Ephesians 1:19
and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. He displayed this power in the working of His mighty strength,
Sermons
The Measure of Immeasurable PowerAlexander MaclarenEphesians 1:19
The Power of God in SalvationT. Croskery Ephesians 1:19
Apostolic PhilanthropyD. Thomas Ephesians 1:15-23
Paul's First Prayer for the EphesiansR.M. Edgar Ephesians 1:15-23
Prayer for the EphesiansR. Finlayson Ephesians 1:15-23
God's InheritanceM. Rainsford, B. A.Ephesians 1:17-19
God's Inheritance in His SaintsS. Martin, D. D.Ephesians 1:17-19
Growth in Spiritual KnowledgeA. J. Parry.Ephesians 1:17-19
Spiritual EnlightenmentF. F. Trench.Ephesians 1:17-19
Spiritual EnlightenmentR. S. Candlish, D. D.Ephesians 1:17-19
Spiritual Eye Salve; Or, the Benefit of IlluminationT. Manton, D. D.Ephesians 1:17-19
Spiritual KnowledgeW.F. Adeney Ephesians 1:17-19
The Eye Open to Spiritual ThingsPaul Bayne.Ephesians 1:17-19
The Eyes of the UnderstandingM. Rainsford. B. A.Ephesians 1:17-19
The Eyes of UnderstandingEphesians 1:17-19
The Hope of His CallingM. Rainsford, B. A.Ephesians 1:17-19
The Hope of His CallingR. J. McGhee, M. A.Ephesians 1:17-19
The Presence of the Holy Ghost in the SoulW. H. Hutchings, M. A.Ephesians 1:17-19
The Seat of the Spiritual EyeC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 1:17-19
The Spirit of WisdomPaul Bayne.Ephesians 1:17-19
The Three WhatsC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 1:17-19
Universal Need of EnlightenmentC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 1:17-19
We are Nothing Without God's Wisdom in UsMrs. Prosser.Ephesians 1:17-19
What Young Believers Require to ReceiveA. F. Muir, M. A.Ephesians 1:17-19
Worldly Wisdom WorthlessAuthor of, The Harvest of a Quiet EyeEphesians 1:17-19
God's Power of Raising to LifeC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 1:19-20
Resurrection HonoursHenry Varley.Ephesians 1:19-20
Resurrection PowerA. F. Muir, M. A.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Fact and Power of the ResurrectionBp. Wm. Alexander.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Glorious Analogy of Spiritual Life in BelieversA. F. Muir, M. A.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Greatness of God's PowerEphesians 1:19-20
The Mighty Power Which Creates and Sustains FaithC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Power of God Working in BelieversPaul Bayne.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Power of the ResurrectionT. Croskery Ephesians 1:19, 20
The Power Working in BelieversJohn Pulsford.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Resurrection a FactC. H. Spurgeon.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Sovereignty of the Risen ChristR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 1:19-20
The Wonderfulness of Christ's ResurrectionR. W. Dale, LL. D.Ephesians 1:19-20
Those Who Think it Easy to Believe are Destitute of Saving FaithT. Cole, M. A.Ephesians 1:19-20


The exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe. This is the third thing the apostle wished them to know "for their furtherance and joy of faith."

I. THE SPHERE OF THIS WORKING. "TO usward who believe." Power will always excite our admiration, but it will not inspire comfort unless it is exerted on our behalf. The devils know the power of God, but its exercise inspires them with no comfort. This power is manifested in the various parts of Christian life, both in grace and in glory, from conversion to glorification. It provides all things that pertain to life and godliness. It is God's saving power.

1. At the beginning of Christian life - in our conversion. God "hath delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). The apostle speaks of this power in relation to his own conversion and apostleship: "Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of his power" (Ephesians 3:7). The gospel is the instrument of Divine power. It is "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16); for "our gospel came unto you, not in word only, but in power" (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

2. In its progress - in our sanctification. The thought of preserving grace is, perhaps, uppermost in the passage. Relievers are "kept by the power of God unto salvation" (1 Peter 1:5). Therefore the apostle prays that God would "fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith with power" (2 Thessalonians 1:11). God "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). The apostle prays for himself that 'he may know "the power of his resurrection' (Philippians 3:10). There is power everywhere at work in our salvation; for it is thus that" the whole body increaseth with the increase of God by the effectual working- in the measure of every part" (Ephesians 4:16).

