God’s Almighty Power

17 11 2007

A. W. Pink in The Attributes of God (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan – 2001) quotes 16th century Christian teacher Stephen Charnock in discussing the power of God (pages 46-51). http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Attributes/attrib_09.htm

“The power of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever His infinite wisdom may direct, and whatsoever the infinite purity of His will may resolve. . . . As holiness is the beauty of all God’s attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the Divine nature. How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power His mercy would be but feeble pity, His promises an empty sound, His threatenings a mere scarecrow. God’s power is like Himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature. (S. Charnock).”

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God’s Power is discussed in The New Bible Dictionary, 2nd edn (Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois – 1991, page 956)…….

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I. God’s Power Testified to in the Old Testament

True power, the ability to exercise authority effectively, belongs to God alone (Psalm 62:11). The power of God is shown in creation (Psalm 148:5) and the sustaining of the world (Psalm 65: 5-8). Some of his authority is delegated to mankind (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalms 8:5-8; Psalms 115:16), but God actively intervenes on many occasions, showing his power in miraculous deeds of deliverance. It was ‘with mighty hand and outstretched arm’ that he brought his people out of Egypt (Exodus 15:6, Deuteronomy 5:15, etc.), and he demonstrated his power by giving them the promised land (Psalm 111:6).

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Exodus 15:6

“Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.”

Deuteronomy 5:15

“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.”

Psalm 62:11

Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God;”

Psalm 65: 5-8

(5) By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;
(6) Who establishes the mountains by His strength, Being girded with might;
(7) Who stills the roaring of the seas, The roaring of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples.
(8) They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.

Psalm 111:6

He has made known to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.”

Psalm 148:5

Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.”

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II. God’s Power Testified to in the New Testament

IIA. “‘Power‘ in the English Bible versions represents chiefly Greek dynamis and exousia. exousia means derived or conferred ‘authority’, the warrant or right to do something (Matthew 21:23-27); from this it comes to denote concretely the bearer of authority on earth (Romans 13:1-3), or in the spirit world (Colossians 1:16). dynamis is ability (2 Corinthians 8:3) strength (Ephesians 3:16), or it may mean a powerful act (Acts 2:22) or a powerful spirit (Romas 8:28).

Christ had all authority given to him by his Father (Matthew 28:18) and he used it to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6) and to cast out evil spirits (Matthew 10:1). He gave authority to his disciples to become sons of God (John 1:12) and to share in his work (Mark 3:15).

  • Matthew 9:6 “”But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins“–then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.””
  • Matthew 10:1 “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”
  • Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
  • Mark 3:15and to have authority to cast out the demons.”
  • John 1:12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”

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IIB. Jesus came to his ministry in the power (dynamis) of the Spirit (Luke 4:14), and his power was operative in healing miracles (Luke 5:17) and he did many mighty works (Matthew 11:20). This was evidence of the power of the kingdom of God as a prelude to the new Exodus (Luke 11:20; cf. Exodus 8:19). But the kingdom had not yet come in its full power. That would happen at Pentecost (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; ?Mark 9:1) and there would be the consummation of the parousia (Matthew 24:30, etc.).

  • Matthew 11:20Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.”
  • Matthew 24:30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.”
  • Luke 4:14 “And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.”
  • Luke 5:17 “One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.”
  • Luke 11:20 “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
  • Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
  • Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

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IIC. In the Acts we see the power of the Spirit operative in the life of the church (Acts 4:7, 33; Acts 6:8; cf. Acts 10:38). Paul looks back to the resurrection as the chief evidence of God’s power (Romans 1:4; Ephesians 1:19-20; Philippians 3:10) and sees the gospel as the means by which that power comes to work in men’s lives (Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:18).

  • Acts 4:7 “When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
  • Acts 4:33 “And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.”
  • Acts 6:8 “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.”
  • Acts 10:38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
  • Romans 1:4 “who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,”
  • Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
  • Ephesians 1:19-20(19) and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might (20) which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,”
  • Philippians 3:10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;”

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During the past week as I thought about and tried to focus upon the power of God, it is convicting to me to perceive that it is impossible for people to rationally understand and intellectually grasp the fullness of the power of God.  It is also convicting to see how comprehensively the Scriptures describe God’s power.

It is a good thing for people to humble ourselves before Almighty God, and to confess that His ways are not our ways, that His will and purposes are beyond and not controlled by our own desires and actions.  God is omnipotent – He is all powerful.

Eternity will be so very interesting as we contemplate the wonders of God – to the degree that God sees fit that we do so with Him in heaven.

Thanks and praise be to God that He is so good and so powerful!

Amen!

Churchlayman

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One response

13 07 2008
anne robare

Why is God’s Power from on High not understood by so many? It can never be received by false Christians who remain under the Law of Sin of Death by following a false gospel. Ro 9-11. True Christians who belong to the Law of the Spirit of Life have received God’s Power from on High through God’s one and only spiritual New Covenant baptism that we must spiritually drink, Ro 1-18; 1Co 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-7. All true Christians will have the very same “Mind of Christ” since we all have the one and only anointing from the Holy One of God that the apostle John described so well in 1Jn 2. What he described there is the very same baptism Paul always described in Scriptures such as 1Co 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-7; etc.

And, here is another perfect description of that same anointing in 1Jn 2:

1Co 1:30. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us Wisdom from God and Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption, 31. that, according as it is written, ‘He that glorieth, let him Glory in the Lord!’

1Co 2:14. Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him and he cannot know them because they are spiritually judged. 15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things and he himself is judged of no man. 16. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the Mind of Christ!

What does physical water have to do with God’s Power from on High as we read in Lk 24; Ac 1-5? What does physical water have to do with God’s Divine Power that gives us everything we need to participate in His Divine Nature as Peter wrote in 2Pe 1? What is the lie of 2Th 2 that Paul reveals right there in 2Th 2?




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