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Bible verses about Power of God
(From Forerunner Commentary)

In the New Testament, the Greek word translated "power" is dunamis, the source of the English words dynamic and dynamite, both of which are easily associated with "power." In addition, dunamis can also be translated "mighty works" and "wonderful works." The implication is not just the capacity for activity or accomplishment, but actual actions and achievements of such magnitude that they inspire a sense of wonder in others. Similarly, dunamis is also translated "miracles" a few times. These powerful accomplishments, typically beyond normal human capability, refer both to things that Jesus Christ did (Mark 5:30; Acts 10:38), as well as works performed by God through others, such as the apostles (Mark 9:39; Acts 6:8; 19:11; II Corinthians 12:12).

Dunamis does not have an inherent moral quality; it is neutral. On the one hand, the angel told Zacharias that John the Baptist would come "in the spirit and power [dunamis] of Elijah" (Luke 1:17), meaning the prophet's effectiveness and ability, which we would consider to be positive. On the other hand, the Samaritans all wrongly said that Simon Magus—Simon the Sorcerer—was "the great power [dunamis] of God" (Acts 8:9-10). Similarly, in Revelation 13:2, the end-time Beast receives dunamis from Satan, and the ten kings give their dunamis to the Beast (Revelation 17:13).

Thus, dunamis, this capacity for achieving, accomplishing, and controlling things, is morally neutral. It can be used for God's glory or in Satan's service. However, it is mostly used in a positive light, describing God's authority, ability, or outworking by means of the Holy Spirit (for example, Matthew 6:13; 24:30; Romans 1:20; 9:17; I Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 3:7; Hebrews 1:3; II Peter 1:3; etc).

In Acts 1:8, just before Christ ascends to heaven, He gives His disciples their final marching orders: "But you shall receive power [dunamis] when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. . . ." Jesus links the Holy Spirit with power—dunamis (see Luke 24:49). Similarly, Paul tells Timothy that Christians have not been given "a spirit of fear, but of power [dunamis] . . ." (II Timothy 1:7). When combined, these verses show that the Holy Spirit gives a person the effectiveness for God's will and God's work to be done through him.

Even when Christ performed miracles, the Father actually did the work (John 14:10). Jesus was His chosen vessel through whom the works were accomplished to do the Father's will. It is clear dunamis is more than just a capacity or ability; it is an actively used capacity or ability. It is not static. Once this power is set in motion, it continues to move, work, and accomplish.

Also in Acts 1:8, Christ tells the disciples that, with the Holy Spirit, they would receive the ability to be effective witnesses for Him. But more than receiving just the capacity for effective witnessing, the Holy Spirit—the power of God—would actively begin working in their lives, essentially without the disciples governing it! Christ said, "You shall receive power . . . and you shall be witnesses to Me."

God gives power to all mankind in the form of the spirit in man. The mind, the intellect, is the basis of man's power. To His regenerated children, though, He gives an extra, realized capacity to perform His will, just as He gives dunamis to the angelic host to carry out its responsibilities (II Thessalonians 1:7). He equips us with whatever we need to accomplish what He is working out.

If something needs to be done for God's design to be realized, we can be sure that God has delegated the power—the capacity, aptitude, authority, and active effectiveness—for it to be done. Sometimes this means working only through a person's natural ability. At other times, it means bestowing additional power for miracles to be performed. For instance, the power God gives to each of us to understand the Bible is on the level of the miraculous. No amount of natural aptitude or scholarship can bestow that ability. God provides the ability to understand.

David C. Grabbe
Power


 

Genesis 1:2

The Holy Spirit is the power of God—not a personage, entity, consciousness, or part of the Godhead or a trinity. The Bible speaks of the Spirit as the power or mind of God, the power of love and of a sound mind. It emanates from Him and thus can be said to be "poured out" (Titus 3:5-6), "breathed" (John 20:22), and used to "fill" (Acts 2:4) and "anoint" (Acts 10:38).

