The power we see displayed in the world is different than the power that Christ displayed on the cross. Pastor Mark Batterson sheds some light on two different meanings of power in the New Testament.
“There are two words for power in the New Testament. One is dunamis, it’s the power to do things beyond your ability.
Mark says you would see this kind of power displayed in the miracles that Jesus performed. The other word for power in the New Testament is exousia.
“It’s the power to not do something that’s within your power to do. I think this is exercised when Jesus is on the cross. He said, ‘I have at my disposal 12 legions of angels.’ He could hit the eject button, He could hit the panic button and immediately save Himself, but He wasn’t trying to save Himself, He was trying to save us from our sin.”
Mark says that Jesus’s great exousia kept Him on the cross.
“It was this power to not exercise this other kind of power. I know the dunamis of Jesus Christ, but it’s really his exousia that makes me fall in love with Jesus and appreciate what He did for me on the cross.”
Mark says that we can exercise power in a Christ-like way by knowing when to say yes, and more importantly, when to say no. If we struggle to say no to our flesh, Mark says learning the spiritual disciple of fasting can help.
“It’s one of the hardest disciplines to practice and the reason is pretty simple, most of us like food. But when you say no to food, guess what, you can usually say no to something else.”
“The way we exercise will power is you find yourself in situations where you’ve got to use it, and that’s usually situations you don’t want to be, but that’s how all of these virtues are cultivated. We discover God’s grace in adverse circumstances. It’s in our weakness that His power is made perfect.”
There is greater power found when we seek after God with discipline and willpower than when we strive after the false allusion of worldly power.
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC . Targeting emerging generations, 73% of NCCers are single twenty-somethings that live or work on Capitol Hill. Currently one church with three locations, the vision of NCC is to meet in movie theaters and metro stops throughout the DC area.
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