Ephesians 1:15-23 (NRSV)
Paul not only gave thanks for God’s work among the Ephesians, he also prayed that it would continue with greater strength and understanding. What would it do to our understanding of our daily life if we were to read this and pray this every morning?
15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.
from Morning and Evening,
by Charles Spurgeon:
In the resurrection of Christ, as in our salvation, there was put forth nothing short of a divine power.
What shall we say of those who think that conversion is wrought by the free will of man, and is due to his own betterness of disposition?
When we shall see the dead rise from the grave by their own power, then may we expect to see ungodly sinners of their own free will turning to Christ.
It is not the word preached, nor the word read in itself; all quickening power proceeds from the Holy Ghost.
This power was irresistible. All the soldiers and the high priests could not keep the body of Christ in the tomb; Death himself could not hold Jesus in his bonds: even thus irresistible is the power put forth in the believer when he is raised to newness of life.
No sin, no corruption, no devils in hell nor sinners upon earth, can stay the hand of God’s grace when it intends to convert a man.
If God omnipotently says, “Thou shalt,” man shall not say, “I will not.” Observe that the power which raised Christ from the dead was glorious. It reflected honour upon God and wrought dismay in the hosts of evil. So there is great glory to God in the conversion of every sinner.
It was everlasting power. “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.” So we, being raised from the dead, go not back to our dead works nor to our old corruptions, but we live unto God. “Because He lives we live also.” “For we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.”
“Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Lastly, in the text mark the union of the new life to Jesus. The same power which raised the Head works life in the members. What a blessing to be quickened together with Christ!
22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
HERE is a great Wesley hymn — “Rejoice, the Lord is King!”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.