3. At our final glorification. "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his own glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Philippians 3:21).

II. THE NATURE OF THIS POWER. "The exceeding greatness of his power." It was power that could overcome all obstacles. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31); "My Father is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hands" (John 10:29). We argue from his power to his forgiveness, and, therefore, in the Lord's Prayer, after we have asked for the forgiveness of our sins, we plead for it on the ground, "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory." Let us not hesitate to accept the fullness of Biblical teaching through any fear of trenching on the free-will of man. Man's freedom works freely within the sphere of God's power. But the apostle does not content himself with merely piling up a succession of phrases expressive of the wonderful effects of this power. He places it side by side with the power manifested in the resurrection and glorification of the Redeemer. - T.C.









And what the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.
1. Be it never forgotten by us that the salvation of a soul is a creation. Now, no man has ever been able to create a fly, nor even a single molecule of matter. No human or angelic power can intrude upon this glorious province of Divine power. Creation is God's own domain. Now, in every Christian there is an absolute creation. "Created anew in Christ Jesus."

2. In the regeneration of every soul there is a destruction as well as a creation. The old man has to be destroyed.

3. The work of salvation is most truly a transformation. "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." You who have been made anew in Christ Jesus, know in your own hearts how great that transformation is.

4. Remember, too, as if this were not enough, that the conversion of a soul is constantly compared to quickening — the quickening of the dead. How great the miracle when the dry bones in Ezekiel's vision suddenly became a great army!

I. CONSIDER THE ANALOGY WHICH THE APOSTLE HERE POINTS OUT. You have to conceive of the power by which the dead body of Christ is brought to all that preeminence of honour, and then to remember that just such power is seen in you if you are a believer.

1. In examining the wonderful picture before us, we begin with Christ in the grave, by noticing that it was in Christ's case a real death. So with us; by nature we are really dead. Our heart is dead in trespasses and sins.

2. Among the dead. Our outward life was just like that of other ungodly men.

3. A heavenly messenger comes. There is a Divine mandate for our resurrection, as much as for that of Jesus Christ.

4. There came with that messenger a mysterious life.

5. An earthquake.

6. The stone being removed, forth came the Saviour. He was free; raised up no more to die; He stood erect, beheld by His followers, who, alas I did not know Him. And even so we, when the Divine life has come, and the Divine energy has burst our tomb, come forth to a new life.

7. In the resurrection of Christ, as in our salvation, there was put forth nothing short of a Divine power. It was not angelic or arch-angelic, much less was it human. It is not the ministry, it is not the Word preached, nor the Word heard in itself; all the power proceeds from the Holy Ghost.

8. Observe again, that this power was irresistible. All the soldiers and the high priests could not keep the body of Christ in the tomb. Irresistible is the power put forth, too, in the Christian. No sin, no corruption, no temptation, no devils in hell, nor sinners upon earth, can never stay the hand of God's grace when it intends to convert a man.

9. Observe, too, that the power which raised Christ from the dead was glorious. reflected great honour upon God and brought, great dismay upon the hosts of evil. So there is great glory to God in the conversion of every sinner.

10. Lastly, it was everlasting power. "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him." So we, being raised from the dead, go not back to our dead works nor to our old corruptions, but we live unto God. The parallel will hold in every point, however minute. "Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."We have only proceeded so far as to see Christ raised from the dead; but the power exhibited in the Christian goes further than this — it goes onward to the ascension.

1. If you will carefully read the story of the ascension, you will notice first that Christ's ascension was contrary to nature. How should the body of a man without any means be borne upward into the air? "While He blessed them He was taken out of their sight." So the Christian's rising above the world, his breathing another atmosphere, is clean contrary to nature.

2. You will observe again, that the disciples could not long see the rising Saviour. "A cloud received Him out of their sight." So in our case, too, if we rise as we should rise, if the Spirit of God worketh in us all the good pleasure of His will, men will soon lose sight of us. They will not understand us; they will be certain to run hither and thither, wondering at this and marvelling at that; they will call us mad, fanatical, wild and enthusiastic, and I know not what.

