Ephesians 2:3

Here is my commentary on Ephesians 2:3. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.

Ephesians 2:3

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest we were by nature objects of wrath.

We were all sinners before we were saved. We also lived among them, that is, sins and transgressions. We were not born innocent, but had what theologians used to call “original sin.” We were born sinful from the start.

Our lives have all been different in many ways, but every person has this tendency to sin. Paul calls this the “sinful nature” or in some translations” flesh.” In some people this is seen in obvious acts of immorality and criminality. In others the sinful nature operates in more respectable ways. However, it is all sin.

Flesh or sinful nature is not related to our bodily make up. Is a concise expression for the part of our nature which always tends towards sin or rebellion against God,

We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. There is no exception apart from Jesus.

Pleasing the sinful nature is the default setting for humanity. Unless we consciously intervene, we will inevitably sin.

A car with its wheels incorrectly aligned will drift to the left or the right unless the driver constantly steers the vehicle the opposite way. An intervention from the driver, and ultimately a mechanic, is necessary.

We all veer towards sin unless we choose not to. But even our thoughts and desires are tainted by sin so that we cannot always make the right choice. We need to be made over by God.

So until we come to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to adjust our thinking we are doomed to sin, even if we try to do what is right.

Before we were saved we were living in sin and transgressions, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature.

It is not hard to work out what these cravings of the flesh nature might be. In fact psychologists define a hierarchy of needs which is, in fact, a guide to the fleshly nature.

We have a physical needs such as food, water, shelter, sex and so on. The need for food easily changes to gluttony as we feed the body as much as possible when food is available. The drive for sex turns to last when it is unrestrained.

Then there are issues that relate to safety. but our self-directed sinful nature demands that need his meeting ways that are harmful to others.

As we go up the hierarchy of needs we discover that, although these are God-given drives that exist in all of us, they so easily lead us to sinning if we live independently of God. This is particularly true of the higher order needs of self- esteem and self- actualisation. These are driven by self- a code word for flesh.

We were once in that place of being led by the flesh, the sinful nature, that lives independently of God. We once lived in rebellion against God.

Because we are born with this sinful nature, and therefore default to sin, before we were Christians satan had very little to do to secure our destruction. We were left to our own devices, and as we lived in sin, we would have died in sin, and ultimately we would go to hell. It should not be a surprise that it is after we are saved we become subjects of satan’s attacks . These take the form of temptation, persecution, and so on.

Before we are saved, while we are still under the dominion of the flesh, we are “objects of wrath.” This refers to God’s wrath.

We think of wrath as being anger that is out of control, rage on steroids.

Gods wrath is rightly understood as judicial fury against sin. God is not angry with people. In fact He loves people. He loves sinners, but he is furious about sin and the deeds of the flesh.

Sin separates us from God. It is no wonder that He has wrath towards it and towards its practitioners. He has determined that all who rebelled against him and continue to rebel will be punished. This is justice- a forensic form of wrath.

When cases are brought to court that are notoriously evil or depraved, we expect that the perpetrators are rightly punished. Our anger at the awfulness of the crime demands it.

God sees the awfulness of sin and how it alienates us from him and results in us hurting one another. As long as we continue to sin we are objects of wrath, candidates for great punishment .

There can be no more fearful punishment for sin then total removal from God’s presence. This is what Hell is like. It is a place of total separation from God and from everything that makes life enjoyable. Hell is the place where sin reaps its ultimate harvest .

God will give us all a chance to repent, an opportunity to turn to Him and receive His forgiveness. But all who refuse his grace remain under his wrath.

Key points in this verse

  • We were all sinners before we were saved by faith in Christ
  • The sinful nature always defaults to sin unless there is an intervention
  • Gratifying the fleshly nature results in sin, even when all we are doing is trying to meet our needs
  • All who are living in sin are objects of God’s wrath

Ephesians 2:2

Here is my commentary on Ephesians2:2. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.

Ephesians 2:2

“ … in which you used to live when you followed the ways of the world, and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is still at work in those who are disobedient.”

We used to live in “sins and transgressions” until Christ set us free. We all have a history “Before Christ”, and when we are tempted to judge others from a position of self-righteousness, it is good to remember that we, too, once lived in sin.

Sin is so all-encompassing that it is no exaggeration to say that we once lived in it. Sin is like the air around us. It is always there even if we are not aware of it.

