Faithlife Sermons

The Unstoppable Power in Christ - Ephesians 1:19-23

Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  54:41
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Ephesians 1:19-23 The unstoppable power in Christ to create new life to the glory of His name. INTRO Well this morning is a continuation of Paul’s response towards the church in light of the glorious gospel of the grace of God unpacked in (verses 1-14). A response requiring a minimum of two sermons to unpack for what they encompass. Ben launched us off strong last week bringing care and focused attention to love of the church, prayer for the church, the steadfast hope we have in God and that WE, the church, are God’s inheritance. We get God and He gets us made holy and acceptable by the work of Christ. And now today, my partnership with him, as with each elder, is to continue the exposition of these glorious truths. To make them known and impart as God would have them expressed through me to be received by you. And if you were here last Sunday, or listened to the podcast, you may recall where he rounded out the end of his sermon speaking of this immeasurably great power by which God has made us holy and acceptable before him as His inheritance. This is where we pick up the text today…right in the middle of a sentence in which (verse 19) follows a comma as Paul is laying the three things he is praying for the “eyes of our heart to be enlightened to”. The third and final thing Paul is praying for the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him through - the eyes of our heart to see and understand - in a manner… that has direct and lasting effect upon our person - with authentic expression in our lives lived by faith is… to know The unstoppable power in Christ to create ‘new’ life to the glory of His name. To know this Power..this unstoppable power…POWER, “the capacity or the ability to do something” POWER. Power is a fascinating thing is it not? Whether used in the context as a noun or a verb. We can either have powerful effect upon those in our areas of influence or…. feel and be powerless with our efforts to bring about desired changes. From parent to president…we can attest to this in regards to power. POWER (using it as a verb) can be contained or harnessed for use such as a Turbo Diesel engine. I’m always impressed with the power they have to accelerate up a hill while hauling a 5th wheel trailer….granted that pales in comparison with the combustible power to propel a rocket into space. Consider also Diagnostic imaging technology which harnesses the power of sound, or gamma rays, or magnetic force and so forth to create images of our internal anatomy. POWER is also harnessed and stored for use as electricity in all it’s myriad of uses. There is also great power, destructive power, but power nonetheless….in weaponry that man has made over the years. ALL are impressive considerations to POWER and ALL are quite vulnerable to greater powers that can quickly make them a pile of heap. 2020 has proven this over and over. The Power of pestilence to threaten life, cripple a strong economy, shut down businesses and so on. The POWER of hurricanes for instance…Tropical storms that are named for they demand respect. When these hammer the mainland… they leave nothing but a path of destruction in their wake. Here in the PNW we experience the powerful destructive force of a forest fire. I recall talking with Natalie and other’s speaking of their close humbling encounter of them this fall from the freight train sound they give off as they unwaveringly move towards fresh fuel to consume along with the eerie lighting when in proximity to this mighty force…a mighty force that is fought by making lines to contain it. LIKE, we can’t beat it back in submission, um-um…the best hope is to establish fire-lines to contain it and let it burn itself out. And those are just a couple examples of the powers of creation flexing to show us how weak we are. There is nothing man made that cannot be crippled and rendered useless by these elements of creation. (Psalm 147:17) “He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?” The shear power of Cold to freeze all life and existence…“..who can stand before it?” this along with Hurricanes, Fires, Snow, Floods, Heat..the blazing power of the sun, Earthquakes, Rain… When these Created by God powers of nature - FLEX…They are unstoppable in the destruction they bring…and YET,… yet…they don’t event touch The unstoppable power in Christ to create ‘not destroy’ but ‘create’ new life to the glory of His name. There is destructive power to which we are helpless against, though we may try and even for a time withstand…but ultimately doomed to be at it’s mercy. This is a great power but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the immeasurable greatness of the The unstoppable power in Christ to create new life to the glory of His name. And Paul, to which I join with, is praying for us, you and me, the church to have the eyes of our heart’s enlightened with the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him..” And this morning’s text gives Specific attention in the knowledge of Him as it relates to this POWER of God that is towards us in creating new life in Christ. Are you tracking with me in the distinction there? What takes place inconspicuously in making a spiritually dead heart alive..eternally alive and holy and acceptable to God, is brought about by an unstoppable power that cannot be measured. I invite you now then, to join me in giving deep consideration to the truth spoken to in these 4 verses this morning. We’ll spend time in three aspects of The unstoppable power in Christ to create new life to the glory of His name. beginning with ‘it’ being for us…the unstoppable power of God at work is for the church. It’s for us. BODY 1) FIRST POINT - (Ephesians 1:19). Unstoppable power to create new life for the church It’s for the church. Notice with me what ‘it’, this POWER, what it’s applied to. (Verse 19). “…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. So what do we have here? We have a purpose for the POWER and an