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hope for churches in stress

The Same Mighty Power

In the first chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul piles up four synonyms for power to communicate the enormity of the power that raised Jesus from the dead. Then he makes the astounding assertion that the same mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead is now directed toward us who believe:

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20, NLB).

If we can in any way conceive what happened just before dawn nearly 2,000 years ago, when a massive burst of cosmic power transmuted Jesus’ lifeless body into a glorious resurrection body, that same immense power, Paul declares, is now focused on us.

And this immense power is accomplishing the same thing: it is raising us from the dead, not all at once, like Jesus, but incrementally, one step (or phase) of new life at a time.

Heart. At the moment we trust Jesus Christ as Savior, the power of the resurrection bursts into our heart. Jesus gives us a heart transplant, so to speak. In the prophetic description of Ezekiel, Jesus turns our stone-cold heart into a warm, beating, spiritual heart (Ezekiel 11:19); and the living, life-changing water of the Spirit bursts forth into the wilderness of our old life (John 7:38; Ezekiel 47:1-12).

Life. From that time on, the Holy Spirit works to rout out the remnants of our old life. We will experience some dramatic victories. There will be some drawn-out battles. Either way, the same enormous power that raised Jesus from the dead will be propelling us toward new, transformed life in Christ (Ephesians 3:14-21).

Eternal Body. And when our allotted years on earth are complete, the mighty resurrection power of God will sweep us into heaven. All that remains will be a shell, the physical body we have lived in for a time. Our heart and spirit and mind will be gone, newly encased, in Paul's words, in a new, glorious, imperishable body--just like Jesus' resurrection body (1 Corinthians 15:12-58).

When we trust Jesus as Savior, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead surges into us—to give us a new heart, a new life, and one day a new eternal body.

All this because Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!

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