Martin G. Collins
The Holy Spirit


 

Psalm 62:1-12

When a person is in ordinary trouble and needs help, does he not seek out someone who has more of whatever it takes to help him overcome his situation? The need may be as simple as an additional hand or a bit more physical strength, or it could be something more complex like wisdom, a specialized skill, practical expertise, or community influence. The helper's power may simply be that he or she has more experience in the area of need. The need may be legal, so contacting a lawyer is a wise move. If the need is medical, seeing a doctor makes sense. One would consult an auto mechanic if the car needs to be repaired, etc. We frequently seek the powers of others.

Psalm 62 instructs us that the supreme power in all creation is God. In verse 1, David begins to express this fact by saying that from God comes salvation, that He is our Deliverer from trouble, implying that it should be to Him that we run. In verse 2, God is our rock, meaning our foundation and source of stability, who keeps us grounded and free from unreasonable anxieties. He is also our defense; He can deflect attacks in ways humans cannot provide.

Verses 3-4 are said to David's attackers, who were attempting to undermine his reputation before the public while also seeking a way to assassinate him. He warns them that their lies will prove to be their undoing.

In verses 5-7, David turns his attention back to himself, trying to encourage himself by resolving to wait patiently upon God as his only trustworthy hope. In verse 7, he reminds us that God is our glory: We take pride in Him for all that He is. He can give us favor even before those who may be against us. He is our refuge, an unqualified place of safety in any circumstance. In verse 8, he exhorts others - friends, companions, and supporters - urging them to pray because God is a solid place of refuge in our times of trouble.

Five times in this brief, twelve-verse psalm, he exhorts himself or instructs us that God is the only sure place of refuge and of help in times of need. How can God be and do all these things? David names Him as our Rock, Salvation, Defender, Refuge, and Glory. He can hold all these titles because, as David says simply in verse 11, "Power [or strength] belongs to God."

This confronts us with a major reason why God is the only One we can rely on fully in our time of need. Power is not only something God possesses, but when we come to understand it, all power belongs to Him. All power flows from Him, and He gives it to whomever He will. God not only has power as a possession, but He can use it in any situation or distribute it as He sees fit! Who can fight God or gainsay His choice of whom He chooses to give it to? Who has sufficient power to nullify God's doing of anything He desires to accomplish?

Notice that in Psalm 62:11 the word "belongs" is in italics, meaning it was added by the translator. It is not a wrong addition but appropriate. It is as though He owns it; it is His to use and/or distribute as He alone sees fit. It begins to open an awesome thought to consideration: Nobody has power unless God provides it for his use.

Understanding this truth makes David's exhortation in verses 9 and 10 more understandable. Compared to God, men are so puny as to be nothing. They may appear strong on the surface, but with our powerful, trustworthy Resource, we do not have to retaliate stupidly or be overwrought by anxiety.

This powerful Being is on our side by His choice! We have not earned it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part One)


 

Psalm 62:11-12

When David says in Psalm 62:11, "God has spoken once, twice . . .," He is using a Hebrew idiom that means, "I have heard this repeatedly." Practically, it means God's will always decides the outcome of whatever is in dispute, whatever hangs in the balance. Who can resist Him?

We need to look more closely at the word "power," or as some translations read, "strength." Power is defined in The Reader's Digest Oxford Complete Word Finder as "having the ability to act, influence" and "a particular faculty of body or mind, capability." This usage opens another exciting avenue, taking the meaning of power from mere brute, overwhelming force into such qualities as the powers of love, intellect, wisdom, understanding, vision, logic, energy, eloquence, wealth, authority, privilege, prerogative, control, mastery, persuasion, forgiveness, and so on into every area of activity.

Is there any kind of need in which God is not superior to any alternate source we could seek out to provide help? In Psalm 62, David suggests that, when we need help in time of trouble, why not just go right to the top? Is not our Father willing to provide these things for us?