Sin is living for ourselves without reference to God’s will. In parts of the Bible it is described as lawlessness, rebellion, and witchcraft. When we live for ourselves without reference to the Lord, we are truly living in sin.

We used to follow the ways of the world before Christ came in.

Those who live in the world have their ways, just as christians have their ways. Whereas christians leave to serve Christ, the people of the world live to serve themselves. Vices are renamed virtues. Sins are redefined to make them more palatable.

The word “world” is not the physical planet on which we live, but the masses of humanity who go their own way, ignorant or rebellious against God.

God loves the world so much that He sent his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God loves the world, but the world does not love God. The world sets up its systems which deliberately exclude God.

The people who follow the ways of the world live for themselves. They work for money that does not last; their priorities can be summed up in the proverb, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Their attitude is to live life to the fullest because they see no prospect for eternity.

The people of the world think that they are being wise in their own ways, walking in their own freedom. Yet they are directed by the” ruler of the kingdom of the air.” The kingdom of the air is satan’s realm. It is the second heaven according to some people, the first being the celestial realm of the sun, moon and stars.

When people live for themselves, they are living for Satan. Despite their claims to be free, they are in the deepest of bondage. Having abandoned any sense of duty to their Creator, they have fallen into captivity to the devil.

That is why the world always sets itself in opposition to Christians. This is why so many Christians around the world face severe persecution. This is why society loves all manner of perversion and decadence, and they hate the church.

Those who walk in the ways of the world are really being directed by satan who is the ruler of the kingdom of the air. We cannot ever expect anything different. Sinful people, unredeemed people, sin because they are separated from God and in fellowship with Satan.

Many Christians are unaware of the spiritual war that they are fighting. This will be discussed in Ephesians 6 where the nature of the war is elaborated. For now we must recognise that the war is being waged, and humans are the prize on both sides.

There is no neutrality in this war. Satan will destroy everyone regardless of whether they are fighting for him or ignorant of him. He leaves alone those who are already on the path to hell. He takes great delight in causing suffering and distress to those whom he considers his enemies.

Those who are disobedient to God are those who allow the spirits of evil to work in their lives. The more determined people are to oppose God, the more they have allowed the spirits to work in them and through them.

People indulge in all kinds of evil acts including violence, sexual perversion, lust, theft, fraud, blasphemy and so on. They argue that anything is justified as long as nobody gets hurt. They overlook the fact that any act of disobedience causes hurt to someone even if it is only the disobedient person.

Human beings were created in the image of God. We are created for his purposes and any disobedience to God is a denial of our reason for being. We mar that image that is in our hearts whenever we indulge our selfish desires.

Acts of disobedience amongst christians are acts of surrender to the evil one. We deny our Creator and Redeemer. We turn away from the path of separation to God and back to the ways of the world which lead to bondage and captivity.

Key points in this verse:

  • We were once Sinners but have been set free by Christ.
  • Sin is following the ways of the world
  • Whether by intent or in ignorance, the world sets itself in opposition to God
  • God loves the world but the world does not love God
  • Those who live in the world are really in bondage to satan who is the ruler of the kingdom of the air
  • We are in spiritual war and need to be aware of this
  • Following the ways of the world leads to disobedience
  • We are created for God’s purposes and must obey him

Ephesians 2:1

Here is my commentary on Ephesians2:1. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.

Ephesians 2:1

As for you, you were once dead in your transgressions and sins.

The gospel is deeply personal. It is not a theory or a general culture. You are either in or out. You either believe in Christ and receive his forgiveness, or you do not believe t and consequently remain on the outside of the Kingdom.

We have many opinions on issues that do not directly affect us, but the gospel is different. “As for you,” Paul says. We saw in the very first verse of chapter one that this letter is directed “to the saints,” that he is those who have responded to the gospel and now are God’s holy, or set apart, people.

This is me, and you, (assuming you are born again). It is us, the church, the ones called out and sanctified by Christ .

We all need to make a decision to follow Christ if we are to be saved and be a part of God’s kingdom.

It affects people who hear the gospel and respond to it as individuals, but are then counted as part of the organic body of Christ.

“You were once dead in your sins & transgressions.”

We were once dead. I was dead in my sins, but now I am alive in Christ. I was the condemned man on the way to the execution chamber, a dead man walking.

But then I stopped being dead. Christ came into my life and moved me from the “dead” column to the “alive” column. The condemned man is set free, declared innocent. Now instead of being dead, on a relentless conveyor belt to hell, I am alive, rescued by Christ.

