The Berean Expositor
Volume 8 - Page 83 of 141
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Studies in the Epistles of the Mystery.
The Exceeding Greatness of the Power (Eph. 1: 19-23).
pp. 17-19
We have passed under review two of the three petitions of this prayer, and we now are
to consider the third, that which concerns power. Creation testifies to the power of God.
Jer. 10: 12 says, "He hath made the earth by His power", and Rom. 1: 20 tells us that the
creation teaches "that which may be known of God, . . . . even His eternal power and
Godhead". Redemption also speaks of His power (Exod. 32: 11; Deut. 4: 37; 9: 29;
I Cor. 1: 24). Power enters largely into the ascriptions of praise in the Revelations (4: 11;
5: 12;  7: 12;  19: 1).  Ephesians, however, brings before us a power which is
"exceeding great".  We are not only to learn of its greatness, but of its exceeding
greatness. The word "exceeding" always indicates something well-nigh beyond our
understanding. The "exceeding" glory of the new covenant was so great that the glory of
the old was nullified by comparison (II Cor. 3: 10).  Eph. 3: 19 speaks of the
knowledge-exceeding love of Christ. The power contemplated in Eph. 1: 19, 20 is that
of resurrection. "The strength of death" is for the time held by the devil (Heb. 2: 14), but
a stronger than he has triumphed: the gates of Hades did not prevail against Him.
The special point of the petition, however, is that we may know "the exceeding
greatness of His power towards us". Not only have we the hope of His calling to
encourage us, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance to ravish our hearts, but we
also have the exceeding greatness of His power as our ever constant possession, it is "to
usward who believe", and it is "according to the energy of the strength of His might
which He energized in Christ in raising Him out from the dead ones, and having seated
Him at His own right hand in the super-heavenlies". The practical section of Ephesians
shows the use of this power, this strength, this might, for speaking of the believer's
spiritual conflict chapter 6: says, "Finally, be empowering yourselves in the Lord, and
in the strength of His might". The apostle who wrote these words knew from personal
experience the reality of this resurrection power that was "to us-ward who believe"; his
own weak body he likens to an earthen vessel, that the excellency of the power may be
manifestly of God (II Cor. 4: 7). The power wielded by the apostle in the discharge of
his onerous duties was this same mighty power. Christ was crucified in weakness, yet He
lives by the power of God, and Paul says, "We indeed are weak in Him, but we shall live
with Him by God's power" (II Cor. 13: 4). When the apostle knew this weakness (the
weakness of Christ crucified), then he knew also the power of Christ risen. It is in this
connection that he could say, "When I am weak, then am I strong", and knew that "power
is perfect in weakness", and desired even at the cost of weakness that "the power of
Christ might tabernacle upon him" (II Cor. 12: 9). He could even say that he had been
crucified with Christ, and the life that he lived in the flesh he lived by faith of the Son of
God (Gal. 2: 20). For members of the body of the risen Christ, resurrection power alone
was possible and needful, for those who were blessed with all spiritual blessings in the
super-heavenlies in Christ, the exceeding greatness of resurrection power was essential.
With this and by this their life had begun, for were they not DEAD in trespasses and in
sins?  And had they not been RAISED and SEATED together with Him in the