MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #4031

The Greatness of His Power

A Sermon on Ephesians 1:19-20


Ephesians 1:19-20 ESV KJV
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, (ESV)

Sermon Description

Are Christians guilty of underestimating the need for God’s power? At first it may sound like a silly question. After all, any Christian will rightly affirm their daily need of God’s power. But while Christians may correctly affirm the continual need of God’s power in their lives, many times they will assume initial belief in the gospel is easy. Conversations among some Christians often assume anybody who wants to believe the gospel can do so. In this sermon on the greatness of God’s power from Ephesians 1:19–20 titled “The Greatness of His Power,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says this is a grave mistake. To do so tragically misunderstands the need for God’s power to believe. It misunderstands the consequences of sin and the power of the new birth. With its darkened mind, proud heart, and deadly prejudices against the gospel, humanity must experience regeneration if there is any chance of coming to faith in Christ. Do unregenerate people need God’s power? Given these theological truths, it is foolish to think otherwise. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones expands on this topic and explains the desperate need of God’s grace.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul prays that the Ephesians may know the exceeding greatness of God's power in believers.
  2. This power refers not just to the resurrection but to the whole Christian life from beginning to end. Our very believing is the result of God's power.
  3. To know this power, we must understand what the apostle is saying and what exactly he is referring to. He wants us to know God's power in us, but in what respect?
  4. The key phrase is "according to the working of his mighty power." "According to" here means "in consequence of," "by virtue of," or "through."
  5. So the verse means God's power in us who believe in consequence of the working of his mighty power. Our believing is the result of God's power.
  6. Other examples show "according to" means the same thing, referring to the cause or means by which something happens.
  7. The passage itself shows Paul means God's power in our whole Christian life, not just the resurrection. God "quickened" us, raising us from spiritual death.
  8. Do we realize our believing is by God's power? If so, we'll express surprise we're Christians at all and give God glory for every part of our salvation.
  9. We tend to talk as if believing is easy and within human ability. But this fails to realize the effects of sin and what regeneration requires. Believing the gospel requires God's power.
  10. To believe, a person must overcome a darkened mind, worldly prejudices, a proud and hardened heart, a deceitful and wicked heart, and enmity against God. Only God's power can overcome these.
  11. Our failure to realize what sin did and what regeneration means leads to a superficial view of faith as something within human ability. But the truth is, faith requires the exceeding greatness of God's power.

The Book of Ephesians

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.