The exceeding greatness of his power - As the apostle is here speaking of the glorious state of believers after death, the exceeding greatness of his power, or that power which surpasses all difficulties, being itself omnipotent, is to be understood of that might which is to be exerted in raising the body at the last day; as it will require the same power or energy which he wrought in Christ, when he raised his body from the grave, to raise up the bodies of all mankind; the resurrection of the human nature of Christ being a proof of the resurrection of mankind in general.
According to the working of his mighty power - Κατα την ενεργειαν του κρατους της ισχυος αυτου· According to the energy of the power of his might. We may understand these words thus: Might, ισχυς, is the state or simple efficiency of this attribute in God; Power, κρατος, is this might or efficiency in action; Energy, ενεργεια, is the quantum of force, momentum, or velocity, with which the power is applied. Though they appear to be synonymous terms they may be thus understood: passive power is widely different from power in action; and power in action will be in its results according to the energy or momentum with which it is applied. The resurrection of the dead is a stupendous work of God; it requires his might in sovereign action; and when we consider that all mankind are to be raised and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, then the momentum, or velocity, with which the power is to be applied must be inconceivably great. All motion is in proportion to the quantity of matter in the mover, and the velocity with which it is applied. The effect here is in proportion to the cause and the energy he puts forth in order to produce it. But such is the nature of God's power in action, that it is perfectly inconceivable to us; and even these astonishingly strong words of the apostle are to be understood as used in condescension to human weakness.
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power - On the language used here, compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 4:17. There is much emphasis and energy of expression here, as if the apostle were laboring under the greatness of his theme, and wanted words to express the magnitude of his conception. This is the “third” thing which he was particularly desirous they should know - that they should be fully acquainted with the “power” of God in the salvation of people. He refers not merely to the power which he had evinced in their salvation, but also to what the gospel was “able” to accomplish, and which they might yet experience. The “power” referred to here as exercised toward believers does not refer to one thing merely. It is the whole series of the acts of power toward Christians which results from the work of the Redeemer. There was power exerted in their conversion. There would be power exerted in keeping them. There would be power in raising them up from the dead, and exalting them with Christ to heaven. The religion which they professed was a religion of “power.” In all the forms and stages of it the power of God was manifested toward them, and would be until they reached their final inheritance.
To us-ward - Toward us, or in relation to us.
Who believe - Who are Christians.
According to the working of his mighty power - Margin, The might of his power. This should be taken with the clause in the following verse, “which he wrought in Christ;” and the meaning is, that the power which God has exerted in us is in accordance with the power which was shown in raising up the Lord Jesus. It was the proper result of that, and was power of a similar kind. The same power is requisite to convert a sinner which is demanded in raising the dead. Neither will be accomplished but by omnipotence (see the notes, Ephesians 2:5); and the apostle wished that they should be fully apprised of this fact, and of the vast “power” which God had put forth in raising them up from the death of sin. To illustrate this sentiment is one of his designs in the following verses; and, hence, he goes on to show that people before their conversion were “dead in trespasses and sins;” that they had no spiritual life; that they were the “children of wrath;” that they were raised up from their death in sin by the same power which raised the Lord Jesus from the grave, and that they were wholly saved by grace; Ephesians 2:1-10. In order to set this idea of the “power” which God had put forth in their regeneration in the strongest light, he goes into a magnificent description of the resurrection and exaltation of the Lord Jesus, and shows how that was connected with the renewing of Christians. God had set him over all things. He had put all things under his feet, and had made principalities and dominions everywhere subject to him. In this whole passage Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 2:1-10, the main thing to be illustrated is the power which God has shown in renewing and saving his people; and the leading sentiment is, that the same power is evinced in that which was required to raise up the Lord Jesus from the dead, and to exalt him over the universe.
