Power

Can you separate Jesus from power? Do you share His power?

The Bible says:

Then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Mark 13:26

Jesus, at His coming in the clouds, will exhibit “great power.”

The apostles had the same kind of power:

With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Acts 4:33

The error of no power

In Matthew chapter 22, the Sadducees try to catch Jesus in a question about the resurrection.

Jesus’ response holds the Sadducees accountable for their lack of power:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Matthew 22:29

The Sadducees should have known both the scriptures and God’s power. They didn’t.

Jesus will hold us accountable for the lack of God’s power in our life.

Your responsibility to have power

How would you like to know the power of God? Even better, how would you like to be full of God’s power?

This may not interest you, but it should.

That’s how Stephen was. He was full of faith and power. The two go together.

Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 6:8

We usually think of Stephen as the martyr who saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. Here, however, we see Stephen had a remarkable ministry prior to his death.

How did Stephen become full of power? What was the source of his power?

To find out, look at the word rendered power in these verses.

δύναμις – Strong’s G1411 – dynamis – Power

Let’s examine the effects of Stephen’s power and the source of his power.

Thayer’s Lexicon

Thayer’s Lexicon describes Stephen’s power and gives its meaning.

Specifically, the power of performing miracles: Acts 6:8; πᾶσα δύναμις, every kind of power of working miracles (with the addition of καὶ σημείοις κτέρασι), 2 Thessalonians 2:9; plural: [Matthew 13:54Matthew 14:2Mark 6:14]; 1 Corinthians 12:28Galatians 3:5

ἐνεργήματα δυνάμεων1 Corinthians 12:10; by metonymy, of the cause for the effecta mighty work [cf. Winers Grammar, 32; Trench, § xci.]: δύναμιν ποιεῖνMark 6:5Mark 9:39; so in the plural, Mark 6:2Luke 19:37; joined with σημεῖαActs 8:13; with σημεῖα κτέραταActs 2:222 Corinthians 12:12Hebrews 2:4 [?]; ποιεῖν δυνάμειςMatthew 7:22; [Matthew 13:58]; Acts 19:11γίνονται δυνάμειςMatthew 11:20f23Luke 10:13.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

In the same word, we have both the source of the power and the effect of the power.

Zodhiates

Here’s how Zodhiates puts it:

Generally – -With the gen phrase “of God”, it expresses the source, i.e., the power imparted from God. See 1 Cor 2:5 and 2 Cor 6:7).

Zodhiates

The Results of the Power

Miracles

Stephen and the apostles had the power of God. The results included the power of miracles.

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:5

You might believe that the age of miracles has ended. I choose to believe otherwise. If we have God’s power, miracles can happen right now.

Faith

God’s power results in faith.

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:5

Also:

Ministry

In all [things] approving ourselves as the ministers of God … By the word of truth, by the power of God…

2 Corinthians 6:4,7

God’s power approves us as ministers of God.

Power confirms our ministry

Apostle Paul testified concerning this in Second Corinthians chapter numer two:

Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

2 Corinthians 2:12

That phrase, “mighty deeds”, has the same underlying word that our text renders as “power.”

Preaching

[1Co 2:4 KJV] 4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

Praises to God

Luke chapter 19 tell us,

When he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

Luke 19:37

That phrase, “mighty works”, has the same underlying word that our text renders as “power.”

When you have power, you can expect “mighty works.” You can also expect people to praise God because of that power.

Wonder

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Acts 8:13

Repentance

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

Matthew 11:20

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Matthew 11:23

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

Luke 10:13

The Source of the Power

We know the power for faith and ministry come from God. How do we connect with that source of power?

We’re not the only ones who want to know the source of the power.

When he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this [man] this wisdom, and [these] mighty works?

Matthew 13:54

When the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

Mark 6:2

The Spirit of God

Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Romans 15:19

Faith

Acts 6:8, which is our text for today tells us,

Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 6:8

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:5

Grace

Acts 4:33

With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Acts 4:33

Knowledge of Scripture

Matthew 22:29

A gift

[1Co 12:10 KJV] 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

God

God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost…

Hebrews 2:4

A Different World

Trench

According to Trench, the power results from a Divine connection.

It is involved and declared in the very word that the prime object and end of the miracle is to lead us to something out of and beyond itself; that, so to speak, it is a kind of finger-post of God (διοσημεία, signs from Zeus, is nounfrequent word in later Greek), pointing for us to this (Isai. 7:11; 38:7); valuable, not so much for what it is, as for what it indicates of the grace and power of the doer, or of his immediate connexion with a higher spiritual world (Mark 16:20Acts 14:3Heb. 2:4Exod. 7:9, 10; 1 Kin. 13:3).

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/trench/section.cfm?sectionID=91

With Stephen (and other NT cases), the source of his power is a connection with a different world. According to Trench, the connection comes from a spiritual world.

Trench expands on this:

To new and higher forces (ἐνέργειαι, ἐνεργήματα, 1 Cor. 12:6, 10), ‘powers of the world to come’ (Heb. 6:5), which have entered and are working in this lower world of ours.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/trench/section.cfm?sectionID=91

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Hebrews 6:5

Why no power?

Unbelief

[Mar 6:5 KJV] 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them].

[Mat 13:58 KJV] 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Speak evil of Jesus

[Mar 9:39 KJV] 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Danger of Power

Satanic Power

This leads us to an observation that we sometimes ignore: Workers of evil have the same kind of power as what Stephen had. Only the power has Satan as its source rather than God.

Just as God acts as a source of power for believers, unbelievers can access the power of Satan.

Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:8-9

That “Wicked” has the same type of divine power as that which comes from God. We can therefore say that this power is supernatural. It can come from either God or Satan.

[2Th 2:9 KJV] 9 [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

[Mat 24:24 KJV] 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Power without Salvation

[Mat 7:22-23 KJV] 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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