1 Corinthians 4:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

New Living Translation
For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God's power.

English Standard Version
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

New American Standard Bible
For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.

King James Bible
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

International Standard Version
for the kingdom of God isn't just talk, but also power.

NET Bible
For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God's kingdom is not just talk, it is power.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the kingdom of God is not in words, but in virtue.

King James 2000 Bible
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

American King James Version
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

American Standard Version
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the kingdom of God is not in speech, but in power.

Darby Bible Translation
For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power.

English Revised Version
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Weymouth New Testament
For Apostolic authority is not a thing of words, but of power.

World English Bible
For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Young's Literal Translation
for not in word is the reign of God, but in power?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:14-21 In reproving for sin, we should distinguish between sinners and their sins. Reproofs that kindly and affectionately warn, are likely to reform. Though the apostle spoke with authority as a parent, he would rather beseech them in love. And as ministers are to set an example, others must follow them, as far as they follow Christ in faith and practice. Christians may mistake and differ in their views, but Christ and Christian truth are the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Whenever the gospel is effectual, it comes not in word only, but also in power, by the Holy Spirit, quickening dead sinners, delivering persons from the slavery of sin and Satan, renewing them both inwardly and outwardly, and comforting, strengthening, and establishing the saints, which cannot be done by the persuasive language of men, but by the power of God. And it is a happy temper, to have the spirit of love and meekness bear the rule, yet to maintain just authority.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - The kingdom of God. The Christian life, with all its attainments and all its hopes. Is not in word, but in power. It is not a matter of profession, or of eloquence, or of phrases, but of transforming efficacy. St. Paul always appeals for the corroboration of his authority to the signs and power of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 10:45; Romans 15:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:5), to the "demonstration" of which he has already referred (1 Corinthians 2:4).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the kingdom of God,.... By "the kingdom of God" is not meant the kingdom of heaven, or the ultimate glory and happiness of the saints; though that is a kingdom prepared by God, which he gives to his children, calls them to by his grace, and will give them an abundant entrance into, when time shall be no more with them; and though that is not attained to "in", or "by word", by mere talk and profession; not everyone that says Lord, Lord, shall enter into it; or that professes the name of Christ, and prophesies in it; but "in" or "by power"; through the power of God, beginning, carrying on, and finishing a work of grace upon the soul, and keeping it, through faith, unto salvation: nor the kingdom of grace, or that internal principle of grace in the soul, which reigns, and by which Christ reigns there, and by which the saints appear to be kings as well as priests unto God: though this also does not lie "in word", in a profession of faith, in talking about love, and in making pretensions to the knowledge of divine things; nor merely in deeds, and outward actions, in bodily exercise, in a form of godliness, and a round of religion, and a show of righteousness;

but in power: in internal powerful godliness; for true godliness is a powerful thing; faith is powerful, and so is love; and so is prayer, and preaching; and so is all religion, internal and external, where there is the life and truth of grace, and that in exercise. But I rather think the Gospel is here meant, often in Scripture called the kingdom of God, and the doctrines of it, the mysteries of the kingdom; because it is a message from the King of kings; the means of setting up the kingdom or grace in the heart; its subjects are things concerning the kingdom of God; it is what has brought life and immortality, or an immortal life to light; and gives the best account of the invisible glories of the heavenly state, and points out the saints' meetness for it, and title to it; declaring that except a man is born again, and has a better righteousness than his own, even that of Christ's, he shall neither see nor enter into the kingdom of heaven. Now the Gospel is not in "word"; though it lies in the word of God, the Scriptures of truth: and treats of the essential word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ; and cannot be preached without words, even the words of men; yet is not to be preached with wisdom of words, with enticing words of man's wisdom, or in the words which man's wisdom teacheth; nor does the efficacy of it lie in, or depend upon the words of the preacher, or on mere moral persuasion: for whenever it is effectual, it comes not "in word only, but also in power"; 1 Thessalonians 1:5 and by "power" is meant, not a power of working miracles the first preachers of the Gospel had, and by which it was greatly confirmed; nor a godly life and conversation which that enforced upon, and engaged both ministers and people to; but the powerful efficacy of the Spirit, attending the preaching of the Gospel to the quickening of dead sinners, the enlightening of blind eyes, and unstopping of deaf ears; the softening of hard hearts, the delivering of persons from the slavery of sin and Satan, the transforming and renewing of them both inwardly and outwardly; and to the comforting, enlivening, strengthening, and establishing of the saints; all which can never be ascribed to the persuasive language of men, but to the power of God; and which is the more apparent when it is observed what mean and despicable instruments in the eyes of men are made use of: what the doctrines are that are preached, not being of man, nor agreeably to his carnal reason, but esteemed foolishness by him; and the manner in which they are propagated, not in a carnal way, by outward force, but by the foolishness of preaching: and the opposition made to it both by the enmity of man's heart unto it, by the men of the world, and by Satan and his principalities and powers.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. kingdom of God is not in word—Translate, as in 1Co 4:19, to which the reference is "speech." Not empty "speeches," but the manifest "power" of the Spirit attests the presence of "the kingdom of God" (the reign of the Gospel spiritually), in a church or in an individual (compare 1Co 2:1, 4; 1Th 1:5).

1 Corinthians 4:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul Warns his Spiritual Children
19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. 20For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 21What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
Cross References
1 Corinthians 2:4
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,

2 Corinthians 10:8
So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.
Treasury of Scripture

For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

1 Corinthians 1:24 But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power …

1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's …

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power …

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, …

Romans 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; …

2 Corinthians 10:4,5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through …

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power, and …

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