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THE FOUR GREAT "POWER" WORDS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, ALL IN ONE TEXT!

 

EPHESIANS 1:19-20

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:1

 

 

 

LESSON 1 ... INTRODUCTION:

I'm excited about this Text!

Paul has been praying, to the Lord of course, concerning the Ephesians. He now relates to them what he's been asking!

"That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:19-20

That to me is one of the greatest prayers in all the Bible. For the saints of God, anyway.

This is indeed a power prayer!

It incorporates all four of the predominant Greek words for "power" into one single verse! I don't know of that being done anywhere else in Scripture. Perhaps three, but not four!

Those four words, each with a different "shade" of meaning, all have the central thrust of "strength, power, might," that kind of idea.

They are "dunamis, energeia, ischus and kratos." In our Text they appear as marked here: "... the exceeding greatness of his power ("dunamis") to us-ward who believe, according to the working ("energeia") of his mighty ("ischus") power  ("kratos"), which he wrought ("energeo") in Christ, when he raised him from the dead ...."

Let's study them, one by one!

Regardless of their precise etymological definitions, the essence of the Text is clear!

Think about this!

The very Power that raised Jesus from the dead ... is available to us yet today! Not to go out and perform some showy act of pride or self-aggrandizement! But with which to live for God!

To bring Glory to His Name!

No wonder Paul could confidently write: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." A sentence from Scripture which itself uses two of our words, "ischus" and "dunamis," just in their verb forms.

Lord willing, tomorrow we shall begin with "dunamis" power! In fact, it's used twice in the prayer, both as a noun and a verb.

Four days, again I say, Lord willing, of rather intensive word study!

Be sure and join us ... with an open Bible in your hand!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

In the meantime, ponder the Verse! "That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:19-20

Absolutely overwhelming!

Astounding!

That should be enough information to live for Jesus 'til He comes again! Or until He calls us Home by means of the grave.

 

 

LESSON 2, "DUNAMIS" POWER:

We're still studying a Text, a short paragraph of Scripture.

But especially a word, one word, in that Text.

"That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:19-20

The word is capitalized in the Passage above, underlined too.

God's POWER ... to us who believe!

Our noun, "dunamis," occurs after two outstanding "qualifying" words. This power is "exceeding!" This is literally the Greek word "huperballo," our word "hyperbole!" It means "to throw" something "beyond" the goal, surprisingly beyond it!

And "greatness" is "megethos," meaning "huge" or "vast" in dimension or extent or any other category too!

But our word, "power" in English, "dunamis" in Greek, must be analyzed.

The lexicons, as expected, say a lot about this fundamental New Testament term. The "duna-" stem emphasizes "being able!" It refers to "capacity!"

Everything I'll say about it though ... must be understood in this sense. "Dunamis" in the New Testament refers to "inherent" power. "Intrinsic," one might also say. That's power that has been placed "within" a person! It's not mine by nature! It's "loaned" power! "Imparted" to us by One more powerful, in this case, All Powerful!

"Dunamis" gives us such English words as "dynamite, dynamo, dynamic," all "power" related.

Once the Bible, 1st Corinthians 1:24, verily calls Jesus the "dunamis" of God! See here. "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the pOWER of God, and the wisdom of God." Wow!

Jesus ... given "to usward who believe!"

Yes!

"Dunamis" power is also compared to that of the sun! "And He (Jesus) had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. Here in Revelation 1:15 "strength" is "dunamis." Here's nuclear power! Awesome power!

God's "dunamis" power to us also equips us completely for the Christian life! "According as his divine power ("dunamis") 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: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2nd Peter 1:3-4, read it again!

Power for "all things" Christian!

Power to enjoy God's promises!

Power to be like Jesus!

Power to overcome the world!

Mercy!

Or should I say, "Grace!"

Additionally, the Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of power too, this very "dunamis" power! "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Add to 2nd Timothy 1:7 here Romans 15:19, in which Paul also says: "By the power ("dunamis" again) of the Spirit of God ... I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." Amen!

Meditate on these formative Verses!

Life changing!

This POWER, exactly, no more and no less, is available to us today!