Then in verse 12, David adds yet another quality of our powerful God that we need to consider. God not only renders to every one according to his deeds, implying punishment, but He is also merciful - in fact, the very pinnacle of love! Even His sometimes-painful correction is an act of love.

The entire psalm briefly and generally explains why we should trust God: To those who believe, no one is more qualified and trustworthy. Broadly, David is saying that God's power and willingness to act according to His purpose is the very foundation of a believer's practical application of his faith in Him.

There is far more to God being the Source of the powers that we need to serve Him and become prepared for His Kingdom. He has made available many powers, ones that we may take for granted yet have nevertheless been provided for our benefit.

Recall that the Israelites sang in Exodus 15:2, "The Lord is my strength." In a poetic way, they meant that we do not have strength, but God does, and He uses it for our benefit. God has not called the wise of this world (I Corinthians 1:26), but on the other hand, Jesus Christ lives in us, and He is the power of God and the wisdom of God (I Corinthians 1:24). He is our High Priest, who has the responsibility before God to lead us prepared into the Kingdom.

The concept of strength or power has many facets that we have not yet explored. Deuteronomy 8:11, 14, 16-18 says:

Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today . . . when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; . . . who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end - then you say in your heart, "My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth." And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

That wealth is power is an easily recognized concept. "Wealth" is used in this context to represent all evidences of prosperity and well-being. We tend to think of wealth in terms of material things like the size and location of our home, the cost of our automobile, or the fashionableness of our clothing. However, there is more to prosperity than material goods.

The concept developed in this passage also includes qualities like good health, sound-mindedness, and the level and breadth of our education - elements common to prosperous cultures. It includes things such as understanding and having the opportunity to perceive what is happening in this world from a godly point of view. All of these and many more are powers available to us. In other words, "wealth" is not limited to material things. It includes our health, the disposition in which we live our lives, the liberties we enjoy, and the opportunities available to have those things whether or not we have actually taken advantage of them.

For example, Solomon said, "Of making many books there is no end" (Ecclesiastes 12:12). The tremendous volume of information available in books is beyond our comprehension. Of course, not all the power contained in this information is good, but God has made it available.

In addition, God can prosper us by giving us favor in the eyes of others. He opens doors to bring us goodwill because power belongs to Him, and He uses it as it pleases Him. No potential help is beyond His power!

In many cases, these things come to us as byproducts of His fulfillment of promises He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Are we using them, and if not, why not? God's fulfilling of His promises provides us with potentially valuable experiences, which are lavished on us simply because we live in an Israelitish nation. Each nation of modern Israel has its own peculiar wealth of beauty. Most of us have noticed and compared the barrenness of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq on television with the fruitfulness of our nations. This beauty, along with its productivity and liberties, are included in the concept of "wealth."

He provides these things and uses them to benefit us at all times because it pleases Him to do so. Powers are not always given because we please Him. Deuteronomy 8 is a warning against pride. We must humble ourselves, never forgetting that we are created and that we live by the gifts He provides. Remember, Jesus says, "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). This awesome statement is made by the One described by Paul as "upholding all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus means, in reference to God's purpose, that we could do nothing spiritually without what He adds to our labors. Yet, these verses also tell us where to go to receive the help that we perceive we need.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part One)


 

Psalm 139:7-10

The Holy Spirit is the power of God. It is the means through which He accomplishes His will. Verse 7 teaches us a great deal about this. God the Father is a Personality. He is located in one place at one time, just as we are. But His ability to insert Himself into and affect events anywhere in His creation is contained within the power that emanates from His mind.

It is His Spirit—which emanates from His mind—that enables Him to be everywhere all at once, if He so desires. It gives Him the ability to keep track of all of us. It gives Him the ability to be with a person in Charlotte or someone in Los Angeles or another in Chicago. Wherever we are, He can be there because by His mind He is able to concentrate His attention in those areas.

