Dec 16, 2016 Words of Grace – The Power of Christ for the Church
The idea of power evokes strong feelings. For some, there is a reaction against power because its use is so often abusive and leaves people damaged. For others, there is a lust for power because it is seen as the way to gain control over people and security for themselves.
Power can get a bad reputation. But power is not bad. It is the bad use of and the lust for power that leads to all kinds of evil.
Power is an important part of the Christian faith. We need a clear understanding of the kind of power that is Christ’s, and how those “in Christ” are to use his power in our lives.
Ephesians 6:10 tells Christians to be strong in the Lord’s power. Two truths are given here. First, the Lord has power. Second, we are given his power as the strength to fight against the evil one.
Jesus Christ is Lord. God raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand to have power and authority over all powers on earth and in heaven (Ephesians 1:20-22). “All powers” includes the devil and evil spiritual beings, and the people and institutions of this world used by the devil to oppose Christ and to do harm. Jesus has power over them all.
Jesus was given as head over all things for the benefit of the church (Ephesians 1:22). That means that the power of Christ is for the church to fight against the evil one. We are not given power to gain control over others. We do not receive power to secure a comfortable world for ourselves. The power of Christ comes to the church to stand against the devil.
So how does the power of Christ come to the church? How are we strong in the Lord’s strength? Ephesians 6:10-18 is the classic passage on the armor (strength and power) of God that comes to us “in Christ.” The passage can be summarized to say that we receive the power of Christ in our lives through the grace of salvation, the walk of faith, the word of God, and praying in the Spirit. How we need to grow in this grace and in these graces.
Christ who is rich in power empowers his people. His power toward us who believe has made us alive with him to resist the devil and to serve people.
Are you being strengthened in the Lord’s power today by his grace? Are you using his power to stand firm against the evil one and to serve others?
As you prepare for congregational worship this Sunday, meditate on the power that is ours in Christ from Ephesians.