Faithlife Sermons

Are We Living In The Last Days

You Asked For It  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:52
0 ratings
· 92 views

Americans are putting it together today’s news reports and thr scriptures to see if we are living in the last days. What do you think, are we living in the last days?

Files
Notes
Transcript
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

The Power of God

DEMONSTRATED IN CHRIST'S EXALTATION
"the resurrection and exaltation of Christ"
Ephesians 1:18–23 NKJV
18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Aim: To claim and live victoriously in God's power.

KEY SCRIPTURE:

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power" (Ephes. 1:19).
Ephesians 1:19 NKJV
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

A. ------------------------------

INTRODUCTION:

Have you ever experienced a power failure?
"Where were you when the lights went out?" This becomes the topic of conversation after a powerful storm of nature strikes. Hurricane Katrina The storm's ferocious hands, winds, and water are hurled at earth like a demon loosed from hell.
It can take some time to connect the electrical lines needed to get power back. In one devastating night, everything can be swept up and scattered into a chaotic mess. For days, weeks, months, and even years after, many people have to make a change in life-style.
Old habits are not easily broken: reading at night, cooking on an electric stove, getting cold drinks from the refrigerator, turning on the heat or air conditioning, just to name a few. Not having any power causes great hardships for many.
There is a great feeling of dependency on others at times like these. Among the people who are able to help are those who work for the power company. They can fix the problem to restore the power. And once the power is restored again, everyone feels grateful and has a new appreciation for the power they once took for granted.

B. ------------------------------

This is also true in the spiritual realm of life.

There are a variety of storms that come our way that can cut us off from our Source of spiritual power.
Sometimes circumstances are at fault, but usually the blame for not having power to live the Christian life lies with us. Without God's power, we find ourselves severely disabled.
"Where were you when the lights went out?" You were probably standing there holding the plug.
Hopefully today's message will show us how to get the plug back in again.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is a great passage covering a much needed subject—the power of God. If we ever needed anything, we need the power of God in our lives.
Have ever been gripped by evil and shame, bitterness and hate, lust and immorality, cursing and anger, robbery and assault, selfishness and greed, division and strife, disappointment and emptiness, boredom and purposelessness.
Maybe this is challenging you today. Christians desperately need the power of God to help us in their daily lives and to right the wrongs of society.
The glorious news is that God offers His power to us—if we will only turn to His Son Jesus Christ. He promises His power to all believers.
Note that this passage is a continuation of the prayer of Paul. He is praying that the Ephesian believers might know God personally and intimately, for God gives His power to those who truly come to know Him.
To know God is the key to receiving the power of God.

C. -----------------------------------

Paul explodes into a discussion of God's power which was clearly shown in what He did for Christ.
GOD’S POWER
A great power (v.19).
The power that raised Jesus from the dead (v.20).
The power that took Jesus to heaven and set Him at God's right hand (v.20).
The power that exalted Christ above all creation—in this world and in the next world (v.21).
The power that exalted Jesus as the supreme head of the church (v.22-23).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. GOD'S POWER: A GREAT POWER (v. 19).

The Power of God: when a believer really knows God, he experiences power—the power of God Himself.
Ephesians 1:19 ESV
19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
Note how God's power is described:
⇒ It is "exceeding" (huperballon): surpassing, unlimited, immeasurable, beyond imagination.
⇒ It is "great" (megethos ): mighty, explosive, beyond measure.
This is the word from which we get the English word megathon which measures atomic explosives. Imagine the great explosive power of God!
The thing to note is that God's power is to us-ward; that is, God takes His power and extends it, presents it, makes it available to the believer.
How do we know this?
Because of what God did for Christ. He will do for us. God's power is demonstrated by what He did for Christ.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

APPLICATION:

Have you ever experienced God's power? It is a very present reality for the Christian believer. God's power is available to the believer who has faith in God. His power extends through His willing vessels as Paul reminds us:
Romans 1:16 ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
QUESTIONS:
1. What is the connection between knowing God and the power of God?
2. Have you experienced the power of God in your life? When? When was the one time that stands out most in your mind?
3. Why do some people tend to think that God's power can be explained away as circumstantial and not supernatural?
4. Is there an area of your life that lacks God's power? Why isn't God's power at work in that area?

C. ---------------------------

2. GOD'S POWER: RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD (v. 20).

Believers are to experience the power of God—the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Imagine the enormous power needed to raise a person from the dead.
Acts 2:23–24 NKJV
Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

The point is this: when God raised Jesus Christ, He demonstrated three things for men.

1. The power to raise Christ shows that God has the power to conquer all the trials and temptations of life. When God exercised the power to raise Christ, He conquered the most powerful trial that faces man—death.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ shows that God has the power to give man a new life and the power to live that new life before Him.
After Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead, He was not living His old life, the life He had before His death. He was a new Man; He had a new life. He had been raised from the dead to live a new life before God forever. He walked before God in newness of life.
Romans 6:4 NKJV
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
3. The power to raise Christ from the dead shows that God has the power to raise men from the dead. The believer shall experience the great resurrection power of God when he is resurrected from the dead.
John 5:28–29 ESV
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
ILLUSTRATION:
Does your Christianity work during a crisis? This story is about Christianity that works.
The phone call came. In calm words that were cased in sadness, the voice on the other end said, "Fredrick has gone home to be with the Lord." My brother Fred: a good brother, a wonderful husband, and a faithful christian had gone ahead of the rest of us to be with the Lord forever.
When a loved one walks through the gate of death, the resurrection assures us of God's promise to raise the dead. After taking that phone call, the Lord immediately reminded me of this great promise:
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?...But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"
1 Corinthians 15:54–57 KJV 1900
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

APPLICATION:

The promise of the resurrection is one the great doctrines of Christianity. Because of the resurrection, there is always hope, a hope the world can not give.

