Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 001-020)by Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
First Corinthians 1:24 speaks of God’s power, which is a crucial item of the divine attributes. “To those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, God’s power and God’s wisdom.” Christ crucified is God’s power. This power of God destroys Satan, judges the world, deals with sin, crucifies the fallen man, the flesh, the natural life, and the old creation, and annuls the ordinances. It is the power of crucifixion, the power of the wonderful death of Christ. This power not only deals with the negative things, but also carries out God’s plan. Whereas the divine wisdom is for God’s planning and purposing, the divine power is for carrying out what is planned and purposed by God.
Ephesians 1:19 says, “The surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength.” God’s power toward us is surpassingly great. It is according to the operation of the might of His strength. It is the power which God wrought in Christ (Eph. 1:20a). God’s power toward us is the same power which God wrought in Christ. First it has raised Christ from among the dead. This power has overcome death and Hades where the dead are held. Because of this power, death and Hades could not hold Christ (Acts 2:24).
Second, God’s great power which God wrought in Christ has seated Him at God’s right hand in the heavenlies far above all (Eph. 1:20b-21). God’s right hand, where Christ has been seated by the surpassingly great power of God, is the most honorable place, the place of supreme authority.
Third, God’s great power which God wrought in Christ has subjected all things under Christ’s feet (Eph. 1:22a). To seat Christ far above all is one thing; to subject all things under His feet is another. The former is Christ’s transcendency; the latter is the subjection of all things to Him.
Fourth, God’s great power which God wrought in Christ gave Christ to be Head over all things to the church (Eph. l:22b). The headship of Christ over all things is a gift from God to Him. It was by God’s great power that Christ received the headship in the universe.
In these verses God’s great power which God wrought in Christ, is revealed in four aspects: resurrection power, transcending power, subjecting power, and heading-up power. This fourfold power is to the church. The phrase “to the church” in verse 22 implies a transmission. Whatever Christ, the Head, has attained and obtained is now being transmitted to the church, His Body.
Actually, God’s great power which He wrought in Christ is the Triune God, who has passed through incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, and who has been installed in us as the all-inclusive power. The Apostle Paul prayed that we may have a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know the surpassing greatness of this divine power. Surely we need to pray the same prayer!
Ephesians 1:19 speaks of the might of God’s strength, and Revelation 5:12 also refers to it. God has the attribute of strength as well as power. Inherently God has strength. According to M. R. Vincent, the Greek word ischuos for strength in Ephesians 1:19 and Revelation 5:12 denotes indwelling strength. It is intrinsic, not outward.
Finally, God has the attribute of might. Ephesians 1:19 speaks of “the might of His strength.” Revelation 1:6 declares, “To Him be the glory and the might forever and ever.” In Revelation 5:13 all the creatures say, “To Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb, be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.” Jude 25 ascribes might to God, and 1 Timothy 6:16 says that to Him should be “honor and eternal might.” The Greek word for “might” (kratos) denotes manifested power. Strength is greater than might, power is greater than strength, authority is greater than power, and sovereignty is greater than authority. Our God has might, strength, power, authority, and sovereignty. All these are His attributes.
In these messages we have seen the many aspects of what God is in His person. We have also considered God’s attributes. This God is now dispensing Himself into us. This means that God with all that He is and with all that He has is being dispensed into us. The more we are under God’s dispensing, the more the divine attributes are infused into our being. While God is dispensing Himself into us, He is dispensing all that He is and has.
Let us quickly review the divine attributes: life, love, light, riches, fullness, holiness, righteousness, wisdom, prudence, faithfulness, truthfulness, simplicity, sincerity, goodness, mercy, compassion, grace, peace, joy, hope, encouragement, kindness, forbearance, longsuffering, endurance, jealousy, severity, impartiality, immortality, immutability, glory, honor, majesty, sovereignty, authority, power, strength, and might. How wonderful that these attributes are being dispensed into us! As we remain under God’s dispensing day by day, His attributes will be dispensed and infused into us. After God’s attributes have been dispensed and infused into us, they will all become our virtues.
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