The Real Power of God

(2 Timothy 3:1-8 KJV) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. {2} For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, {3} Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, {4} Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; {5} Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. {6} For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, {7} Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. {8} Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Today, as in Paul's day, there is a denial of God's power. There are many who are "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

There are certain groups that claim to be displaying the power of God, but there is no real lasting effect. Why is this? Because there is no power in pretense.

Real Power of God

A manifestation of the real power of God will:

  1. Save sinners (see Romans 1-5)
  2. Save us from the dominion of sin in our lives (See Romans 6-11)
  3. Allow us to be used for God's service, for us to be vessels of honor and used for the glory of God (See Romans 12-16)

Power of God to Forgive Sin

(Matthew 9:1-3 KJV) And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. {2} And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. {3} And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.

The scribes did not believe that Jesus was God and they knew that only God could forgive sins. When we sin, our sins offend God. When Jesus declared to the man with palsy that his sins were forgiven, He was declaring the He was God.

Because God is a just God our sins have to be paid for; one cannot just say that your sins are forgiven. God cannot just say, "Your sins are forgiven". He has to provide a payment for sin.

(Romans 1:16-17 KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. {17} For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith

The means that God uses to pay for sin is the Gospel of Christ. The power of God to save is found in the Gospel of Christ, everyone can be saved.

(1 Corinthians 1:17-18 KJV) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. {18} For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

When we read the accounts of Jesus' earthly ministry, we read that John was sent to baptized and Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. And even after the resurrection Jesus tells them to go and baptize. But when we Paul's writings we find that he was not sent to baptize. 

Today, the Holy Spirit baptizes those who believe into the body of Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 12:13)

The power of God today is centered in the cross of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 2:1-5 KJV) And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. {2} For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. {3} And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. {4} And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: {5} That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Paul preached Christ crucified, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.

(Romans 3:19-26 KJV) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. {20} Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. {21} But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; {22} Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: {23} For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; {24} Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: {25} Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {26} To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Salvation is to believe in that Jesus died for your sins. (See also 1 Corinthians 15:3,4) All are guilty before God; no one can say anything in our defense. Because we are guilty and God is just God cannot forgive us. But when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we receive all that Jesus Christ has and He has paid the penalty of sin for all. So when we believe, God is able to forgive us because the penalty of sin has been paid by Jesus Christ.

(Romans 8:33-34 KJV) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. {34} Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who can say that I am not justified when God has declared me to be justified when I believed? Who can condemn us when Jesus is there at the right hand of the Father interceding for me?

Other than faith in what Christ did on the cross there is no other power to be saved. One cannot be saved any other way because God is just. Christ is the full and complete payment of sin.

Power of God Over the Dominion of Sin

(Philippians 2:12-13 KJV) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. {13} For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We need to notice that verse 12 says to work out your own salvation, not work for you salvation. The salvation God has given us is to be worked out and it is done by God. Our salvation is to be worked out by God working in us.

(Philippians 3:1-10 KJV) Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. {2} Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. {3} For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. {4} Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: {5} Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; {6} Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. {7} But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. {8} Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, {9} And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: {10} That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

In this passage, Paul gives a warning and tells us to beware of certain types of people. Those that we are to be wary are those who would tell us that we have to not sin by our own strength or in the strength of religion. There are many that would try to tell us that we have the willpower not to sin anymore or by following a list of rules and regulations (a.k.a. religion). Often we try to portray our righteousness by restricting our behavior through the law. There is no power over sin in our flesh, in our own strength. The real power over sin is God working in our inner man. The real power over sin is found in God and in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.

The real power of God over the dominion of sin is in our understanding the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus. (See Romans 6,7,8) We have been placed into Christ's death; we are no longer the same person that we were before. It is what God has made us in Christ that will keep us from sinning. We need to recognize who we are in Christ.

It is our identification with Christ that gives us power over sin in our lives.

  • Romans 6 - died with Christ
  • Romans 7 - buried with Christ (relationship to sin is gone) Dead to sin
  • Romans 8 - Raised to newness of life

Power of God to be a Vessel of Honor

(Romans 12:1-2 KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The power of our service is all based upon the mercies of God.

(2 Corinthians 5:14-17 KJV) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: {15} And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. {16} Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. {17} Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

It is the love of Christ that constrains us. If one died for all then were all dead.

(2 Corinthians 5:18-19 KJV) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; {19} To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

God is now offering us reconciliation when we deserve His wrath. The reconciliation is for all but we have to believe in order to accept it.

(Colossians 1:9-11 KJV) For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; {10} That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; {11} Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

We are transformed as we are fill with the knowledge of His will and we are fruitful as we come to an understanding of who we are in Christ.

(Acts 20:32 KJV) And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

It is the Word of His grace which is able to build us up. (See Romans - Philemon)

Reference used:
Charismatic Miracles, Gifts, Signs and Wonders, and the Bible
The Real Power of God
Speaker: Tom Bruscha