THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD Lesson #6
The Omnipotence of God Psalm 62:11 and Revelation 19:6
All power belongs to God. He is “the Lord God omnipotent” who reigns everywhere. “Omnipotence is essential to God. It is his nature. A weak Deity is an absurdity” (John Gill). A. W. Pink wrote, “We cannot have a right conception of God unless we think of Him as all-powerful, as well as all-wise. He who cannot do what he will and perform all his pleasure cannot be God. As God has a will to resolve what he deems good, so he has power to execute his will.”
“The power of God is that ability and strength whereby he can bring to pass whatsoever he pleases...As holiness is the beauty of all God’s attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the Divine nature. How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power his mercy would be but feeble pity, his promises an empty sound, his threatenings a mere scarecrow. God’s power is like himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible. It can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature” (Stephen Charnock).
“Power belongeth unto God,” and to God alone. No creature in all the universe has a single particle of power, except that which God has given him. But God’s power is unacquired. No one gives him power. He is power! It belongs to him inherently.
C. H. Spurgeon said, “God’s power is like himself, self-existent, self-sustained. The mightiest of men cannot add so much as a shadow of increased power to the omnipotent One. He sits on no buttressed throne and leans on no assisting arm. His court is not maintained by his courtiers, nor does it borrow its splendor from his creatures. He is himself the great central Source and Originator of all power.”
Power is synonymous with God. To speak of God is to speak of power. To speak of power is to speak of God. The two cannot be separated. We read of the “Son of man sitting at the right hand of power” (Mk. 14:62). And that is the right hand of God. As God’s essence is immense, not confined to any place, and eternal, not measured by time, so it is almighty, not limited in ability.
God’s omnipotence is infinitely beyond the reach of human understanding. There is infinitely more power in God than he has revealed in his wonderful works (Job 26:5-14; 38:4-6). In fact, the prophet Habakkuk plainly tells us that all the stunning works of God’s power, by which we are astonished, are “the hiding of his power” (Hab. 3:4), rather than the displaying of his power. In other words, the power of God is so great, so inconceivable, so immense, so uncontrollable, that his great and mighty works conceal more than they reveal of his omnipotence! How great our God is in power! He is omnipotent, the Almighty. Here are eight works of omnipotence which, when thoughtfully considered, ought to inspire every heart to worship and adore “the Lord God omnipotent.”
THE CREATION OF THE WORLD (Psa. 89:11-13) - Creation is a work of omnipotence. God “spoke and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast” (Psa. 33:9). “Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is” (Acts 4:24). (See Gen. 1:1-3; John 1:1-3; Heb. 11:3). Before man can work, he must have material with which to work. But God created all things out of nothing. Before man can build, he must have tools. But God built the universe by his Word. We do not know how many worlds God has created. But he who made one world could just as easily have made ten thousand worlds. Yet, omnipotence has never been exerted to its utmost. Creation is easier for God than breathing is for us! (See Psa. 8:1-9).
THE PRESERVATION OF THE UNIVERSE (Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3) - Our God declares, “The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it” (Psa. 75:3). There is no such thing as “self-preservation” or “Survival of the fittest.” “Can the rush grow up without mire? Can the flag grow up without water?” (Job 8:11). Both man and beast would perish, were it not for the vegetation of the earth. And the vegetation of the earth would die, were it not for the sunshine and the rain. Therefore God is called the Preserver of “man and beast” (Psa. 36:6). The unfathomable omnipotence of God is seen in the preservation of the world. Where does he store water for the earth? In clouds! How does he keep the oceans from flooding the earth? With sand! God simply says to the waters of the sea, Hitherto shalt thou go and no further, here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:11). How does God light the world? With the sun, constantly burning with gases. Breathe, the breath in your lungs is a monument to omnipotence. Hear the rippling creek, the singing bird, and the hopping rabbit. Feel the warmth of the sun, the chill of winter, the dew on the ground, and the pulse of your heart, and know this - God is omnipotent! “He walketh among the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8). “he walketh in the circuit of heaven” (Job 22:14). “He walketh upon the wings of the wind” (Psa. 104:3).
THE WONDERS OF PROVIDENCE (Rom. 8:28) - Not only does God preserve the whole of creation, he rules all things by his absolute power for the good of his elect. Satan is a roaring lion. But God controls him. Man is a cruel beast. But God holds him in check (Psa. 76:10). (Read Psa. 93:1-5). Let every child of God rejoice! Our heavenly Father sits upon the throne of universal dominion. He rules the world with unlimited, omnipotent power. And he does everything for the eternal, spiritual good of his own elect.