3. Jesus Christ continued to ascend by that same Divine power, until He had reached the seat of heaven above; He was gone, really gone from earth altogether. Such is the Christian's life. He continues to ascend, the Lord makes him dead to the world, and the carnal multitude know him no more.

4. See, beloved, we have stretched our compass somewhat wide now, when we say that there is as much Divine power seen in raising the Christian above the world, as in raising Christ from the grave into heaven. But that is not all. When the Master had come to heaven, we are told in the text that He was made to sit down at the right hand of God. Sitting at the right hand implies honour, pleasure, and power. Conceive the change! — from depths of reproach to heights of glory; from fearful deeps of sorrow to glorious summits of bliss; from weakness, shame, and suffering, to strength, majesty, dominion, glory. Such is the change in the Christian too.

5. Complete triumph. "Far above all principalities and powers." As Christ, so Christ's, for we are in Him.

6. You will not fail to observe that He has also universal dominion. Follow the passage — "And hath put all things under His feet." And so hath the Lord put all things under His people's feet. Their sins and corruptions, their sorrows and afflictions, this world and the world to come, are all made subject unto us, when He makes us kings and priests, that we may reign forever.

II. Now we must note, in the second place, THE REASON OF THIS. Why does God put forth as much power towards every Christian as He did in His beloved Son? Well, my brethren, I believe the reason is not only that the same power was required, and that by this means He getteth great glory, but the reason is this — union. It lays in the word — union. There must be the same Divine power in the member that there is in the head, or else where is the union? If we are one with Christ, members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones, there must be a likeness.

1. Note, first, that there cannot be a body at all — I mean not a true living body — unless the members are of the same nature as the head. If you could conceive a human head joined to bestial limbs, you would at once understand that you were not looking upon a natural body. If here were a dog's foot, and there a lion's mane, and yet a man's eyes and a human brow, you could never conceive of it as a body of God's creation; you would look upon it as a strange monstrosity, a tiring to be put out of sight, or to be shown for fools to gaze at as a nine-days' wonder; but certainly not as a thing to display Divine wisdom and power. A body of God's making will be of the same material all the way through.

2. If all the members were not like the head and did not display the same power it would not be glorious to God. Some of the old tapestries were made at different times and in different pieces, and occasionally the remark is heard, "That part of the battle scene must have been wrought by a different needle from the other. You can see here an abundance, and there a deficiency of skill; that corner of the picture has been executed by a far inferior hand." Now, suppose in this great tapestry which God is working — the great needlework of His love and power — the mystical person of Christ — that we should say, "The head has been wrought, we can see, by a Divine hand; that glorious brow, those fire-darting eyes, those honey-dropping lips, are of God, but that hand is by another and an inferior artist, and that foot is far from perfect in workmanship." Why, it would not be glorious to our Great Artist; but when the whole picture is by Himself we see that He did not begin what He could not finish, and that He has not inserted a single thread of inferior value.

3. Note again, that it would not be glorious to our Head. I saw the other day a cathedral window in the process of being filled with the richest stained glass. Methinks the great person of Christ may be compared to that great cathedral window. The artists had put in the head of the chief figure in the most beautiful glass that ever human skill could make, or human gold could purchase; I have not seen it since, but imagine for an instant that the workers afterwards found that their money failed them, and they were obliged to fill in the panes with common glass. There is the window, there is nothing but a head in noble colours, and the rest is, perhaps, white glass, or some poor ordinary blue and yellow. It is never finished. What an unhappy thing, for who will care to see the head? It has lost its fulness. There is the head, but it is strangely circumstanced. If you complete it with anything inferior, you mar and spoil it; it is the head of an imperfect piece of workmanship. But, dear friends, when all the rest of the picture shall have been wrought out with just the same costly material as the first part, then the head itself shall be placed in a worthy position, and shall derive glory from as well as confer glory upon the body. Ye can read this parable without an interpreter.

