The Immeasurable Greatness of His Power Toward Us

Posted: April 8, 2010 by doulos tou Theou in Biblical Studies, Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Christianity, Contemporary Theology, Discipleship, Reformed Theology, The Christian Life

Eph 1:15-23 by John Piper a piece from his Easter sermon.

watch, listen,  or read it all  here

Five ways to measure the greatness of God’s power now toward those who believe. Five glimpses of what became of Jesus after he died.

1. God raised Jesus and broke the power of death.

First, verse 20: The power of God toward us now is like the great might “that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” God raised Jesus from the dead. Never to die again. The point here is that the power of death is broken for all who are in Christ Jesus. The enemy, death, is defeated. For Paul, the death of Christ was the death of death. O yes, believers die. But the sting is removed. The poisonous event has become a pathway to paradise.

Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

The power of God toward us now is this power. It raised us spiritually from the dead (Ephesians 2:5) and gave us life and faith. This power opened our blind eyes, and conquered our rebellious wills, and created a new heart that loves God and people. And this power will guard us from the dominion of our indwelling sin and bring us to the end in persevering faith. This is resurrection power now—to live and die for the glory of Christ.

2. God seated Jesus at his right hand—and us with him.

Second, the last part of verse 20: God “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.” That power that installed Jesus at God’s right hand has put us there also. Look at Ephesians 2:6: “[God] raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” This is resurrection power now—to live and die for the glory of Christ. The power that took Jesus from death and put him eternally in God’s presence put you there too, and keeps you there.

3. God set Jesus over all demonic powers.

Third, verse 21: God set Jesus “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.” We know from Ephesians 6:12 that these “rulers and authorities” include all the devils and demons of the universe. The power toward you now is a devil-defeating power.

Paul said in Colossians 2:15 that at the cross God “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Christ.” So when Jesus rose from the dead, he was exalted over all the hosts of hell. They are a defeated foe. They are not yet out of the world. And battles are yet to be fought. But the power from God for us now in these battles is a resurrection power now—to live and die for the glory of Christ.

4. God gave Jesus as head over all things to the church.

Fourth, verse 22: God “put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.” Notice two things. The risen Jesus Christ is “head over all things.” Head! Implying authority and conscious active rule—over all history, all human beings, all demonic powers, disease, disability, all nature—weather, hurricanes, lightning bolts, tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, global warming—all businesses and industry, healthcare, sports, March Madness, inventions, media, Internet, iPad mania, military might, governments, presidents, kings, chiefs, religions, universities, solar systems, stars, galaxies, molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, and ten thousand things no man has ever yet discovered. Jesus is now head over them all. Conscious, active, authoritative Ruler.

And the second great thing in verse 22 is that he is given as head over all to the church: “[God] gave him as head over all things to the church.” Which means: With all that power and all that authority and all that wisdom, he serves us as our Head and our Leader and Savior and our King and our Friend. In other words, this power is, as verse 19 says, “toward us.” It is resurrection power now—to live and die for the glory of Christ.

5. Where God rules, we will rule.

Finally, verse 23: We believers—we happy believers!—are “his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” I’m not sure I can express this. But I’ll try. God’s power toward us intends to fill the universe with the authority of his crucified and risen Son. And, though it takes your breath away, he intends to make us, the church, those who believe, the means of that fullness, the embodiment of that fullness. That is, where he rules we will rule. He created human kind in the beginning to inhabit a beautiful creation and to subdue it, and enjoy it, and reflect his glory in it.

That is what he intends to do through the new humanity called the church. He will fill creation with all his fullness of his glory. And you will be that fullness—“his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” This is the power of God at work toward you now.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Comments
  1. most pastoral an thought-provoking

  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    Yes it is.
    I listened to this last night and read along as he preached.
    It was very encouraging to my soul.

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