Ok, Ok… I admit it. I’m a nerdy guy. It’s something I’m actually quite ok with. This is something that I have a little bit of fun with as well. This nerdy state of mind has even at times, found it’s way into my role as a pastor.
So, it’s time now that as a pastor I make a proper confession. I am a fan of superheroes. These famous fictional figures of comics and movies come in all shapes and sizes and with differing abilities…but each shaped to accomplish something phenomenal in their stories. But most of their abilities come out of narratives with tragedies or out of pure accidental occurrences.
There is something compelling to me about these fictional hero stories. And sometimes, it’s not just the heroes themselves that are so fascinating to me. You can notice in these stories the estate of those that the hero comes to save. Some have names and their own stories by the author, while others are just “extras” for greater impact. But they all find themselves…
- helpless and in a time of need.
- fearful of enemies that are stronger than themselves.
- uncertain of what to do or who to trust.
- having a view that those who they trusted to protect them are now unable to do so.
- the knowledge that something must does but also they knowledge that they lack a power necessary to accomplish it.
How does this relate to Christianity? How does this parallel or correspond to those that choose to follow Jesus? Well, the strange aspect that is so compelling is that this fictional world of make believe is actually not too different from our nonfictional reality. There may not be people flying around or super villains with strange powers…but we do know of the battle with darkness. The battle we wage is with the real struggles of the flesh, the world, and very real biblical enemy. That can seem like really bad news.
But there is some great news that goes along with the Gospel. The Scriptures reveal that when it comes having Life… We have a hero. We Have The Hero!
Even in those times when we feel so very weak, incapable, paralyzed, and/or defeated the Scripture declares that every disciple individually and the church collectively is never weak in the light Christ’s might and in light of the Gospel. In fact, in those times that we feel our weakest…something incredible is possible.
9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We have been sharing over the last few weeks about Life in Christ. The Scriptures paint the great picture about this topic. Life in Christ is about the gracious identity that comes from God which leads us toward a glorious outcome through God. We have been talking about how this Life In Christ is perceived through the Epistle of Ephesians which speaks about…
- the Blessings From God
- the Adoption Through God
- the Word Of God
- the Prayers To God
And this week we look more closely at what it means to know the Might of God in this life from God. We certainly declare what the Scripture reveals about our mighty rescuing God. This is central to who Christians are…they must trust in that God can and will save them.
“Faith is the gaze of the soul on a saving God” – A.W. Tozer
The Scripture brings this central truth about Jesus to light. In and only through Jesus Christ can we live in the light of the Hero that sovereignly, supremely, and supernaturally…
- saves us
- sustains us
- seals us
- sanctifies us
- solves us
And this all comes about by the power and might of God… So how do we apply this to our life as disciples individually and in the church collectively? Let’s read the Scripture from Ephesians 1:19-23
19 …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 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, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
It is so very important to learn from and study the Scriptures in their context. This is where we reap the greatest benefit and what leads to the deepest life transformation.
Now to gain understanding from the Scriptures… I encourage you to think about the Four Questions I address here.
So, what can we learn here in Ephesians?
We can take note of a few things here. The letter was written most likely as a circuit letter between 60-63 A.D. while the apostle Paul was in his 2nd (and final) imprisonment in Rome under the reign of Nero. He is writing to a multi-cultural, multi-generational church in the city of Ephesus. This is a church that Paul was continually receiving reports about their great loyalty to Christ and the display of their love to mankind. In this letter, Paul is trying to help the readers (listeners) understand their identity in Christ and the expected outcome of a disciple through Christ. He also wants them to understand the healthy practices of this life in and through Christ. But all of this is the result of God’s power at work throughout history and more personally the life of a believer.
As followers of Christ, we live in the light of…
I. His Demonstration of Strength
These things that Paul had been sharing with the Ephesian church were all about the demonstration of Christ’s kindness, Christ’s riches, and Christ’s strength. Everything that Paul had been pointing to in the opening lines of this letter pointed to the very character, nature, and ability of God.
This is not just the portrayal of Ephesians. Scripture is a repetitive demonstration of God’s strength.
- Creation by His very spoken words
- Providence over His covenant people
- Deliverance from slavery
- Preservation through miracles
The greatest overarching demonstration of God’s strength came at the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. This demonstration of Christ’s kindness and strength is never to be overlooked in the life of a disciple.
As followers of Jesus, we also live in the light of…
II. His Deliverance From Death
Paul declared this deliverance from death is God’s greatest declaration and demonstration toward mankind. It revealed Christ’s power over life and death. This shows that Jesus is the one who makes the impossible a possibility.
Look at this point in this way. If Jesus couldn’t fulfill the Scriptures, or overcome sin, or have victory over death…salvation would be impossible. Man would have no hope because man would have no Messiah. But Jesus does what man could not do. He makes the impossible, possible. And Jesus who was raised has sent the believer Himself in the Holy Spirit to dwell with us forever (Romans 8:11).
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Think about that.
Because Jesus fulfills the Scripture and lives in us… we can trust and obey the Scripture to accomplish the task we are put here for. We can have victory!
Because Jesus did overcome sin, we can have victory over sin as Christ reigns in us.
Because Jesus overcame death, we can now live with victory over death in this life.
As followers of Jesus, we live in the light of…
III. His Divine Authority
Paul wanted the church in Ephesus to understand and submit to the ultimate authority of Christ’s headship. This Divine Authority keeps us in check and reminds us of who we are in the light of who He is…
- He rules from the heavenly throne that is eternal and holy and sovereign.
- He rules far above any ruler, any authority, any power, and any dominion.
- He rules with a name far above any name in the ages past, present, or future.
There has never been anyone born that has or will ever have a greater authority than Jesus Christ.
When it comes to the disciple individually and church collectively…we belong to Jesus.
As followers of Jesus, we live in the light of being…
IV. His Devoted Followers
Paul shared that the church is the collection of individual disciples that all belong to Jesus. We are His servants (whether or not we are good ones is the choice before us). Those that have trusted Jesus for His grace alone by faith alone received what only Jesus could pay for and what He alone willingly provides.
Each disciple has a special place, purpose, and provision. And God provides the power, energy, might, and strength to bring about these purposes. We are not here by accident. We are here as the result of hearing and responding to God’s plans. And He is the Hero that both calls and empowers sidekicks.
But, these are only available to those who have graciously received the Gospel. But to those children of God who have believed and received the Gospel…God has revealed His might for abundant and meaningful Life in Christ.
By His Grace. Through His Gospel. For His Glory.
#FollowJesus and discover #LifeInChrist
The topics discussed are taken from the sermons during the Worship Gathering at Eastgate Baptist.
To listen to this sermon or other past messages…please go to this link.