We lack power like that. We have limited imitations of it. We can concentrate our attention in a very limited way on certain things, events, or places. But He can concentrate His attention in many areas at the same time by the spiritual power that emanates from His awesome mind.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

Psalm 139:7

The psalmist does not really want to flee. He is posing ideas and questions so that we can see that wherever we are, we are always under God's scrutiny. God is a positive spirit. Everything that He creates has positive function and beauty. His intention in everything for us is always positive, right, and good. He does everything in love and concern for our well-being so that we will fit within His purpose, and it will be worked out in our lives. Psalms 139 contains no negative connotations.

From this, because His mind permeates the entirety of His creation, we ought to derive great confidence that God is always with us. He is omnipotent. He is omnipresent. He is actively using His powers, His Spirit, to govern and manage His creation.

The beginning of the source of all power is in the mind. Remember, man is in God's image. A man may make tools to intensify his powers, but the real power is in the mind because without it, he would not be able to create the tool that expands his powers.

God's Holy Spirit is the essence of His mind. Just like a man, His power resides there too, only He does not have to use steam shovels and power tools to get things done. He speaks, and the laws He has created go to work. The tool by which He carries everything out is His Spirit, the essence of His mind.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Right Use of Power


 

Isaiah 6:1-5

Isaiah is overwhelmed by God's sovereignty displayed by radiant purity and a feeling of terrifying but controlled power. It makes him feel dirty beyond anything but simple expression, helplessly weak and feeling that he is doomed. Like Job, he is thoroughly humbled (Job 42:1-6).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Sovereignty and Its Fruit: Part Ten


 

Isaiah 40:28-31

It is vital for us to understand that this is where the Sabbath "rest" comes from! God is the source of strength, power, and refreshment. They all come from our relationship with God within the proper keeping of the Sabbath day. He gives it to us as a gift of His grace.

He restores our energy. He gives us the power to overcome and to grow. He gives us peace of mind so that we are truly rested. He helps us to recover our strength. He enables us to live confident, hope-filled lives. He gives us good health and sound minds. "The Lord gives His beloved sleep." He gives us strength-restoring sleep. All of these things are gifts of grace from time well-spent in fellowship with Him, developing the relationship with Him and communicating with Him in Bible study and prayer.

How we use the Sabbath day tells Him a great deal about how we will do in His Kingdom. I fear that many of us have put the wrong emphasis on it. We tend to look at the Sabbath day as "things that we cannot do" rather than "things we can do" - truly liberating things we cannot devote time to do on the other six days of the week.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Sabbathkeeping (Part 1)


 

Matthew 8:26-27

Jesus' awestruck disciples receive newfound understanding of the power and glory of their Lord and Master. His power definitely impresses them, but His faithfulness, peace, and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are what truly awed them. This miracle brings them in reverence, wonder, and godly fear before Him. Christ shows that the power of the earthly elements is dwarfed by the mighty word of the Lord, and it stirs them deeply.

This reveals what the full measure of God's Spirit can accomplish through a faithful human being. Jesus explains to His disciples in Mark 11:23-24:

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, "Be removed and be cast into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

We should understand that this promise stands firm for us too, if we ask according to the will of God (I John 5:14-15).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Stilling a Storm


 

Matthew 9:8

The people were stunned, moved to glorify God, filled with fear, and confounded. It is no surprise that the witnesses to the miracle were amazed at the astounding healing. Each of the three gospel writers uses a different Greek word to express a variation of a state of awe. Nevertheless, considering the great impact this miracle had on observers, most of them were not moved to have faith in God. Though filled with awe at His mighty works, they were not convinced or converted. Faith is not produced through sight (II Corinthians 5:7). Miracles and physical proof do not instill faith. God must call a person, opening his mind to His truth (John 6:44). Today, people tend to think that sensationalism will convert sinners, designing their religious presentations to impress people and increase followers by physical rather than spiritual quality.

