Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 31, 1952
NUMBER 38, PAGE 1,3b

Christ -- The Fulness Of God's Power

Roy E. Cogdill

Just as the image of God's person is seen in Christ, so also is the fullness of God's power revealed in him. Paul declared that "he upholds all things by the word of his power." (Heb. 1:3) He did not say, "with the power of his word," but "with the word of his power." There is a good deal of difference between the two. The reason the word of the Lord has power is because the Lord himself has power; the fullness of divine power which dwells in him gives authority and power to his word.

It isn't Mr. Truman, president of the United States, as an individual, who has power and authority. The words that he may speak are no more powerful in themselves than would be the words of any other who might speak. But it is the office he occupies, and the authority that goes with that office, which gives power and force to the words that he may utter. So it is not the simple words pronounced by Jesus that had power. Someone else might have pronounced the same words, and it would have meant nothing at all. But when we consider the words of the Lord in the light of what He is, and the office he fills, we begin to understand why Paul used the expression "the word of his power."

Power In Creation

The word of Christ's power is manifested in various ways. For one thing, consider the power shown in creation. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waves of the sea together as a heap: He layeth up the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him." (Psalm 33:6-9) "For he spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." All things were created by the "word of his power."

Christ had his part in the very beginning of creation. "And God said, let there be light; and there was light. God said, let there be a firmament; and there was a firmament. And God said, let the waters be gathered together, and let the dry land appear; and it was so." (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9) In these majestic words Moses shows how God, by the word of his power, spoke all things into existence. And John declares that Christ was present and participating in that awesome event. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made." (Jn. 1:1-4) It was Christ who "by the word of his power" was bringing these things into being. He was a partner with God in every act of creation.

Fountain Of Life

Not only is Christ the source of all things in creation, but he is also the fountain of life. He not only created all things, but he sustains and upholds them, while they move toward their created destiny. "For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light." (Ps. 36:9) And Jesus told the woman of Samaria, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst: but the water I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life." (Jn. 4:14) And again, "For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given the Son to have life in himself." (Jn. 5:26) Or, as Paul states, "For by him were all things created that are in the heavens, that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created by him, and for him, and he is before all things, and in him all things consist." (Col. 1:16, 17)

That word "consist" means to subsist, or hold together. It is in and by Christ that all things are held together, and move on toward their created destiny. Have you ever asked what power holds the stars in their place in the heavens? What power causes the sun to move in its' accustomed course? What power sustains the earth and all other planets in our great universe, and keeps each in its own orbit? Scientists would define it as the power of "gravity"? But that doesn't help much. Way is "gravity"? The scientist may tell what happens, but he is helpless to explain WHY it happens so. The Bible definition for it is simple: "the word of the power" of Jesus Christ. God is indeed with us, for the very name Immanuel means that Christ upholds all things, and Christ is with us every second of every hour that we live.

Divine—and Human

While the everlasting divinity of Christ is attested by these miracles, wrought, "by the word of his power," we must not forget that Christ was also human. We have here an interesting study, his miracles attesting his divinity, and the daily experiences of his life attesting his humanity. He is the son of man, but at the same time he is the Son of God.

In weakness I see him weary with the toils of the day; he lies down in the little boat with his disciples, and soon falls fast asleep. The storm arises, as sudden storms are wont to arise on the bosom of old Galilee; the waves begin to roll, and the boat begins to pitch and toss. The disciples become fearful, lest the boat be swamped and all of them lose their lives. They awaken the Son of God. The son of man, in his humanity and weariness, was lying asleep and at rest. But it is the Son of God who is awakened, and who "by the word of his power" commands the wind and the waves to cease and be still. In weakness, he fell asleep; in divine power he wakened to still the storm. His humanity was weary from the toils of the day; his divinity was able to control even the elements.

It was in humanity that Jesus wept at Lazarus' grave. With Mary and Martha, the bereaved sisters of him who had died, he shed tears. But it was the Son of God who called, "Lazarus, come forth." And the body which had been in the grave even to the point of decaying, came forth there from. The same story is repeated over and over again during the days of his flesh. In humanity Jesus was hungry in the morning, having spent the night in prayer in the mountain. He approached a fig tree that he might eat of its fruit to still the physical pangs of hunger. Finding no fruit on the tree, he gave an object lesson to his disciples by causing the tree to wither and die. It was as a divine being that he pronounced the curse upon the tree.

The humanity of Christ was seen in his death; his divinity was apparent in his resurrection. Thus we have revealed to us Christ, the fullness of God's power, son of man and Son of God. It was only thus that he could be the Savior of mankind. Partaking of both natures, divine and human, he is able to save.