The Attributes of God (Part Five)

 Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you (Jeremiah 32:17 ESV).

God is unlimited in regard to power; that is, he can do anything that is in conformity with his nature and that he in his holy wisdom chooses to do and in the way he chooses to do it. The theological word for this truth is omnipotence. Neither the grace of his love nor the wrath of his justice can be hindered. He has the all-ability necessary to carry out his plans. The creation itself is testimony to his infinite power (Romans 1:20). The Scriptures many times assert the all-powerfulness of God. Numerous times he is called “Almighty” (Genesis 17:1) or the “All-powerful One” (Revelation 1:8). (See, for example, Zechariah 8 where this idea is used of God 17 times!) Nothing in creation can stop God from doing what he wants to do (Genesis 18:14; Job 42:2; Psalm 115:3; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Daniel 4:35; Matthew 19:26; Mark 14:36; Luke 1:37; Ephesians 1:19-20; 3:20). Human agency has no bearing upon God’s power (Exodus 15:6-12; 1 Samuel 14:6; Proverbs 21:1).

God reveals his omnipotence in various ways:

  • Creation – Genesis 1:1, 3; etc.; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 24:1-2; Psalm 33:6-9; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 17:24; Revelation 14:7
  • Preservation – Psalm 66:9; 104:10-15; Matthew 5:45; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3
  • Protection – 2 Chronicles 14:11-12; Isaiah 14:24-27; 46:4
  • Miracles – Exodus 3:20; 7:3-5; Matthew 8:3; Luke 8:24; John 11:43-44
  • Judgment – Ezekiel 22:13-16; Revelation 20:11-15

“As holiness is the beauty, so power is the life of all his attributes in their exercise; and as holiness, so power is an adjunct belonging to all, a term that may be given to all. God hath a powerful wisdom to attain his ends without interruption; he hath a powerful mercy to remove our misery; a powerful justice to lay all misery upon offenders; he hath a powerful truth to perform his promises; an infinite power to bestow rewards and inflict penalties. It is to this purpose power is first put in the two things which the Psalmist had heard (Psalm 62:11-12)” (Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, Vol. 2, pp. 15-16).

“Get an interest in God, and then this glorious power is engaged for you. He gives it under his hand, that he will put forth the whole power of his Godhead for the good of his people… It is a comfort in several cases” (Watson, A Body of Divinity, p. 81).

  • He can give us power against our remaining sin (Galatians 5:16)
  • He has power to keep us from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • He is sufficient to support us in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • He can provide for our needs (Matthew 6:30)
  • He is able to protect us from our enemies (Romans 8:31)
  • He will raise us to eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:57)

This attribute of God fuels the faith and hope of his people. We can trust the Holy One, who is able to do much more than we ask or imagine. We can confidently expect eternal glory, because he can get us to be with him forever.

Grace and peace, David