The Authority/Power Equation: Ephesians 1:18-23
Let’s read again what Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:18-23; “18) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19) and 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.”
Verse 19 talks about “the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” That should grab your attention in the context of this study. But notice, the text goes on to anchor “power” in the authority of the resurrected Christ. He is seated in the heavenly places… “far above all authority and power and dominion and every name that is named.” Our “power” is rooted in the identity, position and authority of the resurrected Christ.
The text sets out an equation: Faith in the authority of Jesus Christ + anointing with the power of the Holy Spirit = our new life “in Christ.” Study that equation until it is imprinted in your soul and spirit! Anything short of this equation functioning in your life will result in empty and carnal Christianity.
If this is true, every Christian has an obligation to do an in depth biblical study of the “authority” and “power” we have available “in Christ” as born-again and Spirit filled believers. That’s why according to Ephesians 1:17 we need “a spirit of wisdom and revelation into the knowledge of Christ.” They must be unleashed in your life.
I am going to make a bold statement: “The curse of living a defeated and powerless Christian life is the result of ignorance and deception related authority and power we have “in Christ.” We are lacking power because we have disconnected it from the authority of Christ. The two work together in tandem. Do not isolate them one from the other.
I could write the equation another way: The four gospels + the book of Acts = our new life in Christ. That might resonate better for some of you. Many evangelicals shun the book of Acts.
Separating Jesus Christ from the power of the Holy Spirit is why miracles are not happening in much of the western church. Jesus Christ is far more than just a “good example to follow!” He is more than just a “moral guide.” He is far more than just “a good man” or “a prophet.”
He is King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16) He is all the fulness of Deity in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9) He is God Almighty! (See Isaiah 9:6) He is the first and the last. (Revelation 1:17) He is the Name above all names. (Philippians 2:9-11).
Minimizing Jesus Christ and marginalizing the Holy Spirit are the two reasons why miracles and wonders are rare today. When this happens, we are left with empty “man made religion.” The modern western church experience is a biblical abnormality. It is possible to be religious but empty and lost!
Because I live and serve on the front lines, I want fellow believers surrounding me who are like David’s mighty men. They need to understand and be seasoned at both standing and waging war in their authority “in Christ” and ministering through the power of the Holy Spirit. They need to live and walk in Zoe life!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global