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8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 ESV)

Is there any difference between the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16) and the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)? Are they two different types of power?


Appendix - More passages on power

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

19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. (1 Cor 4:19-20 ESV)

11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Cor 12:11 ESV)

18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; (Romans 15:18-19 ESV)

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. (Luke 4:14 ESV)

8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin. (Micah 3:8 ESV)

5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:5 ESV)

2 Answers 2

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The pertinent noun in Acts 1:8 and Rom 1:16 is δύναμις (dynamis) is defined (in these instances) by BDAG as:

potential for functioning in some way, power, might, strength, force, capability, eg, Acts 1:8, 3:2, Rev 17:13, Matt 22:29, Mark 12:24, Luke 22:69, Rom 1;16, etc.

The power or ability described in Acts 1:8 and Rom 1:16 is the ability to either transform the life (2 Cor 3:18) or perform miracles for the cause of the gospel, etc. That is, the miraculous ability is used for different purposes but the origin is the same - the miraculous ability imparted at the discretion of the Holy Spirit as described in 1 Cor 12, 14, Eph 4:1-13, Rom 12:3-8 etc.

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In Acts 1:8 the Greek word for power is: dýnamis (from 1410 /dýnamai, "able, having ability")

In Romans 1:16 the greek word for power is, The word δύναμις ( dunamis) in the New Testament means “power, might, strength, force, capability.”

So in retrospect, both verses say we have the capability, the authority, the ability, A more precise use of the word for power would read like this:

8 But you will receive (the ability, authority, capability) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the (ability, authority, capability) of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 ESV)

In English, the word "authority" could be a more precise meaning for "power" in these two verses.

To sum things up, these two verses are simply saying.

As a child of God, you have the authority. Because God has the authority.

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