That's the beauty of Ephesians 1:19-20.

"To usward who believe!"

The preposition "to" here is spelled "eis," meaning "into!" This "dunamis" power is infused within us! Implanted!

It's there, use it!

Appropriate it today ... to live as you should ... for the Glory of God!

It's a shame not to do so!

Even a sin!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, "ENERGEIA" AND "ENERGEO," NOUN AND VERB:

Words!

Every one of them inspired by God, too!

Yes, "verbal" inspiration of Scripture means that every single word, verbs and nouns and prepositions and all the other parts of speech as well, is God-breathed!

And one Text in the New Testament, from the pen of Paul, includes the four main words for "power!"

Therefore it's the most power-packed Paragraph in the whole Bible!

Here it is: "That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:19-20

Now again, with the Greek words they represent placed right beside them: "That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power ("dunamis") to us-ward who believe, according to the working ("energeia") of his mighty ("ischus") power ("kratos"), which he wrought ("energeo") in Christ, when he raised him from the dead ...."

Today we notice the noun "energeia" and its verbal counterpart "energeo." Both, as you can see, appear in our Text. Both also are derived from the same root word.

Obviously, our word "energy" is apparent here, "energeia." The Greek word for "work" is "ergon." The prefix "en" just means "inside" something or someone. "Energeia" is, technically, an act of God whereby He puts a holy "work" ethic deep down inside each of His children! Power God has placed deep "within" us!

One lexicon says that "energeia" speaks of activity, zealous labor, as opposed to idleness or inactivity!

Biblically, God is the First Worker! "And on the seventh day God ended his work (ergon) which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work (ergon) which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work (ergon) which God created and made." Genesis 2:23 uses "ergon" of God three different times!

When God moves into a man's heart, when he is first saved, "energeia" has arrived!

This "energeia" spills over into our lives, God-invested Power!  "Jesus ... Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (ergon)." Titus 2:14

When we consider the verb, "energeo," we learn that any "energy" we have is largely derived from the Word of God! The Bible itself is "ergon" filled! Here's Hebrews 4:12 for proof. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful (energes), and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The more the Word of God is "in" us ... the more "energon" is "in" us too!

This "energeia" also, somehow, attracts faith and love! Read this. "Faith which worketh ("energeo") by love." Galatians 5:6

Yes indeed, energy, power, strength, all placed within us the very second we are saved!

Our Text tells us that it was God (God the Father) Who "energized" enough power to raise Jesus from the dead!

And that very same God the Father has "energized" our hearts and souls too!

There's just no excuse for us Christians growing ultra weary and fainting along the Way!

We have been given His "energy!"

Glory to God!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, "ISCHUS" POWER:

One Bible Verse!

Four words for power or strength or might!

Synonyms!

"That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead ...." Ephesians 1:19

I have capitalized and underlined the four words at issue.  Well, obviously, only three words in English, but four in Greek. A different Greek noun stands behind each use of "power" in our Text. 

Now, the adjective "mighty" is really based on a unique noun in Greek, "ischus." It's pronounced is-khoos.' 

It is derived from the root verb "echo," meaning "to hold on." Or "to possess" something. God's "holding on" power. I like the sound of that! He is certainly holding me! "In the shadow of His hand hath He hid me." Now Isaiah 49:2 here is parallel to John 10:28. "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." Holding power!

Another shade of meaning: power which one already "possesses!" Which a man "holds" as his own, currently! To the ancients "ischus" inferred martial power, military power, combat ready!

Here it is in such a sense, from John's pen. "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong (ischus), and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." 1st John 2:14, fighters!

Here's another "war zone" use. "When a strong man (ischuros) armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he (ischuroteros) shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils." Luke 11:21-22 presents the "strong man" as the devil. And the "Stronger Man" as the Lord Jesus Christ!

Often in Greek history "ischus" was used to denote physical strength also. Of course there are exceptions to this trend. The Holy Spirit can do with a word whatever He pleases!

This aspect of God's power is especially glorious! That's according to 2nd Thessalonians 1:9, which speaks of "the glory of His power (ischus)." Wow!