In addition, the people were moved to glorify God in their limited way (Matthew 9:8). Yet, their reaction to the healing did not cause a change of heart in them.

Luke writes that they were all "filled with fear" (Luke 5:26). It can be terrifying to be near the power of Almighty God. Paul states, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Realizing his own sinfulness in the presence of the perfection and might of God, Peter knelt in fear at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). Again, however, most of the witnesses to the paralytic's healing refused to overcome their sins and change their lives.

James notes that even the demons believe and tremble before God (James 2:19), yet they, of course, have never been converted. This principle should enlighten us about the professed religion of others. Being filled with awe, glorifying God, or experiencing fear are not enough in themselves; they are merely beginnings of understanding and wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).

Some witnesses to this miracle said, "We never saw anything like this!" (Mark 2:12). Others exclaimed, "We have seen strange things today!" (Luke 5:26). They were confounded. The miracle they witnessed was one of a kind, different from anything they had ever seen before. No other "gods" compare with our God the Father and Jesus Christ!

In Luke's account, the word "strange" is the Greek word from which the English word "paradox" derives. It suggests true things that are contrary to all common sense and ordinary experience. The things of God are beyond the understanding of mere human beings. In this miracle, we see the incomprehensible sovereignty and glory of God in His comfort and healing of the sick through His Son Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Paralytic (Part Two)


 

Matthew 11:2-3

Because the prophet Isaiah foretold the Messiah's exercise of miraculous power (Isaiah 35:4-6; 42:7), John the Baptizer asked for such a sign of Christ. Jesus replied: "The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (verse 5). His miracles provided proof of who He was.

Christ came into the world, not only as God's personal representative on earth, but as God manifest in flesh. He was Himself a miracle in human form, and His miraculous works are bound up inseparably with His life. When we accept the miracles of His prophesied birth, sinless life, and glorious resurrection, then any other miracle is possible. Born holy, undefiled, and separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26), He was conscious of His God-given responsibility to bless and relieve mankind in miraculous ways.

In describing Jesus' healing miracles, Luke, a doctor, emphasized the power of God by saying, "The power of the Lord was present to heal them" (Luke 5:17), and "the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all" (Luke 6:19). Similarly in Acts, Peter describes "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).

One could say Christ's miracles were parables in deeds, just as His parables were miracles in words. God designed His miracles to symbolize His power to meet spiritual needs, as well as physical and material ones. Jesus' recorded miracles are real-life experiences of what it means to be under the wonderful rule of the powerful but merciful King of God's Kingdom.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ (Part One)


 

Matthew 28:18

Let us consider the issue of power with respect to Jesus Christ. He says of Himself in Matthew 28:18, "All authority [power, KJV] has been given to Me in heaven and earth." "Authority" is translated from exousia, which has wide usage in the Greek language. It can be used to indicate jurisdiction, privilege, capacity, freedom, influence, force, and right, besides authority and power. Obviously, its usage is not restricted to sheer, brute strength. Jesus, then, is perfectly equipped to handle our needs in the widest variety of situations.

Notice that Jesus says authority has been given to Him. For this to be true, a greater Being must be the Giver. In this vein, I Corinthians 15:25-28 transports us into the future, revealing the source of His powers:

For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

The Giver in Matthew 28:18 must be the Father, so the word "all" in that verse excludes the Father, who is supreme in authority. The resurrected Son is the channel through which the Father's every purpose and plan are being worked out.

How extensive is Jesus' given authority? Colossians 1:14-19 explains some of His authority more specifically:

. . . in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell. . . .