Countless millions of people are dead men and women walking. Their hearts beat and their bodies move, but they are dead in their sins.

So we used to be! But now I am alive in Christ. The sins that hung around my neck, pulling me inexorably into the depths have been cut off and carried away by Christ.

We were once dead in our transgressions and sins.

The word for transgressions here suggests an accidental breaking of the law- stumbling aside, a false step.

When I am driving, sometimes I don’t notice that I’m going down hill and my speed has increased above the speed limit. Someone coming into the country doesn’t recognise that we have strict laws about what may be brought in. They might have some food product that is prohibited and forget to declare it on the card.

In both cases the law has been broken, but not intentionally.

It is these transgressions that Paul says have kept us in death. I did not know God’s requirements, so I failed. I tried to live a good life, but I am not perfect.

Intentions are not what matters. I have broken God’s holy law, falling short of his glory. I have failed to live up to His standards.

The cumulative effect of my transgressions has made me dead spiritually. I was estranged from God by my breaching of His law.

The word for sins means to miss the mark or to fall short. This is more serious because it suggests wilfulness. We know what we should do but we refuse to do it. It is rebellion against God’s will.

We are all born in sin. We all have that sinful nature handed down from Adam and Eve. We refused to do what God wants us to do.

This outright rebellion moves us away from God, the source of all life, and so we die.

In the previous analogy of driving, sin is when I decide to recklessly ignore the speed limit. I know I should drive at less than 60 km per hour, but I choose to drive at 100 kilometres per hour. My action is a total disregard for the law, and now renders me likely to have a crash.

Sin is when we know what we should do and wilfully do the opposite. It kills us and those around us.

I was once dead in my sins and transgressions, but now, thank God, I am alive because of what Christ has done.

This Is a miracle. It is only God who can turn death into life. It is only God who can raise up the dead person and breathe into them the breath of life.

Key points in this verse:
The gospel is personal and we must have apply it to our own lives.

We were once dead but we are now alive in Christ.

We can accidentally transgress God’s laws or deliberately break them but the result either way is the same – death.

Ephesians 1:22-23

Here is my commentary on Ephesians 1:22-23. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.

Ephesians 1:22-23

And he has put all things under His feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way”.

God has placed all things under the feet of Christ.

There is nothing in all of creation whether on earth or in the heavens, which is greater than Christ. He reigns over all things.

To say that God has put all things under Christ’s feet is to suggest the total victory by Christ against everything that would stand against him.

All of the demonic hordes are under His feet.

All human powers and institutions are under His feet.

Every culture that blasphemes the name of Jesus is under His feet.

Every political leader is under His feet, even those who seek to put themselves above His reign.

There are strongmen and religious systems, dictators of the left and the right, corporate power and political parties, all opposed to the rule of Christ. Yet even these are under His feet.

Media figures and artists mock Christians and scoff at the gospel. They blaspheme against Jesus in a way that they would not dare against Muhammad. Even these are under the feet of Christ.

He could snuff them all out in an instant, but that is not His way. He allows the way of grace to unfold and to play out in all possible ways before bringing judgement, so that no one can argue that His judgement is harsh or unfair in any way.

Not only has God placed all things under the feet of Christ, He has made Christ the head of all things.

The authority of Christ is over all human and demonic forces. He actively directs the affairs of men and angels.

It is not as if Christ were sitting back patiently waiting to see how things play out. He is actively directing society, culture, politics, and every institution to maximise His own glory.

As Paul says in Romans,” in all things God works for the good of those who are called to His purposes”. So Christ manipulates even the opposition to achieve His ends. Christ manipulates even the opposition to achieve His outcomes.

All of this is for quote the church quote. Christ to love for His people, His flock, is so huge that he directs everything for the sake of the church.

When Paul speaks of the church he does not think of an institution or a human creation that controls the preaching of the faith. The church is an organic thing, a body, that consists of many people in congregations large and small who claim the allegiance to Christ above all other things.

So Christ is head over all things for the sake of the church, of the believers, around the world.

In some places, at some times, the church grows best under conditions of difficulty- opposition and even persecution. In other times and places it is peace and co-operation with civic authorities that moves the gospel forward.

Whether we are in times of peace or persecution, Christ is with us and bringing out the best possible outcome for the church.

When times are chaotic and difficult we must always remember that Christ is the head over all things.

Paul now briefly turns his attention to the church.

