Where’s the Power?


We tend to think of resurrection power as an Easter phenomenon. Yet, Jesus and His death and resurrection are always at the center of the Christian faith, the foundation upon which the Church was established.

God Wants Us to Know His Power — Resurrection Power

Resurrection Power in the ChurchWe’re assured that God wants His people to know resurrection power when we look at the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus (Eph. 1:18-21). He prayed that they would know:

  1. the hope to which He called them
  2. the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people
  3. His incomparably great power for us who believe

Of interest, note that only the third statement receives additional commentary. The power is “incomparably great” because …

That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead … (Eph. 1:19-20)

Also of significance to note is that the statement about His power is the only one known upon the condition of belief. We find this elsewhere, like in the following verses:

You, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (1 Pet. 1:5-6)

If we’re going to know and appropriate resurrection power to our lives today we need to believe, to have faith. Perhaps instead of asking ‘Where’s the power in the Church today?’, we should be asking ‘Where’s the faith in the Church today?’.

  • Do we really believe God is who He says He is? Or, do we pick and choose what feels comfortable or is politically correct?
  • Do we really believe God can do what He says He has done? Or, do we view certain biblical accounts as mere stories, or fables, with lessons behind them?

If we perceive the object of our faith as weak, can we really expect to know His incomparably great power? And, we’ll likely find it hard to endure the hardship that often precedes the display of His power. Remember, Jesus first suffered and died before being resurrected. To say we want resurrection power in our lives and in our churches, we must complete the statement — “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering …” (Phil. 3:10-11)

Not sure you have that kind of faith? Start with the words of a father hoping Jesus might help his son (Mk. 9:22-24).

The boy’s father said to Jesus, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If you can”? said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


What is Your Church Relying on?


Churches often seem to use a certain means for accomplishing ministry such as:

a certain strategy … programming

a certain style … methodology

a certain sensation … technology, lighting, emotion

a certain spotlight … targeting or focusing on specific people or needs

What should your church be relying on to accomplish ministry?

Churches will often have leanings in one of these directions more than others. Is that a good or bad thing? I know I have seen God use these various means to draw different people to Himself. Perhaps the question isn’t whether it is good or bad. Maybe it is more a question of what we are relying on — whether or not we are relying on these means to accomplish ministry more than we are relying on God.

Steering the Church Toward God's Power as What We Should be Relying OnCheck out the Steering the Church Toward God’s Power Leadership Guide which provides some thoughts to help you determine if your church if relying on any of the above more than on God and His power. This resource also looks at nine means through which God displays His power in our lives. It also gets practical in considering how that power is needed in 25 different leadership skills or tasks church leaders must either do or oversee.


What Does the Cross Plus the Resurrection Equal?


The cross plus the resurrection equals the Gospel of Jesus Christ.Cross Plus the Resurrection

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you … that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to . . . (1 Cor. 15:1-8)

Christ died for our sins.

Jesus died on the cross so our sins could be forgiven but without His resurrection, God’s power to be a victor over sin and sin’s penalty would appear uncertain.

He was buried.

Jesus was buried for three days, showing He had truly died, but the grave could not hold Him for God’s plan to reconcile the world to Himself would not be held back.

He was raised on the third day according to Scripture.

Jesus had to die to pay the penalty for our sin but He did not have to stay dead.  God prophesied about His plan as additional proof of His power over sin and death.

He appeared to many people.

Jesus knew people needed help to believe.  Theirs would not be a blind faith, based on hopes it was true.  In addition to fulfilled prophecies, Jesus also walked among them, showed them His scars, and even ate before them in His resurrected body.  God offered proof to bolster their faith and to provide eyewitness accounts for future generations.

The Cross plus the Resurrection therefore equals:

  • reassurance He can be trusted to do what He says
  • realization He has the power to do what He says

When we truly understand what the cross plus the resurrection equals, then we will:

  • recognize it as the power of God to save us
  • remember it regularly as we live out our daily lives
  • recalibrate everything against it
  • reach out to others with it

More for Church Leaders:  The Gospel of Jesus Christ – God’s Power for the Church


The Power of God at Work in the Church


Scripture is filled with verses and examples of the power of God at work in and through His people.  Below are three passages from which we can pull out some wonderful truths about God’s power.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)


His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Pet. 1:3)


And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.  (Col. 1:10-12)

We cannot begin to comprehend all God wants to do in and through the church.  To think that an Almighty, infinite, eternal God would work through weak, finite beings is mind boggling.  Let’s not take it for granted.

More for Church Leaders:  God’s Power for the Church

Ministry Empowerment, a Key Elements to Doing Ministry God's Way


The Ministry God’s Way Discipleship Tool gives a summary list of five truths from the above verses plus more about ministry empowerment, along with 8 other key elements in doing ministry God’s way.

Leaders, also check out the Steering the Church Toward God’s Power Leadership Guide for how you can lead by example in pulling on God’s power to fulfill all your responsibilities. Learn more about what it means to rely on God in ways described in the above verses.