I was sitting in the stands watching my daughter’s high school volleyball match. The match was a late match because it was senior night for the school we were playing. The match was a good match and a close match. However, it lasted over two hours because the match went the full five sets. By the time we started the fifth set, the girls were getting tired and it was a close set. As the set got closer to the end, I found myself sitting in the stands cheering on our girls, “Be strong! Be strong girls! Be strong!” I cheered them on in this way because they were tired. They were tired physically and emotionally. As a result, some of the fundamentals of volleyball were going by the wayside.
The fact is that you may be able to identify with that in your own life. You are tired physically. You are tired emotionally. As a result of being tired physically and emotionally, you may also be getting tired spirituality. Some of the fundamental spiritual disciplines may be going by the wayside in your own life. It is in this situation that you need to be encouraged, “Be Strong!”
Your Strength Is Not Enough
Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesian Christians in which he encourages them in the first half of the letter concerning their position and possessions in Christ. Ephesians chapters one through three are all doctrinal. However, in chapter four he transitions into the practical. In other words, he writes to them about how their heavenly calling affects their earthly conduct. He begins to close the practical section of the letter in Ephesians 6:10 with these words of encouragement, “Be strong.” But a word of caution is in order. Your strength is not enough!
The phrase that Paul uses is in a present passive imperative. What in the world does that mean? An imperative is a command. So, we are commanded to be strong. But, it is in the passive voice. This means that the strength that we are commanded to have is from a power or force outside of ourselves. It is not our strength. This command is also in the present tense. Which means that it is a continual action. Literally, we are to be continually strong with a strength that is not our own. So, where does this strength come from?
Your Strength Is In Christ
The prepositional phrases that modify this command is important because it tells us where this strength comes from. It is Jesus Christ! As a matter of fact, all through the book of Ephesians phases like “in Him”, “In Christ”, “in the Lord” are used over forty times. The point of Paul’s letter is to encourage the Ephesians concerning who they are in Christ. Consider the following about being in Christ:
To Be In Christ Is To Surrender Yourself To Him (Romans 10:5-13)
You might be mistaken that if you live a good moral life, if you ARE good to others, attend church regularly, give great amounts of money to charities, and a whole host of other things that in the end you will earn the favor of God. The favor of God cannot be earned. God’s favor is placed upon you because He is a gracious God. He is calling you to surrender your life to Him. That means you understand that you are a great sinner and He is a great and holy God. Therefore, you must place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. How do you do this?
- Accept the fact that you are a sinner who is separated from God and have no hope.
- Believe that because you are a sinner, Jesus came to become the perfect sacrifice for your sin.
- Confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life.
For more information please visit Peace With God
To Be In Christ Is To Walk In The Purpose He Has Chosen For You (Ephesians 2:1-10)
Every human being is born into this world in a state of sin. The life of sin means that you are a dead man walking, who is willfully disobedient to God because of worldly desires. In that condition there is no hope. If this describes you, then you need a “But God” moment in your life (Ephesians 2:4). When you experience that “But God” moment in your life, you will no longer be a dead man walking, you will be alive in Christ. You will no longer be willfully disobedient to God, you will joyfully obedient to Him. You will no longer have worldly desires, you will have Godly desires!
I invite you to watch a full sermon concerning the “But God” moment from the Harrison Free Will Baptist Church.
To Be In Christ Is To Abide Him Him (John 15:1-17)
The word “abide” in John 15:1-17 is a description of the position held by followers of Jesus Christ. It is a primary verb that means “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy).”1 Abiding in Christ means that Christ also abides in you. It is Christ in you that enables you to produce fruit. The presence of fruit in your life is an indication that you are abiding in Christ. This is the fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11). Righteousness is the “state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God.”2 This righteousness is only available in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Your Strength Is The Power of Christ
Jesus Christ is a part of the trinity of God. He came to earth as God in the flesh. In doing so, He also lived and walked in the power associated with being God. There are many instances throughout the Bible of Jesus’ power. The following is a summary of His power as identified in Scripture (not exhaustive):
- His power is seen in the Creation of the universe (John 1:3). God created the vast, yet intricate universe by the power of His spoken word out of nothing. This type of power is unequaled in all of the universe.
- His power is seen in the miracles (John 21:24). Jesus displayed the power He possessed in the miracles. The miracles are the suspension of natural law or the acceleration of natural law to produce the intended result. Jesus alone has the power to control nature.
- His power is seen in the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). The greatest display of power that the world has ever known is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death had a hold on Him. The devil thought that he had finally overcome God by putting Christ on the cross. But, on Sunday morning, after two days of silence, the stone was rolled away and Christ came forth alive and victoriously!
The Big Idea
You are to be strong in Christ and His power!
- “G3306 – menō – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (ESV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016. https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3306&t=ESV ↩
- “G1343 – dikaiosynē – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (ESV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016. https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1343&t=ESV ↩