I am teaching a Bible Fellowship February 17th and here are my notes that I thought would bless you. The teaching is on the power that we have as Christians and the great need to utilize it for God’s glory in our daily living.
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
You cannot be a witness without the power. The witness and the power are inseparably linked together.
Luke 24:48,49 (NIV)
48You are witnesses of these things. 49I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
MacDonald adds that dunamis in Acts 1:8 describes power which…
is the grand indispensable of Christian witness. A man may be highly talented, intensively trained, and widely experienced, but without spiritual power he is ineffective. On the other hand, a man may be uneducated, unattractive, and unrefined, yet let him be endued with the power of the Holy Spirit and the world will turn out to see him burn for God.” (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Peter Wade says:
Just before He ascended to heaven He promised that they would be “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). One translation uses the word “invested”, and that is what Jesus did for us; He invested His potential power in men and women, so that they could be expressors of Himself. We are to “bloom where we are planted” with the positive power of Jesus Christ — for-giving, encouraging, healing, loving. And according to Acts 1:8 that power is the Holy Spirit. He gives the same full measure to everyone. God is not a respecter of persons — if He gave this unlimited power to one, He gives it in its unlimited form to all. Wrapped up in His spiritual gift is everything necessary to handle every situation that the believer will ever run across. That’s power without measure! Jesus also taught that this was a power with infinite supply. He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit” (John 7:37b-39a). This is not just a beautiful picture but a reality. The Spirit within the believer produces a constant flow of spiritual vitality.
A. W. Tozer comments on the spirit of power Paul refers to declaring that…
We are turning out from the Bible schools of this country year after year young men and women who know the theory of the Spirit-filled life but do not enjoy the experience. These go out into the churches to create in turn a generation of Christians who have never felt the power of the Spirit and who know nothing personally about the inner fire….The only power God recognizes in His church is the power of His Spirit whereas the only power actually recognized today by the majority of evangelicals is the power of man. God does His work by the operation of the Spirit, while Christian leaders attempt to do theirs by the power of trained and devoted intellect. Bright personality has taken the place of the divine afflatus. Everything that men do in their own strength and by means of their own abilities is done for time alone; the quality of eternity is not in it. Only what is done through the Spirit will abide eternally; all else is wood, hay, stubble He comes to bring power for He is the Spirit of power…God Almighty is saying to us, “I am not wanting to wake up the power that lies in you. Ye shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you!” That is a different thing altogether. If we had only to be awakened, the Lord would simply have gone around waking us up—but we need more than this. We need to be endued with power from on high…many Christians spend a lot of time and energy in making excuses, because they have never broken through into a real offensive for God by the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit!…Many persons preach and teach. Many take part in the music. Certain ones try to administer God’s work—but if the power of God’s Spirit does not have freedom to energize all they do, these workers might just as well have stayed home.”
Luke 10:1-3,17-19 (Amplified)
1NOW AFTER this the Lord chose and appointed seventy others and sent them out ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come (visit).
2And He said to them, The harvest indeed is abundant [[a]there is much ripe grain], but the farmhands are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
3Go your way; behold, I send you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.
17The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!
18And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven.
19Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.
Would God do anything less for His born again sons and daughters?
LOOK AT THE POWER SOURCE! God is the POWER AND THE VICTORY.
I Chronicles 29:11, 12 (Amplified):
11Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all.
12Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hands are power and might; in Your hands it is to make great
We are the corps of the mighty, the powerful soldier with a unlimited power source, the heavenly birthed child with victory and power woven into the fiber of our being with the new birth.
Look at the commission!
Acts 26:18 (Phillips)
I send you to open their eyes, to turn them
from darkness to light, from the power of
Satan to God, so that they might know
forgiveness of their sins and take their place
with all those who are made holy by their
faith in me.
The Gospel is the power of god!
16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
The message of the cross is power of God! We as Christians have way too often emptied the cross of Christ of its power.
