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There are some verses that use the terminology "power", and I heard it with different preachers that the Christians possess power.

Here are some examples:

and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, ESV)

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. (Acts 6:8, ESV)

What is the power that Christians possess?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The following comes from a mainly Calvinist view point:

The power you are looking for is the power granted to Christians by the Holy Spirit. Probably one of the most clear examples of this was in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” (NIV)

This was the first manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit on these new Christians. Much of the book of Acts continues to chronicle this power that they had been granted.

There is now some debate how this power manifests in the modern 21st century. However, it is no doubt still active. Even those (like myself) that are cessationists believe that the spirit is still active in our daily lives, but that he manifests his power differently than he did in the early church.

For example many believe that one of the greatest examples of the power of the spirit is his working on the hearts and minds of God's people to perform both regeneration and sanctification.

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If the power is without a doubt still active, why is there debate as to how it manifests? These statements seem to contradict each other. –  Kaz Dragon Jan 25 '12 at 15:26
    
no contradiction, its merely a change in the manifestation. Many things change how they work over time. The world is different than it was in the first century AD it makes sense that the Spirit might work differently now. –  wax eagle Jan 25 '12 at 15:38
    
How could one tell the difference between manifesting the power of sanctification and not (where presumably people would mistakenly say that things were sanctified, but they would not be)? –  Rex Kerr Jan 25 '12 at 16:09
    
@RexKerr Sanctification is a process not an all at once thing. (Along the lines of the "Already but not yet" types of things) –  wax eagle Jan 25 '12 at 16:23
    
You might want to link to this question as well. –  Affable Geek Jan 25 '12 at 18:02

I's not the most important power, but it can be a quite useful "secondary" power: to always be able to feel happy, no matter the situation. Even in our temporary physical world this can be useful, as stress and pessimism do cause a large number of psychological illnesses.

This might not be a very scientific answer, because I speak from personal experience, but I have no doubt that I'm not the only one with this explanation.

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Any statistical evidence with that? I'm not aware of any significant variance in say, depression rates. Indeed, there are groups of people who identify as Christian with depression caused by their beliefs (and conflicts with their self). –  Marc Gravell Jan 25 '12 at 20:32
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@MarcGravell: Yes, the doctrines of Christianity are the instigators of inner struggle and, rightly understood, will lead us into conflict with our very natures. Paul sums this up nicely. In particular God's decrees of what is right do nothing but show us how sinful we are. Anybody coming at Christianity with only this understanding without having also understood redemption and grace will undoubtedly be left in despair. Increased depression rates are something I would expect to see particularly where the Word is taught out of balance. –  Caleb Jan 26 '12 at 8:49
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@Marc Gravell: There are. I don't remember a citation, but I've read a study (with not religion as a topic!) about the life expectancy and general happiness of distinct geographical areas and cultures. While there were numerous factors, from climate to food types eaten, Christianity did play a role. Do you have statistical evidence (or at least notable examples) of Christian groups being depressed? I know many people from many denominations, and never ever came across something like that. Usually many were stressed because of other factors, and were able to alleviate it through their faith. –  vsz Jan 26 '12 at 16:21
    
@vsz interestingly, wiki lists conflicting studies; a 2003 which did indeed show higher happiness, and a 2007 which did not (and another in 1992); it also emphasises that this is correlation not necessarily causation. Worth a read though: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_happiness . Related, IIRC Karl Marx had something to say on the subject, too. –  Marc Gravell Jan 26 '12 at 17:10
    
Of course, as this is a religious topic, if someone disagrees with religion, will be suspicious of what I wrote as well. Was this question about psychology, it would have been asked in that part of StackExchange, and not here. –  vsz Jan 28 '12 at 18:15

The same power that raised christ from the dead is present in every born again christisan(ephesians 1) and i have seen the demonstration of this power even in todays generation. this power is above everything. all of the satan's power is like an ant in comparison to the power a christian posses in him which is given . by God on believing on christ jesus.

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Welcome to the site! While I don't disagree with what you're saying, I'd invite you to read the FAQ, as well as these posts: meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/692/… and meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1379/… Your answer seems to be one about answering Truth, which isn't really what the site is about? –  David Stratton Oct 29 '12 at 11:45

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