The Greatness of His Power

IT IS GOOD TO THINK about, and ponder, God’s mighty power—the same power that created the universe. The Apostle Paul wrote, “[I] cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”—Eph. 1:16-23

Although his prayer embraces all of the church during the Gospel Age, at the time Paul wrote the words of this prayer, he was located far away from his Ephesian brethren, and he expected that he might not see them again. The Ephesians had been given God’s pledge that, after hearing the word of truth, they would be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise which was the earnest, or down payment, of their spiritual inheritance. Paul asked God to grant them wisdom and understanding of the principal features of his plan, especially further enlightenment regarding the hope of their calling and of the great work which Jesus came to do.


The apostle sought God’s direction for them in order that they might advance in grace and knowledge of the truth, and so he prayed that they might be more closely acquainted with Jesus, their Redeemer. They had already made considerable progress in this regard under Paul’s teaching, but he felt that through a greater measure and influence of God’s Holy Spirit they might explore a still unfathomed depth of knowledge in God’s plan.

In verse 18 Paul points to the eye as the instrument by which we see. He says that it is with the eyes of our understanding—the eyes of our heart, our inner being—that we perceive the truth. Paul not only wished our hearts to be right, but he prayed that our understanding of the truth coming from God might be opened to our mind. What a privilege beyond measure it is for one to be made fully acquainted with the hope to which the Lord has called us! We eagerly anticipate the fulfillment of “the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel.”—Col. 1:5

What a privilege we have as God’s people, to understand how gloriously rich is our Father. We do not think of God as one needing to receive a further inheritance than he now possesses, because he owns everything. What more would he need?


The psalmist reveals the intimate relationship between God and the true church in Psalm 132:13, saying, “The Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.” The Prophet Malachi describes the church as being made up of the Lord’s own personal jewels: “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Mal. 3:17) Speaking for God, Solomon confirms that the Lord’s people are God’s special treasure—the glory of his inheritance.—Eccles. 2:4-8

In Paul’s prayer (Eph. 1:19-21), he expresses his desire that those of God’s elect in Ephesus should be fully acquainted with their Heavenly Father’s mighty power, not only on their own behalf, but also as it relates to the salvation of all mankind in the world to come. The religion they professed was one in which this mighty power of God would be manifested toward them, and would continue until they reached their final inheritance at the end of their course. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul describes the exceeding greatness of God’s power not only for those saints in the church of Ephesus, but he is teaching all of us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.

The Apostle explains (I Corinthians 12:6) that there are “diversities of operations” of the Holy Spirit. Then he adds, “It is the same God” who works in each of us. He has given each of us the Holy Spirit, not only for our own individual benefit, but to the profit of the entire body of Christ. When we consider the subject of the Holy Spirit, we are thinking of the transforming might of God’s Holy power and influence—his capacity, or ability, to create or perform any work he desires within the context of his Divine plan.


In Ephesians 1:19 and 20, Paul points to God as he exercises the working “of his [mighty] power to us-ward who believe,” and adds, this is the ‘working’ of the same “mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead.” These terms, ‘working’ and ‘wrought,’ have been translated from a Greek word from which we derive the word ‘energy.’ The power which God is exerting in us, even now in this age, is the same power or energy of the Holy Spirit which he employed in raising the Lord Jesus from the tomb. This, in turn, was followed by Jesus’ resurrection to glory at the right hand of his Father in heaven. In due time, the same Divine power will be employed in raising all the dead from the grave. It is even that same power which God employed in all his vast work of creation from the very beginning.

We call to mind when Paul, on another occasion, wrote to his brethren in the church at Thessalonica. He said that he constantly thanked the Lord that they had received the word of God which they heard from him, and they “received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (I Thess. 2:13) It was Divine revelation through God’s Holy Spirit that convinced these brethren the message they heard from Paul was not from men, but—as it really was—God’s Word. It was God’s Holy Spirit, his holy power and influence, working in the lives of those whose faith was strong. Paul gave this same enlightening message to the Philippians, when he said to them: “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”—Phil. 2:13

The Apostle Peter tells us that the prophets of old made careful search and investigation when they prophesied about the grace that would come to them. He said this was the time to which the Spirit which was in them pointed, because it foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. What did he mean, ‘glories that would follow’? We believe he spoke not only of his personal glory in the kingdom, but of all the blessed features of God’s kingdom, especially the glory of restitution. He says the prophets tried to discover when and how the understanding of their prophecies would be revealed. But God told them that the matters they were speaking of were not for themselves, but for you. Peter says these very prophecies which have now been made plain to you were revealed by those who preached the Gospel to you, guided by the same Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Then he adds, “which things the angels desire to look into [understand].”—I Pet. 1:10-12


When writing to the Corinthians, Paul says, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we [Paul] speak the wisdom of God in a mystery [“mysterion”], even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Paul continues: “But God hath revealed them [“mysterion”] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”—I Cor. 2:6-10

When the apostle proclaims the Divine wisdom which is hidden in a mystery, he is describing that which the eyes of other men—men of the world—have neither understood, nor even perceived. He is setting forth the value and beauty of those things which God has prepared for his people. All the world had been strangers to these features of God’s plan until he revealed them to his people by his Spirit. It is not by any of our own faculties or abilities that we understand them, but solely through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, which has made them plain to us. Concerning this, the Apostle asks, “What hast thou that thou didst not receive?”—I Cor. 4:7

Continuing, Paul explains, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Rom. 8:16) And then he assures us that through the Holy Spirit we may have an exact and thorough knowledge of the things of God, and, except for our relationship to God as his sons, we would remain under the same cloud of darkness as other men—men of the world. In considering the wonderful features of God’s plan, Paul was moved to burst forth in joyful praise and acclamation: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”—Rom. 11:33


Paul was not alone in this work of making plain the Gospel, but he had coworkers to assist him. He points out that God has given the church gifts of “apostles; … prophets; … evangelists; … pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”—Eph. 4:11-13

God has given the church these gifts of wisdom and knowledge, so that we “henceforth be no more children [immature], tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”—vss. 14-16

Paul is saying, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up into Christ, who is the Head of the body. Under his control, all the 144,000 different parts of the body of Christ fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So, from the energy of the Holy Spirit that works in each separate part—of which each is one part—the whole body grows and builds itself up through love.

Paul explains, in I Corinthians 12:12-14, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” Paul continues: “Now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”—vs. 18

There is no division in the body, but all the parts have the same concern for one another. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness. All consecrated brethren are parts of Christ’s body. These are participating members of the body, and ‘members in particular.’ These who comprise the body will be involved in the completion of the Christ, Head and Body.

Let us rejoice that “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”—Eph. 1:18-21

Dawn Bible Students Association
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