I Corinthians 1:17,18 (NIV)
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Our message and preaching is to be a demonstration of the holy spirit’s power and our faith rests on God’s power!
I Corinthians 2:4,5 (NIV):
. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
Is our Christian walk just talk or power?
I Corinthians 4:18-20 (NIV)
18Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
Quote from “The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it Will Transform Your Life”
We have forgotten that Christianity is about the awesome power of God like the world has never seen, and this power is at the center of every good work we do in Christ. God is even given the name of “the power” in Mark and Matthew. This power will crush evil, turn darkness into light, repel back the advance of Satan’s kingdom, and bring deliverance to every captive. God’s power absolutely shatters the enemy and his devices. This power overcomes resistance and always produces a magnificent change of heart, circumstance, life, and direction. As Christians, we are the power plants of God, ready to disperse His energy to the world.
Think about how much power it takes to turn people from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God! This can only be accomplished by God’s ability and power, as it lives and breathes in us, unleashed mightily by our faith. This commission of power isn’t some simple religious creed, but this is true spiritual power that is more massive and powerful than a million nuclear bombs.
God has given us His ability and His power in the gift of holy spirit we received at the time of our new birth in Christ. In the Book of Acts, Jesus Christ instructed his disciples right before he ascended that they would receive power when the gift of holy spirit came upon them. They would not receive a religious creed or a certificate or a pat on the back, but they would receive the very power and ability of God Almighty. Jesus Christ knew how important it was for his disciples to realize the enormous power that they received in the new birth as Christians, as they are thrust to the front lines of a battle between the spiritual forces of good and evil.
No earthly source of power or might can even compare to the power we have in Christ, given to us as a free gift when we are saved. God does not want us to sit on this power source, but he wants us to utilize it to demonstrate his goodness and power to the world. This power of God can cause enormous change in our lives and the lives of those we touch, when that power is activated for the service of God. This gospel we preach to the world is pure spiritual power that comes from the heart of God to rescue and deliver all those who have ears to hear and hearts to respond to this powerful message.
The message of Jesus Christ is a message of power. It is not a lifeless, dead, powerless bunch of clever words, but is a gospel of the very power of God. This mighty power of God absolutely transforms and changes our lives, first spiritually with the new birth, and then this power can transform every nook, cranny, category, and facet of our lives. God wants us to live by His power, as our words and actions are empowered to bring His goodness as brilliant light into every circumstance, problem, and dilemma in life. God’s goodness is the power of God in manifestation and the result of God’s endless faithfulness and love. Each good work in Christ has the power of God stamped on it, and this power can move any force, change any object, overcome any obstacle, and transform any heart.
Let’s look more in depth at this word “power”
Power (dunamis from dunamai = to be able, to have power) refers especially achieving power. It refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way, the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. Dunamis is the word generally used by Paul of divine energy.
Note that words derived from the stem duna— all have the basic meaning of “being able,” of “capacity” in virtue of an ability. Duna– is the root for English words like dynamic, dynamo, dynamite, etc.
A stick of dynamite has power but the fuse has to be lit for the inherent power to be manifest…so too with God’s dunamis. Earlier Paul had prayed that the saint’s be enlightened to the truth that they possess this surpassingly great power, the same (dunamis) power which effected the miraculous resurrection of our Redeemer. Paul prays these believers be made mighty with power, or dunamis, the ability to do that which we could never have done before, the capacity, the divine ability to live a life on a higher plane. Dunamis conveys the idea of effective, productive energy, rather than that which is raw and unbridled.
Quote from “The Magnificent Goodness of God and How It Will Transform Your Life.”
Philippians 2:13 (Amplified):
Not in your own strength for it is God Who is all
the while effectually at work in you energizing and
creating in you the power and desire both to will and
to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and
(Wuest Expanded Translation):
For God is the One who is constantly putting forth
His energy in you, both in the form of you being
desirous of and your doing His good pleasure,
Holman Christian Standard Bible:
For it is God who is working in you, enabling you
both to will and to act for his good purpose.
