I was thinking just the other day about the attributes of God, and trying to figure out which attribute comes to mind first when the concept arises. I am sure this differs in nearly every individual, but we should still consider our own train of thought when the concept of God, or the attributes of God arises. A.W. Tozer said that whatever comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us. This is true.
The idea of the omnipotence of God is sometimes a foreign concept to many, so to start out I will explain what it means. The word “omnipotence” is not in any of the original languages of the bible or in any of the modern translations of the bible that I am aware of. However, the teaching is clearly taught throughout the scriptures. This is a common theme from Genesis all the way through Revelation. Omnipotence basically means “All-Powerful”. The teaching of the Omnipotence of God is just saying that God is All-Powerful. I believe that as we examine the scriptures this will be plain.
“Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
Before I discuss this passage I just want to make a disclaimer – to build a theological case using the book of Job can really be dangerous. If the concept of God’s omnipotence was only supported by using Job as a proof text, then I would never take a chance to try and teach it. This is partly because I do not fully grasp the book (which I believe few really do understand it), but also because I think it is always shaky to get quotes from a book filled with different ideas from people that God spends a lot of time rebuking in the end. I am just saying that a clear teaching of scripture will be found in multiple locations where the text is easily understood.
Basically Job was explaining that the Lord can do whatever He wants and nobody can stop Him. That sounds a lot like being all-powerful to me. When I think about this and listen to some preachers on T.V today talk about God it sickens me. They will make statements like” I told God you better _____…” or “God you said it so do it…”. First of all you are not going to tell God anything. God does what God wants to do. He is not only all-powerful He is sovereign. I am not saying that everything that happens is God’s will, but He still works things out for His purposes – not your purposes.
Bible Commentator Albert Barnes said regarding this passage,
“It is an acknowledgment that God was omnipotent, and that man ought to be submissive, under the putting forth of his infinite power.”
That is a good point. Not only does the teaching of the omnipotence of God bring us to a place of worship because of the greatness of God, but it brings us to a place of submissive humility for our own inadequacies. For someone to question this great God is nothing more than absurd. People need to be taught the fear of God. This is a teaching that is almost absent from all pulpits in America. That is why I am taking the time to write these articles on the attributes of God at this time. If people would understand Him, they would have a fear of God birthed within them.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
This verse is talking about salvation for a rich man in the context, but the statement rings true in all cases. If God can save a self-righteous person that is dead in their own sins, than He can do all things. When I really sit down and think about this subject my mind always goes back to my conversion. I was a sinner of sinners on the highway to hell with no regard for people, let alone God. God sovereignly orchestrated events and put me in a place to where I heard the gospel for the first time. I know that God was drawing me by His Spirit and changing me from the inside out. That is one of the reasons I believe that salvation is of the Lord. One day I am a self-seeking lover of self to a wholehearted lover of God. That is not something we can produce in ourselves. That is the byproduct of an All-Powerful God. Salvation is an act of God.
Bible Commentator Matthew Henry says regarding Matthew 19:26,
“This is a great truth in general, that God is able to do that which quite exceeds all created power; that nothing is too hard for God,”
It is my prayer that this short article will place within you a reverential fear of God and produce a deep-hearted humility towards God. One of the reasons God chose to reveal Himself in the pages of scripture is so that we could know Him, and by knowing Him we would love Him. He is an omnipotent God with all power and authority, yet He makes Himself to be available to us through prayer. If this does not drive you to a deeper relationship with God through prayer I do not know what will.