Bible Study Series
Contemplating the Almighty
The Omnipotent God
How well do you know God’s omnipotence?
1) That God is omnipotent means
a) that He has all possible powere has all possible power
b) only that He is the most powerful being
c) that He is the most powerful being and He is growing in power
2) That Satan and sin exist means that God
a) could not prevent them from happening
b) allows them to exist according to His perfect plan and will easily defeat them both in His timing
c) has nearly equal challengers
3) After creating the universe in six days that God rested on the seventh day
a) proves that it took a lot out of Him
b) was done as an example to us and that Creation was nothing for Him to accomplish
c) means nothing because this story was only a metaphor and not a true occurrence
4) The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
a) are all equal in power
b) cannot be compared as being equal in power because they are one
c) has the Father as the most powerful
5) When Jesus became human He
a) relinquished His omnipotence and that is why He was able to be killed
b) retained some omnipotence and so was stronger than any other person in history
c) was still fully omnipotent but chose not to use it
6) Because the Holy Spirit is God and dwells in each Christian that means that every Christian is
a) omnipotent also
b) the same as before becoming a Christian since the Holy Spirit’s power is His own and is not provided to Christians
c) has the power of God to resist temptation and do what is right as God so chooses to provide
7) In raising Jesus from the dead
a) God had to battle every force of darkness and barely won
b) God did so with ease even though it was a tremendous display of His power
c) God the Father struggled which is why it took three days
8) The existence of “free will”
a) proves that there is something greater than God because even God cannot overcome someone’s will
b) is something that God created and allows but does not restrict Him from doing what He wants
c) is a creation of Satan to thwart God’s desires
9) If God is truly omnipotent
a) then there would not be any suffering
b) then there would not be any sin
c) sin will be judged for the unsaved and suffering will end for the saved but all in God’s own timing
10) That God is omnipotent
a) gives us confidence that despite how it may appear at times we still know that God is in control
b) matters not to us now but will matter once we get to Heaven and see God in c) is nice to know but does not really affect how we should think
Let us compel our minds to reach and consider the greatest demonstration of God’s power. Think of something which satisfactorily demonstrates the force which God can unleash. Would it be the creation of the universe? Would we consider the resurrection of Christ and the crushing of Satan? Or perhaps the final destruction of the universe when even the pillars of heaven will tremble? “Behold, these are the fringes of His ways,” the outskirts of His force. The most awesome display of potency we can conceive of merely touches on God’s strength; beyond lies incomprehensible power. Nevertheless, as illimitable as His power is, it is fully controlled by all that He is. God is an intelligent personality and not an array of various parts. His might does not strike randomly but is governed by His love, His mercy, His patience. He is rightly deemed the Almighty, the Lord of Hosts, and we can confidently declare as Job, “Behold God is mighty but does not despise any.”
The omnipotence of God is one of the divine attributes which, as far as revelation illuminates, has never been utilized to its full extent. We cannot even begin to conceive of, let alone comprehend, a display of infinite power. Even the resurrection of Christ, though opposed by all the forces of evil and to us a stupendous demonstration of power and strength, required no struggle from God. The creation of matter, the melting of the heavens and the earth, the salvation of a soul pose no more problem to do, no more difficulty than the giving of a spring rain. What from our viewpoint are awesome displays of power are from God’s viewpoint tasks of equal simplicity and ease.ual simplicity and ease.
To even conceive of a more, powerful God would be utterly impossible. All the power that does exist finds its origin in the Almighty, and there is no power that can exist that does not already exist in God. He is not as powerful as He needs to be; He is as powerful as He can be. Should there ever exist a force apart from God, be it ever so small, He would not have all potency; therefore, such a force could never exist. The Almighty does not just have all the force that does exist; much more, there is none that could be added to Him. This argument holds, not because there could never be anything that could augment God, though this is true, but that God Himself could not be increased. The distinction is important. In the former case, God is omnipotent only because there exists no competition. In the latter, it is because by necessity. He encompasses all that there is in that none other could even be a possibility.