God Almighty is constantly working in you to bring forth His goodness into manifestation in your life, family, community and ultimately, the world. God energizes in you the desire for His good purposes and the power to accomplish them. The Greek word for “work” is energeo which means: to energize, to work effectually and productively, and to put forth power. It is the energy and effective power of God Himself in action. It is the unlimited mighty power of God unleashed inside of you. This power is superhuman, spiritual, and is the energy of God Almighty at work. It is infinitely more power than the biggest nuclear plant; it is more power than the largest rocket engine; it is more power than all the stars in the universe. This energy and power of God is created in you with the new birth, and is part of your new nature and the spirit of God that dwells in you.
The word “energeo” is used twice in verse 13, as God is not only putting forth His energy in you but He has enabled you to work this mighty power to carry out and produce His good design and purpose in everything you do. God is constantly energizing you with thoughts, desires, dreams, and goals to build in you His heart, love, and design for your life. God has given you an unlimited power source to achieve His goodness and to act for His good purpose, not only in your life, but in the life of every person with whom you come in contact. This power is unleashed and shines forth in all its glory when you believe God, His Word, and His promises. Ephesians sets forth the awesome mind boggling power of God that works and operates in the Christian believer.
Ephesians 1:19-23 (Amplified):
And so you can know and understand what is the
immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness
of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated
in the working (energeo) of His mighty strength,
Which He exerted (energeo) in Christ when He raised
Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand
in the heavenly places.
Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion
and every name that is named [above every title that can
be conferred], not only in this age and this world, but also
in the age and the world to come.
And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed
Him the universal and supreme Head of the church, a
Headship exercised throughout the church.
Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all,
for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes
everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere
God wants us to know, understand, and experience the greatness of His unlimited and immeasurable power that is energized in us when we believe. The word “power” in verse 19 is the Greek word “dunamis,” which means “inherent power or ability” and the English word “dynamite” comes from this word. Dynamite has a tremendous amount of power that resides in that little stick, but no power is energized until the fuse is lit and the dunamis explodes in a great display of power. A stick of dynamite could rest on a shelf or stay in a box, and all that potential power and ability remains dormant and does not accomplish anything. It is not until the dunamis is energized that dynamite achieves what it was designed to do. Looks can be deceiving, because if you did not know what dynamite was, it would be hard to believe that such power could come forth from that tiny, little stick.
Dunamis is the capacity to accomplish something that is of such a magnitude that it inspires a sense of wonder and amazement in others. It is the mighty power that resides in something by virtue of its nature. You are a new creation in Christ; you have a new nature born within you in Christ; you have the dunamis of God Almighty residing permanently in you. This power of God is life-changing and circumstance-changing. This power of God is victorious over all of life’s challenges. The world may look at you and never think that such power could reside in you. But God places an unlimited power source inside of you at the moment you receive His gift of salvation through Christ. God does not want you to be like an old stick of dynamite that is thrown on a shelf and never utilized. God want His power in operation in your life daily so He can accomplish His good purposes. God wants the awesome display of His power to be vividly alive in your life. No fear, no worry, no obstacle, and no problem can stand against or overcome the power of God. Christians have failed to tap into, utilize, and understand the immense God-given mighty power that resides in them.
God wants you to understand the simplicity of putting this power in operation in your life. It does not require a seminary degree, a ministry ordination, a special ability, a knowledge of every verse in the Bible, a certain social standing or a certain level of intellect. What does God require to energize this power so that it explodes forth in magnificent glory and energy in your life? You must simply believe. Believe God-trust in Him; rely on Him; rest on Him; have confidence in Him. and have faith in Him. Believe God’s Word, trust in His promises, and expect His Word to come to pass in your life. This is the simplicity of believing and it lights the fuse to God’s dunamis working, energizing, and transforming your life.