Paul stresses Christ's positional authority, that is, where Christ stands in relation to all other beings, whether human or spirit. "Firstborn" in verses 15 and 18 does not refer to His being created, as other verses clearly show that He has eternally existed. Here, the word indicates primacy of rank, since the apostle is showing Christ's status in relation to all other beings and institutions.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part Two)


 

Matthew 28:19

Speaking "in the name of" something does not necessarily mean that one is speaking of the name of a personality. A cliché we hear frequently in old crime movies illustrates this. Sometime during the film, a policeman invariably comes running out with his gun drawn and aimed at the suspect, and he says, "Stop in the name of the law!" Does the law have personality? Is it a personality? No, it is an inanimate thing. The policeman was commanding the robber to stop in the name of an authority, the law.

So just because the baptism formula includes within it the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit does not mean that the Holy Spirit is a Person. It is mentioned, undoubtedly, as the means through which the repentant sinner is brought to the point of being baptized. God tells us clearly that the Holy Spirit is given to convict us of sin (John 16:8-9). God stirs up our minds by the power of His mind, using His Spirit to lead us to think of things in a way that we never have before, and He thereby brings us to repentance.

By the same means, He also reveals to us the real Jesus, and by the same means, He gives us the power to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. The Holy Spirit, then, is the power that God uses to bring us to that point.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

Mark 1:25-28

Jesus commands the demon to leave, giving it a short, direct order backed by God's authority. He does not rebuke the man, because the unclean spirit had possessed him, yet each of us must resist the influence of demons (I Peter 5:8-9). Jesus tells the demon, "Hold your peace," which actually means "be gagged or muzzled," a phrase He also uses to calm the storm in Mark 4:39. The unclean spirit does not speak again, but obeys in rage and anguish.

By his own power or authority, no man can cast out demons. Even the archangel Michael, not daring to revile Satan, called on the power and authority of God to rebuke him (Jude 9), setting a right example for us. Similarly, in rebuking the "spirit of divination" at Philippi, Paul says, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her" (Acts 16:18).

Because of Christ's authority in performing this miracle, the people in the synagogue are "amazed," a word meaning "to stupefy" and "to dumbfound or flabbergast." They express their astonishment in questions: "What is this? What new doctrine is this?" (Mark 1:27), as well as by immediately rushing away to tell everyone they can. The word translated "amazed" also can mean "to terrify" and "to be frightened." The people are not only astounded but also fearful of God's power through Jesus.

The focus of the testimony is on how Jesus exorcises the demon: simply by His command, which shows the power of God's Word. Contemporary Jewish doctrine for casting out demons was much different, as exorcists among them sometimes appeared to cast out demons by prayers or chants. Christ, however, does not cajole or request demons to leave, but authoritatively commands them to come out. The world has its weak and useless methods to appease evil and entice it to surrender, but Christ commands its defeat.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcism in the Synagogue


 

John 1:12

We will focus on the word translated as "right." The King James Version reads "power." This is exousia (Strong's #1849), which has a variety of usages: "power," "authority," "capability," "ability," "strength," "entrusted," "commissioned." It implies the liberty or power to do something. This Greek word has its roots in exesti. The two of them, exesti and exousia, combine two different ideas, "right" and "might." A person can be given the right to do something and then given the might or power to do it. What does God do here through Jesus Christ? As many as receive Him, to them He gives the right and the power to become children of God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 5)


 

John 14:10

Of and by Himself, Jesus had no more power than any other human being. But because the Father in heaven was actively, dynamically working in and through Him, and because Jesus yielded to Him—whenever power was needed to heal, to raise somebody from the dead, to make food multiply—God did the miracle. Not Jesus Christ—God did it. He responded to Jesus' requests because He was perfectly submissive to the Father in doing His will. If it can be put this way, this is what we need to work toward.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 26)


 

John 15:5

He speaks directly to us, stating a principle we must learn to live with. The power to do spiritual works, to overcome, to produce the fruit of God's Spirit, to be used by God in any righteous manner comes from above. Israel's journey through the wilderness illustrates this. Every step of the way was physically empowered by the manna and water God provided.

