The incredible greatness of His power
(J. C. Philpot, "Meditations on Ephesians")
"I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible
greatness of His power to us who believe Him." Eph. 1:19
The work of God on the soul, is a work of sovereign and
omnipotent power! See what a mighty power was put forth in
turning us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan
unto God; and how it was the outstretched arm of Omnipotence
alone, which could deliver us from the power of darkness and
bring us into the eternal heavenly kingdom.
Consider the difficulties which grace has to overcome,
in the "quickening" of a dead soul into spiritual life. View
the depths of the fall. Contemplate . . .
the death of the soul in trespasses and sins,
the thorough alienation from the life of God,
the darkness, blindness, and ignorance of the understanding,
the perverseness of the will,
the hardness of the conscience,
and the depravity of the affections!
View the soul's . . .
obduracy, stubbornness and obstinacy;
its pride, unbelief, infidelity and self-righteousness;
its passionate love to, habitual practice of, and long
imprisonment to sin. Consider its strong prejudices
against everything godly and holy!
Contemplate the desperate, implacable enmity of the
carnal mind against God Himself--its firm and deep
rooted love to the world, in all its varied shapes and
forms--and remember also how all its hopes, happiness,
and prospects are bound up in the things of time and sense!
O what a complicated mass of difficulties, do all these
foes form in their firm combination, like a compact, well
armed, thoroughly trained army--against any power which
would seek to dislodge them from their position!
Add to this--all the power, malice, and deceitful arts of
Satan, as the strong armed man--keeping the palace night
and day, and yielding to none but the stronger than he!
Consider, too, the sacrifices which must often be made
by one who is to live godly in Christ Jesus . . .
the tenderest ties, perhaps, to be broken;
the lucrative prospects which have to be abandoned;
old friends to be renounced;
family connections to be given up;
position in life to be lost;
shame and contempt to be entailed on oneself!
Viewing, then, a soul dead in sin, with all these
difficulties and obstacles in their complicated array,
must we not pronounce that to be a mighty act of
power which, in spite of all these apparently invincible
hindrances, lifts it up and out of them all, into a new
and spiritual life? So fully and thoroughly is this fruit
and effect of omnipotent power, and of omnipotent
power alone, that it is spoken of in the word as . . .
a new and heavenly birth;
a new creation;
--all which terms imply a putting forth of a divine power,
as distinct from and independent of any creature effort.
Contemplate also, the mighty power of God in "maintaining"
divine life in our soul. We have to see and feel . . .
what mountains of difficulty,
what seas of temptation,
what winds and storms of error,
what assaults and snares of Satan,
what floods of vileness and ungodliness within and without,
what strong lusts and passions,
what secret slips and falls,
what backslidings and departures from the living God,
what long seasons of darkness, barrenness, and death,
what opposition of the flesh to the strait and narrow way,
what crafty hypocrites, pretended friends, false professors
--all striving to throw down or entangle our steps!
Consider also, what helplessness, inability, and miserable
impotency in ourselves to all that is good; and what headlong
proneness to all that is evil.
We have also to ponder over what we have been and what
we still are, since we professed to fear God--and how, when
left to ourselves, we have done nothing but sin against and
provoke God to His face!
And thus as read over article by article, this long dark catalogue,
still to have a sweet persuasion that the life of God is in our soul
--we realize, believe, and feel, and bless God for His surpassing,
superabounding grace, in maintaining this divine life in our soul.
"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!" Rom. 5:20