THE “DUNAMIS” POWER OF GOD!
By Rodney W. Francis (Paraparaumu, New Zealand)
Founder/Director: "The Gospel Faith Messenger" Ministry.
The following is an honest attempt to help us to see the need of the “dunamis” power of God to be restored, then released in greater measure in and through our lives, and in the Christian Church in general. For too long this power has been neglected, this 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. The Bible declares the absolute need for us to know this “dunamis” power of God residing in, and being activated out of, our lives. I encourage you to open up and listen to the Word of God:
“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).
According to these Scriptures the “dunamis” has already been given, but its power is only beneficial when it is working - in US!! The “dunamis” was given to us when we received the infilling of the Holy Spirit after we believed on Jesus Christ!
“Dunamis” is a Greek word and means:
“Dunamis” is the power of God working in and through us through the anointing power of the Holy Spirit! That “dunamis” comes into us at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). That “dunamis” is resident in us right now! But it will only work when we release it to work! That is why we need to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and be committed to do whatever He tells us. That is the simple key to Christianity – doing what He says through the power of the Holy Spirit!
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).
The “dunamis” of God is creative and life-giving! It releases the will of God to be done! Have you ever considered that when the “dunamis” of God is working in our lives it will also produce holiness unto God – a holiness of life-style? 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).
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 word “miracles”). (See also Luke 10:12-15). Yet, in the doing of the “dunamis” works in the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum by Jesus, those cities rejected their chance to repent and to get right with 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!
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!
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).
“Dunamis” in action gives power, fame, a receptiveness to that which is spoken under or by its anointing, recognition, honour, amazement, authority over evil spirits, and causes the Gospel to be spread about. Surely every Christian should desire these things!
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).
It is the “dunamis” – nothing more and nothing less. Yet we all seem to be satisfied to go on in life trying to fulfil our Christian duties and obligations without any real emphasis upon the need of the “dunamis” operating within us. It is therefore no wonder that there is an appalling lack of power amongst many Christian believers today. We have reduced the Gospel into a “Gospel of word” rather than a “Gospel of power”. We Christians have stripped the Message of God to a mere “wordy theology”. Yet the Bible clearly makes this statement: “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power (“dunamis”)” (1 Corinthians 4:20).
The New Covenant Gospel is that proclaimed by Jesus Christ – the Gospel of the “dunamis”! Jesus was, is, and always be our supreme example of the Christian life! He never changes! (Hebrews 13:8).
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).
“And it came to pass on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power (“dunamis”) of the Lord was present to heal them” (Luke 5:17, KJV).
It is clear that there was an extra ability to do things when the “dunamis” power of God was at work. Jesus is our example of what ministry should be about, and He relied on the “dunamis” to do the works of His Father. So should we.
JESUS IS FAR ABOVE ALL OTHERS:
“Jesus is far above all principalities (“the highest dignities; the first place; relates to the dignity of the position” - Bullinger’s), power (“exousia” meaning “delegated authority, privilege”) and might (“dunamis”), and dominion (“Lordship” - Young’s), and every name that is named . . .” (Ephesians 1:21, KJV).
This is very self-explanatory, but maybe we do need to be reminded again of the absolute position of Jesus Christ, a position that stands just as true today as when the above words were uttered by the Holy Spirit those many years ago.
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).
According to this verse, the “dunamis” was a visible power. People saw the results of “dunamis” at work as Jesus operated with this power, healing the sick, setting the captives free, etc.
JESUS COULD FEEL THE “DUNAMIS” WHEN IT LEFT HIS BODY:
Jesus knew when the “dunamis” went out of His body. (The KJV uses the word “virtue”; the NIV “power”). In Mark’s Gospel 5:30 (Luke 8:43-48) we read of the woman with the issue of blood. She determined to press through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. But before she could do that she had to make a faith decision that if she would “reach out to Jesus” He would cause her to be made whole. Between her and Jesus were many people in the way. She had to press through the crowd, get them out of the way, and reach out to touch Jesus. She did, and she was healed!
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).