Understanding God's hand in our preparation for the Kingdom of God is also advanced by remembering that we are the clay sculpture our Creator is molding and shaping (Isaiah 64:8). Does any work of art—any painting, carving, drawing, tapestry, work of literature, or fine meal for that matter—have inherent power to shape itself?

The natural man, even apart from God's purpose, is a magnificent work of art. David writes in Psalm 139:14, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Yet, when we have put on incorruption and immortality, and have inherited the Kingdom of God, we will be the most magnificent masterpieces there are, far superior to what we are now. To mold and shape us into God's image requires love, wisdom, and multiple other powers far beyond anything any person—even Jesus as a human being—has.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part Two)


 

John 17:17

The extent to which we grasp and believe the truth of the doctrines determines our desire to be holy. By this holiness created within us we become sanctified. The gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16). The gospel's power lies or resides in its words produce in our minds. That is all the gospel is'words: "The words that I speak unto you are Spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).

Those words lead us to the faith of Christ, and there is nothing mysterious about this. When we believe what Christ believes, we have His faith. It may not be to the same intensity, but we have His faith. Jude told the later first-century church, "Return to the faith once delivered," because that was the faith of Christ. It came through His apostles, who gave it to the church. The power resides in the words, if we will only use them to live.

Putting those words into practice sanctifies us because they comprise the truth. We become sanctified by applying them. Because we apply them by faith, God will empower us by His Spirit so that the strength to do what He says in the gospel comes from Him. If we just make the choice and begin to do it, He pushes us over the hill. That is what grace is, the gift to overcome.

We all had "our conduct in times past, in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others" (Ephesians 2:3). If we really believe that God quickened us'that He not only rescued us from death, but gave us the seed of His Kind, the God-kind, and with that, the quality of life that is eternal life, the way that God lives'and if we believe what He is offering us and the instruction for attaining it, the sheer awesomeness of it all, combined with logic, drives us to submit to becoming holy'sanctified.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 5): Ephesians 4 (B)


 

Acts 1:8

"You shall receive power" - This occurred, as recorded in Acts 2. That power arrived like the sound of wind, a mighty, rushing wind, a great gust of air. Connect this with Genesis 2:7, where God breathed air into Adam. In that act, God was giving the man a spirit. When God gave His Holy Spirit to men, He duplicated it on a majestic scale, and the Spirit came to mankind like the sound of wind or air moving. Mankind, then, is given power, the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 62:11 says, "Power belongs to God." The context deals with a person going through trials. We have a natural tendency to turn in every direction for help, to reach out to other people, to think up solutions, to grasp for the power to solve our problem, but the psalmist informs us that God is the source of salvation. In Him resides the power to save in a right and good way.

Jeremiah 32:17 reads that "God creates by His power," and John 4:24 says that "God is a spirit." Putting these together, God is a creating spirit of the greatest power. When He creates, things of positive function and awesome beauty emerge. What a difference between man and God! By comparison, man in God's image creates destruction; almost everything man makes seems to produce negative results. But when God creates, God creates functional beauty.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Right Use of Power


 

Acts 2:1-4

God's Holy Spirit imparts to us His love, giving us the power to obey His laws in their full spiritual intent. The repentant sinner is then a changed person - his whole outlook and purpose is changed as he is led by the Spirit.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Basic Doctrines: Salvation


 

Romans 12:17-21

These remarkably high standards are possible because God is our strength. He works unseen to human eyes and makes living according to these standards possible.

Deuteronomy 32:35-37 is the source for Paul's instruction. God demands this apparently passive requirement of us as an act of faith in our intensely close relationship with Him. It may seem as if a Christian who submits to God's instruction is spineless and easily intimidated, but in God's judgment, he is strong where it really matters: in faith. The Christian, like Christ, has committed himself to the One who judges righteously, who will act in due time, using His powers in love toward all concerned (I Peter 2:23). When a person in a situation like this uses his natural powers to retaliate, he invariably does more damage than good.