application of it. The application of it is pretty clear “….his power toward us who believe,” that would be Christians. Followers of Jesus, united to him by FAITH. Okay, it’s towards us and now the why. For what purpose? What is it that God is doing to us and for us that requires this immeasurably great power? We can reference the opening statement for the answer which is the basis for why Paul is writing these words we are looking at today. Summarized in (verses 4-6) “..that we should be holy and blameless before him..before God..His inheritance…beholding God..their inheritance….made holy and acceptable….to the praise of His glorious grace..” That’s the purpose for God’s power at work toward us. To make us holy as new creations in Christ for all eternity. In other words…. What is this new creation God is making? - SAINTS of the most high God. Soo, if this is the measure of power necessary to make us holy as new creations in Christ for all eternity (Romans 6:22)….then what does that say about our deadness? A heap amount of just how dead and lifeless we are and what is required to change our status from fallen man to redeemed sons and daughters of God. And we don’t feel the reality of this do we? At least not in proportion to the Truth of it….not even close. BUT that is why..that is why we ought…we ought to join Paul in praying for the eyes or our heart to be enlightened to know this of our God because as we see it in such manner….our love for God in response correspondingly increases. The omnipotent, the unlimited power of God. THIS immeasurably great power…is what God worked in Christ toward us in bringing about glorified sons and daughters of God…because our state was that depraved, that helpless… that hopeless. The only thing in all creation that could undo what sin had done is the Creator Himself. The opening of chapter 2 will give more emphasis on our deadness in our trespasses. Time ahead awaits for us to consider how everyone, every human being born in history and to be born, other than Christ, was born in sin inherited from our father Adam. (Psalm 51:5) “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” This state of spiritually dead, void of life with God cannot be overcome. Nothing in all creation has the power to change a nano element of it. Only God, His power the immeasurable greatness of his power….according to the working of his great might… toward us who believe, is able to change our status from spiritually ‘dead’ enemies of God to Spiritually ‘Alive’ eternal friends of God. That’s the purpose for the Power and application of GOD’S immeasurable POWER. Making a sinner a saint. Where is the making though? What I mean is…How does this happen? LIKE, something is necessary for this immeasurably great power to be harnessed or contained..if you will…that it may be applied for it’s intended purpose. Sort of like a Turbo Diesel engine where the tremendous combustion power to propel (it’s purpose) to propel pistons into action (there’s the application) pistons activated which turns the wheels moving the vehicle forward…this all takes place, all worked in…WHERE?…the diesel engine. So also, the (verse 19). “… the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might is worked in something. An agent, a place for this immeasurably great power to be harnessed or contained that it may be applied for it’s intended purpose. Where is the making in making a sinner a saint? FIRST part of (Verse 20) “that he worked in Christ..” Unstoppable power to create new life is worked in Jesus. The 2nd aspect of God’s unstoppable power to create new life in Christ. It’s worked in Jesus. 2) SECOND POINT (Ephesians 1:20-22a) - Unstoppable power to create new life worked in Jesus He is the agent. IN no one else is the immeasurably great power to create new life,..everlasting life able to be done but in him alone. The God man, God in the flesh, the incarnate Christ. JESUS who put aside, never did not possess them, but put aside all the royalties and privileges as the only begotten Son of God (Phil 2:6-7,8) “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” At the night of his betrayal, when the mob led by Judas come to the garden to seize Jesus, he rebukes Peter…remember?…He rebukes Peter who pulled out a sword and struck one of the servants of the high priest…cutting off his ear. JESUS rebukes Peter saying… (Matthew 26:53) “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will ‘at once’ send me more than twelve legions of angels?” At a mere word, church…12 legends of angels would come to rescue him…. The angelic armies of Heaven at his ‘beck and call’…indeed all the powers of creation are awaiting His command,….Him who hushed still a raging sea…all…capital ALL all is at his ‘beck and call’….but he puts it all aside and, in obedience to the Father, “..suffered as a servant…obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Put all aside to die the death we deserve. Suffered in our place. JESUS died and was a corpse…He was a corpse…but death-could-not-hold him….death could not hold him for His life—was an indestructible life. (Acts 2:24). “Jesus, was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, he was crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. This Jesus…God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (by death)… Why was it not possible for Jesus to be held by death? (1 Corinthians 15:56). “..The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” Why was it not possible for the sting of death to hold Him? Hold him in the grave as a corpse…Because…Because saints,…Jesus was sinless. HE lived a sinless life. