Quick Links Quick Links

Great Power

by David Johnson

(Transcribed form the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

DavidJohnson Good morning, listeners. It is great to be together again. This morning we are going to examine the concept of power in the Bible. Most everybody desires power. For example, will power, knowledge power, a powerful body, a position of power, money power, buying power or even just power clothes, power tools or a powerful car. It is all about power. Power is very popular.

But how about spiritual power? Is spiritual power as desirable, popular? Is spiritual power pursued with the same effort as the physical, as the tangible power? Can we even attain spiritual power today? What does the Bible reveal regarding spiritual power?  With power—especially spiritual power—most probably think it is about and only about miracles, supernatural signs or wonders. But let’s consider together a passage of Scripture and some of the wonderful truths it reveals.

In the New Testament the apostle Paul wrote in the Ephesian letter chapter one verses 18 through 20, the following: I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, to the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints 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 this right hand in the heavenly realms.

There are many tremendous truths here regarding spiritual power. For example, that believers can be enlightened or know God’s unique without comparison, potent power through studying Scripture and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and applying this power personally to our lives. But this enlightenment, this knowledge and especially personal application does not happen automatically. First notice the apostle Paul is praying for believers, Christians to be enlightened. God will always do his part. We, as believers, must do our part to study, to search the Scriptures prayerfully and to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit. And then, of course, we need to apply it to our lives. We need to live it. And we can know God’s incomparably great power for us who believe. This knowledge is not just for some select few Christians or just for leaders. It is potentially for all believers. Yet unbelievers cannot fully comprehend or discern or apply these truths. It is only for believers. This power is from God and is like the power that raised Christ from the dead. It is also like the power that ascended Christ to the throne room of heaven meaning this power is limitless, divine in origin. And it is available to all believers, potentially.

Notice carefully the apostle Paul did not pray that believers, including us, needed to receive God’s power initially or for the first time, but prayed that believers be enlightened, have knowledge to discern God’s power that they already possessed in Christ and exercise that power. Now that is big.

We already, as believers, have God’s spiritual power within us. We need to know it. We need to exercise it. Use it to the glory of God. Turn it on. Tap into God’s power. But what does this power from God to all believers today consist of? Scripture, which, of course, is the recorded, revealed word of God answers this in this very same book of the Bible. Listen to Ephesians chapter three verses 16 through 19. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Let’s break this down to better understand this spiritual power already within us as believers, yes, even today. First we should know that God’s power for us is out of his glorious riches which means, obviously, that it is always available. There is never, ever a power shortage from God.

Second, this power consists of spiritual strength, of inner stamina. But the indwelling Holy Spirit within us gives us this power as believers. The Spirit of God operates, works, exerts his power in and through our inner being, which includes our minds or our thinking, which includes our hearts or our emotions and feelings and includes our wills which has to do with our desires and relations. That is, our entire inner being.

However, we must submit. We must surrender our inner being to the Holy Spirit of God and his revealed Word for this power from God to effectively work in and through us.

 

Third, the power source is God, but his power to be effective in us we must also discipline our minds, our spirits to his empowerment. This amounts to our personal commitment to Christ, to his character, to his will which is revealed in Scripture and our surrender to the indwelling Spirit of God.

Fourth, notice two key indispensible fruit or attributes of the Holy Spirit that energize this spiritual power as found in Ephesians chapter three and verse 17, namely, faith and love. All genuine believers have saving faith. This faith here is a growing, maturing, empowering faith, a faithfulness, a surrender controlling by the Holy Spirit of God in our inner being, a deeper trust that causes us to think, to talk and live in an abiding Christ like manner, empowering us also our unselfish, self giving love is growing and developing and maturing and therefore empowering us in our inner being. Then we can be rooted and established with God’s power flowing in and through us.

Believers have inner power, but we must avail ourselves of its power. Tap into it. Let it flow to allow ourselves to be God’s conduit of his power.

One of the evidences of God’s power becoming effectual in and through us is our growing discernment, our grasping of how wide, how long, how high and deep the love of Christ is. That is, it is the Holy Spirit empowered love being personally and intimately more fully known in our own minds and hearts and wills. This deeper understanding of Christ’s love surpasses knowledge, not that it is unknowable, but with our finite minds, it is God’s empowerment that we cannot fully know, due to its infinite quality and quantity.

So what are some specific examples of God’s power working in and through us? Take, for example, the apostle Paul as he wrote in Ephesians chapter three and verse seven. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given to me through the working of his power.

Notice Paul was not a self appointed servant of the gospel, but, instead, it was by sovereign calling, equipping and empowering of God. Likewise today, as servants of the gospel, by various spiritual gifts given by God, we can be empowered.

The English word translated power in the original first century Greek is dunamis from which we get our English word dynamite. Now that is power. Dynamite. God deeply desires for believers to be ignited with his power to do his bidding. But we must cooperate with his indwelling Spirit. This is brought out in Ephesians chapter six and verse 10.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Our part is to be strong in the Lord, strong in prayer, strong in the Scriptures, strong in godly character, strong in good works, strong in worship and the like. And we even today will be spiritually powerful.

God gave supernatural physical power to Samson which was singularly unique. However, God gives supernatural spiritual power to all who believe, but to all who avail themselves to his power and to those who are strong in the Lord. And God’s power is available today and is even more than we can imagine. Think about that. Really? Listen to what is recorded, again, by the apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter three and verse 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, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations. That includes us, too. Forever and ever. Amen.

So be it for you and for me in Christ Jesus.

 

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg,




Leave a Reply

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13