God's "staying" power, His "holding" power, given to usward!

The very thought of it is awesome!

No wonder Paul could confidently write of the Philippians: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

That's because of God's "ischus" power, for sure!

We just can't quit!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, "KRATOS" POWER:

The word is "kratos."

It's use in Ephesians 1:19 has captured our attention. Paul there mentions "the exceeding greatness of God's power to us-ward who believe, even according to the working of His mighty power ...."

That last noun, "power," the one that's capitalized and underlined, that's "kratos" in Greek.

In fact, this great Verse uses four such words for power or work or other activities of Almighty God! They are "dunamis, energeia, ischus, and kratos!"

Practically every word available to Paul, he employs in this cascading cataract of awesome power!

The overwhelming Power of God!

The very Power that raised Jesus from the dead!

That Power, just think, is extended to us today!

As Christians, I mean.

Watch as I connect a few words of the context Paul has built: "That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:19-20

It's also the very same Power that lifted Jesus from this earth, exactly forty days after His Resurrection, and transported Him straight to Heaven, right there by the Throne of God, on His Right Hand!

And that kind of strength is yours ... and mine ... "to usward," writes Paul!

Back to today's word, "kratos."

Our word carries the sense of "supremacy," so say the lexicons.

Perhaps its most surprising nuance here is simply that "kratos" refers to "manifested" power! Power in use, in gear, being expended!

Its root, "kra," means "to perfect, to complete!" See in it our word "create" or "Creator!"

The verb form of "kratos," similarly spelled "krateo," means "to seize, to arrest, to imprison," especially using force!

Watch this "kratos" stem help us "build" some English terms, or "borrow": them really. "Democracy" means the "power" of the people, "demos." Here "kra" becomes "cra," using the British spelling. Add plutocracy (power of the wealthy) and theocracy (power or rule of God) and aristocracy (power of the elite, the best) too!

Then, blending "kratos" with a little prefix, "panta," which means "all," we get "pantokrator," in our Bibles, "Almighty!"

God Almighty makes available to us His Strength, so promises our Text!

Not for selfish purposes, not at all!

But, as Peter says, "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness!" 2nd Peter 1:3

Amen!

If we do not live victorious lives to the Glory of God, don't blame Deity! Somehow that just means we're not "connected!"

Whereas, Paul sure was! He once wrote: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Wow, two power words reside here! Watch: "I can do (ischuo) all things through Christ which strengtheneth (endunamoo) me."

We can too!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, "TO USWARD" POWER:

It's a short prepositional phrase.

But it's inspired of God!

And it's nearly the best news a Christian could ever hope to hear!

The words are: "to usward!"

They are found in Ephesians 1:19.

Basically they convey the truth that God's mighty power, having just been described in a fourfold manner, is available "to usward."

"That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:19-20

The Greek here reads "eis hemas," that is, "to us!"

So, for a while we need to talk about that little word "eis."

In the world of Greek prepositions this one is different in that it's only used with the accusative case. Ancient scholars used "eis" to picture a "line" drawn from point "a" to point "b." It depicts motion from a source to a target, from an origin to a goal!

In our Ephesians Text, God is the Source, the Origin. And we are the targets, the focus of His mighty power!

We have not earned such power!

Nor do we deserve it!

Nor is it really ours to use indiscriminately.

It is, by the Grace of God, made available to us, to aid our spiritual lives.

Straight from God ... to us!

Like a clothesline tied to Deity ... then strung across the universe ... and attached to you or me!

One Greek Text says "eis" indicates a reaching or touching of the object in question! Mission accomplished!

Even the Minor Prophet Micah, who certainly live pre-Pentecost, said this: "But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD." Micah 3:8

And Zechariah adds: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 4:6

But nothing equals or surpasses this Ephesians 1:19 kind of power, no way!

This is "raised Jesus from the dead" power!

This is "Jesus ascended to Heaven" power!

This is "everything under His, our Lord's, feet" kind of power!

This is "Jesus as Head over all things" power!

And this is dunamis, energeia, ischus, kratos, a compound kind of power too!

Wow!

Everything we could ever need to live for the Lord!

To usward who believe!

