Vol. 14 No. 34
Eph 1:19, “And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.”
This verse continues the prayer of Paul for the Church as he prays for the sixth thing he desires God the Father to give to them.
In vs. 17 he prayed for the Father to give them:
1. A spirit of wisdom,
2. A revelation in the knowledge of Him.
In vs. 18 he prayed for the Father to:
3. Enlighten the eyes of their heart, so that they will,
4. Know (OIDA) what is the hope of His calling, and
5. Know (OIDA) what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
Now in the first half of vs. 19 he prays for the Father to allow them to:
6. know (OIDA) what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
“Surpassing greatness” is the Present, Active Participle of the verb HUPERBALLO with the Noun MEGETHOS.
HUPERBALLO, ὑπερβάλλω means, “Surpass, excel or exceed.” It is a compound word from the Preposition HUPER that means, “over, above, excess, superiority, etc.” and BALLO that means, “to throw or cast.” We could also say, “beyond our imagination,” as in Eph 3:20.
MEGETHOS, μέγεθος is from MEGAS that means, “large or great,” so MEGETHOS means, “greatness.”
These two are used to double emphasize the nature of God, in this case His, “power,” DUMAMIS that means, “inherent ability, power, might, strength, ability, capability, or force.” It speaks to God’s essence, His omnipotence, being the all-powerful One.
This power ascribe to God, views Him as the Creator who governs history, where His DUNAMIS is especially present in His redeeming acts in history which are exercised for the sake of His people. That is why the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the great demonstration of God’s power in the N.T., which will be noted in the last half of this passage and in vs. 20, cf. Acts 2:24. This power is further explained in the remaining passages of this chapter, vs. 20-23. So it is the power / authority to rule.
This surpassing greatness of God’s power is said to be, “toward us who believe,” EIS HEMEIS HO PISTEUO.
Therefore, Paul wants the believer to know dogmatically that this power of God is available in their life. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that is available to you and I, each and every day, as we face the various trials, tribulations and challenges that life and Satan’s cosmic system throw at us.
Then in the second half of this passage Paul uses three other Greek words to further explain the power of God that is available to us, “These (the previous intercessory petitions for the Church) are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.”
Along with DUNAMIS he explains just how much power is available to the believer. As he uses three other Greek terms in this verse.
“Working” which is ENERGEIA ἐνέργεια from which we get the word “energy” and denotes, “operative power.”
“Strength,” which is KRATOS, κράτος that means, “strength, power, might, dominion, or authority.” It refers to His “manifested strength.”
“Might,” the last power word in the verse is ISCHUS, ἰσχύς that means, “strength, power, might, or forcefulness” with the idea of “power as an endowment or the possession of power.” It is used to describe “great exertion or force.” In our passage and Eph 6:10, it is used to laud the “incomparably great power (DUNAMIS)” that is available to the believer.
So we see that God the Father has for us:
1) Power – DUNAMIS – having inherent strength which is the authority to rule, as God is Sovereign and Omnipotent He has the authority and ability to rule.
2) Energy to Work – ENERGEIA from which we get the word “energy” and denotes God’s “operative power.”
3) Strength – KRATOS that means force, might or dominion that is God’s “manifested power.” As He has all authority to rule, His power will be real, seen, heard, felt, and perfect.
4) Might – ISCHUS tell us that God is endowed with or possesses power which He applies towards mankind in all that He does. He has all the power necessary and all the ability to do what His Sovereignty is able to do.
We are exhorted in Eph 6:10 to be empowered (ENDUNAMOO) ourselves as we rely upon the “strength of His might,” KRATOS ISCHUS. This is part of our “Riches in Christ.”
5) Another word for the “power” of God that is available for the believer which is not used here but is alluded to in vs. 21 is, “authority,” which is EXOUSIA, ἐξουσία that means “authority, right or power.” It means “power or authority to do a thing.” It is freedom to act, right to act, power over, license in a thing, an office, magistracy, or place or body of authority. Therefore, God has the authority of the throne of rulership and the office to officiate over all of creation. This emphasizes God’s Sovereignty as well as His Omnipotence.
