What comes to your mind when you hear the word power?
What earthly forces are powerful?
- Atomic bomb
- Niagara Falls
- Category 5 Hurricanes
Who have been powerful leaders in world history?
- Joseph Stalin
- Alexander the Great
- Mahatma Ghandi
- Ghengis Khan
- Mother Theresa
- John D Rockefeller
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Osama ben Ladin
How are these things powerful? What made these people powerful? What happened when that power was expressed?
Here’s the key issue
A popular saying is, “Knowledge is Power.” That expression always grates on me. Power to do what?
- change and alter life, the physical world, and people from what they used to be.
- build up and make things better.
What makes God’s power unique?
This session, we’ll look at Ephesians 3.
Within this section, Paul talks at length about the power of God.
So far in our study of Ephesians, we’ve seen that:
- God planned from the beginning to bring His created people back to Himself.
- God accomplished Stage One of His plan by offering His people the gift of salvation free of charge – grace.
- God’s plan intended to encompass all people of all nations. Not only would He reconcile His people to Himself. His plan also included the clause of reconciling formerly hostile people to each other. One day, He will bring all His people home to enjoy peace with Him and peace with each other forever.
WOW! That’s a tall order. Can God really accomplish all of this? Can He really set people free from the tyranny of sin and the hostility of severed relationships?
YES, HE CAN!
Read Ephesians 3
Paul takes a break from the heavy theology of Chapters 1 and 2 to remind readers how capable God is of accomplishing His purposes.
Take a closer look at Ephesians 3:1-13
Who was Paul?
In his former life, Paul was one of the most zealous Jews you would ever find. Paul had a passion for retaining the purity of Jewish tradition. His obedience to the Law was to the letter. He was so zealous for the Jewish faith, he was willing to prosecute and persecute anyone who would deviate from what he knew to be true.
Part of being a good Jew was to stay away from non-Jews. In these verses, Paul explains how God did a two-fer. He saved Paul by His grace. Then He called this formally militant Jew-boy to be the point person in taking the Gospel message to the very people Paul had been raised to shun.
If God can bring about that kind of massive turn-around in a life, He must indeed be very powerful.
God is powerful. Nature is powerful. We’ve had many world figures we would call powerful.
What makes God’s power different? Yes, God is MORE powerful, but it’s more than the strength level that makes God’s power the best kind of power.
Most of the forces of nature have the power to destroy. God’s power builds up and alters life as it has been to make it better.
Many world leaders have used their power to corrupt. They’ve used their power to do whatever they want because they can. They’ve exploited their power to gratify selfish desires and line their pockets.
God uses His power to benefit us. Can you imagine a ruler wielding power with NO selfish agenda? Applying power and authority to make life better for those around him, bring about justice and provide what is best for others rather than himself? A few world leaders have attempted such generosity. The world has seen a long parade of philanthropists who generously give of their wealth to make the world a better place. Some world leaders have aimed to live a life of public service. But any of these noteworthy people aren’t perfect. They will always fall short in some way. Why?
What makes God’s power different?
God’s power is wrapped in love. Infinite love.
It’s hard to grasp how a God could have the power to send a part of Himself in human flesh to die a horrendous death and then return to life, a God that can provide eternal life for those who acknowledge faith in Him. But that’s what God did.
It’s even harder to wrap our brains around His motivation for doing such a thing. He did it because he loved us.
Read Ephesians 3:14-21
What stands out to you in these verses?
What part of these verses brings you great joy, comfort, or excitement?
Paul prays that God might grant us power to grasp the length and width, depth and breadth of Christ’s love. Why? Because understanding the magnitude of God’s power and love are paramount to our understanding of His nature and our ability to put our trust in Him. If we really know and understand the strength of God’s power and love, we will be more apt to trust Him in faith. We’ll be more confident to step out and do what He asks us to do, even if in our earthly, limited minds, it seems impossible.
God’s power is infinite. His love is beyond understanding. Through you and through the church with which you worship, He can do anything.
So, why is God more powerful than any force of nature or history?
- Is wrapped in love
- Will accomplish what no one else can do.
- Is placed inside those who trust Him to do amazing things through them.
- Will bring about the best kind of change.
To Him be Glory and Praise!