God's Power: The Resurrection

The Apostle Paul wanted to "know Christ and the power of his resurrection" (Phil. 3:10) because He understood how incomparably great that power is and he prayed others would see its significance as well.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms ... (Eph. 1:18-20)
His prayer for the Ephesians is packed full of truths leaders need to grasp to guide the church toward this same passion.

1) Resurrection power is apprehended by "the eyes of your heart" being "enlightened in order that you may know" this power.

An intellectual understanding of this power will be insufficient for it to impact our churches. We need to be convinced of its reality to the very core of our being. If truth is going to move from the head to the heart, the Holy Spirit must do it (1 Cor. 2:9-16).
Once seen by the heart, it will impact life for the heart is the wellspring of life out of which what we do flows (Prov. 4:23; Lk. 6:45).
Leaders: Do not depend on your own powers of persuasion to convince people to rely on God's resurrection power. Notice that Paul prayed that the eyes of people's hearts would be enlightened. Do you want your body of believers to know the power of His resurrection? Pray. Keep praying.

2) Resurrection power must be affiliated with "the hope to which he has called you" and "the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints."

Paul's prayer for their spiritual eyes to be enlightened had a three-fold purpose. He wanted them to know:
1 - the hope to which they were called -- His purpose for them
2 - the riches of God's glorious inheritance -- His provision for them
3 - His incomparably great power -- His power for them
These three components go together.
  • How are you going to fulfill His purpose without the resources and ability to do so?
  • How are you going to be a good steward of His provision without understanding how to best use it and then be able to follow through?
  • How are you going to properly use His power without an understanding of how it fits into the big scheme of things?
Leaders: Keeping God's power in context will help prevent your church from some of the imbalances that can come with a desire for the supernatural. Pursuit of God's power must never be an end in itself. Always provide the big picture perspective.

3) Resurrection power can be assessed as an "incomparably great power."

The Greek word for "incomparably" comes from the root word "huper" meaning "over" and "ballo" meaning "to throw." This is a power that transcends any other power. The word "great" comes from the root word "megas." Think of the English word "mega" which is used when trying to describe something much larger or greater than the norm.
Leaders: Do not limit your church by what you can understand or by what seems to be the common church experience. Measure the possibilities against the magnitude of God's power, not your limited resources.

4) Resurrection power is available "for us who believe."

To believe is to be so persuaded or confident of something that you rely upon it. That is the qualification for experiencing resurrection power. Remember that Jesus said it only takes the faith of a mustard seed to move a mountain (Matt. 17:20). Tapping into resurrection power isn't solely for "spiritual giants." All who believe have access to this power.
Leaders: Be careful of dismissing certain people in your church because you don't feel like they have much to offer. God's resurrection power can work in and through "the least of these."

5) Resurrection power is attributed to "the working of His (God's) mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ."

Only an Almighty God with full authority over life and death can exert such power. He is the source of the Church's power.
Leaders: Don't ask people to follow a cause or a movement. While prayer will be critical to revival in the Church, the ultimate power is not in our prayers. Present people with a God who is worthy of their trust, One of whom there is none greater.

6) Resurrection power has affects on the past, present, and future as "He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms."

We must get beyond the resurrection being merely an Easter phenomenon thousands of years ago. And, we must understand that as the "firstfruits" Jesus paved the way for our future resurrection but we must see it as more than some future hope.
  • With Jesus now seated at the right hand of God we have an advocate standing in the gap for us, reminding the Father of how His death and resurrection covers our silly pettiness in the church, self-centered and inconsistent ways (Rom. 8:34; 1 Jn. 2:1). He intercedes for us.
  • His presence at the right hand of God serves as a reminder or example for us that we too can endure the hardships of running the race for in the end He rose victorious (Heb. 12:1-2).
  • Having spiritually died with Him, we are now spiritually raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6). From this position, we can see life differently as we set our hearts on things above where He is (Col. 3:1-2).
Leaders: Derive hope from the resurrection but also understand how it provides so much more for the church today. Be an example of one who believes and pulls on the full-orbed power available to you because God raised Jesus from the dead.
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