The Book of Ephesians.
(Verse by verse study.)
By Pastor Nick Bibile
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
We studied the power of God last week and we shall continue in the same context.
What does it mean when it says which he wrought in Christ? Our English word wrought comes from the word to work. The Greek meaning is effective operating power.
The power of God is shown by raising Christ from the dead. We are talking here of the physical death as Christ body was totally dead. The ultimate humiliation is death. Here we see the humiliation of Christ and they crucified him to death and he died we see the body of humiliation.
Now I want to show you the human power trying to prevent the resurrection of Christ.
Mt 27:60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.
Mt 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again.
64 Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66 So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
After the body of Jesus was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. Large stones weighing approximately two tons!
A Roman guard was put to secure the tomb, a Roman guard is an entire unit of guards not one. These were Roman military guards. They were highly disciplined. If they failed their duty, they were put to death. One way a guard was put to death was by being stripped of his clothes and then burned alive in a fire started with his garments.
They put a Roman seal on the large stone. The seal showed the power and the authority of the Roman Empire. Breaking the seal is execution by crucifixion upside down.
From a human perspective it is impossible for Christ to rise again. But the power of God was mighty over the power of man.
Mt 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
The body of humiliation was transformed by the power of God to the body of his glory. The glorious body of Christ. This is an amazing miracle of God.
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
We have an empty tomb, a living Savior. Mohamed is dead, Buddha is dead, all the popes are dead but Christ is alive. Christianity is a living faith as we have a living Savior. Christianity is knowledge; it is also the power of God unto salvation. I have to stick to the context.
Salvation is of God and not on human power. Many churches believe this yet; in practice man would like to play some part in salvation. Remember John Bunyan. Bunyan was always the first to arrive at Church and last to leave. Bunyan heard many sermons. But Bunyan was a ringleader, he lived an ungodly life. At the same time he wanted know God so never miss Sundays, but soon after he leaves the church he forget the sermons as he indulge in pleasure of sin. He had a foul mouth and let me read something what he said.
“I was standing at a neighbor’s shop-window, and there cursing and swearing, and playing the madman, after my wonted manner, there sat within, the woman of the house, and heard me, who, though she was a very loose and ungodly wretch, yet protested that I swore and cursed at that most fearful rate, that she was made to tremble to hear me; and told me further, That I was the ungodliest fellow for swearing that ever she heard in all her life; and that I, by thus doing, was able to spoil all the youth in a whole town, if they came but in my company.”
If a person like Bunyan came to church today may be because of his life style we will even ignore him, put him away from our fellowship. We would be quick to judge pass remarks because from the perspective of man there is no way Bunyan could be saved; he comes to church but lives a hypocritical lifestyle. But praise God; salvation does not depend upon human opinions but on God alone. John Bunyan became one of the greatest preachers of that day, his book Pilgrims Progress is the best seller second to the Bible and his theology has been a great wealth for the church today, he is one of my favorites teachers of the gospel.
Ps 73:22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
Ro 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Christ is seated at the right hand of God. What do you mean by the right hand of God? God does not have hands and feet, the scripture is clear God is Spirit. The right hand of God is a symbol of the power and the authority.
The resurrection, ascension and seated at the right hand of the Father is the exaltation of Christ. From humility to exaltation.
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name.
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
Jesus was given power and authority over all creation.
Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
You may ask, didn’t Christ have power before he came to earth? Was he not God? Then why is it that only now the Father gives him the power and authority?
Although he was God he was born fully human. Christ ascended to heaven in his human nature. He has a glorified human body, a real glorified body. He is given this authority and power in his glorified human state.
Lu 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
This power is given to Christ as man, which he will execute by him as man.
Joh 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Christ rose in power and seated at the right hand of God. What is he doing at the right hand of God?
He is carrying the office of the mediator. It was necessary that the human nature, which was made from of the seed of David, should rise from the dead and reign. Christ as mediator is our brother who will continually intercede for us as an everlasting Priest after the order of Melchisedek.
Ro 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Just imagine if Christ did not rise from the dead who will intercede for us? Who will understand our weaknesses? We have a living mediator a living high priest in heaven that is interceding on your behalf to the Father.
The power of God is great! John Bunyan was a very poor man; his parents were very poor and could not afford a good education. He was a tinker; tinker was a man who repaired pans and kettles. Bunyan said, “I am no poet, nor poet’s son, I never went to school to Plato or Aristotle.” Education is good and education was meant to be an aid to preaching the gospel. But in many cases it had done much harm to the gospel.
The apostles were classified ignorant and unlearned men.
