Attributes of God: Lesson 3: God is Omnipotent

Omnipotence Defined

The word “omnipotence” is a compound, consisting of the prefix “omni,” meaning all, and the root “potent,” meaning powerful. Put the two together and you have the literal meaning of the term: God is omnipotent, that is, He is all-powerful. He is “God Almighty” (Gen 17:1, Rev 19:6).[1] God has all power (Ps 62:11).[2] His power is infinite, that is, without limit. He can do anything.

AI know that You can do all things.” – Job 42:2

“Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for you.” – Jeremiah 32:17 (see also Gen 18:14 and Jer 32:27)

“For nothing will be impossible with God” – Luke 1:37 (see also Matt 19:26)

Technically-speaking, God cannot do anything. Because He is God, He cannot do anything that is inconsistent with His nature or character. For example, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2, Heb 6:18). Furthermore, God only does that which is consistent with His will. For reasons known only to Himself, God has chosen not to do certain things. For example, God could have given personality to a stone (Matt 3:9). Jesus Christ, being God, could have summoned angels to rescue Him from the cross (Matt 26:53). “God can do all that He wills, but He will not do all that He can” (McCune, p. 93). Thus, when we say that God is omnipotent, we mean that God can do anything consistent with His nature and will.

God’s Omnipotence Displayed

In Creation. See Romans 1:20. Imagine being able to instantly produce something out of nothing (ex nihilo) simply by uttering a command. This is what God did.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. – Psalm 33:6, 9 (see also Genesis 1 and 2)

Note: As mentioned previously, God’s power is never diminished. When He finished creating, He did not rest because He was weary. God does not get tired (Isa 40:28). He rested on the seventh day to set a pattern for us (Ex 20:8-11).

In preservation. God is powerful enough not only to create the universe, but also to sustain or preserve it.

In Him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17

And He [the Son] is the radiance of His [the Father’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. – Hebrews 1:3

God’s power to preserve the universe includes the power to sustain our very lives. Notice the words of Job:

If He should determine to do so, If He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust. – Job 34:14-15

In salvation. Perhaps the greatest display of God’s power occurs when He supernaturally changes the very nature of the human heart at the moment of salvation, transforming a rebellious, hell-bound sinner into a righteous, heaven-bound saint.

And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:23-26

In sanctification. God is powerful enough not only to save a soul, but also to keep a soul saved. Believers are eternally secure. Believers persevere in the faith.

And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father=s hand.@ – John 10:28-29

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance, which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5 (see also Rom 8:30 and Phil 1:6)

In resurrection. Just as God’s power is able to raise the spiritual dead (see Eph 2:5), so His power is able to raise the physical dead.

Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. – 1 Corinthians 6:14 (see also 2 Cor 13:4 and Eph 1:19-20)

Some Implications of God’s Omnipotence

Because God is omnipotent, we are totally dependent on Him. Were it not for God, we could not exist physically (see Job 34:14-15, Isa 42:5, Matt 6:11, and Acts 17:25) or spiritually (see Eph 2:8[3]). He deserves all the credit for our physical and spiritual well-being.

Because God is omnipotent, we should revere Him. God is awesome in power. The only proper response to His awesomeness is awe or reverence. This was the response of the Psalmist when describing God’s power in Creation: Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast (Ps 33:8-9). God’s power displayed in creation is all the more impressive when one considers such passages as Job 26:14 and Habakkuk 3:4. “To openly defy Him who is clothed with omnipotence, who can rend us in pieces or cast us into Hell any moment He pleases, is the very height of insanity” (Pink, p. 51).

Because God is omnipotent, we need not fret over any threat. The saying, “I would if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t” doesn’t apply to God. God has the ability to deliver us from any physical (see Ps 27:1-3 and 46:1-3) or spiritual (see 1 Cor 10:13 and 1 John 4:4) threat. “If God were stinted in might and had a limit to His strength we might well despair. But seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for Him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to relieve” (Pink, p. 51).

[1]Almighty@ is used 56 times in Scripture, and all 56 refer to God (Tozer, p. 65; Ryrie, p. 40).

[2]Not a creature in the entire universe has an atom of power save what God delegates” (Pink, p. 47). Though God gives power, He does not give away power (Tozer, p. 66). God’s power is incapable of being diminished. “All His acts are done without effort. He expends no energy that must be replenished” (Tozer, p. 67).

[3]Not surprisingly, the Greek verb translated “saved” in this verse is in the perfect tense. In Greek, the perfect tense describes a past action with continuing results. Because of God’s grace, we have been saved from the penalty of sin (justification), are being saved from the power of sin (sanctification), and will one day be saved from the very presence of sin (glorification).

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