Since Easter was this last Sunday, I thought I would devote my column today to some thoughts on the practicality of our faith. In Ephesians 1:19 Paul said: “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.” Paul prays that we might know the exceeding greatness. That word could also be translated as surpassing. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said: “God’s power not only surpasses our power of expression, it surpasses our power of comprehension! Take all the dictionaries of the world, exhaust all the vocabularies, and when you have added them all together you have still not begun to describe the greatness of God’s power.”
The words that Paul uses in this verse for power all boil down to one thing that God gives to us strength which overcomes, prevails and conquers. If you read the entire passage Verses 15-20, you will see that Paul is saying that the same power God used to raise Christ from the dead is the same power available to us as His redeemed people. It is power unknown to the natural man. For in Philippians 4:7 Paul says that God gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding meaning that an unbeliever could not understand how we can enjoy peace in the midst of life’s turmoil.
James Boice said: “Christianity is not just ‘head’ knowledge. It is not a religion of ideas only. It is not merely a philosophy. Some Christians treat the faith as if it were, taking care to master Bible doctrines, thinking that when they have done this they have done all that needs to be done. They believe that in knowing the truth they have it all. This did not satisfy the apostle, and it should not satisfy us either. For important as sound theological and doctrinal knowledge is, it is given that we might know God better and thus live in His power and be victorious over sin in this life. Christianity is knowledge, yes. But it is also power, power from beginning to end. Without the power of God not one individual would ever become a Christian. The salvation of the soul is a resurrection, the recovery of a person from the dead. Without God’s power not one individual would ever triumph over sin, live a godly life, or come at last to the reward God has for all His own in heaven.”
Why do we not see more of God’s power? God did not promise to remove us from difficulty, persecution, danger and even death, but He makes us more that conquerors in all such things. God does not promise us a power to work magic and escape troubles, but a power to live daily in an evil world. Paul said in Romans 8:31: “…If God is for us, who can be against us.”
As we live our lives each day as Christian people striving to glorify God we should remember the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The context of this verse is that no matter what situation the apostle faced, whether he was in plenty or in want, in trials or times of joy, he looked to Christ for any and every situation he faced in life. We can enjoy the same blessings he did because of the resurrection power of Christ that belonged to him and also to us.
See you Sunday.