The first prayer recorded in the book of Ephesians is not one in which requests are obscure and the words to big to grasp their meaning. Paul wanted the saints to lay hold on hope for themselves and understand there was something for God when referring to the riches of His glory, but also he wanted the believers to recognize the greatness of God’s power that comes from Him to us. We are not powerless to do what God wants or to bring to pass glory to Him now and in the future. God’s mighty power has been directed to those who believe on Him. In the plans of God, the Church has been placed with Christ in the heavenly places, accepted in Christ, and through the saints, God is demonstrating the fact that His will is being done on earth as well in His people. The Holy Spirit is demonstrating God’s power to the world through His people, and also in heaven the Church is associated with Christ in His glory. Angels look on and see evidence of the Headship of Christ in those who obey Him.
The hope we have is real. The inheritance we have is real. And the power to bring all of this to pass in a display of God’s sovereign electing grace has already been seen in a great demonstration of power. God’s “exceeding great power” was seen when our Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead in spite of the feeble attempts of men to keep Him in the grave. In Christ’s resurrection there was accomplished the final part of victory over sin, death and hell. The saints “who believe,” are being made aware by God to whom this petition was raised, that we have been redeemed by the same mighty power, preserved in this world by the same mighty power, and will be glorified with Christ by the same “exceeding” great power. Imagine, millions upon millions of people who have been saved and kept by the power of God, will be raised from the dead by this same power, and together with changed believers still living will put on public display the riches of God’s grace and the glory of His grace. All of this will be done in perfect unity and harmony because of our relationship with Christ, the Head of the Church.
Christ has not only been raised out from among the dead, but He has been placed at God’s right hand of the throne of the universe. Justice has been done legally by Him. Sin has been dealt with righteously by Him. We have died in Christ vicariously, a new nature has been given us morally, the grace of God has been displayed universally and we are raised and seated with Christ eternally. Our position in Him is established and will not be compromised in any way. “Mighty power” indicates there is no stopping that which has been done for us. No government, no force of demonic opposition, no authority can overcome that power which has been directed toward us and establishes and keeps us. God is all-powerful and our Lord has been raised in the power of endless life. “Because He lives, we shall live also.”
The Lord has also already been glorified above everything or every personage that has ever been or ever will be known. All the ranks that are held by angels or men fall far short of where our Lord is established in His gracious, just and holy position. No exceptions to His universal authority will ever be given, not even in the “ages which are yet to come.” In that position in which He has been placed, not only are people and authorities put under Him, but every created thing. Everything we associate with creation: gravity, magnetism, atomic power, earthquakes, tsunamis, water power and powerful animals – every kind of power that is uncontrollable as far as man is concerned, is under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Even far more astounding is that He has been Himself given to us, as Head over the Church. What the head is to the body, He is to the Church which He has purchased with His own blood. There is a bond, a relationship that unifies every member of the Body to the Head. Every person saved by God’s grace from the day of Pentecost until the Lord comes for His Church is in this union with Christ. Every part of the Body has a role to fill, and every one has the ability to function perfectly without any lack if that part so chooses to do so. The Lord fills every part so that it can be to “the praise of His glory.” He knows what is needed and fills that need through willing body members.
Our Lord is head over all things and He alone is the Head of the Church. He has filled the Church with the gifts needed that the Body would function as a compliment (fullness) of Him. He fills all things and yet uses those He has brought as members into His Body to share with Him and accomplish what He has planned. The Body is working today in God’s work in the world, but it is not His intention that we be free-lance individuals doing what we want independently. He intends us to be working “according to the counsel of His will” in coordination with all other parts. We have the problem now with people who are thinking their own personal way is best, without considering or submitting to what God says in His Word. The Body only properly works when all its activities are directed from the Head who reveals what He wants through His Word and His Spirit.
The Body is established on the foundation of our Lord’s sovereign design. We have been “predestined to be to the praise of His glory.” When looked at through eyes that see what God sees, this new creation is a “glorious Church,” a unified Body that displays the glory of God in a limited way now, but will be seen in the future in all its glory with the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head.