4. I must add, that if anything, the power manifested in the member should be greater than that manifested in the head — if anything, it should be greater. A marble palace is to be built. Well, now, if they build (and oh, how many people do this kind of thing in their houses) the front with costly stone, and then erect the back with common stock bricks; if the pinnacles be made to soar with rich Carrara to the skies, and then down in the walls common stone is seen, everybody says, "This was done to save money." But if the whole structure throughout, from top to bottom, is of the same kind, then it reflects much honour upon the great builder, and declares the wealth which he was able to expend upon the structure. But suppose that some of the blocks of marble used in the foundation have lain in a very dark quarry, and have been subject to damaging influences, so that they have lost their gloss and polish, then surely they will want more polishing, more workmanship, to make them look like that bright cornerstone, that noble pinnacle which is brought out with shoutings. Christ Jesus was in His nature fit, without any preparing, to be a part of the great temple of God. We in our nature were unfit; and so, if anything, the power should be greater; but we are constrained to rejoice that we find in Scripture that it is just the same power which lifted the man Christ Jesus to the throne of God, which now shall lift each one of us to live and reign with Him. Moreover, to conclude this point, the loving promise of our Lord will never be fulfilled (and He will never be contented unless it be), unless His people do have the same power spent upon them as He has.

III. INFERENCES.

1. What a marvellous thing a Christian is.

2. Why should I doubt God's power for others? If He has put forth so much power to save me, cannot He save anyone?

3. Why should I ever have any doubts about my ultimate security? Is this irresistible power engaged to save me? Then I must be saved.

4. How doleful the state of those who are not converted. But God may have pity on you yet.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE PREROGATIVE OF GOD. Originally the possession of God the Father, then conferred on the Son of God. It was through "the eternal Spirit" Christ offered Himself, and by the Spirit He was quickened (Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 3:18).

II. EXERCISED CHIEFLY IN THE CASE OF THE SON OF GOD.

1. In restoring life.

2. In exalting life to higher conditions and more spiritual states.

3. In glorifying the human nature.

4. In bestowing universal power and authority.

III. EXTENDED TO BELIEVERS.

1. This suggests the greatness of the work requiring to be accomplished with regard to them.

(1)Already accomplished.

(2)Still to be completed.

2. It increases their faith. By the revelation of the vastness of the power that is being put forth; by the light cast upon their own experience; and by the pledge it affords of God's faithfulness.

(A. F. Muir, M. A.)

The universality and power of the gospel are grandly reflected in this Epistle — like Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," the outcome of solitary meditation in a cell. So the simplest disciple is the germ of all The gospel is magnified, and the believer encouraged by this demonstration of the mighty power of God in resurrection, because His spiritual life is —

I. CAUSED BY THE RISEN ONE.

1. Originated.

2. Sustained.

II. ITSELF A MANIFESTATION OF THE SAME POWER. The new life is a resurrection from spiritual death.

III. INTERPRETED AND ENNOBLED BY ITS FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST IN HIS RESURRECTION. The latter was the greatest miracle of time. It transcended all the antecedent phenomena of nature and human history, and even the mightiest works of Christ's life, previous to His crucifixion, are that —

1. Greater forces were opposed.

2. The question at stake was infinitely greater.

3. The Risen One was to have power to quicken others.

4. He was raised through and into "the power of an endless life."(1) The forces of regeneration might have been entirely hidden. Many of the greatest factors of nature and history are thus hidden. The kingdom of God as a whole and essentially is hidden. And believers are conscious of innumerable hidden influences and visitations of Divine grace.(2) But God for wise ends has revealed them.(a) To help us to a true estimate of the spiritual life — of all that it has involved in order to its creation and continuance, and of its character as a communion with "the things that are above" (Colossians 3:1, 2).(b) To encourage us. We are not alone. The weakest saint is sustained by this "mighty power." Fellowship with Christ reveals a glorious destiny.

(A. F. Muir, M. A.)

I. THE DIFFICULTY OF BELIEVING. That which requires the greatest power and strength to effect it, is no easy thing. But believing requires the greatest power to effect it. Therefore it is no easy thing to believe. I prove the assumption; namely, that the greatest power in heaven and earth is required to raise up faith in us.

1. Because faith deals with the power of God only about .those things which it believes. Bears itself up upon that; and when God is about to persuade a sinner to believe His free grace, He first convinces him of His power, that He is able to perform His promises.(1) God asserts His power. He declares Himself to be an Almighty God. So to Abraham (Genesis 17:1); and in the New Testament He often asserts His power, that all things are possible to Him.(2) God doth exert and put forth His power in some visible exemplification of it, that fully demonstrates His omnipotency, and can signify nothing less. Such an instance we have in the text, in the resurrection of Christ. This overt act speaks out His infinite power; it is matter of fact, and cannot be denied.(3) God gives the saints some feeling and experience of the exceeding greatness of His power put forth in their own souls, by working faith in them.

