THE “DUNAMIS” POWER OF GOD!!
By Rodney W. Francis
The following is an honest attempt to help us to see the need of the “dunamis” power of God to be restored in greater measure in our lives and in the Christian Church in general. For too long this power has been neglected, the power that the Church and the world desperately needs to see in action. My prayer is that we will approach the subject with a very prayerful attitude of heart and mind, and genuinely seek God as to why more “dunamis” is not working in our lives.
“But you shall receive power (“dunamis”) - ability, efficiency and might - when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends - the very bounds - of the earth” (Acts 1:8 , AMP.).
“Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or conceive, by the power (“dunamis”) which is at work among us . . .” (Ephesians 3:20 , NEB).
The “dunamis” has already been given, but it is only beneficial when it is working - in US!!
“Dunamis” is a Greek word and means:
“act of power” (Young’s); “miraculous power, ability” (Strong’s); “natural capability, inherent power; capability of anything, ability to perform any-thing; then, absolutely, not merely power capable of action, but, power in action” (Bullinger’s).
“Dunamis” is used 121 times in the New Testament and translated into the following English words:
Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb when the “dunamis” of God came on her:The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power (“dunamis”) of God shall overshadow you; so the baby born to you will be utterly holy - the Son of God” (Luke 1:35 , TLB).
An interesting extra thought here is that when the “dunamis” of God is working in our lives it will produce holiness unto God. The “dunamis” power of God sets God’s standard within us, so that all we do and are reflects back to God’s honour and glory. True “dunamis” deals with “sloppy” grace, undisciplined living, unbelief and hardness of heart, etc.
Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power (“dunamis”), according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead: By Whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name” (Romans 1:4-5 , KJV).“
Dunamis” and holiness go together!
Jesus functioned in wisdom (“cleverness, skill, a right application of knowledge” - Bullinger’s) and “dunamis”. Jesus came to minister the “dunamis” of God to fallen mankind. It was demonstrated through the doing of “mighty works.” In Matthew 11:20-23 (KJV) three times Jesus used the words “mighty works” (“dunamis”) as a measuring standard to rebuke the people for their unbelief. (The NIV uses the words “miracles”). (See also Luke 10:12-15 ). Yet, in the doing of the “dunamis” works in the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, those cities rejected their chance to repent and get right with God. They will face a future judgment because of their denial and rejection of the “dunamis” power of God. In this passage Jesus named three other cities - Tyre, Sidon and Sodom - and said to the Israelites that if those cities had had an opportunity to see and experience the “dunamis” of God in them, then they would have been spared and remained unto this day! Sodom would still exist! God’s judgments upon people, cities and nations is according to the “dunamis” and what they do (or do not do) with it! Let us not forget this.
In Matthew 13:53-54 , 58, the Scripture uses the words “mighty works” to describe the “dunamis.” Jesus taught the people, who were astonished at His teachings. They said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” (“dunamis”) (NIV). (See also Mark 6:2 ). Verse 58 tells us His “dunamis” was limited because of the unbelief and lack of faith in the people! Unbelief is the killer of “dunamis” being released out of our lives!!
When Jesus returned from His wilderness experience of being tempted by the devil - Luke 4:14 , 36, - He “returned in the power (“dunamis”) of the Spirit” (KJV) . . . “and the fame of Him spread through the whole region round about. And He Himself conducted (a course of) teaching in their synagogues, being recognized and honoured and praised by all” (AMP.).
All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power (“dunamis”) He gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” And the news about Him spread throughout the surrounding area (Verse 36, NIV).
JESUS WAS APPROVED BY THE “DUNAMIS”:
He carried God’s “stamp of approval” on His life because of the “dunamis” that was working in and through Him:
“You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles (“dunamis”) and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know:” (Acts 2 : 22, KJV).
JESUS WAS ANOINTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND “DUNAMIS”:
“You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached - how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power (“dunamis”), and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him” (Acts 10:37-38 , NIV).
JESUS IS FAR ABOVE ALL OTHERS:
THE “DUNAMIS” CAN BE SEEN:
“ . . . the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works (“dunamis”) that they had seen” (Luke 19:37 ).
JESUS COULD FEEL THE “DUNAMIS” WHEN IT LEFT HIS BODY:
Luke 6:19 - “The whole multitude sought to touch Him (Jesus): for there went virtue(“dunamis”) out of Him, and healed them all” (KJV). Here’s another translation: “Everyone was trying to touch Him, for when they did, healing power (“dunamis”) went out from Him and they were cured” (TLB).
TWO THINGS THAT CAUSE CHRISTIANS TO GO INTO ERROR:
That, surely, must sober us up enough for us to ask ourselves sincerely:
If we want to keep our lives on that “straight and narrow path that leads to life” (Matthew 7:13-14 ), then we will certainly give priority to what Jesus said!
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of words but of power (“dunamis”)” (1 Corinthians 4:20 , GNB).
JESUS DELEGATED THE “DUNAMIS” TO HIS FOLLOWERS:
He gave it to the disciples and us!
“And now you see that I have given you the power (“dunamis”) to tread underfoot snakes and scorpions and all the forces of the enemy, and nothing will ever harm you” (Luke 10:19 , NEB).
“This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached (by us!) in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what My Father has promised: but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power (“dunamis”) from on high” (Luke 24:46-49 , NIV). (See also Acts 1:4 ).
“But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power (“dunamis”) to testify about Me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about My death and resurrection” (Acts 1:8 , TLB).
Surely we cannot get it any clearer than that! The whole purpose of Jesus returning back to the Father in heaven was so He could multiply Himself and His ministry in His followers through the baptism of the Holy Spirit with (you guessed it!) “dunamis” power to make us effective! That “dunamis” works in the believers in varying ways. Some release “dunamis” more than others. But essentially it is over to us as to how much we are determined to release. As Ephesians 3:20 states, it is “according to the power that works within us.”
