Empowered

Drew Berding

Living the Christian life is impossible in our own power.
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“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

The word translated “strengthens” is the Greek endunamo (NT:1743), which derives from en (NT1722), in, and dunamo1 (NT1412), to make strong, to make vigorous, to strengthen, to enable, to have ability, to empower.

Endunamo is used seven places in the New Testament:

  • Act 9:22, “But Saul increased2 the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.” (KJV)
  • Rom 4:20-21, “Yet he [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened3 in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (NIV)
  • Eph 6:10, “Finally, be strong4 in the Lord and in the strength [power] of His might.”
  • Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through5 Him who strengthens6 me.”
  • 1 Tim 1:12, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened7 me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service…”
  • 2 Tim 2:1, “You therefore, my son, be strong8 in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
  • 2 Tim 4:17, “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened9 me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished…”

Dunamo (NT1412) is used twice in the New Testament:

  • Col 1:11, “Strengthened10 with all might, according to his glorious power…”
  • Heb 11:33-34, “…who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong11, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”

Dunamis12 (NT:1411) is used 119 times in the New Testament and is usually translated “power”, “mighty works” or “miracles”.

Dunamai (NT:1410) is used 210 times in the New Testament and is usually translated “able” or “can”.

Conclusion:

In every use of the words Endunamo and Dunamo, they are in the Greek passive voice13 (meaning that the source of strength is outside ourselves) or else they are in the Greek Active14 (with the source of strength clearly identified as Christ). As we abide in Him, we are strengthened for whatever He requires. He is our strength.

Photo Attribution: ETA – unsplash.com


Footnotes

  1. All the words derived from the stem dúna- have the meaning of being able, capable.
  2. Passive voice: It happened to him. Paul was strengthened. He did not do the strengthening.
  3. Passive voice: It happened to him. Abraham was strengthened. He did not do the strengthening.
  4. Passive voice: It happens to us. Literally: “allow yourself to be strengthened.”
  5. Literally: “in.”
  6. Active: He [the Lord] does the action. Dative: I am the recipient of the action. Literally: He strengthens me.
  7. Active: Christ does the action. Dative: I am the recipient of the action. Literally: Christ strengthens me.
  8. Passive voice: It happens to us. Literally: “allow yourself to be strengthened.”
  9. Active: The Lord does the action.
  10. Passive voice: It happens to us. Literally: “being strengthened by His power.”
  11. Passive voice: It happened to them. Literally: “they were strengthened.”
  12. From which we get the words “dynamite” and “dynamo.”
  13. Act 9:22, Rom 4:20-21, Eph 6:10, 2 Tim 2:1, Col 1:11 and Heb 11:33-34
  14. Phil 4:13, 1 Tim 1:12 and 2 Tim 4:17

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NOTE: Bible references unless otherwise stated are from the NASU (New American Standard Updated) copyright the Lockman Foundation.

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