According to verse 20, this is the same power that was energized to raise Christ from the dead and to propel Him through the universe into the heavenlies to be seated at the right hand of God. This would take an infinite amount of power that has never been able to duplicated by any work of man. I remember the Star Trek television series and the Starship Enterprise traveling at warp speed, which was at the speed of light and even faster. It was entertaining fiction, because man has never been able to generate enough power to enable a spaceship to travel the speed of light. It has been estimated it would take 10 billion times all the energy in the universe to enable a small spacecraft to travel at the speed of light. It would take an infinite amount of energy that no person can produce. How fast is the speed of light? Light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, which is 671 million miles per hour. If you were traveling that fast, you could run around the circumference of the earth 7.5 times in one second. You could go to the moon in 1.3 seconds, to Mars in 3 minutes, to the sun in eight minutes, and to Neptune and the outer reaches of our solar system in 4 hours. It is amazing to think that traveling at the speed of light it would take you 4.5 years to travel to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, 100,000 years to travel the width of our Milky Way galaxy, and a whopping 100 billion years to travel across the universe. How vast and enormous is this universe that God created!
Yet in an instant, in a moment, in a split second, Christ ascended through this billion light year universe into the heavenlies to sit at God’s right hand by the energizing of the power of God’s mighty strength. What kind of power would it take to travel through the universe and into the heavens instantly? What kind of dunamis would produce such great immeasurable power when it is energized? This power would have to be so enormous, so mind boggling, so vast, and so gigantic that its only source could be God. The speed of light which requires an infinite amount of energy would take 100 billion years to travel the universe, but the energized power of God accomplished the task instantly. This same awesome power resides in you and is waiting to be energized by your believing. What power, what strength, and what might is available for the Christian believer! It’s Christ in you in all His fullness, and therein resides your unlimited power source. Nothing can stand against the power of God. Nothing is stronger than God’s power; nothing can overcome God’s power. When the power of God is energized, it always produces something that is good. God’s power in operation brings to pass His good purposes. It pleases God when we utilize the power and the ability He has given us in Christ.
Ephesians 1:19 (other translations)
NLT: I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe Him..
Wuest and what is the superabounding greatness of His inherent power to us who are believing ones as measured by the operative energy of the manifested strength of His might,
Surpassing (huperballo from hupér = above + bállo = cast) literally means to throw beyond the usual mark and figuratively means to excel or surpass. It refers to a degree which exceeds extraordinary and thus excels. It means to attain a degree that extraordinarily exceeds a point on a scale of extent.
God’s power goes far beyond all other power. The present tense indicates that it is continually surpassing power! There will never be a day when it is not sufficient to accomplish what God purposes in us and through us to the praise of His glory
The resurrection power that raised up the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead is the power that works in every single believer.
Kenneth Wuest says that dunamis…
“power in the sense of that which overcomes resistance or effects a change”
As has been noted, faith in this context does not refer to the body of doctrine one believes (“the faith”), but is a wholehearted attitude of a full and unquestioning committal to and dependence upon God, as He has revealed Himself to us in Christ Jesus. It is the proper human response to the goodness of God. When we approach God with our petitions, we must believe not only in His ability to grant our requests but also in His ability to answer in harmony with His character and purpose. Believing prayer takes its stand upon the character of God.
“I want that which is inside of you to get on the outside of you. I want people to look at you as you live your Christian life and let them see that you have a divine ability that is operating inside of you. I want it to be more than just what you say. I am praying that it will be in how that you live.”
Paul prays these believers be made mighty with power, or dunamis, the ability to do that which we could never have done before, the capacity, the divine ability to live a life on a higher plane.
16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:20 (Amplified):
Now to Him Who, by [in consequence of] the
action of His power that is at work within us,
is able to carry out His purpose and do super-
abundantly, far over and above all that we dare
ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers
desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams]
God’s Word to the Nations:
Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work
in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than
we can ask or imagine.
King James Version:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think, according to the power
(dunamis) that worketh (energeo) in us.
