The Lord of Power

by John M. Frame

Who is God? Many words describe him in Scripture, like eternal, infinite, and love. But most often God identifies himself as YahwehJehovah, the Lord. He performs his mighty deeds, so that people “will know that I am the Lord” (Ex. 14:4, compare 6:7, 7:5, etc.) His Lordship is the central message of the Old Testament (Deut. 6:4-5), and the Lordship of Christ is the central message of the New (Rom. 10:9, 1 Cor. 12:3, Phil. 2:11).

What is Lordship? Three ideas especially stand out: the Lord’s power, his authority, and his presence. Let us look this week at God’s power, then in the next two weeks at his authority and presence.

When God first announces his Lordship to Moses in Ex. 3:12-15, he comes to deliver his people with a mighty hand (Ex. 13:3). He rules all the forces of nature, bringing plagues on the Egyptians. He rules even the heart of Pharaoh (Ex. 4:21, 7:3, Rom. 9:17-18) and, most significantly, Egypt’s gods (Ex. 12:12, 15:11, 18:11).

Then the Lord meets Israel at Mt. Sinai, with a fearsome display of power (Ex. 19:16-19). He announces, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Ex. 20:1-2).

This Lord God can do anything he pleases (Psm. 115:3); nothing is too hard for him (Gen. 18:14). But the Lord shows us his power most amazingly in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). So we see his power most wonderfully in the cross of Jesus, where the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength (1 Cor. 1:23-25). The death of Jesus is nothing less than “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16-17).


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