The Power of God

W. Terry Varner
October 25, 2015

One of the great unchanging attributes of God is His omnipotence; i.e. He is all powerful! We think of His power demonstrated when He created the heavens and the Earth. “For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm” (Ps. 33:9, ESV). God created all things. When God acted in creation, we are told “the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God [refers to the angels already created] shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).

In the study of the group of New Testament words describing the power of God various ideas reoccur—the action of God, the strength of God, the effectiveness of God, etc.

God’s Power Effected the Resurrection of Jesus. Paul refers to God’s power as: “what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places” (Eph. 1:19-20, emp. added). The italicized words have reference “to strength regarded as abundantly effective in relation to an end to be gained or dominion exercised” (Rienecker 523-24). When God raised Jesus from the dead (cf. Col. 2:12), He exalted Christ “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:21-22). The purpose of God raising Christ was not for the purpose that He might return to the earthly life He had just finished, but rather it was to exalt Him to the highest place in heaven. The power of God is/was effective in raising Jesus (Rom. 1:4), defeating death (Heb. 2:14; Rev. 1:18), and exalting Christ as “the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15).

God’s Power Is Effective through His Word. The preaching ministry of the apostles is described as “the effectual working of His power” (Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:29; Gal. 2:8). While we believe these verses describe, in part but not only, the miraculous nature of the apostles from their baptism of the Holy Spirit, we also must admit God’s power through His written Word, the gospel. It is said of the church at Thessalonica that “the word of God . . . effectually worked also in you that believe” (1 Thess. 2:13). God’s Wordworks powerfully because it is “alive, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” having the ability to critique the thoughts and intents of man’s heart (Heb. 4:12). The Gospel can be heard by the alien sinner and when believed (obeyed) has the power to forgive sins, restore one to a heavenly relationship with God, and give man the hope of heaven. Each time one is baptized these promises are realized.

God’s Power Is Effective by Faith Working through Love. Some Jewish Christians attempted to bind circumcision and the Law of Moses upon Christianity; however, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love” (Gal. 5:6). Later in the same book Paul writes: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Gal. 6:14-15). God’s power in the redemption of the world is demonstrated by His great love (cf. John 3:16). As we meditate upon the death of Jesus on the cross, our love for what the Godhead has done and is doing ought to move us to greater faith and commitment in our “newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4) and “present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service” (Rom. 12:2).