He is God
The fact that Jesus Christ is called ‘Mighty God’ indicates that he is God. Leo Tolstoy wrote: ‘I believe Christ was a man like ourselves; to look upon him as God would seem to me the greatest of sacrileges.’ And yet Jesus claimed to be God. He dared to say, ‘That all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him’ (John 5:23). At the close of his sermon on the Good Shepherd, Jesus said boldly, ‘I and My Father are one’ (John 10:30). The people present understood this statement to be a clear claim to deity, and they responded by picking up stones to stone him!
Near the close of his public ministry, just before his death on the cross, Jesus cried out, ‘He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me’ (John 12:44–45). He told Philip, ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). In plain, simple language Jesus Christ claimed to be God. Those who knew him affirmed that he was God. Jesus claimed to be God and accepted that claim from the lips of others.
Christ’s power revealed
Not only is Jesus called God, but he is called the ‘Mighty God’. What a paradox that a baby in a manger should be called mighty! Yet even as a baby, Jesus Christ was the centre of power. His birth affected the heavens and caused a dazzling star to appear. The star aroused the interest of the Magi and they left their homes and made a long and perilous journey to Jerusalem. Their announcement about the new-born King unnerved Herod and his court. Jesus’ birth brought angels from heaven and simple shepherds from their flocks on the hillside. Midnight became midday as the glory of the Lord appeared to men.
We also see the mighty power of Jesus Christ in the creation of the universe. ‘All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made (John 1:3). Obviously, then, he himself was not created since he made everything that was made. No statement in Scripture puts it more majestically than Hebrews 1:1-3:
God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Of course, the greatest act of power that he performed on this planet involved his death and resurrection. Paul prayed for the Ephesians (and for us) that they might know ‘what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places’ (Eph. 1:19-20). God raised Jesus from the dead ‘having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it’ (Acts 2:24).
Not only did the Father raise Jesus from the dead, but Jesus raised himself from the dead! Speaking about his life, Jesus said, ‘I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again’ (John 10:18). ‘For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself ‘ (John 5:26). The miracle of his resurrection is central to his work of redemption. The gospel message says ‘that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures’ (1 Cor. 15:3-4). His resurrection guarantees our redemption. ‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace’ (Eph. 1:7).
Jesus Christ is God, and he is ‘Mighty God’. But what does this mean to us today who believe in him?
God’s power in us
His mighty power is available to us today. Here is the way Paul prays for people like us:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy (Col. 1:9–11).
Note the universals in that prayer: all wisdom, fully pleasing, every good work, all might. If God fills us with ‘all might’, then that makes us almighty! We are strengthened with all might! We have no problem believing that Jesus Christ is almighty, but to assign this attribute to his people – mere creatures of clay – is a great leap of faith. But it’s true: the almighty power of God is available to us through Jesus Christ.
Salvation is not something that God begins and we finish. Salvation is the work of God from start to finish. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ’ (Phil. 1:6).
On the cross, Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ He provides a complete salvation. He didn’t ‘make the down payment’ and expect us to keep up the instalments! No, ‘It is finished!’ This means that God’s believing people can claim from Christ all that they need. ‘And my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:19).
But note that Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1 deals with the inner person, the character of the believer, and not the material or physical needs of life: ‘Strengthened with all might … for all patience and longsuffering with joy.’
The almighty power of God is available to us through Jesus Christ so that we might develop Christian character and practise Christian conduct to the glory of God. Patience, longsuffering and joy don’t come to our lives automatically; it takes spiritual power to produce this kind of godly character.
Only the grace of God can bring the power of God to our lives. Paul confessed it openly: ‘But by the grace of God I am what I am’ (1 Cor. 15:10). God’s grace is channelled to our lives through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. ‘And of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). Through grace God does in and through us what we could never do for ourselves. Grace isn’t simply a supplement to our strength, for we have no strength of our own. Grace turns our weakness into power for the glory of God. ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor. 12:10). The reason many people don’t experience God’s power is because they’re too strong in themselves and won’t confess their weakness. God has to wait until they’re weak; then he can share his power with them.
Whatever may be your burden or battle today, God has the power to meet it, handle it, solve it, and use it for your good and his glory. Jesus Christ is the ‘Mighty God’ and his power is available to you. ‘Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us’ (Eph. 3:20). Admit your own weakness, yield to him by faith, and receive his promised power.
This article is an extract from the book The Names of Jesus by Warren Wiersbe and published by 10Publishing. It is used with permission.