God’s Attributes of Power

God is LORD of all.  The basic tenets of this faith statement include: God is in control, has authority over all things, and is ever present with us.  We’ve examined God’s attributes of Love, and Knowledge, and finish this section with a look at God’s attributes of Power.

God’s power is so dominate and extensive trained theologians describe it with the word “Omnipotence.”  Why can’t they just say “God can do anything”?  Well, because you might find it difficult to believe, but there are some things God CANNOT do.

  • Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness–in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
  • Numbers 23:19  God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

God cannot lie.  In fact, God is Holy, Good, and Love so God cannot do anything evil.  God cannot do something logically contradictory [like making round squares] since He is always consistent in His words and actions.  God cannot do anything contrary to His nature as God [see Numbers 23:19 above] like buy a suite or celebrate His birthday.  God had no birthday, He was, is, and always will be God.

So it seems our dilemma in knowing God better, and understanding the enormity of His power, is to arrive in general terms that help us see Him as He wants us to see Him.  That God is omnipotent is a clear teaching of Scripture [Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 55:11; Jeremiah 32:17].  These verses also imply God has a will… the ability to choose.  After choosing whatever He “wills” to do, God has the power to do it.

God reveals Himself in the Bible by helping us see His “will” in three basic ways.  First God makes DECREES which declare His will in unmistakable ways.  [See what Joseph says to his brothers about their actions toward him – Genesis 50:20].  The decrees of God’s will in the Bible will always come to pass. Listen to how Paul says it to the Roman church:  “What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory…” [Romans 9:22-23] .

Second, God has a Preceptive will.  We refer to this when we say God has PRECEPTS.  Precepts are revealed as God’s values, which often take the place of commandments to us and for us.  Whatever God has decreed will happen whether we agree with it, or believe it or not.  However, God’s precepts are those things that we can choose to line up with, or not.  When we violate God’s precepts, this is called “sin.”  As an example look at 1 Timothy 2:3-4, This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.    See, God wants all people to be saved… but not all will choose this precept for themselves.  The sin that condemns them is their own unbelief of this simple truth.

Third, there is Divine Vocation (theological term) which means basically “God’s will for our lives.”  So how do we find God’s will for us?  Look no further than the verse we just examined, 1 Timothy 2:3-4.  If you want to see another one, re-read John 3:16.  God’s grace and forgiveness, direction, mercy and power are available to every person who submits to God as Lord (Jesus as LORD).

God is Lord of time and space, He is Lord of everything everywhere.  This power is on display in all the realms of scripture: eternity past, the present on earth, and the infinite realm of eternity future.

Ok, here’s the thing.  while the Bible says that God is unchangeable in some ways [Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalm 102:25-27; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17]… Scripture also presents God as changeable in other ways.  God spared Nineveh (just as He said He would), when the city repented and turned to Him for deliverance.   We can see these two separate thoughts better if we say “it is God’s unchanging will to relent in this way.”  God placed a condition on Nineveh, “repent or be destroyed.”  They repented, God did not destroy them.

Not only is God unchanging, omnipotent, and ever-present with us… God has no needs according to Paul addressing the people of Athens in Acts 17:24-30.

Just a reminder, again, when we examine all these attributes of God, we are also defining the attributes of Jesus Christ the LORD.

Next time we’ll begin looking at the topic of the “Trinity,”  God as Three in ONE.

 

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