Often the Christian life is beset with dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before, and bondage and death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly, Go forward. Let us obey the command, even though our sight cannot penetrate the darkness. The obstacles that hinder our progress will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Those who defer obedience till every uncertainty disappears, and there remains no risk of failure or defeat, will never obey. Faith looks beyond the difficulties, and lays hold of the unseen, even Omnipotence, therefore it cannot be baffled. Faith is the clasping of the hand of Christ in every emergency. GW 262.1
The worker for God needs strong faith. Appearances may seem forbidding; but in the darkest hour there is light beyond. The strength of those who, in faith, love and serve God, will be renewed day by day. The understanding of the Infinite is placed at their service, that in carrying out His purposes they may not err. Let these workers hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end, remembering that the light of God's truth is to shine amid the darkness that enshrouds our world. GW 262.2
There is to be no despondency in connection with God's service. The faith of the consecrated worker is to stand every test brought upon it. God is able and willing to bestow upon His servants all the strength they need, and to give them the wisdom that their varied necessities demand. He will more than fulfil the highest expectations of those who put their trust in Him. GW 262.3Read in context »
The father hurries on to greet his son. He clasps him to his heart as one restored from the dead, and thanks God again and again for this wonderful restoration. DA 200.1
The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry. DA 200.2
He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love. DA 200.3Read in context »
This is the experience needed by those who labor in all our institutions. There is danger that they will fail of maintaining a vital connection with God, of being sanctified through the truth. It is thus that they lose a sense of the power of the truth, lose the ability to discriminate between the sacred and the common. 7T 154.1
My brethren in responsible positions, may the Lord not only anoint your eyes that they may see, but pour into your hearts the holy oil that from the two olive branches flows through the golden pipes into the golden bowl which feeds the lamps of the sanctuary. May He “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 is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19. 7T 154.2
As faithful householders, give meat in due season to the household of God. Present truth to the people. Work as if in full view of the whole universe of heaven. We have no time to lose—not a moment. Important issues must soon be met, and we need to be hidden in the cleft of the rock, that we may see Jesus and be quickened by His Holy Spirit. 7T 154.3Read in context »
All the paternal love which has come down from generation to generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to the boundless ocean when compared with the infinite, exhaustless love of God. Tongue cannot utter it; pen cannot portray it. You may meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love and compassion of the heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity beyond. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more. And it will be ours to realize the blessing which Paul desired for the Ephesian church when he prayed “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 usward who believe.” 5T 740.1
It is Satan's constant study to keep the minds of men occupied with those things which will prevent them from obtaining the knowledge of God. He seeks to keep them dwelling upon what will darken the understanding and discourage the soul. We are in a world of sin and corruption, surrounded by influences that tend to allure or dishearten the followers of Christ. The Saviour said: “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Many fix their eyes upon the terrible wickedness existing around them, the apostasy and weakness on every side, and they talk of these things until their hearts are filled with sadness and doubt. They keep uppermost before the mind the masterly working of the archdeceiver and dwell upon the discouraging features of their experience, while they seem to lose sight of the heavenly Father's power and His matchless love. All this is as Satan would have it. It is a mistake to think of the enemy of righteousness as clothed with so great power, when we dwell so little upon the love of God and His might. We must talk of the mightiness of Christ. We are utterly powerless to rescue ourselves from the grasp of Satan; but God has appointed a way of escape. The Son of the Highest has strength to fight the battle for us, and “through Him that loved us” we may come off “more than conquerors.” 5T 740.2
There is no spiritual strength for us in constantly brooding over our weakness and backslidings, and bemoaning the power of Satan. This great truth must be established as a living principle in our minds and hearts—the efficacy of the offering made for us; that God can and does save to the uttermost all who come unto Him complying with the conditions specified in His word. Our work is to place our will on the side of God's will. Then, through the blood of the atonement, we become partakers of the divine nature; through Christ we are children of God, and we have the assurance that God loves us even as He loved His Son. We are one with Jesus. We walk where Christ leads the way; He has power to dispel the dark shadows which Satan casts across our path; and, in place of darkness and discouragement, the sunlight of His glory shines into our hearts. 5T 741.1Read in context »