In the Parable of the Talents, the talents were given out “to every one according to his ability” (“dunamis”) (Matthew 25:15 ). The more “dunamis” that is actively working in us, the more talents are likely to be released through us.
THE DISCIPLES RELEASED THE “DUNAMIS”:
THE APOSTLE PAUL MINISTERED POWERFULLY IN THE “DUNAMIS”:
“Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds (“dunamis”)” (2 Corinthians 12:12 , KJV).
“God did extraordinary miracles (“dunamis”) through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them” (Acts 19:11 , NIV).
Paul’s own testimony was this:
PAUL PRAYED ESPECIALLY FOR THE “DUNAMIS” TO BE WORKING IN US:
“ . . . do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge (“full knowledge; clear and exact knowledge; a knowledge that has a powerful influence on the knower” - Bullinger’s) of His will in all wisdom (“wisdom, cleverness, skill, etc.; a right application of knowledge” - Bullinger’s) and spiritual understanding; That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing (“to make large, to receive increase, to grow, grow up” - Bullinger’s) in the knowledge of God; strengthened (the Greek word is “dunamoo” meaning “to make powerful” - Young’s; “to enable” -Strong’s) with all might (“dunamis”), according to His glorious power (the Greek word is “kratos” meaning “dominion, power, strength” - Young’s) . . . ” (Colossians 1:9-11 , KJV).
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power (“dunamis”) He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11 , NIV). Notice how the “dunamis” of God works when our faith is prompted into action. God is able to do anything and everything, BUT it is according to the “dunamis” that is actively working within US! (Ephesians 3:20 ).
“DUNAMIS” WORKS ACCORDING TO THE HEARING OF FAITH:
Faith releases “dunamis”!
Unless God gives us “the gift of faith” (1 Corinthians 12:9 ) to enable us to believe and function on a higher realm of faith, then we have to apply the faith in our hearts towards God’s promises, claiming the reality and fulfilment of them for our lives and ministries. “Dunamis” is released out of our lives as we act upon the promises and truth of God’s Word:
“Tell me this one thing: did you receive God’s Spirit by doing what the Law requires or by hearing the Gospel and believing it? How can you be so foolish! You began by God’s Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power? Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something! Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles (“dunamis”) among you because you do what the Law requires or because you hear the Gospel and believe?” (Galatians 3:2-5 , GNB).
The answer, of course, is “we heard the Gospel and believed.” Paul says that it is exactly the same principle that releases God’s “dunamis” in our lives as well. “Hearing” and “Believing.”“Believing” means to “be persuaded, to rely upon, to trust. The New testament conception of faith is
The Gospel is the “dunamis” of God unto salvation: Romans 1:16 ; 1 Corinthians 1:18 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8 . In each of these Scriptures, the word “power” is “dunamis”. It is the “dunamis” that demonstrates the Kingdom of God (the speaking of words alone is not enough):
“The Kingdom of God is not just talking; it is living by God’s power (“dunamis”) (1 Corinthians 4:20 , TLB).
The Kingdom of God comes in power (Mark 9:1 ).
“Dunamis” helps us to believe and abound in hope:
God’s will is that His “dunamis” power is actively working in every part of our life. It is the “dunamis” that sets us apart as being different from other religions, peoples and belief systems. Without it we cannot accomplish anything for the glory of God.
“For this reason I remind you to keep alive the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, His Spirit fills us with power (“dunamis”), love, and self-control. Do not be ashamed, then . . .”(2 Timothy 1:6-8 , GNB).
In 1 Corinthians 12:28 where we have a list of God’s top eight priorities for the Church, miracles (“dunamis”) is listed at Number Four. All the ministries listed before it require the “dunamis” operating for them to be effective as well!
“DUNAMIS” AND THE PLACE OF TRIALS AND SUFFERING:
I will say this: because these experiences I had were so tremendous (Paul had been taken up into heaven for a visit), God was afraid I might be puffed up by them; so I was given a physical condition which has been a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to hurt and bother me, and prick my pride. Three different times I begged God to make me well again. Each time He said, “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power(“dunamis”) shows up best in weak people.” Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power (“dunamis”), instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about “the thorn,” and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong - the less I have, the more I depend on Him (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 , TLB).
“For though He (Jesus) was crucified in weakness, yet He goes on living by the power(“dunamis”) of God. And though we too are weak in Him [as He was humanly weak], yet in dealing with you [we shall show ourselves] alive and strong in (fellowship with) Him by the power (“dunamis”) of God” (2 Corinthians 13:4 , AMP.).
God, in His wisdom, has chosen to reveal His power and glory through weak human vessels. The sooner we realize how weak we are, the quicker we will make progress. Jesus told us, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41 ):
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power(“dunamis”) may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7 , KJV).
GOD’S “DUNAMIS” KEEPS US THROUGH FAITH:
Consider these statements:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power (“dunamis”) of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5 , NKJV).
The “dunamis” of God gives us everything we need to live a God-honouring, God-glorifying life:
“God’s divine power (“dunamis”) has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the One Who called us to share glory and goodness. In this way He has given us the very great and precious gifts He promised, so that by means of these gifts you may escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may come to share the divine nature . . . “ (See 2 Peter 1:3-12 , GNB).
END-TIMES RELIGION AVOIDS THE “DUNAMIS”:
The message to the Church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:8 ) was that it only had a “little strength (“dunamis”).”
WAIT UNTIL WE RECEIVE:
May the Lord help every one of us to discover how to release the “dunamis” out of our lives, so we can impact our generation for Jesus Christ and His Gospel! Amen.