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” Sin had no power over Jesus because Jesus lived a sinless, perfect life fulfilling all righteousness. He fulfilled all the law of God……walked in perfect obedience to the Father. The Law we break, we sin against, we disobey and are powerless against …but God… (Romans 8:3). “….but God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could-not-do. (The law can’t make a sinner a saint… it’s powerless to do so…it rather condemns us because we break it)…but God church! God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh - our sinful flesh -, what the law could not do. God has done…By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,” Condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus….Since death could not hold Him…could not hold Jesus in the grave, sin is rendered powerless by the unstoppable power of God to create new life in Christ Jesus…God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, and therefore loosing the pangs of death for those who belong to him, the new creations, His bride the church. (Psalm 89:48). “What man (condemned by the law)…what man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the depths of Sheol?” - God is who…It’s His immeasurable power alone worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead that delivers us from the power of Sheol. This my friends is the Catalyst moment this immeasurable unstoppable great power of God thrust forth to create new life. FOR we continue in (verse 20)..though lets step back a touch to (verse 19) again to get the full thrust…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might (verse 20) that he worked in Christ when….WHEN he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. When…When church…When he raised him from the dead. The power of an indestructible life… (2Timothy 1:10) Jesus “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel..”, the resurrection of Christ Jesus. IT separates him from all others. All other religions, belief systems, rulers…It separates him from all others and not just a little…WORLDS apart separation…HE is in a category all His own. That’s why the antichrist doesn’t come up with some new thing…he replicates a resurrection. Counterfeits it. (Rev 13:3) He essentially does a similar thing…the beast, the antichrist “…‘seemed’ to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.” He doesn’t do anything new,…he just tries to mimic what Christ did but in a false sense…not in a real true powerful sense as Christ did. It’s all fake…all imitation…counterfeit…all to deceive. CHRIST alone is the one who has risen from the grave and it is the power of God alone that rose Him from the grave that is able to save us, sanctify us and grant us eternal life as one’s united in Him…in the indestructible life of Jesus Christ through faith. The “power of an indestructible life”…no lofty argument can stand against it….they are all powerless….whatever may be thrown against it…such as: “Jesus, He actually didn’t die on the cross” - REALLY?…Jesus’s legs were not broken by the soldiers while on the cross because they saw that he was “already dead”…but they pierced through his heart anyway with a spear to make a dead man even deader….(John 19:33-34) His body was a corpse… (Mark 15:45) The corpse of JESUS was given to Joseph of Arimathea who “taking him down from the cross, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock..” and rolled a stone against the entrance which Pilot later had sealed by the soldiers posted to guard the burial sight… Where he ‘Jesus’ laid dead,..for three days,.. BOOM!-roasted argument. It doesn’t stand Or…theres the “Well,…you see, the disciples stole his body from the tomb and made up the story of him rising from the grave.” (Matthew 27:65-66) Okaaay?..Sealed tomb, guarded all hours of the day by Roman soldiers (plural) who’s lives depended on it. On keeping the corpse…the dead body of Jesus in the tomb. The disciples, you say,…the same disciples who fled, abandoned Jesus the night he was betrayed..….now when he is dead…muster up the courage and warrior skill to overpower the soldiers and remove the large stone to retrieve the corpse and parade a story line that he rose from the grave which has spread throughout the whole world and continues today. That’s laughable, not to mention that over 500 people saw the risen Lord at one time before he ascended. (1 Corinthians 15:6) - BOOM! Roasted argument. “Another one often heard is that Jesus is just another religious guru, some great influential ‘good’ man…a respectable historical figure with a lot of followers.” Baloney…His grave is empty. There is no one in the Tomb - JESUS’S life is irrefutable in history. He fulfilled prophecy. Our calendar is structured by His birth…historically the greatest man who ever lived without dispute…a poor carpenter’s son who didn’t travel his whole life beyond his homeland..the land of Israel…whose life changed history - BOOM! roasted argument. This argument…and this argument and that one… BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Roasted…roasted…roasted. Nothing can stand against it. ALL lofty arguments are powerless. Jesus Christ rose from the grave…once dead and made alive by the immeasurable greatness of the power of God mightily at work in Christ. “The first born among many brethren” …that’s you and me..the many brethren…the born again christian…BORN by the same immeasurably great power…the unstoppable power of God that rose Jesus from the grave. Immeasurable greatness in the power it took to make a dead heart alive generate a Spiritual life. Why do I say that? Because it was in Christ, WHEN He rose Him from the grave…that’s the power…the resurrection power worked in CHRIST. The same measure at full force to redeem us from slavery to sin and set us free (Romans 8:2). “….set free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 6:19). “so that now, being set free we may and are to present our members, our lives, as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.” Or as PAUL states it in (Romans 6:22) “But now that you ‘have’ been set free from sin and ‘have’ become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end,’s end…eternal life.” This is all accomplished by the same power that rose Jesus from the grave. Rose him to what—-measure? WELL, let’s continue reading up to the first part of (verse 22a)…starting back in (verse 20) again. (end head over all things) Where else would God’s Immeasurably great power harnessed and put to work in Christ when he raised him from the grave…Where would it raise Christ to?