2. Because no natural principle in man can take in the objects of faith. Flesh and blood cannot reveal them to us. Faith is an act above reason.

3. That which makes believing so difficult, is the seeming contradictory acts of faith. It seems not to consist with itself. Here I take faith more generally, as it has for its object the whole Word of God, the law and the gospel. The special object of faith, as saving, is the promise; saving faith seeks life, which is not to be found in commandments and threats, but in a promise of mercy. Faith, acting upon the whole Word of God, seems to contradict itself; for faith believes, a sinner is to die according to the law, and that he shall live according to the gospel. Faith has the Word of God for both, both for the death and life of a sinner; and both are true. The law must be executed, and the promise must be performed; but how to reconcile this is not so obvious and easy to every one. "Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid" (Galatians 3:21). It is impossible both should be accomplished in the person of a sinner; he cannot die eternally, and live eternally; yet both are wonderfully brought about by Jesus Christ, according to the manifold wisdom of God, without any derogation to His law and justice.

4. The reigning unbelief that is among the generality of men. So it was in our Saviour's time: the Jews, who had been the only professors of the true religion for many ages, in opposition to all idolatry and false worship — they stumble at the gospel; the Greeks, who were the more learned sort of the heathen world — they counted it "foolishness."

5. The notorious apostasy of many professors this day, who have made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience (1 Timothy 1:19), may convince you all that it is no easy matter to believe; so to believe as to persevere in the faith.

6. Believers themselves find it a difficult matter to act their faith. If their lives lie upon it, they cannot act it at their pleasure, without the special aid and assistance of the Spirit. It is God [that] must "work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).

II. THE REASON WHY MANY PROFESSORS COUNT IT AN EASY THING TO BELIEVE. The main reason is this, and I will insist upon no other; namely, because they mistake a formal profession of faith for real believing. A formal profession is general; takes up religion in gross, but is not concerned in any one point of it. But real believing is particular; brings down every gospel truth to ourselves, shows us our concernment in it.

III. THEY WHO COUNT IT AN EASY MATTER TO BELIEVE, ARE DESTITUTE OF SAVING FAITH. I prove it thus —

1. They who have never found any conflict in themselves about believing, are destitute of saving faith: but they who count it an easy matter to believe, have never found any conflict in themselves about believing: if faith did not act in opposition to carnal reason, and carry it against all the strong reasonings of the flesh to the contrary, supernatural truths would never enter, never be admitted, never find acceptance in the soul; we should never be brought over to assent to them, so as to make them the sure ground of our trust and confidence in God. Bat faith captivates all rebellious thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5), as if they could disprove all that the gospel says; but the demonstrations of the Spirit are with that power, that we cannot resist them.

2. They who were never convinced of the sinfulness of sin, and of the dreadfulness of God's wrath against sinners, are destitute of saving faith: but they who count it an easy matter, etc. I do not mean that all must pass under the like terrors of conscience: some have a more easy passage from a state of nature to grace, from death to life, from terror to comfort; they may sooner get over their fears, and attain to peace, than others may.

3. Those who have never been tempted to unbelief, are destitute of saving faith: but those who count it an easy matter to believe, were never sensible of any temptation to unbelief. No man ever got over temptation to unbelief without difficulty. Unbelief has much to say for itself; and it will be sure to say all it can to hinder the soul from closing in with Christ.

4. He who is not much in prayer, much in the use of all means to increase and strengthen his faith is destitute of saving faith. But he who counts it an easy matter to believe takes no pains this way, but thinks he can believe at any time. Then thou canst do that which flesh and blood never did, that no mortal man ever did in his own strength.

5. He who does not look upon a life of faith to be a careful, studious, laborious life, is destitute, etc. Faith has new rules, counsels, and methods of living, that a man was never acquainted with before: he meets with many scruples: doubts, and intricate cases, that put him to it, to find out the right way of pleasing God; for that is the great design of faith.

(T. Cole, M. A.)

