“His Effective Power” ( Philippians 3: 20 – 21, KNOX ) by Carley Evans

“we find our true home in heaven. It is to heaven that we look expectantly for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to save us; 21 he will form this humbled body of ours anew, moulding it into the image of his glorified body, so effective is his power to make all things obey him.”

God is perfectly capable to make all things obey Him. Because this is true, He is ultimately sovereign, for that which He determines to allow to happen is in His perfect will. He withholds or exercises His power as He desires to meet His own ends in His own ways. That we do not understand this is because our view of God is limited by our own limited capacity. How can we fully comprehend the all-powerful and the perfect when we are neither powerful nor perfect?

We look to heaven for Jesus Christ to return “to save us.” With His immeasurable power, He plans to call our decayed bones together and refashion our bodies to match His own glorified body. He has that level of power! And it won’t matter in the long run whether you are buried at sea, in the ground, or turned to ash in the fires of the crematorium. You will have a body fashioned by the Lord; and your home will be heaven.

“Boast In The Lord” (1 Corinthians 1: 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Boast In God’s Power (1 Corinthians 1: 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to “agree in what [they] say.” He calls them to be “united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” Here are two of the most common problems in the church body — disagreement and disharmony.

One person follows Paul; another follows Peter; another follows Apollos; one is Baptist, another is Methodist; another is Lutheran — each rivals of the other in a vain pursuit of human glory.

Paul asks the key question — “Was it Paul who was crucified for you?” (1 Corinthians 1: 12) Then, he reminds the Corinthian church and us that “God chooses what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God chooses what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chooses what is insignificant and despised in the world — what is viewed as nothing — to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1: 27 – 29)

Boasting leads to disunity and disharmony among brothers and sisters in Christ. “The one who boasts must boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1: 30) and not in a human church group or leader. Remember! Your denomination, your church leader was not crucified for you.

Paul goes so far as to say he deliberately comes to the Corinthians with less than brilliant speech and wisdom; instead he says, “I come to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation demonstration by the Spirit, so that you faith may not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2: 3 – 5)

And here is the key to harmony and unity — “faith based on… God’s power.”

“Lay Hold Of God’s Power” (Ephesians 1: 18, ESV) by Carley Evans

Paul prays in thanksgiving for his Ephesian brothers and sisters in Christ. He has heard of their faith in Jesus and of their love for one another. He wants each to know that he prays constantly that “the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1: 17 – 18)Paul wants us to know, to experience the hope, the richness of our calling, of our inheritance. He wants us enlightened, wise, and knowledgeable of Christ. He prays we will know that God reveals Himself fully to us. Paul prays we will know we are a family, that our inheritance is “in the saints.”

Paul prays we will know “the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1: 19)

Paul knows that if we lay hold of God’s power, if we believe God is on our side, if we trust our knowledge of Him and the revelation and wisdom He gives us; then we will be able to stand until that day. We will stand in His presence and we will glory in His goodness, mercy, love toward us. We will praise and thank Him, knowing God “made us alive together with Christ — by grace [we] have been saved — and raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2: 5 – 6)