The church is the Body of Christ. Christ no longer lives on the earth, but the church does. We are the physical representation of Christ on the earth today.

To say that the church is the Body of Christ is to say that it is the physical agency by which Christ’s will is brought into being.

The church makes disciples by bringing people to the new birth or salvation and then training people to be mature disciples. The church is the light in the darkness, seeking to proclaim the name of Christ to those who do not know him yet. This is called mission or evangelism.

Mission takes many forms. The word itself conjures up visions of ministers going to primitive people to tell them about both Jesus and civilisation. Despite the tremendous advances in communications and technology in recent decades, many people have no knowledge of Jesus.

In many parts of the world, the mission of the church is going forward with such rapidity that something like one third of the world claims to be christian. In the west the church is losing ground rapidly and must adjust to becoming a missions frontier.

The compassionate ministries of the church are also a form of mission. Here the church aims to be the Body of Christ by being His hands and feet to the neglected parts of society- the poor, the very young, the chronically ill, and the aged .

In all kinds of ways the church is Christ’s body, being a physical manifestation of the grace of God in the world.

The church is the fullness of Christ.

In a sense this is an aspirational or idealistic statement. Paul says that the church has not yet reached the fullness of the measure of Christ and that the church will not be mature until it does (Ephesians 4:13).

But the church is the fullness of Christ in the sense that he promised he would be with us until the end of the age, and that wherever two or three meet in His name there He is in the midst of us.

Wherever the church gathers for worship or prayer, He is with us, in us, and fills us.

There seems to be a contradiction here. If Christ fills us whenever we meet, why does Paul say we have not yet received the measure of the fullness of Christ? Why do we need the five fold ministry gifts to move us into a deeper fullness of Christ?

When we are saved, we receive the fullness of Christ. Nothing is held back from us. However, sin, immaturity of faith, lack of understanding, prevent us from receiving as much as we might. As we mature in Christ, as we learn more from the Bible, as we grow in faith and understanding, we move to deeper experiences of faith and of the Holy Spirit .

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is one such step. As the Holy Spirit manifests in the gift of tongues, we find ourselves enabled and motivated to pray for things in a new and powerful way. We might experience a miracle as we take a faith step in praying for someone, or the joy of helping someone come to salvation.

All of these experiences increase our capacity for receiving more of the fullness of Christ.

The same is true for the church. As individual congregations move in faith to share the gospel or pray for miracles, the collective faith of the church grows exponentially. If the congregation senses that it is being opposed by satanic forces, it’s faith will grow to understand how to overcome . As the congregation worships in the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of Christ is made manifest amongst them.

So churches can experience a collective increase in their capacity to express the fullness of Christ.

The last phrase of the verse is difficult to understand. “Of him who fills all things in every way.” How can we understand that Christ fills all things?

We should not think of this as being a kind of pantheism which suggests that Christ fills physically the creation.

Paul said in verse 22 that Christ has put all things under his feet. Christ rules over all things, and so all of the creation is under his rule. In that sense He fills all things.

As the creation is renewed by the restoration of people to God, the glory of Christ will literally fill all things. In the book of Revelation we are told that in the New Jerusalem there is no need for the sun and moon, for the glory of God lights it and the Lamb is it’s lamp (Revelation 21:23)

Key points in these verses:

  • All things are under the feet of Christ
  • Christ is completely defeated His enemies
  • He is head over all things, actively moving things forward for His glory
  • While Christ would be justified in bringing judgement against those who oppose him, in grace he holds back to allow people time to repent
  • Christ’s authority is for the sake of the church.
  • the church is the Body of Christ
  • the church does the will of Christ in the world
  • the church, and the individuals who make it up, have the fullness of Christ
  • We are able to grow in our capacity to receive Christ
  • The glory of Christ fills all things

Ephesians 1:21

Here is my commentary on Ephesians 1:21. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.

Ephesians 1:21

[Christ is] far above all rule and authority and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, humbled Himself and became a human being. He subjected himself to a fleshly body and lived amongst us as a normal person.

Then He willingly offered himself as a sacrifice to be crucified as atonement for every sin ever committed throughout human history.

He lowered himself, submitting to the authority of people- parents, priests, religious leaders, teachers, even to the corrupt and illegitimate civil leaders such as King Herod and Pontius Pilate.

He was beneath the rulers and dominions, authority and powers, both human and demonic. Those who condemned and crucified Christ were not acting on their own volition. Each was encouraged, motivated and directed by spiritual powers aiming to get rid of Christ before he could inaugurate His kingdom.