In summary, to explain how much power is available to believers, the apostle Paul employs five different Greek terms in the book of Ephesians:
1) DUNAMIS (noun), “inherent ability, capability, potential.”
2) ENERGEIA (noun), “operative power.”
3) KRATOS (noun), “manifested power.”
4) ISCHUS (noun), “possession of power to overcome.”
5) EXOUSIA (noun), “power, authority or freedom to do a thing.”
Eph 1:20, “Which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
Here we see the greatness of God’s power (DUNAMIS), that He has used (ENERGEIA) in demonstration (KRATOS) for us and the world, is His right and justly applied power (ISCHUS) to resurrect Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the greatest demonstration of God’s all-encompassing and infinite power.
What greater thing could demonstrate God’s power than to take a dead and lifeless body and give it life once again? That is power and ability far beyond the capability of man or angels.
“Which He brought about” uses the Greek verb ENERGEO, (that formed the noun ENERGEIA), in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, which means that God has, “acted, worked, operated, effected or accomplished.” It is the English idea “to energize” in the sense of “to set at work.” We noted this word in vs. 11. Here we see that God “operated” through Jesus Christ by resurrecting Him “to effect” salvation for all of mankind.
This example of Christ’s resurrection is given to us so that the believer would have the confidence that God is able to “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works (ENERGEŌ) in us,” Eph 3:20.
Likewise, James wrote that “the prayer of a righteous man has great power (ISCHUO) in its effects (ENERGEO),” James 5:16. The emphasis is upon the “effectiveness” of prayer as God hears and answers our prayers, not that a prayer is “effective.” A similar sense of ENERGEO is seen in Heb 4:12 where the related noun form ENERGES occurs: “For the word of God is living and active,” i.e., “alive and powerful, (ENERGES).”
This great working of God was brought about “in Christ,” EN HO CHRISTOS, when God did two things:
1) “When He raised Him from the dead,” EGEIRO AUTOS EK NEKROS.
EGEIRO, ἐγείρω means, “raise, be raised, rise, appear, wake up, arouse!” In classical Greek the word is used for three basic ideas:
a) “to awaken, stir up, rouse,”
b) “to set up, erect,”
c) “to raise, raise (the dead),” and intransitively, “to rise (from the dead).”
It is synonymous with ANISTEMI, where we also get the word ANASTASIS from, which is used for the resurrection. So here EGEIRO is used for the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead by God the Father.
2) “Seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” KATHIZO EN AUTOS DEXIOS EN HO EROURANIOS.
Here the main word is the verb KATHIZO, καθίζω that means, “Sit, sit down, set down, or appoint.” It is used in the Aorist, Active, Indicative, which views the past action of God the Father seating Jesus Christ at His right hand, in its entirety, as a dogmatic fact of reality. We call this the session of Jesus Christ.
Both of these actions demonstrate for us the ability and sovereignty of God Father in the exercise of His power and authority. We will note both doctrines
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1. There are two returns from the dead.
a) Resuscitation that means a person returns from the dead in a body of corruption and eventually dies again; e.g., Lazarus, Paul, two boys in the Old Testament, the two witnesses (Elijah and Moses) during the Tribulation.
b) Resurrection means a person returns from the dead in a body of incorruption and never dies again.
2. Therefore, resurrection is rising again from the dead in a human body, and never again being subject to death. It is the beginning of eternity for the person.
3. We will have a resurrection body like Christ’s, but not all resurrection bodies will look alike, 1 Cor 15:40-41, 1 John 3:2. There are different types of resurrection bodies depending on your success or failure in the Christian life and your attitude toward doctrine.
4. Resurrection is a N.T. doctrine. While it is mentioned in the Old Testament, it did not occur historically until the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union terminated with the resurrection, ascension and session of the humanity of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the first member of the human race to be resurrected, 1 Cor 15:20. The great power experiment of the Church Age will terminate in the resurrection or Rapture of the Church.
B. Why was our Lord Resurrected? Resurrection is the Lord’s Victory, 1 Cor 15:55-56.
1 Cor 15:55, (quote from Hos 13:14), “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.”
The only victory is God’s victory demonstrated through resurrection. Death has no victory! The sting of death is the Sin Nature in man as a result of Adam’s original sin and the imputation and judgment of our sins in the Lord Jesus Christ by God the Father. Sin’s power is defined in the Mosaic Law, 1 Tim 1:8-10.
