Looking at The Church of Ephesus
April 15, 2017
Last night as I was praying, I heard the words “be strong in the Lord,” and I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to dig a little deeper. I looked up the chapter and verse and was amazed at how much began to unfold. One phrase opened up a treasure trove.
In Ephesians 6:10 it says:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
I first looked up the word “strong” in the Greek. It is the word “endunamóō” which is “contracted endunamō.” It means “to make vigorous” or “to strengthen.” It comes from the word “dúnamis” which is “power through God’s ability, to perform.” It is not physical strength but the contracted power by which man is able to operate in signs and wonders. Here, Paul is saying to the Church of Ephesus, “be dúna-mied.” He’s telling them, “there is a force, a source of power (with God’s delegated authority) available to us through the Lord and you need to lay hold of it.”
Next in this verse is the word “power” and it is the Greek word “krátos” which means “manifested power” or “dominion.” Its closer meaning is the existence of this power rather than its use. It means that God has a power source that is available. It is a force that we can operate from.
Many references to the word “dúnamis” are found in the Scripture. Here are two I thought to share:
In Luke 24:49, Jesus said to the disciples, “And behold, I send the promise (Holy Spirit) upon you: but tarry (sit, wait) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued (to cause to put on) with power (dúnamis) from on high.”
In Luke 4:36, the people were amazed at the signs that followed Jesus and the Word says, “they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority (exousía – the right to do something, to be unhindered) and power (dúnamis) He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
There is an authority and power that Jesus operated out of that He was imparting to the disciples. He was giving them access to the same exact authority and power He had. He did not start His ministry until He had acquired it and would not have them to begin their ministries after His departure until they also had received it. It was THE vital component necessary to fulfill their callings.
It was years after those two events that we find Paul following up with the Church of Ephesus, a group of believers he had previously spent 3 1/2 years teaching. Something had happened that compelled him to bring their focus back to God and to their lives as followers of Jesus Christ.
What was interesting to me was that he spent Chapters 1&2 reminding them of Who God is and how God had restored them. In Chapter 3, he describes his own walk with the Lord and basically affirms his right to minister to them. Through Chapters 4&5, he focuses on reminding them of how they should be living their lives, one with another, in humility. It’s not until Chapter 6 that he says, “Finally, my brethren…” which means “As to the rest (of what you need to know)” that he tells them to seek to be empowered by the Lord and explains taking up the armor of God. There was structure to his letter to them. His first, and foremost thought to them was “Remember God and what He has brought you from.” Second, he wanted them to get their own houses in order, to focus on loving one another, and walking in humility. Then, he says to them “be empowered” and “put on your armor that you may guard yourselves from attacks of the enemy.” This would be where their ministry would come in. It was through this right alignment that they could best fulfill the mandate God most certainly had for them.
As I considered these things and their journey with the Lord, I wondered what ended up happening with the Church of Ephesus. Had they succeeded? Had they overcome whatever obstacles they had faced that begged for Paul to write and followup with them?