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                     "GODíS POWER TOWARD BELIEVERS"

                             Ephesians 1:19

INTRODUCTION

1. In Ep 1:15-23, Paulís prayer for the Ephesians is they increase their
   understanding concerning...
   a. "the hope of His calling"
   b. "the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints"
   c. "the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe"

2. Each of the three are intriguing, but consider the third...
   a. What kind of power is Paul writing about?
   b. How is this power manifested toward believers in Christ?

[This lesson will endeavor to answer such questions.  Letís begin by
looking at...]

I. THE NATURE OF GODíS POWER TOWARD BELIEVERS

   A. THE SAME POWER WORKED IN CHRIST...
      1. When God raised Him from the dead! - Ep 1:19-20
      2. When God exalted Christ to sit at His right hand! - Ep 1:20
      3. When God put all things in subjection to Christ! - Ep 1:21-23

   B. LET THIS TRUTH SINK IN...
      1. The same power which gave life to a crucified Man
         a. Exalted Him to the highest position possible in the universe
         b. Subjected everything in heaven and earth to His authority
      2. Has been manifested toward us who believe in Christ!  How can
         that be?
         a. Have we been raised from the dead?
         b. Have we been exalted to the right hand of God?

[As we read further into Paulís epistle to the Ephesians, we learn more
about...]

II. GODíS POWER IN OUR CONVERSION

   A. WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SIN... - Ep 2:1-3
      1. As such, we walked (lived) according to:
         a. "the course (manner) of this world"
         b. "the prince (Satan) of the power of the air"
         c. "the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience"
      2. As such, we conducted our lives:
         a. "in the lusts of the flesh"
         b. "fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind"
         c. "by nature children of wrath, just as the others"

   B. WE WERE MADE ALIVE IN CHRIST... - Ep 2:4-5
      1. Though dead in trespasses, God made us alive by His grace in
         Christ!
      2. Paul explains where and when this happened, elsewhere  - cf.
         Col 2:12-13; Tit 3:3-8
      3. I.e., in baptism we who were dead were made alive together with
         Christ! - Ro 6:1-7
      4. Saved by the grace of God! - Ep 2:5

   C. WE WERE EXALTED TO SIT WITH CHRIST... - Ep 2:6
      1. "raised us up together and made us sit together"
      2. "in the heavenly places (the spiritual realm) in Christ Jesus"
      3. We now sit together with Christ, who is seated at Godís right
         hand - cf. Ep 1:20

   D. LET THIS WONDERFUL TRUTH SINK IN...
      1. The power that gave Christ life
         a. Seated Him at the right hand of God
         b. Exalted Him above all others
      2. Is the same power that raised us from spiritual death!
         a. Gave us new life!
         b. Exalted us to be with Christ in the spiritual realm!
      3. No lesser power could have made us alive, after being dead in
         sin
         a. It took divine power for Christ to be raised and exalted
         b. So it took divine power for us to be given new life!
         c. Both acts required Godís creative power! - cf. Ep 2:10; 2Co
            5:17

[In every conversion, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is
exercised toward one who obeys the gospel of Christ (cf. Ro 1:16; 1Pe
1:22-23).  But there is more...]

III. GODíS POWER IN CHRISTIAN LIVING

   A. THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF GOD...
      1. Given to the Christian as a guarantee - Ep 1:13-14; cf. 2Co
         1:22; 5:5
      2. Through whom God strengthens us in the inner man - Ep 3:16; cf.
         Ro 8:12-13; 15:13
      3. With power beyond our comprehension - Ep 3:20-21
      4. Enabling us to produce the fruit of the Spirit - cf. Ga 5:22-23

   B. THROUGH THE ARMOR OF GOD...
      1. To be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might - Ep
         6:10
      2. To withstand the wiles of the devil, the spiritual forces of
         evil - Ep 6:11-12
      3. To stand strong, armed with truth, righteousness, the gospel of
         peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God and prayer - Ep 6:13-18

CONCLUSION

1. Do we appreciate the greatness of Godís power toward those who
   believe...?
   a. Thanking Him for what He did in our conversion?
   b. Looking to Him for what He can do for us in our Christian living?

2. We will be more appreciative, if we always remember...
   a. The same power that raised and exalted Jesus
   b. Is exercised toward those who believe, in their conversion and
      their new life in Christ!

   "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of
   His might."
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