(This message was delivered on “Easter Sunday, 2013.) As detailed in Lesson Two on “Ephesus – The Great City,” riches, glory and power were proudly on display in Ephesus. Much of the success and splendor of the city was credited by the residents to the goddess Artemis. However, the Apostle Paul wanted the Ephesian believers to know that the power at work in the gospel and in their lives was vastly superior to that claimed for Artemis. Today we want to see that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead was the power at work in their (and now our) lives!
Acts 19:34 – “…they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
- The crowds in Ephesus would whip themselves into a frenzy of devotion, shouting for 2 hours the chant, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
- But Paul wants the believers in Ephesus to know that there is only one real God, and He is the one who:
- Had and still is exhibiting His mighty power for and among his people
- Had and still is bestowing immeasurable riches upon his people
- All His mighty works, grace and mercy is all to His glory!
- And at the center of all He is doing is His work in raising Jesus from the dead – Ephesians 1:18-23
THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION:
- Let’s dissect Paul’s prayer a in 1:16-23
- “know” (eido) 1:18 – to see, perceive, understand
- know the hope of His calling
- know the riches of His inheritance
- knowing the surpassing greatness of His power toward us (NASB);
- “surpassing” (NASB), “immeasurable” (ESV), “incomparably” (NIV) – huperballo
- “greatness” (megethos) – magnitude
- God’s incomparably great power:
- raised Jesus from the dead
- seated Him at His own right hand
- above all rule and power and authority, both now in the age to come
- put all things in subjection under His feet
- gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body…
- That same power made us alive even though dead in sin – 2:6
- And saved us by grace through faith – 2:8
- And has declared us to be His masterpiece (workmanship)! – 2:10
- That same power was at work in Paul’s calling – 3:7
- He was made a minister by the calling of God’s grace according to His power
- Grace given to him to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ – 3:8
- And make known the manifold wisdom of God
- 3:20 – “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us”
- 3:21 – “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.”
Are you enjoying our series on “Riches Beyond Measure”? You can always contact us at email@example.com.
Our image is “Temple of Diana at Ephesus” by Fedinand Knab (1886). It is in the public domain and available on Wikimedia Commons.