Mankind is awed by the tremendous military forces available today. Whole nations are able to be destroyed many times over by the arsenal of an opposing country. We are dwarfed by man’s capacity for brutality. Gather all of these powers together, and concentrate them on a single object, if being the sole focus of all of man’s hatred and strength. They cease their own bitter fighting to agree to mutually destroy this one common opponent whose only weapon is His own immanent ability. Their objective is one of total annihilation. Their bitterness is so great that there exists no room for compromise, no room for mercy. They are driven to insanity by one mad intention-to vent their hatred and to destroy. Then envision an instant destruction of all of these forces by a mere spoken word. This is the scenario of the Second Coming of Christ in which all of mankind’s ability and strength is annihilated by the word of the Lord. By this, the heavens were made and the kingdoms will be destroyed. The potency of God surpasses our own, to the degree that He is omnipotent and we are totally impotent. This same truth is evinced in the scriptures in the principle that apart from Him we can do nothing but that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
We cannot think in terms of natural and supernatural ability in that the former originates within ourselves and the latter with God. He is omnipotent; therefore, all power is His. We do not rival Him but, rather, we are wholly sustained by Him. However the Lord of Hosts has given us a measure of natural ability to perform those tasks required by the world. Therefore, even the simplest undertaking is effectuated only by what God has given, but His demands in obedience, extend beyond this ability and can only be directly supplied by Himself. This “supernatural” ability is freely given through grace for salvation and is always present in every believer in the Holy Spirit. The heaven0high standards demanded by God can never be accomplished by the flesh and are doomed to futility without the surpassing power of the Holy Spirit working mightily within us. In our own power we can survive; through the Holy Spirit we can conquer. How can any degree of godliness be expected without it, and what Christ-like goal cannot be attained with it?
God does not sit in the heavens and do whatever He pleases merely to amuse Himself. The awesome works of the Almighty are performed to be remembered and praised. Even though nothing God does proves difficult for Him, everything He does do is great. When Israel rebelled at the Red Sea and the Egyptians were coming to kill them, “He saved them for the sake of His name, that He might make His power known.” But Israel forgot God is being a personal action. Much attention in the Bible is drawn to the works of God. We think that it is difficult to worship that which we cannot see, but then we ignore what we do see. Though some have purported it grandeur to worship God for what He is rather than for what He does, to neglect either is sinful. Though God’s works are plenteous, our eyes are dim and our memories are short. Since we “cannot” give thanks for everything, we tend to not give thanks for anything. It is easy to become numb to the glorious workings of the Lord, for our eyes to be blind, for our hearts to be insensitive. We can develop an expectant and ungrateful attitude. We have had our eyes opened, but we refuse to see. How much more we seem to be able to recall the little good that “we” do and then forget the much greater good that God does. To meditate more upon the great things which the Lord has done for us would be a useful exercise for us all.
Perhaps one of the greatest works of God’s that we not only forget but indeed belittle is that which He has accomplished in and through our own lives. We consider it modest and humble to downplay how our lives have changed and to limit areas in which we have grown. This is but a trick of the devil. The awesome power of the Lord has not only changed us positionally in ways which we cannot fully comprehend, but the Holy Spirit is, likewise, daily working to conform us experientially to His Son. How we need to be gripped with Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” And again in Ephesians 1:18, 19, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know….. what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Satan would much rather have us “humbly” deny God’s powerful workings in our life than for us to give Him the glory. It is not that boasting is wrong, but that we must learn to boast in the Lord.
