And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,…
I. God's believing children know not at first at all clearly the great power of God which works in them. As He reveals His wisdom in afflicting us once, twice, and we hear Him not; so He manifests His power again and again, but we are not able to conceive it. By what means may we come to know this power better?
1. By seeking to God, who has promised that we shall know Him to the least of us, praying Him to open our eyes, that we may see His glory more clearly.
2. By looking into that double mirror of His Word and His works, through which the light of His glorious power is reflected to us.
3. By observing the experience we have ourselves of this power both working in us and for us.
4. They in whom the power of God works are true believers. The more we are united by faith with God in Christ, the more does His virtue or power work upon us, both in conforming us to Himself, and in doing otherwise what is desirable.
(1) What a power is that which so changes men, and makes lambs of lions, chaste and sober of filthy and intemperate, humble of proud — a thing harder than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
(2) To continue and promote the work of sanctification in us, who are carnal, sold under sin, is a thing no less strange than to keep in fire and make it burn higher and higher in the water.
(3) The quickening of us with heavenly desires and holy affections is no small power; neither is it less wonderful than to see iron and lead flying upward, were it no less frequently wrought than the other.
(4) What a power is it, that inwardly confirms and strengthens us, so that we are not overcome; yea, that chains up these spirits of darkness, that they cannot disturb and .assail us. These things ace daily done in us. Now this power is ready to work in time to come our deliverance from all evils, the further supply of graces which we yet find ourselves to want, the further healing of our sinful natures, and the full redemption of our souls and bodies.
3. It is the effectual working of God's Almighty power which brings us to believe. The creating of us anew in Christ is a greater work than giving us our natural being in Adam, and therefore may not be ascribed to any power which is not almighty. This will be more apparent if we consider(1) what state we are in of ourselves;
(2) what powers hold us captive, even those strong ones whom none but the Strongest can overcome;
(3) to what estate God raises us by believing, even to such an estate as is beyond comparison more excellent than that we received. Conclusion: What a power is that which shakes the hearts of the most secure sinners! It is a strong wind that shakes an oak, but to bring a heart like the jailor's to tremble is a matter requiring a mighty power. Again, to give a hand or an eye to one blind or maimed were much; how great then is the power by which the hand and eye of faith are restored? Wherefore, let us look to Him who has thus mightily brought us to believe, that He would finish our faith by the same power.
Parallel VersesKJV: And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,