1 Tim 1:8-11, “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.”
Our Lord was raised from the dead to proclaim the victory won at the Cross over sin and death. As a result of that victory, all of mankind could share in His victory through resurrection and not be held under the bondage of sin and death. Our Lord died for us and was raised for us to win the strategic victory of the angelic conflict over sin and death so that we could share in His victory and too receive resurrection and eternal life. This is understood in the doctrine of Positional Truth that tells us only those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior will receive resurrection to eternal life. All unbelievers will be raised to eternal death, the second death, the Lake of Fire, Rev 20:13-15
The fact that you sin after salvation does not prevent you from dying and going to heaven and receiving a resurrection body. It is like being alive, but being unhealthy or ill. You do not feel well when you sin, but you are still born again and going to heaven.
C. Resurrection and the Omnipotence of God.
1) The power that sustained the humanity of Christ on the Cross and gave Him the endurance to bear our sins and then raise Him from the dead after being in the tomb for three days, is the same power delegated and made available to every Church Age believer for the fulfillment of the Plan of God for our lives and our resurrection.
2) The omnipotence of God is delegated, distributed and made available to every Church Age believer for the utilization of tactical victories of the angelic conflict, which is the fulfillment of the Plan of God, the function of the unique spiritual life and the lifestyle of wisdom, resulting in spiritual maturity and glorification of God in this intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict. The Royal Family of God is designed and empowered to glorify God. This becomes the highest destiny ever given to any group of believers in any dispensation!
3) In physical death, our Lord Jesus Christ had a trichotomous separation. Just as our Lord’s spiritual death was unique: He was judged for all of our sins, so His physical death was unique: He had a trichotomous separation.
- His body went into the grave, Luke 23:50-53.
- His human spirit went into the presence of God the Father in the third heaven, Luke 23:46; John 19:30.
- His human soul went into the first compartment of Hades, Paradise, where all the Old Testament believers resided until the resurrection of Christ, Luke 23:43, Acts 2:27-31, Eph 4:9.
Eph 4:9, “(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?”
After His physical death upon the Cross, our Lord’s body was in the grave for three days and three nights, Mat 12:40; 26:61; 27:63; Mark 9:31; 10:34; Luke 23:53-56, clearly document this.
When the work of salvation was finished, our Lord said to the Father, “Father, into Your hands I dismiss My spirit,”Luke 23:46, and His human spirit went into the presence of the Father.
He said to the dying thief in Luke 23:43, “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” His soul went into Paradise, a compartment of Hades.
When we die, our soul and spirit go into the presence of the Lord in heaven, accompanied by Christ who indwells us. For we are said to be “absent from the body and face to face with the Lord,” 2 Cor 5:8 w/ 1 Cor 13:12. So there is no splitting up of the soul and the spirit in the death of the believer. But our Lord’s physical death was unique.
Psa 16:10 prophesied our Lord’s resurrection, “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.” Cf. Acts 2:27-32; Eph 4:9.
While He was there, according to 1 Pet 3:18‑21, the Holy Spirit guarded the soul of our Lord in Hades. And by means of the Spirit, the soul of our Lord went down to Tartarus, where He made the victorious proclamation to certain fallen angels.
God the Father is said to be the agent of the resurrection, He raised Him from the dead. Eph 1:20; Col 2:12; 1 Thes 1:10; Rom 6:4; 1 Peter 1:21; Heb 13:20.
But Scripture also says the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead, Acts 2:24; Rom 1:4; 8:11; 1 Peter 3:18. So God the Holy Spirit is also the agent of the resurrection.
The omnipotence of the Father sent our Lord’s human spirit through billions and billions of light years of space to His body in the tomb. Simultaneously, the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit returned His human soul from Hades to His body. Now rejoined in the resurrection body, our Lord walked through the stone in His resurrected body. Later on, an angel rolled away the stone so that the world could see and verify the resurrection.
The conclusion is: the power that resurrected Christ is now made available to all human beings from the omnipotence of God the Father and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, Eph 1:20; Acts 2:31; Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 13:4..
