By J.A. Medders
If you grew up as an evangelical Christian in the 1990s, then I bet you saw The Power Team. In the 90s, these tank-topped and muscled-up Christian men were ripping phone books in half, cracking Louisville sluggers on their foreheads, and obliterating towers of ice blocks. Their muscles had muscles. Who doesn’t want to see power on display?
That’s why Paul tells us about the immeasurably great power of God, displayed in God ripping His Son from the bonds of death and obliterating the curse of sin. “He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens”(Ephesians 1:20). Talk about a display of power!
After Jesus died for our sins on the cross, He became a lifeless corpse, held up by Roman nails. His body was no longer powered by blood, oxygen, and the brain. But on Easter Sunday, the power came back on. Jesus Christ was raised back to life, and He reigns to this day as the King of all. No one outranks Jesus in this world or the world to come. As Eugene Peterson paraphrased in The Message:
God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven,
in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments,
no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being,
but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything (Ephesians 1:20–23).
That’s power. None of our attempts at power displays can compare to the resurrecting power of God—a true “flex,” as they say. The risen Christ is a living billboard of God’s power, but not power for power’s sake. It’s for you and it’s for me. This is the level of power that is at work in every Christian. No protein powder can match the power that is at work in you this very second. You are on the same team as the one who is in charge of the universe, and you are on His mind, His heart, His daily schedule. The risen Lord is ready to lead us, grow us, and transform us by His power. Rejoice. Rest. Run your race.
Written by J.A. Medders
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5 thoughts on "God’s Power in Christ"
Thank you for this word this morning! It’s a great and much needed remidner.
Sorry JA Medders, you lost me when you quoted from The Message Bible. It is filled with errors and misleading loose translation. There is a reason why very unbiblical churches use the message. Besides this I feel He Reads Truth is doing a great job but encouraging people to check out the message bible by quoting from it is something I would be careful with.
The thing about The Message Bible is that it’s not a translation at all. It’s a paraphrase, which the writer clearly states when he quotes from it. I agree wholeheartedly that it should not be used as the main text for studying Scripture. However, if you take it for what it is – a paraphrase, not a translation – it can be helpful when digging deeper into a passage. Just wanted to share my thoughts.
I think there are plenty of commentaries on digging deeper into scriptures. If someone struggles to understand then there are translations of the scripture that are easier for some people. When the author of the message put the Holy Word into his own words they are no longer the words of God but the words of man. I’m sure you can see the danger in this as many have began to use this as their primary source of the Bible.
I would strongly encourage you to read one of Eugene Peterson’s many others works. He was a master of biblical languages and as Kris has stated, clearly states his work titled “The Message” as a paraphrase. He was a pastor of a congregation of about about 300 in Maryland for over 30 years. The truth is, as a Pastor, I have found his works to be remarkable and vibrant. Remember this, God’s word is the final authority but the power of his spirit to emplant truth into the world is not limited. He has zero limits. So his beauty and truth can be seen and viewed everywhere! Including the biblical paraphrase of a man that spent decades studying and mastering the biblical languages as well as faithfully serving one congregation.
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