Last time I discussed the omniscience of God, and how that divine attribute should be encouraging to every born again believer. This week I will discuss God’s omnipotence. Omnipotence is a theological term which refers to the fact that God is all-powerful. Scripture describes God as having no limit to His power or ability to accomplish His will. God said that He has the ability to do anything He please (Gen. 18:14). Job said, “I know that You can do anything and no plan of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).1 Things that are impossible for people to accomplish are not impossible for God (Matt. 19:26). The angel Gabriel told Mary, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk. 1:37). The Bible makes it clear that God’s power is not limited or exhaustible.
Scripture is also full of examples of people recognizing their inherent limitations and sin, and as a result cried out to God (Ps. 107:25-29). They did so because God alone is omnipotent. He alone is all-powerful. His omnipotence is also seen in His creation acts, “The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into a heap; He puts the depths into storehouses. Let the whole earth tremble before the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it came into being; He commanded, and it came into existence” (Ps. 33:6–9). In a 24-hour period God causes the earth to complete one rotation. A location on the earth’s surface is rotating at about 1,675 kilometers/hour or 465 meters/second, which equals 1,040 miles/hour. In a 365 day year God causes the earth to complete an entire revolution around the sun. God created the sun, moon, and stars (Gen. 1:14-18). The moon is approximately the same size as the United States, and is about 240,000 miles from the earth.2 It continually rotates around the earth. God says that He created the “lesser light” (the moon) to have dominion over the night (Gen. 1:16). It is 2,500 times brighter than the next brightest object, Venus.3 The “greater light” (the sun) was created to have dominion over the day (Gen. 1:16). The sun is 400 times more distant from the earth than the moon and 400 times larger than the moon. Both have the same angular size and as a result appear to be the same size when viewed from earth. When compared to the earth, “The sun is over 100 times the diameter of earth.” In fact the sun is so large that if it was hollow you would be able to fit 1 million earths inside of it. The sun is 93 million miles from earth. It would take 163 years to drive that far, traveling at 65 miles per hour.4 God created the stars and scientists estimate that our galaxy (the “Milky Way”) contains over 1 billion stars, and there are other galaxies such as galaxy M31 (the “Andromeda” galaxy).5 He knows all of the stars and calls them by name (Ps. 147:4; Isa. 40:26). God created the sun, moon, and stars in one day by the command of His mouth (Gen. 1:14-19).
The Lord’s unparalleled power is spoken of here as well, “The Lordis slow to anger but great in power; the Lordwill never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet. He rebukes the sea so that it dries up, and He makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither; even the flower of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before Him, and the hills melt; the earth trembles at His presence— the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand His indignation? Who can endure His burning anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, even rocks are shattered before Him” (Nah. 1:3–6). Jesus demonstrated His omnipotence by calming the storm (Matt. 8:23-27), raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:14, 41-44), and forgiving sins (Lk. 7:47-50).
How does the reality of God’s omnipotence bring comfort and encouragement to born again Christians? Since God is all-powerful He can heal people’s physical infirmities (Matt. 8:1-4; 9:18-31; 12:9-14; 20:29-34). But, we must remember at times God chooses in His sovereign wisdom not to heal the physical infirmities of believers. Paul is an example of this reality (2 Cor. 12:6-10). Since God is all-powerful He can help us when we are in danger (2 Tim. 4:16-18; Ps. 18:1-19; 57; 40:1-5). But, there are times when God in His sovereign wisdom chooses not to rescue His people from danger. Christ informed Peter that he would be martyred as a result of being a Christian (John 21:18-19). Christian tradition states that Peter was martyred by crucifixion during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero. So, it is important to remember that God is able to stop us from being harmed but does not always choose to do so. We do not always understand why God allows certain things. Scripture tells us, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.’ This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8–9). As believers we have God’s promise, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom. 8:28–30). The Lord will use every difficult experience that Christians have to conform them to the image of His Son, and to glorify His name. He is able to do so because He is all-powerful.
The Bible teaches that all people are born sinners, who are spiritually dead and separated from God (Rom. 3:10-18, 23). No one can save himself from his sin. God alone can open the eyes of spiritually dead sinners to the truth of the gospel and cause them to believe (1 Cor. 1:26-31; 2 Cor. 4:1-6; John 6:44; 10:25-30). This was the point Jesus was making in Matthew 19:26. Only God can save souls from hell.
The God of the Bible is omnipotent. He has unlimited power to accomplish His will. This is so precious to every born again Christian. There is no one like God (1 Kg. 8:23; Isa. 45:21-22). Listen to this, “This is what the Lord, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, the Lordof Hosts, says: I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but Me. Who, like Me, can announce the future? Let him say so and make a case before Me, since I have established an ancient people. Let these gods declare the coming things, and what will take place” (Isa. 44:6–7). And here, “Speak up and present your case — yes, let them take counsel together. Who predicted this long ago? Who announced it from ancient times? Was it not I, Yahweh? There is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is no one except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other” (Isa. 45:21–22). There is no one as powerful as God, and He never tires (Isa.40:28). He gives strength to those who trust in Him (Isa. 40:29-31). What an amazing, incomparable God!
1Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, HCSB®, and Holman CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009).
2Excerpted from an article entitled, The Splendor of Creation, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tba/splendor-of-creation.