The power that is working in them is not a weaker power, nor another power, but the same power, as that which wrought in the crucified and entombed body of our Lord. Paul sends us to that chamber in the rock, for our chief lesson. There lies the mangled and bloodless body. A lance has been thrust through His heart: not a drop of blood remains therein. Watch, and you shall see God's own illustration of His power and working in all believers. By nature, we are as sepulchres in which our immortal nature lies in death. Only God can raise us from the dead. Year by year He raises nature from the dead, but He hides His great power under a veil of surprising gentleness. The effects are seen, but we see not the power working. Even so Jesus rose from the dead. There was neither stir nor voice in that tomb. God filled that lifeless form, as the spring warmth fills the trees, swells their buds, and opens them into leaf. Jesus rose as quietly as a flower lifts its head to the dawn. Calmly, and as free from excitement, as one awaking from sleep, He left the sepulchre. The linen that was about His body bore witness to His calm self-possession. A leisurely hand had folded it up. Such is the Godlike way in which death is destroyed by a power greater than death, and the light of immortality kindled in man. Man is saved. The power that moves in the tree, moves in the branches too. "I am the vine, you are the branches." His new life warmth is in us. Christ liveth in us. The diffusion of His ascension through our souls is as much a fact as the diffusion of solar rays through the earth. The change which has been wrought in Christ shall be wrought in His members also.

(John Pulsford.)

I. God's believing children know not at first at all clearly the great power of God which works in them. As He reveals His wisdom in afflicting us once, twice, and we hear Him not; so He manifests His power again and again, but we are not able to conceive it. By what means may we come to know this power better?

1. By seeking to God, who has promised that we shall know Him to the least of us, praying Him to open our eyes, that we may see His glory more clearly.

2. By looking into that double mirror of His Word and His works, through which the light of His glorious power is reflected to us.

3. By observing the experience we have ourselves of this power both working in us and for us.

4. They in whom the power of God works are true believers. The more we are united by faith with God in Christ, the more does His virtue or power work upon us, both in conforming us to Himself, and in doing otherwise what is desirable.(1) What a power is that which so changes men, and makes lambs of lions, chaste and sober of filthy and intemperate, humble of proud — a thing harder than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.(2) To continue and promote the work of sanctification in us, who are carnal, sold under sin, is a thing no less strange than to keep in fire and make it burn higher and higher in the water.(3) The quickening of us with heavenly desires and holy affections is no small power; neither is it less wonderful than to see iron and lead flying upward, were it no less frequently wrought than the other.(4) What a power is it, that inwardly confirms and strengthens us, so that we are not overcome; yea, that chains up these spirits of darkness, that they cannot disturb and .assail us. These things ace daily done in us. Now this power is ready to work in time to come our deliverance from all evils, the further supply of graces which we yet find ourselves to want, the further healing of our sinful natures, and the full redemption of our souls and bodies.

3. It is the effectual working of God's Almighty power which brings us to believe. The creating of us anew in Christ is a greater work than giving us our natural being in Adam, and therefore may not be ascribed to any power which is not almighty. This will be more apparent if we consider(1) what state we are in of ourselves;(2) what powers hold us captive, even those strong ones whom none but the Strongest can overcome;(3) to what estate God raises us by believing, even to such an estate as is beyond comparison more excellent than that we received. Conclusion: What a power is that which shakes the hearts of the most secure sinners! It is a strong wind that shakes an oak, but to bring a heart like the jailor's to tremble is a matter requiring a mighty power. Again, to give a hand or an eye to one blind or maimed were much; how great then is the power by which the hand and eye of faith are restored? Wherefore, let us look to Him who has thus mightily brought us to believe, that He would finish our faith by the same power.

(Paul Bayne.)

Pompey boasted that, with one stamp of his foot, he could rouse all Italy to arms; but God by one word of His mouth, nay, by a wish of His mind alone, can summon the inhabitants of heaven, earth, and the undiscovered worlds, to His aid, or bring new creatures into being to do His will.