In Acts 2:31 Peter said, “He (David) looking ahead spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that He was neither abandoned in Hades nor did His flesh see decay.”
Rom 6:4, “Therefore, we have been buried with Him (Christ) through baptism into death (baptism of the Spirit) in order that, as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
2 Cor 13:4, “For indeed He was crucified because of weakness (ours), yet He lives because of the power of God.”
That is why Paul said in Phil 3:10, “That I may come to know Him and the power of His resurrection.”
The fact of resurrection is based upon the existence of the empty tomb and the competency of the witnesses. They knew Jesus Christ well and could not be deceived. They would rather die than change their testimony about the resurrection. This is historical accuracy and competency of witnesses. The subsequent change in the disciples after the resurrection also indicates the validity of the resurrection. Before His death they were afraid, and discouraged, and after His death the same thing continued.
Yet after His resurrection, they were joyous and fearless. The existence of the day of Pentecost and the first sermon ever preached in the Church Age was a sermon on resurrection. The observation of the first day of the week, called the Lord’s Day, is to commemorate Christ’s resurrection day. The very existence of the Christian church logically depends upon the resurrection.
D. The Nature of the Resurrection.
Jesus Christ in His resurrection body still had the scars from the nail prints in His hands and feet as prophesied in Psa 22:16; Zech 12:10. He also retained the scars of the wound in His side, John 20:20, 25-29.
Jesus Christ was recognized by His disciples as the one who died and rose again. This was attested to in 17 different appearances. After His resurrection He could eat, Luke 24:41-43, although He did not depend upon food to sustain Him.
Christ had a true body in which His resurrection body could:
- Be felt, Mat 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:17.
- Breath, John 20:22.
- Possess flesh and bones, Luke 24:39-40.
- Walk through an open door, but could also walk through a closed door, Luke 24:36; John 20:19.
- Move horizontally or vertically at unlimited speed and is capable of unlimited space travel, Acts 1:9.
- Disappear at will, Luke 24:31.
Jesus Christ appeared to His disciples in His resurrection body many times during the short time He was on the earth after the resurrection.
E. The Doctrine of the Two Resurrections.
The Doctrine of the two resurrections is pertinent and important to us. There are two resurrections, not one, John 5:24-29; Dan 12:2; Rev 20:6, 13.
1) The first resurrection involves the Lord Jesus Christ and believers only. The first resurrection is divided into four parts. This is comparable to a battalion review in 1 Cor 15, “every man in his own order, (TAGMA).”
TAGMA, τάγμα means, “something ordered, arranged; class, corps, division, group.” It is a noun often used in ancient Greek with a military connotation. It is related to the verb TASSO, which means, “to order,” sometimes of a battle. Therefore, in classical Greek it can refer to a corps, division, battalion, or some specific group of soldiers. Polybius (Second Century B.C.) used this term in the sense of military personnel being arranged in some orderly fashion. This type of usage can be traced as far back as the time of Xenophon in the Fourth Century B.C. The word can also be used of any order or arrangement.
Paul used it, by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, to indicate the order of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and all believers throughout human history, which is called the first resurrection, Rev 20:5-6.
- Alpha company, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the first-fruits. He is resurrected and seated at the right hand of the Father, Acts 26:23; Rom 1:4; 1 Cor 15:23; 1 Thes 1:10; 2 Thes 2:8; 1 Peter 1:3.
- Bravo company is the Rapture of the Church, 1 Cor 15:51-57; 1 Thes 4:16-18.
- Charlie company is the resurrection of Old Testament saints and Tribulational martyrs. They are resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, Dan 12:13; Isa 26:19-20; Rev 20:4.
- Delta company is made up of the Millennial saints and those who survive the Tribulation to enter the Millennium in physical bodies, Rev 20:5.
This is the TAGMA of the first resurrection. (See Charts)
2) The second resurrection occurs at one time at the end of the Millennium. This is the resurrection of all unbelievers in Hades and on earth where they are cast into the Lake of Fire, called the Second Death, John 5:28-29; Rev 20:12-15; 2 Peter 3:7; Mat 25:41; Mark 9:47-49.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson #’s:
15-100 through 15-102
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life; to accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!