Two “Power” Words


Power

Now there’s a word we need to understand from a scriptural perspective.  I am going to be a little more teaching minded in this message than normal.  The New Testament tells us that the Christian life is one that is filled with power.  What I am going to do is breakdown the two most commonly used words for “power” in the New Testament.  We will go through their definitions as well as other words they were translated into in the scriptures.  The goal of this word study is to give us a better understanding of the “power” that God wants to be present in our lives.

These two “power” words are the Greek words – Exousia & Dunamis.  Exousia is used 103 times in the New Testament and Dunamis is used 120 times in the New Testament.  We are going to list some examples (not all of them), mainly from famous verses (verses we use to form doctrine).  If you want to further study these two words a Strong’s Concordance is one of the easiest ways to do so.  We are going to use the King James Version of the scriptures for this message.

Let’s get started with the word Exousia.  Here is the definition:

Power ἐξουσία (exousia)-

  1. Power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
    • leave or permission
  2. Physical and mental power
    • the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
  3. The power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
  4. The power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)

 

In the King James Version the word Exousia is translated 103 times as 6 different words.  The majority of the time it is translated using the words Power or Authority.

Here are some scriptures in which Exousia is translated.  I have highlighted the translated word in orange:

  • Power – Translated 69 times – Examples Below

Matthew 9:6 – But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Matthew 10:1 – And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Acts 26:18 – To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Colossians 1:13 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Revelation 20:6 – Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

  • Authority – Translated 27 times – Examples Below

Luke 4:36 – And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! For with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Luke 9:1 – Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

 

  • Right – Translated 2 times – No Examples Used
  • Liberty –Translated 1 time – No Example Used
  • Jurisdiction – Translated 1 time – No Example Used
  • Strength – Translated 1 time – No Example Used

 

The most frequent “power” word in the New Testament is Dunamis.  It is used 120 times and is translated into 6 different words. 

Power δύναμις (Dunamis) –  

  1. Strength power, ability
    1. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
    2. power for performing miracles
    3. moral power and excellence of soul
    4. the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
    5. power and resources arising from numbers
    6. power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

 

Here are some scriptures in which Dunamis is translated.  I have highlighted the translated word in orange:

  • Power – Translated 77 times – Examples Below

Luke 4:14 – And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

Luke 4:36 – And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! For with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Luke 10:19 – Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 4:33 – And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Acts 10:38 – How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Romans 1:4 – And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

1 Corinthians 4:20 – For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 – For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 3:5 – Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

  • Mighty Work – Translated 11 times – Examples Below

Matthew 11:20-23 – Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 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 13:58 – And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Ephesians 1:19 – And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

  • Strength – Translated 7 times – Examples Below

2 Corinthians 12:9 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

  • Miracle – Translated 7 times – Examples Below

Acts 19:11 – And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

Galatians 3:5 – 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?

  • Might –  Translated 4 times – Example Below

Ephesians 3:16 – That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

  • Virtue – Translated 3 times – Examples Below

Mark 5:30 – And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

  • Mighty – Translated 2 times – No Example Used

What does the study of these two words tell us?

  • Exousia – Delegated Authority
  • Dunamis – Miraculous Power

These are the divine elements of Christianity.  Grace, mercy, the authority of the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit; these are the gifts of God imparted to humanity as a result of the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. 

 My purpose in writing out this word study is to remind us all that the basis of our faith is supernatural.   We are not humans following a religion in hopes of pleasing an absentee god.  We are sinners who have been born again by the Spirit of God who have become the temple or house of God.  Christianity is supernatural.  Many preachers have said that our faith “began in a virgin womb and was birthed in an empty tomb.”

The power and authority of God is in our lives because of our faith in Jesus Christ.  This power and authority enables us to live the life of the redeemed and empowers us to fulfill the great commission.  Please take the time to study these scriptures and always remember that He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

May the authority and power of God live in you and flow through you to a lost and dying world.

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