Russell and Duenes

The Immeasurable Greatness of His Power

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In preparation for my classes this fall, I’ve been translating, reading and memorizing Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. I’ve gotten hung up (if “hung up” is the right phrase) on the truth that Paul expresses in 1:19, where Paul prays that the believers would “know…what is the immeasurable greatness of [God’s] power toward us who believe.” And I thought, “God is telling us, his people, that the power He brings to bear upon our lives is immeasurably great.” Paul goes on. He says that this power is “according to the working of [God’s] great might which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead” (v.19b-20). We have access to this power.

Then in chapter 2, Paul says God has “made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (vs.5-7). There’s that word “immeasurable” again.

Finally, in chapter 3, Paul says, 14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (vs.14-20). The reality of spiritual power being at work in and through us is overwhelming. And yet…

And yet the issue that keeps pressing me is: If we have access to this kind of spiritual power, the fullness of the indwelling God, Jesus Christ, then what should that look like in our individual and common lives together as God’s people? I’m not trying to advocate some kind of triumphalism, but I am asking what it should look like in light of these verses. What does it mean to have knowledge of “the immeasurable greatness of his power?” What does it look like and feel like to “be filled with all the fullness of God?” What kind of confidence should we have? In the west we are not given to think about our spiritual lives in terms of power. But it seems that we ought to. I’m just finding my way into this, but thought I’d set a few thoughts down for you. I would love to know your thoughts.



Written by Michael Duenes

July 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

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