Because our God is all-powerful, we must grow to trust Him, understanding that His judgment will be exactly right because He is not only there, He is also powerful in wisdom and mercy. This measure of faith enabled Abraham to trust God to raise Isaac should he actually be sacrificially slain.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part One)


 

Romans 15:13

Could we call ourselves out of spiritual Egypt? Can we forgive ourselves through our works? Can we give ourselves the Holy Spirit? Can we give ourselves the gifts needed to achieve God's purpose? Do we begin to see that it is He who should be our hope? Everything, including hope, flows from this real, literal, personal Being with whom we must develop a relationship so that we truly know Him.

Jesus utters a great profundity when He says that "eternal life is to know God" (John 17:3). It is profound because this God—Jesus' God—is God, and He can fulfill His promises. Promises are not worth a thing, not even the paper they are written on, except for the holiness, the power, and the integrity of the one who gives them. Can God be trusted? If He can, we can have hope. Our hope is in Him. If we put our trust in the promises, we are putting our hope in the wrong place because they are just added benefits.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Perseverance and Hope


 

Ephesians 1:19

God has given us revelation, and He has enlightened us that we may know the hope of His calling and the glory that lies ahead. Then, Paul immediately draws our attention to Christ's power to accomplish those ends.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 5)


 

Philippians 2:9

Jesus is not against greatness or having power, but He wants it to be given by God. God will give it to those who are in harmony with His law, His government, and His way of life. Unity with Him begins with the right attitude toward Him, toward others, and toward the self.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Grace Upon Grace


 

2 Timothy 1:7

The Holy Spirit is described generally as the power of God, which is certainly correct, but power comes in a number of forms. There is a flowing power caused by the movement of an object. Thus God uses water to illustrate an aspect of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). There is healing and nourishing power, so God uses oil to symbolize His Spirit. Words, symbols we use to represent ideas, the raw material of our thoughts, have awesome power to influence. Thus God says through Jesus that His words "are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).

Words give us the power to communicate ideas from one mind to another or to many minds. They carry the power to instruct, encourage, discourage, mollify, anger, vilify, inspire, exhilarate, create, or destroy. They can make a person change his mind, motivate him to stop or move, do, undo, or redo. The power of words is almost limitless.

If we examine the fruit of the Spirit, we find that they all have something to do with our minds. Words are a large portion of the mind's working material and therefore play a huge role in what the person produces with his life. It is no coincidence that Jesus is the Word of God, and the Bible, the written revelation of God and His purpose, is also the Word of God! God is trying to tell us something. He is concerned about our minds because what goes into them will determine what we produce with our lives. Will it be fruit leading to eternal life or fruit leading to death?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit


 

Hebrews 1:1-3

The apostle is extolling the present power of the One we worship. His authority and abilities have returned to what they were before He became a man. One of the ideas we are to take from this statement is that, if God were somehow to die, everything would shortly fly apart, so that even the physical life we now possess would end. Thus, anyone who believes God is confronted with an issue of clear, biblical logic about who sits at the controls of the universe under the Father.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Power Belongs to God (Part Two)


 

Hebrews 11:33-34

This passage contains two examples. Whenever God originally called these people, they were not strong enough to do what they eventually did. Out of weakness they were made strong—strong in faith. They waxed in valor, which means they "increased" or "grew."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 19)


 

2 Peter 1:16-21

Peter is probably referring here to the transfiguration recorded in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9. Peter, James, and John were eyewitnesses to that event, and it confirmed to them the prophecies made of old. He then urges us to press forward in faith knowing that the guarantee of the prophecies in God's Word is that they originated in God, not in men. The prophets spoke or wrote as God motivated them by His Holy Spirit. God's very words came through them to us. The Scriptures are not the invention of creative and imaginative men. They are not fairy tales, and we can trust them right on up to the return of Christ and our resurrection because the reputation and power of God are their surety.

John W. Ritenbaugh
God's Promises Are Sure!


 

 




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