There was a flowing out from the person who was carrying the “dunamis”. Jesus knew when someone had touched Him, for He felt the release of that “dunamis” leave His body. So can we.
TWO THINGS THAT CAUSE CHRISTIANS TO GO INTO ERROR:
Jesus taught that there were two things that caused people to go into error:
1. Not knowing the Scriptures
2. Not knowing the power (“dunamis”) of God (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24).
That, surely, must be a huge challenge, and cause us to ask ourselves sincerely:
1. How well do I know the Scriptures?
2. How well do I know the “dunamis” of God?
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!
I repeat, “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of words but of power (“dunamis”)” (1 Corinthians 4:20, GNB).
Without a doubt, according to the Scriptures, the two major issues for Christians, personally, are to know the Scriptures and the power (“dunamis”) of the Holy Spirit. Without those two, we will always fall short of fulfilling God’s purposes. It makes one wonder why there is not more emphasis placed on these two crucial issues?
JESUS DELEGATED THE “DUNAMIS” TO HIS FOLLOWERS:
He gave the “dunamis” authority to His disciples, and to us!
“He now called the Twelve together and gave them power (“dunamis”) and authority to overcome all the devils and to cure diseases, and sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:1, NEB).
“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 (“dunamis”) that works within us.” It is so easy for us to simply dismiss these strong Bible statements, but the question has to be asked:
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. Our talents are not those we use according to our natural ability, but they are to be exercised according to the “dunamis” that has been given to us. The “dunamis” power of God enables us to do things over and beyond our natural abilities! How we need to yield our lives more to the Holy Spirit’s power – for too long we have trusted our own abilities, and expected God to accept those instead of our boldly stepping out and using the “dunamis” He has given us.
THE DISCIPLES RELEASED THE “DUNAMIS”:
The early Church functioned in the “dunamis”:
“And with great strength and ability and power (“dunamis”) the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace - loving kindness and favour and goodwill - rested richly upon them all” (Acts 4:33, AMP.).
The Early Church disciples of Jesus carried out His commands and spread the Gospel everywhere with the “dunamis” signs and wonders following. In many cases they “turned their world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Far too often these days, the world is turning the Christians upside down! It is time to recapture the “dunamis” power of God and let it flow out of us to touch and heal a desperately needy world. There really is no other answer.
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:
“And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the (Holy) Spirit and power (“dunamis”) [that is, a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them], So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power (“dunamis”) of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, AMP.).
The Apostle Paul left us in no doubt as to the secret of his great ministry. It was the “dunamis” working in and through him! It was a supernatural energy that enabled him to confront and defeat the powers of darkness, those anti-Christ spirits that blind the minds of people from believing on and receiving Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Saviour. Speaking nice words and preaching nice topical sermons does not defeat anti-Christ spirits – they only recognize the power (‘dunamis”) of God, and know that they have to bow to that authority. The spirit realm/world is not stupid. It knows those who have that power of authority working, and those who do not.
PAUL PRAYED ESPECIALLY FOR THE “DUNAMIS” TO BE WORKING IN US:
Here is a selection of the things he prayed for the Christians:
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened (“made strong” - Young’s) with might (“dunamis”) by His Spirit in the inner man . . .” (Ephesians 3:16, KJV), because as we read in verse 20, everything is “according to the power (“dunamis”) that is at work within 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:
It is the Scriptures which our believing is to be based upon. They must influence our lives more than the opinions of religious teachers. As we allow the Holy Spirit to make alive the Word of God in our hearts, faith can be released and the “dunamis” can flow through us to meet the needs of others.
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”. The word “Believing” means to “be persuaded, to rely upon, to trust. The New Testament conception of faith is (1) a fully convinced acknowledgment (2) a self-surrendering fellowship, and (3) a fully assured and unswerving confidence” (Bullinger’s).
That is what the faith of Abraham (Romans 4 and Galatians 3) is all about. Out of that believing faith the “dunamis” of God is released.
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).
John the Baptist came in the spirit and power (“dunamis”) of Elijah (Luke 1:17). That’s what made Elijah different. It was the “dunamis” at work through his life.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power (“dunamis”) of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13, KJV).