There is the irony of the crucifixion . it was God’s plan from the beginning, but satan thought he was destroying the Messiahs mission.

On the cross, Christ had no power. He was utterly humiliated, “under” the rulers and authorities.

Then came the resurrection. Where satan had tried to kill Christ, the resurrection proved that sin and death were what was killed.

Now Christ is exalted, lifted high above the powers, the lords, the rulers, and dominions. He sits at the right hand of the Father and reigns over all creation.

His name is higher than every name that is named. Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords, and every mouth will confess him.

He is the highest name in all Creation, and it is no surprise that since satan can no longer destroy Christ, he takes out his venom on the name of Christ.

Blasphemy, the use of the name of the Lord as a curse, is increasing and is more acceptable in public life. You may demean the name of Christ without repercussion, but to demean the name of Mohamed will call down the wrath of the state and its cohorts such as media personalities etc.

Satan is also attacking those who carry the name of Christ. The exact form that persecution takes varies from place to place. In the West we have various formal and informal ways of ensuring that christians keep their faith out of the public square.

In some countries, the government is the cause of all kinds of suffering for christians. In Muslim countries, persecution comes at the hands of civil and religious leaders, and often from families.

In all of these ways, satan seeks to destroy the name of Christ wherever it is lifted up.

Paul says that Christ’s name is higher than any name in this age and in the age to come.

We might fear that satan will continue to hold some kind of influence in the resurrection age. The scriptures make it clear that satan will have no influence in the age to come. He will be consigned to the Lake of Fire, with all his followers, never to be allowed to wreak havoc again.

Those who will rise in the coming age will be those who follow Jesus in this age. If the citizens of the new Kingdom are submitted to the King, then there is no name that can rival his name, in heaven or on earth.

For eternity Christ will reign over all things- although it does say later that Christ will hand all things over to the Father. No name will come near to the name of Christ. No created being, earthly or heavenly, will seek to seize power in the Kingdom in the way that satan once did full stop

Key points in this verse:

  • Jesus humbled himself, being subject to all authority
  • Now Christ is exalted over every ruler and authority
  • No created thing will be able to place itself above Christ
  • satan seeks to remove the highest name, the name of Christ, by turning it into a curse, and by destroying those who bear the name of Christ.

Ephesians 1:20

Here is my commentary on Ephesians 1:20. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.

Ephesians 1:20

[… The working of His great strength] which he exerted in Christ when he raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.

Verse 19 was a continuation of Paul’s prayer that our eyes would be enlightened to see God’s great power for us who believe.

He now goes on to say this mighty power that God has placed in us is like the power that he exerted In Christ when he raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.

God has placed in us the same power that raised Christ from the dead.

The resurrection was an incomparable event in the history of the world. There has never been anything like it.

Jesus was beaten, scourged, and crucified. He was dead, and His body was thoroughly broken. Yet in the space of 36 hours, he came back to life- not just reanimated in the old body that had died on the cross, but with a new body that was strong and healthy.

Whether we think of God’s power in the physical sense or as a spiritual force pressing into the natural realm, this is mighty strength.

Bur this is nothing to the God who created the world with a few words. God’s power is strong and mighty beyond our ability to imagine.

Some people try to explain away the resurrection in various ways. To do this is to miss the point. Nothing is too hard for God, not even death itself.

The resurrection was not just a physical miracle, impressive as that is. Jesus died because of our sin. The cross could not kill Him, but when he took the weight of our sins, the death penalty for everyone, that was the cause of death.

The resurrection stripped away the burden of sin and death, and made them of no effect. satan sought to hold Christ captive, but he was no match for the Lord.

Resurrection power was God’s strength to destroy both sin and death.

Having raised Jesus from the dead, God executed a different kind of power when he lifted Jesus to Heaven. Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus ascended to Heaven.

Physically, the ascension was not a great deal to the Father. It was just a transportation issue.

The ascension of Jesus to heaven and His sitting at the right hand of the Father is a massive spiritual victory.

Firstly, it represents satan’s total defeat. satan sought to take for himself the place of highest honour. Denied that, he took the role of accuser. Now he is just a thief and destroyer.

Jesus overcame satan at every turn. When satan tempted Him in the wilderness, Jesus won by the word. When tempted in the garden of Gethsemane to pull back from the cross, He persevered faithfully.

