God's Omnipotence

The following study is part of new edition of the Advanced Bible Studies Series course Give Attendance to Doctrine that we plan to publish later this year. --

God's Omnipotence
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Rev. 19:6)

“I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2).

“Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm,
and there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jer. 32:17).

“But Jesus beheld
them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Mat. 19:26).

“For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
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We are so thankful for God’s omnipotence. If God were good but not omnipotent, He could be overthrown by some power at some point in time. Some Satan could pull God from His throne and replace God’s righteous rule with unrighteous chaos. At the present time there is unrighteousness and chaos in creation, but it is temporary and limited in scope; it is under God’s control and will result in the working out of His ultimate purposes. God’s omnipotence guarantees this.

God is called “Almighty” 57 times in Scripture, beginning with God’s revelation to Abraham in Genesis 17:1. This is from the Hebrew word
Shaddai, which means “to be burly, i.e. (figuratively) powerful (passively, impregnable)” (Strong). 

a. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He can do anything (Job 42:6; Jer. 32:17; Mat. 19:26; Luke 1:37). We cannot begin to understand this, but we can believe it and we can rejoice in it, because the God who can do anything is a good God who will only do that which is right. The only limit on God’s power is His moral character. For example, God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13).

b. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He created the universe from nothing by His spoken Word (Gen. 1; Heb. 11:3). The universe is so large and complex that it is incomprehensible to man, yet it did not tax God’s power to create it. He does not faint nor grow weary (Isa. 40:28). This is omnipotence.

c. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He rules over all things and controls all things according to His will and purpose (1 Sam. 2:6-8; 2 Chr. 20:6; Psa. 29:10; 115:3; 135:6; Isa. 46:9-10; Dan. 2:20-22; 4:34-35; Eph. 1:11). 

d. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He upholds everything by His power (Heb. 1:3; Col. 1:17). Scientists are searching today for the “God particle,” the fundamental element of the universe, that which holds things together, that which keeps the elements from flying apart. Man will never find this in a particle accelerator or an electron microscope, because it is not a particle or a thing at all; it is the living Creator God. 

e. God’s omnipotence is seen in that Satan is subject to Him (Job 1:12; 2:6; Luke 22:31; 1 Jn. 4:4). When God is finished with Satan, he will be bound for a thousand years and then cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:2, 10). There are not two Gods. There is only one God, and He is omnipotent. Satan is called “the god of this world” only because most men follow him (2 Cor. 4:4). Satan is merely a fallen angel.

f. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He restrains man’s evil according to His will and even man’s wrath will ultimately result in His praise (Psa. 76:10). We see this in
Joseph’s life. God was in control of the troubles that he endured at the hands of his brothers and at the hands of Egyptian authorities, and everything worked for God’s glory (Gen. 45:4-8). We see this in Pharaoh. His rebellion to God set the stage for a display of God’s almighty power (Rom. 9:17). We see this in Israel’s unbelief in refusing to enter the promised land (Num. 13:13-33). God used this to provide 40 years of examples for His people in the book of Numbers (1 Cor. 10:1-11). We see this in Israel’s rejection of Jesus. This became the means of salvation for the Gentiles (Rom. 11:11). We see this in the wickedness of Babylon the mother of idolatry (Jer. 51:7). When men do not submit to God, He turns them over to the devil and allows them to be carried along by the devil’s program. The devil is allowed to blind those who do not believe (2 Cor. 4:4). We see this in Christ’s crucifixion, which was done according to God’s determinate counsel for the redemption of God’s creation (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). God has taken the most evil act in man’s history and turned it to man’s salvation. As the hymn writer said, “The very spear that pierced Thy side, drew forth the blood to save.” We see God’s omnipotence in His control of the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thess. 2:6-8). Throughout the church age, the devil has been striving to place his man on the throne of this world, but his program has been restrained by the omnipotent Spirit of God, and the devil’s program will be restrained until God is ready and God’s plan for the church age is accomplished. We see God’s omnipotence in the day of the antichrist when the whole world is under the rule of evil and yet God is in ultimate control in the midst of the terrible darkness (Rev. 17:17). God’s omnipotence does not excuse men from responsibility for evil. Pharaoh perished in his rebellion. The generation of unbelieving Jews perished in the wilderness for their unbelief. Of Judas Jesus said, “Woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born” (Mat. 26:24). God gives men freedom to make choices, their choices are important and they make a difference; and they must give account for those choices; but God is in ultimate control of all things toward the working out of His plans (Rom. 8:28). The power and wisdom required to work all events everywhere together for God’s ultimate glory is too high for any man to comprehend, but it teaches us how great and omnipotent God is. This is implied in Philippians 4:6, which exhorts the saint to be careful or anxious about nothing, but rather to pray about everything. In a world filled with trouble, the command to be careful about NOTHING is a far-reaching matter, and it instructs us that there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God who is in ultimate control and who can be trusted implicitly. 

g. God’s omnipotence is seen in that He knows exactly what each saint can handle and He controls life’s experiences with this in mind (1 Cor. 10:13). “He being the potter, they the clay, he knows what they are able to bear, and what not; that if he lays his hand too heavy, or strikes too hard, or repeats his strokes too often, they will fall in pieces: he knows the inward frame of their minds, the corruption of their nature, how prone they are to sin; and therefore does not expect perfect services from them” (John Gill). 

What the omnipotence of God means: 

For the believer, God’s promises can be trusted explicitly, because He is able to keep them. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20). God’s power can keep us (2 Tim. 1:12; Jude 24). 

As for the unbeliever, he should fear greatly because the omnipotent God will not overlook his sin and His holy justice will burn against him forever for neglecting the salvation that is freely offered in Christ. 
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