Ac 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
But the truth is they had been with Jesus. Yes, John Bunyan did not have Commentaries, Concordance, and Dictionaries but had only two books, the Bible and the Foxes book of martyrs. Many today are depending on the Pastor to teach or someone else but refuse to study on their own.
Eze 34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
Jesus said, “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you.” It was the power of the Holy Spirit that gave an education to the apostles, to people like Bunyan. The best-educated apostle was Paul, even him did not trust in his flesh.
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
It was the power of the Holy Spirit that gave them boldness to speak and to go forward with the gospel. It was the power of the Holy Spirit that gave men like Martin Luther, Calvin and the reformers to spread the gospel during the reformation.
Spurgeon said, “Let God send the fire of His Spirit here, and the minister will be more and more lost in his Master. You will come to think less of the speaker and more of the truth spoken.”
“Let God but send down the fire, and the biggest sinners
in the neighborhood will be converted; those who live in dens of infamy will be
changed; the drunkard will forsake his cups, the swearer will repent of his
blasphemy, the debauched will leave their lusts-
Dry bones be raised, and clothed afresh. And hearts of stone be turned to flesh.”
Where are the John Bunyan’s today, Where are the Haldane brothers, where are the Spurgeon’s? God help us.
Ro 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you…
How can God use you if you if you compromise with the world and gratify your flesh to worldly things. Those worldly things become more important than spiritual food.
(The following article was
edited with additions and
subtractions. The original author is unknown.)
It is said that Satan called a worldwide convention; and in his
opening address to all his evil angels, he said, "We can't keep
the real Christians from going to church services. We can't
keep them from reading their bibles and knowing the truth.
We can't even keep them from holding godly values. But we
can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding fellowship with
Christ. This is most critical for our cause, for if they have
intimate, abiding fellowship with Christ, then we can have no
power over them, and no chance of gaining strongholds in their
lives. Therefore, my evil comrades, this is what I want you to
do-- DISTRACT THEM!"
"But how shall we do this?" shouted one of his demons.
"Keep them busy in non-essentials of life! Invent unnumbered
schemes to occupy their minds. Tempt them to spend, spend,
spend and to borrow, borrow, borrow! Convince them to
work 6 and 7 days a week with both husbands and wives
working 10-12 hours per day, so they can afford their
lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children.
Let televisions, VCR's, CD's, video games, and movies baby-
sit their children. By these tactics alone, we will fragment
"Over stimulate their minds with high-energy sounds and
entertainment so that they cannot hear the still small voice of
our dread enemy, the Holy Spirit. Entice them to listen to
music and to watch programs, even many of the religious ones,
which will jam their minds with our agenda and our
philosophies. Flood their schedules with every kind of sports
activity you can imagine. They are especially gullible to these
kinds of tactics, since there is 'nothing wrong with them'!
Fill them with dread by pounding their minds with news and
weather reports 24 hours a day. Flood their mail and email
boxes with "stuff"; and have them pass trivia to and fro to one
another. Fill their minds with incredible amounts of sports
trivia. You see, my dark friends, we shall JAM THEIR
MINDS AND KEEP THEM FROM COMMUNION
"In their recreation, entice them to be excessive. Fill church
calendars with sports and recreation. Exhaust them, so that
they will be too tired for serious bible study and prayer.
Exhaust them so that they will have no time for Christian
hospitality. Exhaust them so that they will have no heart for
ministry to the lost. O evil one, our plan will cause them to
forget that the lost are lost! Keep them going to amusement
parks, sporting events, concerts and movies; keep them
consumed with the cares of this life! And when they do meet,
instead of spiritual fellowship, have them involved in gossip
and small talk and card games."
"And don't forget to crowd their lives with causes and events
that are 'good and acceptable'. Again, our strategy is to so
exhaust them that they have no time to feed their souls, or to
cultivate love for our dread enemy, Christ. Thus, they will
have no spiritual power over temptations, over habits, over
wrong attitudes and so much more. They will have less and less
discernment as to what is true and what is false, as to what
is good, and what is evil. They will not even suspect us!"
Well, as you can tell, it was quite a convention!
And the demons went eagerly to their assignments.
Can we judge the success of their convention? Yes!
Just give an honest answer to this one question--
Do you know any busy, busy, busy, exhausted Christians
who are running to and fro, who have knowledge about
many things, but have precious little time to sit at
Jesus' feet, and who are fast loosing their grip on peace
and holiness and love and purity and forgiveness, and
who have less and less time and heart for eternal things,
or for the souls of others (even their own children!)
Because their minds and hearts are jammed with
the things of this world?