….That which,..of course, is far…not just above…but far above ALL. The heights of which also is not able to be measured. How could it be otherwise? AND get ready for something remarkable here Saints… for He “God”-continuing on in (verse 22) “…he gave him (gave Christ) as head over all things to the church,” “to the church” Those whose new life created by the power of God find their identity in Christ. Our third aspect of this unstoppable power to create new life. A life identified in Christ. 3) THIRD POINT (Ephesians 1:22b-23) - Unstoppable Power to Create new life identified in Christ God’s unstoppable power to Create new life—identified in Christ. The focus of our final two verses (Verses 22b-23). Let’s go ahead and read them - read What is Paul speaking of here? None other than the mystical union of Christ and His church. Something that plays out in the here and now by the power of His Spirit through faith and then the complete consummation of it for all eternity when our King Jesus returns. CHURCH, some concise truths intended to be made abundantly clear over the past few weeks is that “We get God for our inheritance - God gets US as His inheritance and now….Christ our Mediator, whom and through whom all this is made possible is enthroned as head of God’s inheritance - the Church—who are gifted by God to have such a King as Christ Jesus - one seated with unlimited power and dominion supplying everything the body-his church,..needs to properly function in His Kingdom to the glory of God. This is present in the here and now by faith in Him and in the Power of His Spirit. THIS is what Jesus was speaking of in (John 14:12) when he says… “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” In going to His Father he then sent the Holy Spirit, His Spirit to indwell his people, the church, manifesting the bodily presence of him to the world. The love, the words, and the compassionate deeds of Jesus lived out not just in the places he did ministry during his life here on earth in the land of Israel,…but throughout the whole world over all generations till he returns. By His same Spirit,.. “the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” .… continue His ministry till he returns. This plays out in the here and now by the power of His Spirit through faith and the consummation of this mystical union with Christ and His church for all eternity takes place when our exalted King Jesus returns. Through faith we are grafted in the life of Jesus Christ. The highly exalted Lord, the Supreme King Jesus. Ourselves, ones dead in sin, now by the working of God’s Power, are part of that which makes up the fullness of Him who fills all in all. New creations whose lives are identified in Christ. HE is the vine, we are the branches. God’s grace taps us into that resurrection power to save and sanctify us. SANCTIFICATION - (Romans 6:22) “….and its end, eternal life.” This is what God’s unstoppable power working mightily in Christ when He raised him from the dead is doing for us. Making us a holy nation, a holy Kingdom. For Christ to be King he needs a Kingdom….God is making us, the christian…a Kingdom of priests…a holy nation. This is what God has made us to be by the working of His immeasurable power according to the working of His great might worked in Christ. King JESUS as our head (Hebrews 7:16). “…. has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life.” We’ve established this. JESUS, being sinless, was not overcome by the power of sin. ALL of it’s power and might was exhausted on him on the cross and HE (Jesus) put them to open shame (Col 2:15) by triumphing over it. DEATH could not hold him for he fulfilled all righteousness. He rendered sin powerless and has become a priest by the power of an indestructible life. And we, identified in Christ, grafted into him by faith, his body who fills all in all are made a royal priesthood… a kingdom of priests. For Christ to be King he needs a Kingdom. We are a royal priesthood. A Kingdom of priests. (Revelations 1:5-6) “Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him (to Jesus) who loves us (his people-the church) and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.” (Revelations 5:10). “and you (you Jesus) have made them (that’s the church) a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” (1Peter 2:5&9). “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.….But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” All done by the immeasurable greatness of the power of God which he worked mightily in Christ when He raised him from the dead. CONCLUSION PAUL, and I along with Him,….wants us and prays for us “to have the eyes of our hearts enlighten to know this power of God worked in Christ” for our salvation. Do you want to know this power more church? Well it still flows. It still flows. That’s the thing about immeasurably great power. It never keeps flowing. It’s just a go go go sanctifying, preserving, upholding forever power of God through Christ to US. So therefore, Seek to know this power and for it to be working in your life. That the resurrection power would be increasingly active in your life and in the churches life now! Walking in it and knowing it by experience. Sanctifying, preserving, upholding, multiplying for the advancement of His Kingdom till King Jesus returns. Knowing this also church…. THAT (2 Timothy 3:12). “…., all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” and…now get this…the same resurrection power of God worked in Christ that has made you, the christian, a new creation will be supplied for us to share in the sufferings of Christ for the gospel. How do I know this? (2 Timothy 1:8). “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but - now pay attention but share in suffering for the gospel—-by the power of God…”. The same power of God that raised Jesus from the grave and made us alive in Christ. God will provide us His same unstoppable power to endure with joy when sharing in Christ’s sufferings for the gospel….whatever they may be. All to the glory of His name. Let’s seek to know this power saints…more and more. - PRAY - COMMUNION Benediction (2 Timothy 1:8-10)
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