During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.
“that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 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. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:20–23).
Paul wanted the church to connect in the spiritual dimension to three realities. First, he wanted the church to have a confidence brought on by knowing God's call on their lives. Second, he wanted the church to have a conviction that our inheritance from God is the most glorious of possessions. Finally, he wanted the church to have a certainty of God's power. Of the three realities Paul longed for the church to realize, this last one seems to have pressed most deeply upon his heart, which is why he expanded upon it more than the first two. What would God’s people be if they knew of God’s great power toward them? Consider God's power.
The power of God raised Christ. It almost sounds blasphemous to say the same power that raised Christ is available to God’s people today. But this is exactly what Paul writes. It is an appropriate statement, for it is the exact power God has already wrought in the life of every believer. In Romans, Paul taught us “we were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). So every believer has already had the resurrection power of God released upon them, for every believer has been connected by God to Christ’s death and resurrection. It is in the power of Christ’s new ascended life we are to now live. This newness of life is now ours.
The power of God placed Christ over all. Paul tells us He is over all rule and authority and power and dominion, above every name. In his day, everyone knew Paul was alluding to cosmic powers, many of them demonic and evil. Christ is above all angels and demons, including Satan who is “the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). In his wickedness, Satan drives many of the philosophies, agendas, and movements of our world. He does not care if those movements contradict and war against one another. But Jesus has power over Satan's entire system. He has disarmed the rulers and authorities (Colossians 2:15). The believer need not fear evil. We know God will judge it fully. We know Christ has current power over it. In Him, we are safe.
The power of God put Christ above all things, including the Church. Jesus is the head; the church is His body. All things are under His feet, especially God’s people. We are to represent and respond to Him. His will is to be our will. We are to follow, to submit, to His guidance and leadership and will and desires. And His desire is stated by Paul, "to fill all in all." Christ wants to be everywhere and in everyone. The power of God can make it so. He loves all people and desires all to be saved. The church has the power of God working toward them to be a vehicle for Christ to fill all things.
If you believed in these levels of God’s power, what would you become? What would your life look like if you really, fully believed and saw God as Paul prayed? “May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened.”