The greatness of his power 1:19-20
When reflecting on the greatness of God’s power we can rightly consider the wonders of creation or dramatic miracles such as the holding back of the Red Sea. But what does it mean when Paul writes of the, ‘immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe’? Are we about to be blown off our feet? He is speaking of resurrection power. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead. This is the power to overcome the power of sin in our lives and to conquer death. We know from our personal experience how powerless we are to overcome sin from will power alone. Our will is to sin even when we know it is wrong in God’s sight. Elsewhere Paul speaks of his own internal battle with his will to sin following his conversion. Prior to that Paul was set on a dedicated path of sin believing the sin he was pursuing was in fact righteousness. While Paul’s sin was a direct hostility to Christ and his followers the same principle applies to all prior to trusting in Jesus. The natural inclination of humanity is to make ourselves our God and in that way we reject him. Jesus repeatedly warned his followers and the crowd about this. He warned about setting wealth, pride, race and status as one’s God. We repeatedly see the harm worked out in contemporary life and history as the pursuit of these become the goals of the rich and powerful. The apostles in their letters warned the church to not let such world views creep into church life and those warnings are as necessary now as then. Paul in 1 Timothy cautions, ‘But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.’ 1 Timothy 6:9 How then is it possible to live a God pleasing life enjoying a relationship with him? Only through the same power that raised Jesus from the dead also working in our lives. The understanding of this is beyond a mental acknowledgement, it is the work of the Spirit within us.