QUESTIONS:

1. Explain in your own words why the resurrection is important to the Christian.
2. Because of this Scripture, what words would you share with a family who had lost a loved one who was not saved?
3. What difference does God's resurrection power make when you are facing an enticing temptation?
4. Why do you think God wants you to have His power after He saves you?

4. GOD'S POWER: EXALTED CHRIST ABOVE ALL CREATION—IN THIS WORLD AND IN THE NEXT WORLD (v. 21).

Believers are to experience the power of God—the same power that exalted Jesus Christ above all creatures, both in this world and in the next world.
Being seated at the right hand of God simply means having the highest seat of honor and authority in the universe.
What God did was exalt Jesus Christ to rule and reign over all authority, no matter how great or powerful.
Christ has been exalted above "all principality, and power, and might, and dominion." And to make sure nothing is excluded—Jesus Christ has been exalted above "every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that [world] which is to come" (Ephes. 1:21). All things are placed in subjection under Him.
Ephesians 1:21 NKJV
far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
The point is this: God gave Jesus Christ the authority to rule and reign over all; He demonstrated that He has the power to exalt us to rule and reign with Christ. This God promises to do.

QUESTIONS

1. According to Scripture, where is Christ right now? Why is this important?
2. What do you think your role is in ruling and reigning with Christ?
3. What are some ways that you can prepare yourself to rule and reign with Christ?
4. Do you normally experience the power of God? Why or why not?
5. In what ways is His power seen in your life?
6. Is there anything above Christ? What kinds of things do men attempt to place above Him?

D. ----------------------------

5. GOD'S POWER: EXALTED JESUS AS THE SUPREME HEAD OF THE CHURCH (v. 22-23).

Believers are to experience the power of God—the same power that made Jesus Christ the head of the church.
Jesus Christ paid the supreme price to start and build the church: He died for it.
Therefore, God has given Him the supreme position over the church. Note two points.
1. The church is called the body of Christ.
This is one of the Bible's most descriptive pictures of Jesus Christ and the church: the picture of the human body with Christ being the Head and the church being His body.
Christ needs the church and the church needs Christ
John 20:21 ESV
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
The head cannot function without the body, nor can the body function without the head.
The head dreams dreams and plans plans. But a head, a mind by itself, is of no use.
A head must have a body to carry out the plans so that the dream can be realized.
Christ came to bring the dream and plan of peace and reconciliation to a world of lost men, men who were alienated from God and from one another.
Now the body, the church, must carry out the dream and plan.
The message of peace, in the power of Christ, must be taken to men by the church.
The point is this: if God had the power to create the church and to make Christ the head of the church, then He has the power to make the body function and work for Christ.
God has the power to get us busy for the Lord—the power to help us in our witnessing—the power to stir us to proclaim the message of reconciliation and to minister to the desperate needs of a world lost and reeling under the weight of sin, darkness, starvation, disease, and suffering.
Ephesians 4:11–12 NKJV
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
2. The church completes all for Christ.
Jesus Christ is working throughout the world and in human history to bring about God's eternal plan for the world. He is working and fitting everything into its proper place bit by bit, and He is doing it through the church.
The church is the instrument of God for bringing His will about on earth.
Again, the point is that God has the power to use the church and its believers to work out His eternal plan for the world. Just think—the church is the body upon the earth that God is using to work out human history!
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

APPLICATION:

"We practice daily what we believe. All the rest is religious froth."
Do we really believe in the urgency of The Great Commission or are our lives filled with other passions?
If we really believe that men and women and boys and girls are lost without Christ and are bound for an eternity without God's presence, then we live differently.
Our prayers are fervent for the souls of the lost.
Our financial resources are committed to the spread of the gospel.
Our vocations are simply ways to fund His work around the world.
Our missionaries have a place of honor in our church.
Our lives are yearning to do His will.

QUESTIONS:

1. What institution has God ordained to work out His eternal plan on earth?
2. What steps can you begin to take in order to become a more active member of the church body?
3. What are you practicing daily?
The Great Commission of reaching the world for Christ or self-fulfillment?
What practices show that we are sold out to...
· self-fulfillment?
· the Great Commission?
SUMMARY:
The lack of spiritual power is always our doing and not God's. God never experiences a power-shortage.
Your choice is simple but life-determining: you either plug into God as a source of power or you do not.
What you choose actually determines the way you live your life. A failure to plug into God's power is accepting a life of self-power that will soon die out.
If you choose to plug into God's power, He will provide:
1. God's power: A great power for you to tap into.
2. God's power: The power to raise you from the dead.
3. God's power: The power to take you to heaven to be with His Son, Jesus Christ.
4. God's power: The power to exalt you above all creatures.
5. God's power: The power to be exalted along with the supreme head of the church, Jesus Christ.
PERSONAL JOURNAL NOTES
(Reflection & Response)
1. The most important thing that I learned from this lesson was:
2. The area that I need to work on the most is:
3. I can apply this lesson to my life by:
4. Closing Statement of Commitment:
---------------------------------------------
Related Media
Related Sermons