Some English versions of the Bible use the word ‘power’ to translate different Greek words. In some cases the meaning has to do with great strength or the ability to exercise that strength (1 Cor 1:18; Eph 1:19; Rev 5:13). In other cases it has to do with authority, or the right to exercise authority (Matt 21:23; 28:18; John 1:12; Rom 13:1). The present article is concerned with the first of these meanings. For the second meaning see AUTHORITY.

Evidences of God’s power.

The Old Testament repeatedly speaks of God’s immeasurable power. This power was demonstrated through his creation of the universe (Ps 33:6-9; Isa 40:21-23; Jer 10:12-13), his activity in nature (Ps 29:3-10; 66:5-7), his control of history (Exod 9:16; Ps 33:10; Isa 40:15-17) and his saving acts on behalf of his people (Exod 15:4-12; 32:11; Ps 106:8; 111:6; Isa 40:10-11). These evidences of God’s power are referred to also in the New Testament (Luke 1:49; Rom 1:16,20; 15:19; Heb 1:10-12; Rev 7:12; 15:8). The life and ministry of Jesus Christ provide particularly clear evidence of God’s power (Luke 4:14,36; 5:17; 9:1; see MIRACLES; KINGDOM OF GOD). The supreme demonstration of God’s power is the resurrection of Jesus (Rom 1:4; Eph 1:19-20).

Saving power at work

God’s promise to believers is that the same power as raised Jesus from death is available to them. Just as Jesus conquered sin and death, so can those who trust in him. They have victory over sin now and are assured of victory over death at Jesus’ return (Rom 6:5-11; 8:9-11; Phil 3:9-11; 1 Cor 6:14; 15:42-44,54- 56). The entire salvation God has made available operates by his power. This salvation includes saving sinners from eternal condemnation and giving them victory over sin in their lives as believers (Rom 1:16; 6:14; 1 Cor 1:18,24; 2:5; Eph 1:18-20; 3:20; 1 Peter 1:3-5). This power becomes theirs through the Spirit of God within them (Acts 1:8; Rom 15:13; Eph 3:16; cf. Micah 3:8; Zech 4:6; see HOLY SPIRIT). Although they have this power of God within them, believers are not to seek exhibitions of it that will draw attention to themselves (2 Cor 12:9; 13:4). They should be humble and dependent on God, so that he alone may be the one in whom people trust and to whom they give praise (Acts 3:12-16; 1 Cor 2:4-5; 2 Cor 4:7; Phil 4:13; 1 Thess 1:5; 2 Peter 1:3).

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