Imagine the tremendous power required to transform a child of wrath, ladened with sin and depravity, into a child of God able to stand unashamed before the magnificent presence of God. The summation of all our own ability cannot effect the remission of one sin; how great then is this glorious change of all that we are as sinners into all that we could never be without God. Once sons of disobedience now we intimately commune with the living God. This blessed fellowship can occur, not simply because unchanged sinners have been placed into Christ and are disguised by His righteousness, but because of the supreme transformation of the sinner. We are not merely “hidden” in the righteousness of the Savior; it is imputed to us. It is not simply like the case of taking a filthy rag and covering it over with a clean, white container. We are not just covered nor just hidden; we are wholly changed. This is not so strongly emphasized to detract from the marvelous implications of being in Christ but to stress the fact that the stupendous change from without to within Christ occurring at salvation was not the sole change. We are not just in Christ, but we are also conformed to the image of the Son of God. The blood of cleansing has purified us to infinite perfection. What an immense and glorious consequence of the awesome power of God this is. He is greatly to be praised.
To forget the works of the Lord is to be insensitive, not only to His concern, but also to His might. The Israelites rebelled and failed because “they did not remember His power.” To concentrate on the love and concern of God during grievous situations can still lead to anxiety and frustration. An infinite, unconditional love, coupled with impotence, may produce sympathy, but it gives little hope or relief. Knowing that not only does our God want to deliver us but also that He can deliver us allows our souls to rest. The Almighty is not merely a well-wisher; He is a powerful God who moves greatly to see His children provided for. Where the world causes hurt, the Lord brings healing. He not only hears the cries of the afflicted, but He can save them also. “Let the groaning of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve those who are doomed to die.”
When examining an area of our lives which we struggle being obedient in, the primary focus should not be on the of our rebellion nor on the magnitude of the sin. If we compare the sin to our personal, mundane abilities, it is easy to see why it can appear so looming and burdensome. In ourselves, we are helpless before Satan, before the flesh, before the world system. Our sin will always be insuperable when compared to our ability to master it. However, in Romans 5:20, God promises, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” We must learn to evaluate sin from God’s viewpoint and not our own, not only seeing it being heinous, but also seeing it as being conquerable. We need to rely on His available resources, not our own. What may appear as an insurmountable mountain to us is crushed under the awesomeness of God’s power. The issue is not the ability of our resources compared to that sin, but how infinitely more great the power of God is relative to that sin. We will never be anything but helpless and defeated when we contemplate what we can accomplish regarding the conquest of our sin, yet we will never be anything less than overwhelming conquerors when we realize what God has and can do with it. The heart, in every instance, must depend on God, and in order to depend, the heart must believe. Doubt is overwhelmed by the greatness of the sin; faith glories in superabundant grace. Doubt is crushed by the burden; faith sees the victory at the cross and clings to it. Doubt is cursed by hopelessness and resignation; faith triumphs in the promises and faithfulness of God. The Lord does not ask us to try and try again, but He does ask us to believe and do. For what greater Helper can we be blesses with than that of the transfinite, eternal Spirit of God!
To think that the unconquerable God is not able to see the victory over a sin in our lives is blasphemy to an immeasurable degree. God, in all His majesty and glory, does not sit in the heavens frustrated because He cannot bring those whom He has chosen closer to perfection. God is no less able to import righteousness than to impute it. We have already become the righteousness of God in Christ; we can certainly practice this righteousness through the Holy Spirit. One is not the triumph of God and the other solely the labor of man. The Lord glories in accomplishing the impossible in our lives. We can echo the words of Jeremiah, “’Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.’” He delights in exhibiting His majesty through His children. That the Most High might receive much glory through the transformation of our lives is a great privilege which we have been given. Beyond the boundaries of our imagination lie much of what the Lord has planned for us. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or thin, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, Amen.”
The realization of the power of God is necessary because this power is a basis for the assurance and security of salvation. In 1 Peter 1:3-5 we read, “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.” This immeasurable, supernatural power protects us from Satan, from the world, and from ourselves. All that has said is absolute because He establishes and confirms it. Consider the tremendous certainty of these truths; God desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4); He will cast out none who come to Him (John 6:37); all that is required for salvation is belief in the Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31). What greater reality can be declared as the foundation for assurance of salvation? What opposing force can break this chain against the will of the Lord God Almighty? If God boasts that “no one shall snatch them out of my hand,” who will prove that boast vain? Though not all will get saved, those who humble themselves before the Lord and receive His Son can be absolutely sure that they have received the gift of eternal life. This is a rock which no one can shake.