If this earth could but have its mantle torn away for a little while, if the green sod could be cut from it, and we could look about six feet deep into its bowels, what a strange world it would seem! What should we see? Bones, carcasses, rottenness, worms and putrifying corruption. And you would say, Can these dry bones live? Can they again start up into being? Yes, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, the dead shall be raised." God speaks — they are alive! See them scattered! bone comes to his bone. See them naked! flesh comes upon them. See them still lifeless. "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain!" When the wind of the Holy Spirit comes, they live; and they stand upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Will there be any longer doubt among men of God's power in having raised His own Son from the dead? And not only so, but of having exalted Him to His throne in heaven above?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

So clear is the evidence of Christ's resurrection, that when Gilbert West — a celebrated infidel — selected this subject as the point of attack, sitting down to weigh the evidence and to digest the whole matter, although filled with prejudice, he was so startled with the abundant witness to the truth of this fact, that he expressed himself a convert, and has left as a heritage for coming generations a most valuable treatise, entitled, "Observations on the Resurrection of Christ." He laid down certain laws of evidence to begin with, and then went to the matter as though he had been a lawyer examining the pros and cons of any matter in dispute; and this, which is the fundamental doctrine of our faith, seemed to him so exceedingly clear that he renounced his unbelief, and became a professor of Christianity.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Passing by a house a short time since I noticed the intimation, "This House to Let." "How is this? Is the former tenant dead?" I asked. "Oh no, sir," said the caretaker; "he has removed to a larger house in a better situation." Even thus, as we look upon the clay tenement in which some loved Christian friend has dwelt, we answer, "No, he is not dead, but removed into the enduring house in 'the better country,' where the 'better resurrection' is, and where eternal life is."

(Henry Varley.)

Of one lever and power the apostles of Christ speak with enthusiasm. When they touch upon the Resurrection, their words are winged with rapture, and burst into anthems.

I. THE FACT OF THE RESURRECTION. Compare the narratives of St. Matthew and St. Luke with that of St. John. It is as nearly as possible correct to say that in the accounts of the risen Lord, St. Matthew mentions Galilee without Jerusalem (after the first appearance), while St. Luke mentions Jerusalem without Galilee. And in this respect St. Matthew is consistent with his purpose from the beginning. St. John, on the other hand, gives us, after his fashion, an idealized picture of the risen Jesus. He selects the appearances which he will relate, and moulds the record so as to show the identity (under glorified conditions) of the "Word made flesh" before and after the resurrection. That is(1) The identity of the human body which rose from the grave with that which came from the Virgin's womb, and hung upon the cross;(2) the identity of the human soul, the permanence of the human sympathy of the risen Lord. And thus in the twentieth anti twenty-first chapters the Saviour is with His own. Not only does He recognize the old faces; He calls them by name — "Mary," "Thomas," "Simon, son of Jonas." They traverse unforgotten places. The same palms are quivering in the air; the same waters are veiled with the hot morning haze, or sleeping under the blazing noon in their golden mountain cup. Think how He speaks — for a short while, indeed, not entirely recognized, but lovingly, like one from a higher sphere, as the eternal Wisdom who can teach them what they need to know. Then those two words after the loaf and the fish are so mysteriously prepared — "come, dine." There is no link or particle in His brief sentence to break the hush of awe which mingles the familiarity of the breakfast upon the white beach with the enfolding depths of the presence of God.

II. THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION.

1. Think of that power in increasing and sustaining the Church. In our time the Church seems weak. In one great capital of Europe the Good Friday of the present year saw a hideous revel, a ball of Antichrist, in which masked dancers moved to the strains of the sacred music which is heard in Christian churches. And people ask — why are such blasphemers allowed to live? why are they not struck dead? Ah! He is patient because He is eternal. If we could follow the histories of those revellers to the end, let us be sure that we should find not a few of them bowing before Him. And that for two reasons. First, the soul cannot live without God. A boy who lived in a rude cottage by the sea was once found by a wealthy relative and taken to an inland valley. There he was given a fairer home, and surrounded by every luxury. But he missed something sorely. He missed the morning and evening music of the tumbling tides, and the dewy spray upon his cheeks; and he climbed the highest point of the farthest hill, until far off, with a beating heart and moisture upon his eyelid, he saw a blue speck in the distance, and cried, "the sea!" And so the human soul misses that eternal, infinite Ocean which we call God. And as the ocean child cries — "give me the ocean!" so the soul, made for God and restless ever until it finds rest in Him, cries — "give me God!" Again, of those revellers there are some whom Christ will one day win by His voice. He will lay them on a sick bed. In His loving discipline He will open their hearts with that pierced hand which knows every bolt of the door of the heart. And when they are asked — "how were you converted?" — they will say that Jesus is not a memory, but a Person; that He lives and works, not as Napoleon or Luther, by the mere influence of a history and of ideas, but by a present living love; and that God has acted upon them "according to the working of the mighty power which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead."

