Monday, April 18, 2016


1 Corinthians 4:20

οὐ γὰρ ἐν λόγῳ ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλ’ ἐν δυνάμει.

ou gar en logō hē basileia tou Theou all' en dunamei

Not indeed, in word the kingdom of God (is), but in power.

Or, Indeed the kingdom of God (does) not (consist) in word(talk) but in power.

δυνάμει - dunamei, power

δύναμις (dunamis) translated as power occurs 120 times in the New Testament. It means "able, having ability" or "ability to perform" and for the believer, more properly, "power through God's ability" as per the HELPS Word-studies definition. It is also translated as "miracles" or "miraculous power."

For example, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles(dunamis; power)?'" in Matthew 7:22 (NIV).

And "And he did not do many miracles (dunamis; power) there because of their lack of faith." in Matthew 13:58 (NIV).

When Paul talks about dunamis or power, it is almost always in reference to the power of God, not the power of men. That is whether it be physical power or spiritual power, i.e. physical power in reference to miracles, or spiritual power in reference to saving power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV) talks about God's power to save us, "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power (dunamis) of God."

Also, we should note that the "power" of God is the "word of the cross."

In 1 Corinthians 1:23-24, "But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Jesus Himself is also the power of God.

We also need to note in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Paul goes on to say "and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."

Paul contrasts the two opposing ideas or concepts, namely, plausible words of wisdom of men versus the power of God. And we have, from the previous verses, concluded that the power of God that Paul talks about in this letter is "the word of the cross" and "Jesus Christ Himself."

Therefore if we go back to our initial verse at the beginning of this entry.

Indeed the kingdom of God (does) not (consist) in (plausible) word(s of wisdom of men) but in power (of God, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the word of the cross).

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