Those who struggle with the security of their salvation either disbelieve His promises or fail to comprehend His power-or both. Even the “free will” of man, when subjected to the declarations of God, cannot obstruct infinite power. “Free will” is not an abstract concept which God has bestowed to a place higher than Himself. Rather, it is totally confined to limitations which He has pleased to impose. These are beyond human definition and can never transgress the declaration of God. Our will is “free” only within these boundaries and limitations. If He will not lose any whom He has been given, then so it will be, and no protest of the human will can recede that assurance.
Second Peter 3:9 reads, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” It is a grave error to conclude from this passage that since God desires all people to get saved, then either this salvation will happen, or God is not infinitely and freely powerful and will pitifully fail to see even His own wishes fulfilled. We must not misconstrue and pervert God’s supreme desires. Though it is true that He does want all people everywhere to repent, it is equally true that His very nature desires and demands that justice be met and sin condemned. The scriptures declare, “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” To conceive of God as having to condemn people to hell because He has limited His power by some set of His own rules is a serious error. In the greatness of God’s power, men are saved, and in the greatness of His power, man are doomed. We must reject any vision of a restricted God. He is the Lord God who reigns supreme; He does what The scriptures draw much attention to the magnificent omnipotence of the Lord. It is emphasized as a reason to trust and as a cause for worship. The immense, unimaginable power of Jehovah God is a terrifying yet vast source of security, comfort, and victory. We would do well to spend much time meditating upon its glory. “Be Thou exalted, O Lord, in Thy strength; we will sing and praise Thy power.”-Psalm 21:13.
What does God’s omnipotence mean to us?
We can trust God in tough circumstances
There has always been great discussion about why good people have terrible things happen to them. The two attributes that come into play in this discussion is that God is all loving and He is all powerful. It is generally accepted that God is love and wants to see us happy. Therefore it does not seem to make sense that He would want to see us suffer. So if He is all powerful then why does He not do something about it? Why does He not prevent these crises from occurring to begin with? If He truly loves us and is all powerful but tragedies still happen then something must be wrong so the thinking goes.ng so the thinking goes.
One theory about this is that God wants us to always be happy, but He is frustrated in His attempts to accomplish this because certain circumstances are too big for God. He can try His best but sometimes that is not enough. This is rubbish. God created the Universe with a word; He can change any circumstance in any way that He wants. So then why does He not do so? If God loves us enough to want to give us an abundant life overflowing with joy and if He is omnipotent then why do we oftentimes seem to stubble from one crisis to another? There are two important considerations.
The first is that God has allowed sin and rebellion to often override His choices and desires.
This is what is known as free-will. Genesis 19:17-22 is right before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. God wanted Lot to escape into the mountains but Lot preferred going to a town instead, so God let him. Of course, Lot then got into trouble so he should have listened to God in the first place.
God will allow us to do what we truly want to do. If we want to be bitter then God will let us. If we want to be self-centered then God will let us be the center of our own universe. If we want to be ungracious and allow petty disagreements to ruin friendships then God will let that happen.
Just as there are laws of physics and chemistry and biology so also are there spiritual laws. If you throw a baseball straight up into the air, no matter how hard you may wish for it to keep going, it will stubbornly reach its peak and then come back down. In the same way there are spiritual laws that cannot be broken without dire consequences. We can read a number of these spiritual laws in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.” Proverbs 11:17, “The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.” Proverbs 12:28, “He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”
Sometimes bad things happen to us because, even though we may be genuinely sincere in wanting to do good we still sin and that sin carries with it bad consequences. If God prevented us from experiencing bad things no matter what we do then the result would be a lot of happy but evil people.
Also, because our lives intertwine with so many other people’s lives their sins will affect us also.