2. Consider the power of the resurrection in making believers holy. There is one great principle of the spiritual life which is deeply imbedded in the thought of St. Paul, and which pervades the conception of the Church's year. All that was done in Christ is mystically repeated in Christ's people.

3. Think of the power of the resurrection as regards our hope for the future of our dead. Remember what has been said of the two closing chapters of St. John.

4. Consider, lastly, the bearing of this resurrection power as a principle of conciliation in the national life of Christian nations. What if a nation contains within its womb two races and two manners of people? What if each of those two races has its own hostile tradition and its own thread of history, in whose texture the strands of right and wrong are so strangely intertwined that the subtlest analysis fails to distinguish where one ends and the other begins? "The muse of history is, after all, not hate, but love." So wrote a great French philosophic historian more than half a century ago. In this our land there shall yet be two words, not stamped upon stone or metal, upon coin or plinth, but upon the fleshy tables of men's hearts, upon remote mountains, in great cities where the voice of thousands, homeless, or barricaded within squalid walls, now rises like the restless hum of bees that have lost their queen. These two words are — "Pacata Hibernia." From brother to brother shall come the Easter greeting which came first from the heart of the Risen Christ — "peace be unto you." The resurrection of love will be the true resurrection of our nation.

(Bp. Wm. Alexander.)

How is it that Paul speaks with such a passion of emphasis of "the working of the strength of God's might which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead"? The apostle seems struggling with an idea too large for expression. The Divine power manifested in the resurrection of Christ appears to him so immense that he accumulates epithet on epithet to describe it. What is the explanation of the extraordinary strength of the apostle's language? The answer is to be found in the unique character of our Lord's resurrection. When the daughter of Jairus was brought back to life, she returned to the same life that she had lived before she died; she was a child again in her father's home. We know nothing of her later history; but if she lived many years she passed through all the common experiences of the race; she grew up to womanhood; she may have married; she had the ordinary cares and sorrows and joys of womanhood; illness came to her as it came to others, and at last she died a second time and was buried. It was the same with the young man at Nain. He went home with his mother, continued to work at his trade, took once more the place in the common ranks of men which for a few hours had been vacant, lived and died like other men. It was the same with Lazarus. He took up the broken threads of life just where he had left them, and was the same man that he had always been, except that the days of death and the hour in which at the command of Christ he returned to the common paths of men must always have been recalled by him with a certain wonder and awe. But the resurrection of Christ was not a return to the life which death had interrupted. It was the beginning of a new life under altogether new conditions. The resurrection was followed by the ascension.

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

Paul attributes to Christ a real and effective sovereignty over all worlds, seen and unseen. He is not merely surrounded with the pomp and circumstance of supreme authority. He does not merely watch, with a perfect sympathy of joy, the infinite activities of the Divine life and the tremendous manifestations of the Divine power, as a son might watch the successive triumphs of his father's heroism and his father's genius. He Himself is Lord of all. He controls and governs all the immense forces of the material universe, and the more immense and awful forces of the moral and spiritual universe. He, the Christ whom men knew on earth, He — and not another — He who was born at Bethlehem, who was a child in the home of Joseph and Mary at Nazareth, who grew in wisdom and stature, who was tempted, who delivered the sermon on the mount, whose arms enfolded little children, who was betrayed by Judas, who was charged with treason against Caesar and with blasphemy against God, who was scourged, who was crucified — He, and not another, is Lord of all. He is supreme in the Church as well as in the rest of the universe; and the Church is "His body" in which all the wealth and the energy of His life are revealed, the perfect organ of His will, the very home of His glory. And yet it is not in the Church alone that the power and glory of Christ are manifested. He gives to the whole creation its substantial being; apart from Him it would be a phantom universe; He is the centre and support of universal law; the spring of universal life; the author of all beauty and of all joy and blessedness: He filleth all in all.

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

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