Worry?

Fear?

Pesky little sins?

Bad habits?

Temper?

Any other hindrance?

Surely they all fall before such an onslaught of God-sent Strength!

Abraham, "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?" Genesis 18:14

Jeremiah, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27

Paul, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Ephesians 6:10

Or just, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:14

Even to this degree of assurance: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

Never-ending Power!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, CONCLUSION:

Today we summarize.

"That ye may know ... what is the exceeding greatness of His power (dunamis) to us-ward who believe, according to the working (energeia) of His mighty (ischus) power (kratos), which He wrought (energeo) in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:19-20, our Text, showing the Greek words for "power" we have been discussing.

First, in reference to us Christians, power as a gift of God is available. It's already there, placed within us from the moment of salvation! Potential power, ready to be tapped anytime. This is "dunamis" power. Like a battery, fully charged!

Then, when needed in a specific instance, daily no doubt, maybe hourly, that power is readily energized. It's not only potential power, but active power as well! Use as needed! Unlimited quantities available! This, obviously, is "energeia."

Thirdly, that power, being exercised, grows! Like a man's muscles when worked regularly and vigorously, strength increases! This adds to power's durability too. "Ischus" in fact is derived from "echo," the Greek verb that means "to hold on" to something! Not giving up!

Lastly, when those extreme situations arise, there is sufficient power on hand to confront them as well! This is massive power, manifested power, unleashed power!

Wow!

Another way to look at this sequence, "dunamis" power gives me "hope." I know, according to God's Word, it is present in my life! I, like Paul, and through the Lord Jesus Christ, can do all things!

"Energeia" gives "drive." Here's my fuel for Christian "service!" This is what propels me, motivates me. It makes every communing saint of God an active dynamo of potential!

"Ischus" is sustained power! It "holds on" persistently and just will not "give up" in a difficult situation. Determination, faithfulness, life-long ability that actually grows with each new use!

Finally, "kratos" power is like the "overdrive" capability in your car. "Passing gear" it once was called! Extra, reserve energy! "Kratos" power is not stored, like "dunamis," it's released! Manifested! More than enough!

Wow!

This chain of development, this God-created law of spiritual power, is enacted at God's Will! Multi-faceted, no-telling-how-many dimensional, beyond our ability to comprehend, POWER!

It's what raised Jesus from the Dead! Yes, it's power "which God wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead." Ephesians 1:20

It's what brought Jesus back to Heaven, the glorified and resurrected Jesus! At His Ascension! It "set Jesus at the Father's own right hand in the heavenly places." Ephesians 1:20

It's overcoming power, incomparable power, where Jesus is elevated! "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." Ephesians 1:21

It's subduing power! "And God hath put all things under His feet." Prevailing power! Ephesians 1:22

It's crowning power, too! God "gave him, Jesus, to be the Head over all things to the church." Ephesians 1:22

What can't this "quartet" of power accomplish?

Is it not connected to the very omnipotence of God?

Look again for just a minute at the Resurrection of Jesus, the first example Paul gives of this awesome chain of power in action. "The exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead."

Jesus is alive!

He is the Resurrected Saviour!

God the Father raised Him from the grave! Listen to Peter preaching in Acts 3:15, "Ye killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses." Then comes Romans 10:9. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." That's God the Father!

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT raised Him from the dead! "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Paul in Romans 8:11, word for word!

Then, GOD THE SON claimed to raise Himself from the grave too! Speaking of His Own life, in John 10:18, He said: "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

Wow!

The same Trilogy applies in man's salvation too!

And probably in every answer to prayer!

Multi-layered power!

Christian friend, use it carefully!

But, do use it!

It will give you ... "according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness ... whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2nd Peter 1:3-4

"All things that pertain unto life and godliness!"

That's what, Peter says, such Power provides!

Glory to God!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

I'VE WANTED TO STUDY THIS TEXT FOR QUITE A WHILE! I'M GLAD WE DID! WHAT MIGHTY POWER HAS BEEN DESCRIBED! HOW VERY ENCOURAGING, "TO USWARD WHO BELIEVE!"

 

 

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