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.
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
The nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit have to do with the “dunamis” of God. The gift of the Working of Miracles (“dunamis”) is an out and out spectacular working of God’s power (1 Corinthians 12:10). According to Paul the gifts operate through “dunamis”:
“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 requires the “dunamis” operating for them to be effective as well!
“DUNAMIS” AND THE PLACE OF TRIALS AND SUFFERING:
We often wonder why it is that so many good people seem to suffer such difficult and hurtful experiences as they go through life. Our belief systems try to tell us that living for Jesus “delivers” us from all the negatives of life. But that is not so. In fact the Bible clearly links suffering and difficulties as being necessary for the developing of “dunamis” in our lives and ministries:
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:
We have seen throughout this message that “dunamis” is interlocked with several key graces in the Christian life, e.g. holiness, believing, hope, faith, resurrection, power, etc. It is very much a part of Christianity, so much so that without it we are reduced to a realm of powerless religious beliefs, which do nothing for the soul.
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-TIME RELIGIONS AVOID THE “DUNAMIS”:
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 we are given an accurate description of the heart condition of mankind as we approach the end of the age. In spite of an increasing lawlessness and evil within the heart, people still retain “a form of godliness.” If we read on to the end of that verse we discover that they also “deny the power (“dunamis”) thereof” (KJV). The challenge to every one of us is to examine our own hearts to see whether or not we are measuring up to the standard of what a New Testament, Spirit-filled Christian really is.
The message to the Church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:8) was that it only had a “little strength (“dunamis”).” We would be rather naïve if we thought that we could get through life by our Christian beliefs that had little or no “dunamis” to propel us. And, let us not forget that “dunamis” is God’s idea, God’s way and God’s will for every born-again, Holy Spirit-filled believe today. May we seriously consider what the message of this booklet is all about – the “dunamis”!
As we draw to a close, let me remind you again what the word “dunamis” means:
I have used a lot of Scriptures in this booklet, but that is because this message of the “dunamis” needs to be cemented more and more into our believing if we are going to see any major, positive changes in Christianity in the 21st century. It is also important for us to be reminded that the only true basis for genuine belief in the Christian message is a strong acceptance and believing in the Bible – the Word of God, the truth of which will never change. Without a firm and strong belief in God’s Word we have nothing “concrete” to build our lives and ministries on . . . nothing that will last throughout time and into all eternity.
WAIT UNTIL WE RECEIVE:
Jesus taught us to “wait until” or stay where we are until we receive the “dunamis” power from on high (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4). Without the “dunamis” actively working in our lives we have no power or authority over our enemies, over sickness or disease, over doubts and fears. With life proving to be so busy and strenuous in these days, it is imperative that we Christians take time to come aside and wait upon the Lord to renew our strength (“power”) (Isaiah 40:31). A powerless Christian is a useless Christian. Powerless Christians cause a powerless church to stumble along in life hoping, praying, having a form of godliness, BUT . . . without the “dunamis” power of God!
Once we have received that power (through the baptism of the Holy Spirit) we then should learn to activate and do whatever it takes to see the “dunamis” of God working in and through our lives in a powerful and effective way to the glory of God, and the advancement of His Kingdom!
May the Lord help every one of us to discover how to release the “dunamis” out of our lives more and more, so we can impact our generation for Jesus Christ and His Gospel! Amen.
Rodney is the Founder/Director of The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry which ministers into more than 110 nations to thousands through literature, Bible Correspondence Courses, books, manuals, preaching/teaching, E-Mail and Internet Ministries, conducting Seminars, Schools Of The Holy Spirit, Prophetic Equipping Schools and the Equipping of Timothy’s. He has authored 35 books and carries a heart to see this generation of believers equipped with leadership skills to do the job of fulfilling the purposes of God. He ministers out from Paraparaumu, New Zealand, carrying credentials both with The GFM Ministry, and United Kingdom Elim (ECI). Feel free to share this Message with others. Previous Faith Messages (No. 1-30) can be found on our Website.
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