Ephesians 3:20(other translations)
Phillips: Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine.
Wuest-Now to the One who is able to do beyond all things, superabundantly beyond and over and above those things that we are asking for ourselves and considering, in the measure of the power which is operative in us (Eerdmans)
Able to do
Able to do what we ask
Able to do what we think
Able to do what we ask or think
Able to do all that we ask or think
Able to do above all that we ask or think
Able to do abundantly above all that we ask or think
Able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think
Abundantly beyond (huperekperissou from huper = above + ek = intensifies meaning, adding idea of exhaustlessness + perissos = exceeding some number or measure, over and above, more than necessary) means means surpassing, superabundantly, surpassingly, beyond measure, exceedingly, quite beyond all measure, overwhelming, over and above, more than enough. It describes an extraordinary degree, involving a considerable excess over what would be expected.
Pay close attention to the phrase “exceedingly abundantly.” Having two “-ly” adverbs back to back sounds strange to our ears. We may wonder if it some sort of misprint, but it’s not. The translators chose that odd formulation because Paul coined a Greek word that had never been used before. The word has three parts: huper (above and beyond) plus ek (out of) plus perissou (abundant). The word means infinitely above and beyond all human measurement. It’s one thing to do what someone asks you to do. It’s another thing to go beyond what they ask you to do. But it’s something else to go infinitely beyond what they ask you to do. God’s ability is “off the chart.” It can’t be measured. It’s so great it can’t even be imagined. This verse is teaching us the “exceeding, abundant, immeasurable, infinite ableness of God.” There are no limits to what God can do. We can’t even imagine what God can do..
Wuest comments that the compound word huperekperissou
is a superlative of superlatives in force. It speaks of the ability of God to do something, that ability having more than enough potential power, this power exhaustless, and then some on top of that. Thus, Paul says that God is able to do super-abundantly above and beyond what we ask or think, and then some on top of that.
Exceeding abundantly beyond all that you could ask or think is the potential of God in every believer’s life!
Ask (aiteo) means to ask for something to be given with a sense of urgency and even to the point of demanding. Aiteo reflects a request of one’s will means to ask for, with a claim on receipt of an answer. Note the use middle voice which conveys the idea of asking for one’s self or in one’s own interest..
Quote from “The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it Will Transform Your Life”:
The first word in verse 29 is “NOW,” and it emphasizes the great truth that God wants His immense power in operation in your life this very moment. It does not say tomorrow, when we feel like it, or someday in the future when we are spiritual enough, but right now, this very moment God wants to energize His power in us to bring to pass infinitely more than our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams. When this awesome dunamis is energized in you by your believing faith, God is able to do in your life exceeding abundantly above all that you could even ask or imagine. God is trying to illustrate that it is almost beyond human comprehension what this power of God can accomplish when it works and is energized in your life.
The Greek word for “exceeding abundantly” means: super-abundantly, beyond all measure, and greatly exceeding all boundaries, and includes the idea of exhaustlessness or immeasurability. It is to do something so remarkable, so extraordinary, so excellent, and so superior that it inspires praise and wonder at the works of God Almighty. It would be great if God could do some of what we ask or think. It would be greater if God could do all that we ask or think. It would be even greater if God could do above all that we ask or think. It would be even greater if God could do abundantly above all that we ask or think. But God does not stop there, as He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. See what God is trying to tell us! Get your vision up; get your thinking elevated; raise the temperature of your believing, because there is no limit to what God can do in and for you by the immeasurable, exhaustless, and infinite power of God that resides within you.
Don’t let the power of God lie dormant with you. Activate and energize it in your daily living and let God bring about His goodness overflowing out of your life into the hearts and lives of all those He brings into your path. Never forget that as a Christian you received this power of God the instant you were born again and you have full access to it all the days of your Christian life. What new energy, what new life, and what excitement the power of God breathes into our hearts and souls!
Ephesians 6:10 (NIV)
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.