Secondly, we are usually more interested in our own happiness than in God. We tend to ignore God when things are going well because we have what we want—our happiness. But we are down on our knees when trouble hits because we do not have what we want—namely, our happiness. Only God can deeply fill our emptiness and only as we become more and more like the character of God will we experience the true fruit of the Holy Spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Trials bring us to the point where we draw closer to God. So if God prevented us from experiencing bad things the result would be a lot of happy but shallow people.
There are also a number of other reasons as to why trials are not eliminated by God. As we experience hurt and then comfort we are able to comfort those who are currently experiencing the same hurt. Trials allow us to feel God’s grace in a fuller and richer way. And because coming out of trials redeemed rather than rescued is usually a far better thing.
God is all powerful but He knows that oftentimes it is better for us to experience terrible things then to always be quickly and easily rescued from them. That bad things can happen to good people does not at all mean that God is not omnipotent.
God can accomplish great things in our lives
God can transform us. There is no sin so terrible that God cannot forgive. There is no habit so deeply engrained that God cannot give us triumph over it. There is no pain so wrenching that God cannot heal completely. God has the power to transform a child of wrath, oppressed with sin and depravity into a child of God able to stand unashamed before His magnificent presence.
God’s omnipotence means that numerous people who are enslaved to alcohol or drugs are able to quit and never return.
God’s omnipotence means that people who were terribly hurt by someone are able to forgive and move on with their lives.
God’s omnipotence means that people who are depressed or have terrible self-worth are able to walk in confide Because God is omnipotent we can echo Paul from Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
We can trust in His promises
When God says in Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” we can believe that because we know that God is able.e know that God is able.
When God says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” we are confident because God is all-powerful.
When David says in Psalm 18:2, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” we can stand firm on that because we know that Go God’s promises are not “hope fors,” they are just what they are called—promises.
The future will be exactly as He says in the Bible
There will be a new heavens and a new earth. Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire. We will go to Heaven if we are saved. We will be healed of all of our aliments, freed from all of our sorrows, and delivered from all of life’s anguish. We will walk on streets of gold. And we will see our Savior Jesus Christ face to face. These are not pipe dreams or fairy tales. They will happen one day for each of us if we have been born-again. God’s omnipotence will make sure that it happens.
Answers to quiz
2) b 1) a
Kathy had a rough childhood. She was raised solely by her mother who was verbally abusive. There was always just barely enough food available and oftentimes in the winter the heat was turned off because of non-payment. At an early age Kathy would get drunk a lot to help her cope with this misery. When she was 20 years old Kathy got saved and threw herself wholeheartedly into knowing and serving God. But overcoming her dependence on alcohol has proven to be difficult and she often relapses. What counsel might you give to Kathy to help her out particularly regarding God’s omnipotence?
1) In addition to the ones discussed above, what are some other assurances that God’s omnipotence means to us?mnipotence means to us?
2) If God is so powerful then why does He appear so helpless during some of history’s greatest tragedies such as the Holocaust, World Wars, and a number of genocides?
3) What does it mean to make God our foundation? That sounds good, but how do we do that? How do we in a practical way build upon God’s foundation and not on sand?
4) Why is it important to learn more about God’s attributes? Isn’t it enough just to know that God loves us?
5) If God can do anything that He wants to then why can we read in the Bible about people doing the opposite of what God wants them to do? Why does not He just force them to do what He wants?
6) Is there any one attribute of God that you find particularly helpful or comforting to you?
7) If God can do anything then why did He have to become a man and die for our sins? Why cannot He just decide to forgive anyone that He wants to without having to have gone through all of that in the Gospels?
8) Does not God and Satan do constant battle with God winning sometimes and Satan winning other times?
9) What are some examples of God’s omnipotence?
10) What are some practical ways that we can apply God’s omnipotence to our own lives?
11) Why do we not see more of God’s miraculous power today?
Copyright Bob La Forge 2011 email: email@example.com