Commentary on Ephesians, 1:19,20


Ephesians 1:19,20

“18 (the eyes of your hearts having been enlightened), so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what [are] the riches of the glory of his inheritance among the saints,
19 and what [is] the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty strength
20 which he has worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating [him] at his right hand in the heavenly [places],”  LEB

“and what [is] the surpassing greatness of his power”

Paul desired and prayed that the Ephesians believers would come to know and understand and appreciate the surpassing and exceeding greatness of God’s power toward us who have placed their faith in Christ.

By the power of God we have been forgiven of our sins and regenerated. By God’s power we’ve been given a new nature, a new heart, a spiritual capacity to know and to walk with God. By God’s power we’ve been rescued from the penalty and power of sin. By God’s power we’ve died to sin and have been raised to new life in Christ. By God’s power we are kept secure in our salvation as we continue steadfast in our faith.

Paul speaks more of the power of God in our lives in chapter 3, and again it’s in the form of a prayer request for them:

“that he may grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person,”  LEB (Eph 3:16)

Four verses later he says that God “is able to do beyond all measure more than all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work in us”  LEB (Eph 3:20).  

We who have come into a personal relationship with God, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we have the power of God working in us. Answered prayer is one of the areas where we’re able to see it and experience it the most. Those who have an especially close walk with God will receive answers to their prayers in ways that others can’t, and won’t….perhaps even miraculous answers to prayer.

God’s power in us is activated and sustained by faith, and by a surrender of our will to the will of God. Those who reject sin and the ways of this world, those who seek to live pure and holy lives, those who seek to live in all things to the glory of God, will experience all that God has ordained for them. There’s nothing God can’t do in and through a person who is fully yielded to Him.

That reminds me of D.L. Moody. He was in a conversation with someone who said to him, “The world has yet to see what God can do through a man who is totally yielded to Him” (or words close to that). Moody at that point said to himself, “may I be that man!” May that be the heart-cry of all of us!

A life that is fully yielded to God is a life that has a clear and open channel to God and His power. That should motivate and stir the hearts of every one of us. It should move us to let go of the things of this world in order to experience all that God has planned for us. It should be the heart’s desire of every follower of Christ to experience the full experience of knowing God and His power. Sin and self-will impedes, but yielding to God and to His will opens the floodgates of His power and favor.

The power to walk in victory over sin and worldly pursuits is available, but we have to yield, with our eyes of faith set firmly on Him. We have to make up our minds what it is that we truly value. What we value most will be seen in the things that we pursue the most. We can talk all we want to about how much we love the Lord, but it’s how we spend our time and what we seek that reveals the true nature of that love.

“according to the working of his mighty strength which he has worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating [him] at his right hand in the heavenly [places],”

The power that saved us, the power that we have to live the Christian life, all the wonderful spiritual blessings that we have in Christ, is the same power, the same “mighty strength” that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand of the Father.

The same power and mighty strength that raised Christ from the dead, is the same that raised us up to new life. Furthermore, this same power and mighty strength that seated Christ on His throne in Heaven, is the same that seated us with Him! :

“and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  NAS  (Eph 2:6)

We’ve died with Christ, been raised to new life with Christ, and are now seated with Christ in Heaven. We just have to get it settled in our minds that this world is not our home. That which characterizes the born-again believer in Christ is not worldly things, but heavenly things. Paul tells us that our “life is hidden with Christ in God,” and that we are to “seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”  LEB (Col 3:1-4)

We are to “seek the things above” because that is where we are, with Christ. Heaven is our true home. That is our inheritance. We’re just passing through this life in order to prepare us for the next. We’re always to be living out who we are in Christ, and according to our citizenship.

If God sees us as seated with Christ now, as if already there, what sense does it make to be living for the same things that the people of this world value? The life of the world is for those of the world. It’s not appropriate for us to seek the things of this world, of this life. That’s not who we are. Our identity is in Christ. Therefore, we are to identify ourselves not with the world, but with Christ and His Kingdom. We are to live in this world as though it was actually the Kingdom of Christ and being ruled by Him (Col 1:13).

Once the full realization hits us that we truly are dwelling in the Kingdom of Christ, and serving Him as our King, it will completely change our viewpoint of this world and how we live our lives.