Miraculous Powers Do Not Inhere in the Term “Power” (76)
Christ instructed the disciples to stay in Jerusalem after his resurrection as recorded in Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses of Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and in the end of the earth”. Some brethren insist that everyone who claims he/she is immersed (baptized) in the Holy Spirit, that there should be a manifestation of observable miraculous power to confirm the claim of Holy Spirit immersion. To me, the view of miraculous power inherent in the term “power” is scripturally unwarranted. Let us discuss the issue.
A. Power = Dunamis. Analyze the verses and find out that not all are miraculous powers. Mark 9:1 – “. . . not taste death till they see the kingdom of God come with power (dunamis).” Mark 12:24 – “. . . know not the scriptures, neither the power (dunamis) of God.”
Luke 1:35 – “. . . The Holy Spirit will come upon you . . . the power (dunamis) of the Highest shall overshadow you.” Luke 4:14 – “Then Jesus returned in the power (dunamis) of the Spirit to Galilee. . .”
Luke 4:36 – “. . . with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they came out of him. . .” Luke 5:17 – “. . . power of the Lord was (present) to heal them.
Luke 9:1 – “power and authority over all devils”
Lk. 24:49 – “. . . until you be endued with power from on high” Question: How many people were in this group who heard the Promise which included the 2 disciples from Emmaus? ___
Acts 1:8 – “you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
Acts 4:33 – “. . .w/ great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. . .” Question: Was this great power in witnessing enjoyed only by the 11 apostles? __ Yes, __ No. Acts 6:8 – “. . . Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” Acts 10:38 – “God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good. . .” Roma 1:4 – “. . . declared to be the Son of God with power”
Romans 9:17 – “I might show my power in thee” Question: Did Apostle Paul enjoy this power? __Yes, __ No. Romans 15:13 – “. . . abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:19 – “in mighty signs & wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. . I preached the gospel” 1Cor. 2:4- “demonstration of the Spirit & of power” Question: Did Apostle Paul enjoy these? __ Yes, __ No. 1Corinthians 2:5 – “wisdom of men, but in the power of God”. Question: Did Paul enjoy this power? __Yes, _ No. 1Cor. 4:19, 20 – “not the speech of them…but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” 1Cor. 5:4 – “with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Question: Do we enjoy some of this power? __Yes, _ No. 1Corinthians 6:14 – “and will also raise up us by his own power”.
2Corinthians 4:7 – “the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.”
2Cor. 12:9 – “my strength is made perfect in weakness. .Boast in . . . infirmities . . . power of Christ. . .rest upon me.”
Question: Do we enjoy some of this today? __ Yes, __ No.
2Corinthians 13:4 – “. . we also are weak in Him, but we shall live w/ Him by the power of God toward you.” Ephesians 1:19- “the exceeding greatness of his power (dunameoos) toward us who believe. . .” Eph. 3:7 – “. . I became a minister according . . . grace of God given to me by the effectual working of His power.”
Question: Do ministers enjoy some of these grace and power? __ Yes, __ No.
Ephesians 3:20 – “. . do . . abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”
Question: Did the Ephesian disciples enjoy this power from God? __ Yes, __ No.
Philippians 4:13 – “. . can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth (endunamoo endum) me.”
Question: Many of us today claim this enabling power, is the strength granted miraculous? __Yes, __ No. Col. 1:11 – “Strengthened (dunamomenoi) with all might, according to His glorious power . . patience . . with joy.”
Question: Do Christians enjoy some of this power today? __ Yes, __ No.
1Thessalonians 1:5 – “. . did not come to you in word only but also in the power, and in the Holy Spirit. . .” 2Thessalonians 1:11 – “. . fulfill all the good pleasure .. and the work of faith with power.” Do you enjoy this? __ 2Timothy 1:8 – “. . according to the power of God.” 2Tim 4:17- “the Lord stood. . . strengthened me (endunamoo)”.
Question: Do we enjoy this assurance amidst trials of life? __ Yes, __ No.
Hebrews 6:5 – “have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come.”
Question: Do Christians today taste the powers of the world to come? __ Yes, __ No.
1Peter 1:5 – “Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Question: Do you enjoy this assurance today? __ Yes, __ No.
2Pe 1:3 – “ . . . his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . .” Question: Do Christians enjoy this divine power today? ___Yes, __ No.
Heb. 11:11 – “Sarah received strength to conceive” cf. Gal .4:29- “Isaac was born according to the Spirit” Question: Was the power given to Sarah the same miraculous power given to the Apostles? __ Yes, __No.
B. To strengthen, to make strong (krataioo). This is not miraculous power.
Ephesians 3:16 – “. . . to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.”
Question: Do disciples enjoy this strengthening power of the Holy Spirit today? ___ Yes, ___ No.
C. Power = eXousia KJV (Privilege, authority) This is not miraculous power.
John 1:12 – “gave the power to become sons of God”. Question: Do you have the God-given power to become a child of God today? __ Yes, __ No.
Roma 8:11-17- Holy Spirit indwells, is mark of adoption.” Question: Do you this today? ___ Yes, __ No. 2Cor. 13:10 – “the power which the Lord has given me.” See also 1 Cor. 4:21 & 2 Cor. 10:8 = authority. 2Thes. 3:9 – “not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example. .” See also 1Corinthians 9:4-14.
D. Strength, force = ischus
E. Strengthen = sthenoo
2Peter 2:11- “angels which are greater in power and might. .”
1Peter 5:10- “to make you perfect. . .strengthen. .” Question: Do we have this power today? ___Yes, __ No.
F. Strength, power = Kratos
Eph. 1:19 – “. . greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.”
Question: Do Christians enjoy this power today? ___Yes, __ No.
Ephesians 6:10- “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Question: Is it true today? __Yes, __No.
G. Manifestations or Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Display of Power, Strength, Authority, Force 1 Corinthians 1:7- “not lacking in spiritual gift”. Question: Do you have any spiritual gifts? __ Yes, __No. 1 Cor. 7:7- “each has his own gift from God” & 7:17- “God has distributed. . .” Not all of these gifts are miraculous.
Question: Do you enjoy any of these gifts? __ Yes, __ No.
1 Cor. 12:7- “each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Question: Do you have any Holy Spirit gift manifestation? __ Yes, __ No.
Romans 12:6-8 & 1 Cor. 12:1-10; Efeso 4:10-14; 1 Peter 4:10-11 – different gifts, different ministries. Question: Do you have any gift from the Holy Spirit for your ministry? __ Yes, __ No.
1 Cor. 12:11- Holy Spirit distributes gifts to each one individually as He wills. Question: Do you have any gift from the Holy Spirit? __ Yes, __No.
1 Cor. 13:8-10 – when the “complete” had come, the miraculous powers ceased.
Question: What kind of gifts or manifestations have ceased? ____________________________
1. Having one’s name written in heaven is a greater accomplishment than doing miracles (Lk 10:17-20).
2. Miraculous power does NOT inhere in the term “power.” We have shown this truth in the many citations listed above.