Paul is attempting to describe the power of God. How does one describe something that is utterly indescribable? He uses superlatives and examples, yet all fail short. But as best he can, he depicts God’s immense and overwhelming power using four different Greek words. In the end, he states God has limitless and absolute resource and power by which He creates dynamic explosions of His power (the word used is where we get our word dynamite – thus a dynamite explosion of God’s power!).

But we walk up to Paul and ask: “Um, Paul? That sounds great and all, but what does that look like practically? I mean, can you explain how the power of God is demonstrated so I can understand it beyond mere theory?”

So Paul gives two examples: Jesus and you. Jesus is the demonstration of God’s resource and power lived out in an individual (see Ephesians 1.20-23) . . . and so are you (see Ephesians 2.1-10). Let’s look at the first example: Jesus.


Jesus :: God’s Demonstration of Power

How is Jesus a demonstration of God’s power? Paul says in Ephesians 1.20-23 that Jesus was dead. We often gloss over this fact, but Jesus was deader than a doornail. He was food for worms. His body began to decay. He was pushing up daisies.

God demonstrates His power by reaching into this physical death and bringing Jesus into Life. As if that wasn’t good enough, God took Jesus and sat Him down at the Father’s right hand in the heavenly places over all authority, power, might, and dominion. It is at this point we learn about another aspect of the position Jesus holds: He is above every name that is named (Ephesians 1.21).


What’s In a Name?

Shakespeare once asked: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Perhaps that’s true, but there is a lot contained within a name.

In the Old Testament, a name wasn’t merely a title given to someone to easily identify or call them; a name conveyed the character and nature of an individual. For example, two brothers: Esau and Jacob. Esau is born looking like a hairy garment. It wasn’t that he just had a lot of hair, he had a LOT of hair – in fact, later on in life he was so hairy that a goat skin was mistaken for the arms of Esau. So what did his parents name this little fur ball? Esau – which means: hairy garment. This later defines who he is: a man’s man, a hairy hunter, the one who despises his birthright and sells it for a bowl of lentils. But soon after Esau is born, his brother Jacob is born clutching the heel of his brother Esau (my thought is that it probably got caught in all the hair). What did his parents name this little heel grabber? Jacob: the heel grabbing, trickster, manipulator, and deceitful one – which is clearly seen throughout the early part of his life. What happens in Peniel? Jacob wrestles with God and He changes Jacob’s name from “heel grabber/deceiver” to Israel: the contender or prince of God. Names are significant – they define the inner attitude, nature, and character of a person.

In our passage, Paul says that Jesus’ Name is above all others. It is not that Jesus has a special Name that happens to be better than everyone else’s; rather, the character and nature of Jesus is ABOVE all others.

One commentator stated: “It shall never be eclipsed by any other name, nor shall there ever be a name worthy to be coupled with his Name. In human history we find no name that can be fitly coupled with Christ’s. In the world to come, it shall ever shine forth with an unapproached effulgence. All this is said to exalt our sense of the Divine power that so raised up and exalted the God-Man, Christ Jesus – the same power that still works in believers.”



Do you know why we end our prayers “in the Name of Jesus, Amen”? It is not that His Name is extra special (though it is); we end our prayers this way because we are declaring to the heavenly realms that all that we are praying about is done in accordance with the character and nature of God. It is a realization that we have no authority or power to bring about what it is we are praying for, so we pray in accordance with His life, character, and nature – His Name.

If you get a few moments look up these verses about praying in the “Name” of Jesus (His character and nature): John 14.13-14, 1 John 5.14. As believers we are not to pray for just whatever we want, we are to pray according to His Name.

Perhaps this quote by my friend Eric Ludy will give some insight:

The Name of Christ is the essence of His Person – His nature, His preeminence, His majesty, His Kingly rank, His all-compassing authority, His Holy, Loving interests, His Divine pleasures, His timeless commands, his perfect virtue, and His exemplary deeds.  To Pray or Speak in the Onoma of Christ is to do a thing by His Command, fortified in His all-compassing authority, exerting His Kingly rank, His Holy, Loving interest, His divine pleasure, His timeless command, acting on His behalf and promoting His cause in this earth.


Bearers of His Name

Have you ever watched a wedding? In many respects it is much like a funeral service: there is a death to self as the couple gives themselves over to the other in surrender and love. The groom declares, “I will no longer live for myself. I will only live for you, meeting your needs, washing your feet.” The bride does the same, but she goes a step further. The bride looks deeply in the groom’s eyes and says, “Not only will I not live for myself and live only for you, I am drawing a line in the sand and becoming a brand new woman. In fact, I am going to take on your name – and all that you are is now going to define who I am. Your character, nature, reputation, and life is now mine to share and partake in.”

Several times throughout the New Testament, the Church is called the Bride of Christ. We are to be bearers of His Name. As His bride, we give up our identities and take on His. We trade our names to become a bearer of His. Again, it is not merely a name as a title but His character, nature, attitude, and life. We are to be so wrapped up in Jesus, that as He lives and sources our lives, He defines all that we are. Listen to these verses:

Isaiah 62.5b – And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

2 Corinthians 11.2 – For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Ephesians 5.31-32 – For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Revelation 21.2, 9 – Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…. Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

Song of Solomon 1.3 – Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth . . .

In this last passage (Song of Solomon 1.3), Solomon writes, speaking of God and His bride, that His Name is poured forth upon His bride – the essence of who He is, is deposited within us. We bear His Name!

Have you realized that you do not go out and live a good “Christian” life? We do not represent Jesus as if He is apart from us. We do not ask ourselves: “What would Jesus do?” and go out and try to accomplish it. Rather, as we are in intimacy and oneness with Him, He produces His character and nature within our lives. He changes us into vessels which pour out His goodness, grace, glory, and grandeur – not in trying and struggling but because He lives in and through us. We bear His Name only because of the relationship of intimacy and oneness with Him. Have you embraced Him? Will you embrace Him now and take on His Name.


Receive the Deeper Digest

Receive Deeper Christian’s weekly content in ONE convenient email each Saturday (all the quotes, articles, podcasts, etc.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, deeperChristian will receive an affiliate commission (with no additional cost to you). It is a great way to support the work and ministry of deeperChristian. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”