Having been faithful to the cross, God raised Him to the highest place so that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:8-11).

Jesus reigns over the world, especially the church. He will remain in this place of authority until the last enemy is conquered, and He will give it all back to the Father.

The power of the ascension, then, is a spiritual power and authority of cosmic governance in which satan is put in his rightful place forever.

The power of the resurrection and ascension dwell in us who believe. As stated previously, it is not a power for personal use alone, but a representative power to be used on behalf of, and in subjection to, Christ.

This power is given to us to enable us to

  • Preach the gospel
  • Heal the sick
  • Raise the dead
  • Decree spiritual truth
  • Pull down strongholds
  • Do all that Christ has commanded us to

This power, mediated by the Holy Spirit, gives us all the power, grace, and authority we need to live in God’s kingdom and to extend the light into the darkness of satan’s strongholds.

Key points in this verse

  • God has placed the power of the resurrection in us
  • The resurrection is a sign of Christ’s victory over our sin
  • Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly realm
  • satan’s attempt to usurp the throne of Christ has been defeated
  • The power that is in us enables us to fully obey Christ commands

Ephesians 1:19

Here is my commentary on Ephesians 1:19. I am publishing these once or twice a week, but you can read all of the available articles at our web-site.

Ephesians 1:19

[ that you may know]… what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us to believe according to the workings of his great might.

Paul continues his prayer that we might know the hope to which Christ has called us. He is not talking about theology in these prayers but a heart-level knowledge, and transforming conviction that directs our lives.

Now he prays hat we might know the immeasurable greatness of his power.

In physics, power is defined as the rate at which reproduce or use energy to do work a 200 megawatt Power Station produces 200 megajoules of electricity every second. This is greatness of power.

Power in political terms is defined as the ability to influence others so that you can enact a political agenda. Some rulers exert great power, either for good or evil.

God’s power is immeasurable. He created the whole universe and everything that is seen and everything that is unseen. All of this was with the command of his voice. He spoke and it came to be.

It is possible to estimate the mass of the Universe and therefore calculate the energy of the whole of creation. Divide that by the few seconds that it took to speak the words, and that is huge, unimaginable power. But it is still measurable.

The greatness of God’s power is even greater – it is immeasurable. We can’t even guesstimate his power, because it will always be greater.

And the God who has that much physical power also has immeasurable political power. He could bend every king and president, in fact every person, to obey his will and follow his agenda for the nations.

But he does not want to do that. Instead, he uses the power of love, providing and enacting an agenda based on his love for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

For all the power at His command, He lays it all down in order to love His people

Then He places this immeasurable power in us – the creative, restorative, reconciling power of the Holy Spirit is placed in people who simply choose to lay down their own lives and to follow him.

We see glimpses of this immeasurable power in us when miracles happen. Miracles are actions that seem to contradict the law of nature. A house is saved in an earthquake because people pray. A person is healed of a rare and incurable cancer because people pray.

This immeasurable power in us is meant to be poured out to others as a sign of Gods love.

The power of love placed in our hearts also transforms the world. As we receive God’s love we learn to love the poor, serve the needy, console the hurting, and accept the rejected. The healing power of love turns these people, who were once far off, back to the kingdom of God, spreading this unstoppable movement of immeasurable power right through the world.

All of this is “ according to the workings of his great might.”

In all of this, God remains sovereign. There are times when there is no healing, no miracles. There are times when our best attempts at love are thrown back in our face .

Should we conclude that God’s immeasurable power is not so great? Of course not! It remains God’s power and is released according to His greatness.

Should we give up on praying for the sick, ministering to the poor, or preaching the gospel because things don’t turn out the way we think?

No! The power is God’s and remains subject to His will. The power is in us, but not ours to use as we wish. We are containers for the power of God’s might and His love, not the operators or owners of it.

We can make ourselves available to God for Him to work in the world. We cannot determine what He should do with that power. It remains “according to the working of his great power.”

The activity of God’s power remains a mystery, and out of our ability to control. We pray for this one, serve that one, and sometimes miracles occur. Sometimes they do not.

We should thank God that it is this way. Imagine the mess we would generate by being able to channel that “immeasurable power” to meet our own selfish purposes.

Key points in this verse:

  • God’s power is immeasurable, beyond our ability to even imagine
  • God’s power is physical and can restore, heal or destroy
  • God’s power is also persuasive through the power of His great love
  • God’s power is in us, but subject to his own control