Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches

Home

Imagine the preacher standing one Sunday morning and beginning with these words, "Who is this god you have come to worship? What is He like? How would you describe Him? Is He the God described in the Bible? Or is He the creation of your own imagination?"

How would you answer those questions? How well do you know your God? Years ago J.B. Phillips wrote a book called "Your God is too small". Could this be said of your concept of God? We are made in God's likeness and image but sometimes we are guilty of trying to re-create God in our image & likeness. Do you know God as a God of great power?

[1] THE GOD OF CREATIVE POWER

a. The Bible repeatedly presents God as the 'Creator God' - Genesis 1 is the classic description of God's creative power. "God said, Let there be…..and it was…" He spoke and it was done.

b. Romans 1/20 - "From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God".

c. Read Genesis 1/26-31. What is our responsibility towards the world - our planet - if God has created it? How does that work out in practical terms in the 21st century.

[2] THE GOD OF RULING POWER

a. Again, the Biblical testimony is that God is the one and only King, Ruler, Master, Sovereign, Owner. He is without peer. Note: Satan is not to be compared with God as though he was on a similar or equal level. Satan is presented as an archangel, like Michael (Jude 9) or Gabriel (Luke 1/26), even though He wanted to elevate himself to be like God.

b. God reveals Himself as El Shaddai = God Almighty - His actions confirm this truth

*Ex.15/6; *Job 37/23; *Ps. 65/5.6; *Ps.66/1-7; *Ps. 106/7,8; *Isaiah 40/26

c. Isaiah 40 affirms God's power over nature (12); nations (15); world (22); rulers (23)

[3] THE GOD OF RENEWING POWER

a. God's re-creating, renewing power is most clearly seen in life & ministry of Jesus.

*Power over Sin - Mark 2/8-12 - the power/authority to release & forgive

*Power over Nature - Mark 4/35-41 - the creator speaks to creation & stills the storm

*Power over Demons - Mark 5/1-20 - Legion is set free from demonic forces

*Power over Disease - Mark 5/25-34 - chronic disease was healed by power of God

*Power over Death - Mark 5/35-43 - the raising of Jairus' daughter

[4] THE GOD OF REDEEMING POWER

a. God as the redeemer is clearly seen in the Exodus. Read the following verses *Exodus 15/13 *Deut. 7/8 *Deut. 9/26

b. But God's redeeming power is supremely seen in death & resurrection of Jesus

c. Read Eph.1/18-21 - the greatest power demonstration of all time…and eternity. Note how many times the word "power" is used in the context of our salvation.

d. The gospel message is about power to save & change lives - Rom.1/16; 1 Cor.1/18

[5] THE GOD WHO DELEGATES POWER

a. God gives His authority to His Church but He doesn't give it away - it's always His so we are accountable for how we exercise His authority.

b. "Exousia" = "Authority" i.e. the right to exercise the power to do God's work (Acts 1/7)

c. "Dunamis" = "Power" i.e. the ability to do God's work. (Acts 1/8)

d. Jesus ministered in authority of the Father & the power of the Holy Spirit Luke 20/1-8

e. He, in turn, delegated that authority to His disciples, the Church, His new Body *Matthew 28/18-20; *Luke 9/1,2; *Acts 1/8

f. So the Early Church ministered in the authority (Acts 3/6 - "In the Name of Jesus Christ) & power (3/7 - the man's feet were instantly healed) of God.

g. "In the name of Jesus" - delegated authority for praying, preaching, healing

h. But this power is not limited to spectacular signs & wonders. Consider the need for power in these verses.

*Rom.15/13 - power to overflow with hope by the Holy Spirit

*Col. 1/11 - power so that you may have great endurance & patience, joy & thanks.

APPLICATION: The issue of power and authority is one of the great challenges facing the Church today. Without an accurate, Biblically informed understanding of these dynamics, the Church will be weak because it doesn't realize the authority it has been given or the power to minister in the Name of Jesus.

On the other hand, it is very possible for the Church to abuse and misuse this power and authority to the detriment and damage of other Christians. When people - leaders in particular - use their God-given authority to manipulate and control others, spiritual abuse is inevitable. Jesus showed us what God's authority and power look like when exercised in a God-honouring way.

Download free ministry resources.
give us your feedback.