whatever stands in its way

Strength – exercise of power

God’s power evident in creation, in mighty deeds and miracles

Exerted when Christ raised

That’s the same power that God now has working in us

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

For us who believe

God’s power is for God’s people. It comes to us by the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

What it does

Sometimes we may be tempted to think that living the Christian life depends on us.  We try to become better, we try to do God’s work, in our own strength.  The result is often failure and discouragement.  What Paul tells us, indeed all the Bible tells us, is that it is God who does the work.

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Salvation – God’s power brings us to life and enables us to believe

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Know God’s love

Ephesians 3:18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

Helps our labor

2 Thessalonians 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.

Be witnesses

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Endurance

Colossians 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully

Will transform our bodies

How we receive it

Open our lives to His work – Are you willing for your heart to be emptied of your own ways, your own agendas, and your own goals?

Clean out our lives by confession – Are you willing to stand solo before Holy Almighty God for evaluation?

Admit our weakness

Obey His leading – God will give us the power we need to do His will, not our will

Timothy L. Sanford relates this story about his daughter

While on tour with the musical group The Continentals, Terryll was given the task after one concert of counseling people who made commitments to Christ or just needed to talk.

One woman poured out her life story: drugs, sex, abuse, broken relationships, imprisonment for shooting a man. Terryll panicked when she recognized her total inability to help this woman. She tried to locate her tour leader, but he was nowhere to be found. So Terryll whispered a desperate prayer: “Lord, speak through me because I don’t know what to say.”

What happened next, she says, was as if she stepped aside and God began speaking directly through her. The words that came from Terryll’s mouth were not her own, and they connected with this woman’s soul and comforted her spirit.

Terryll doesn’t remember much of the conversation, just the awareness that God was present and doing the counseling.

This experience brought my daughter face to face with her weakness. In simple faith, she called to God for help. This act of obedient reliance on God unleashed His power in the form of a message the woman deeply needed. This was not a good human effort with a “God did it” label pasted on the front. This was God’s actual power, present and active in a conversation that would have been humanly impossible.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.