THE REDEMPTION OF SINNERS BY CHRIST - Everything regarding our redemption by Christ reflects the omnipotence of God our Savior. Christ’s incarnation was a work of omnipotence (Lk. 1:35-37). In order to save us God brought a clean thing out of an unclean. He brought forth his Son out of the womb of Mary. As Omnipotence formed a body for our Savior, Omnipotence protected him throughout the days of his life (Rev. 12). In his infancy he was protected from the malice of Herod, after his baptism from the violence of satan, and later from the snares of the Scribes and Pharisees. Our Savior himself, while he was in this world, displayed his omnipotence as God. The Man Christ Jesus is the Lord God omnipotent! By his own divine power he healed the sick, cleansed the leper, raised the dead, and calmed the raging storm. The death of Christ, for the accomplishment of our redemption, was an act of Divine omnipotence. Omnipotence delivered him into the hands of men (Acts 2:23). Omnipotence ruled the deeds of men (Acts 4:27-28). Omnipotence endured the wrath of God (Heb. 12:2). Omnipotence gave up the ghost (John 10:17-18). Omnipotence made an end of sin (Isa. 63:1-5). Omnipotence brought in everlasting righteousness (Isa. 59:16-17). And the resurrection and exaltation of Christ was the work of God’s omnipotence. Our Redeemer was declared to be the Son of God with power, when he was raised from the dead, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave (Rom. 1:4). The risen Christ possesses and exercises omnipotent power and dominion for the salvation of his people (Matt. 28:18; John 17:2). (See Psa. 68:18-20).
THE SALVATION OF GOD’S ELECT (Psa. 110:3; Eph. 1:19) - The grace of God is not a helpless desire in God to save. Grace is omnipotent, irresistible, and effectual. Salvation is a work of God’s omnipotence. Salvation involves a creation (II Cor. 5:17); and creation, as we have already seen, is the work of God alone. Sinners are not made new creatures in Christ by their will, but by God’s omnipotent will (Rom. 9:16). Regeneration is a resurrection from the dead (Eph. 2:1-4). It takes something more than a decision in men to raise the dead. Resurrection requires omnipotence! Conversion is a conquest of grace (Psa. 65:4). Grace chose its objects and omnipotent grace effectually causes all the chosen to come to Christ in repentance and faith.
THE SUCCESS AND PERPETUITY OF THE GOSPEL (Rev. 6:1-2; 19:11-16) - God chose to save men by the foolishness of preaching. And generally he uses the most unlikely men to be his messengers, so that all the glory might be to him alone. But our omnipotent Savior has gone forth in the preaching of the gospel, conquering and to conquer. And in all places, at all times, the gospel is triumphant by God’s omnipotent grace. Because God is omnipotent we are assured that he will never leave himself without a witness (Ps. 22:30-31); his truth shall prevail (Ps. 85:11, 14); his church can never be destroyed (Mt. 16:18); and his kingdom shall be triumphant (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
THE FINAL PERSEVERANCE OF EVERY BELIEVER (John 10:27-30; I Pet. 1:5) - All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are kept by the power of God, by his great and glorious omnipotence (John 10:28; Phil. 1:6; 2 Pet. 1:5). Because God is omnipotent as well as faithful, immutable, and gracious, redeemed sinners are assured that their salvation is forever, and that they cannot be destroyed (Ecc. 3:14). Though we are tormented by our indwelling sin, vexed by the temptations of satan, constantly confronted with the tempting charms of the world, and daily opposed by the heresies of men, nothing shall prevail to destroy one of God’s elect. ”The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his” (2 Tim. 2:19)..
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD (John 5:28-29) - Were it not for God’s omnipotence, the resurrection of the dead would be an incredible, unbelievable thing. But God is omnipotent. And the dead shall rise (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 1:7). Omnipotence will raise the dead. Omnipotence will judge the world. Omnipotence will torment the damned. And omnipotence will bless the righteous.
“The Lord God omnipotent reigneth! Let his enemies tremble. Let his saints adore him (Ex. 15:11). Let his people trust him. No prayer is too hard for God to answer. No need is too great for God to supply. No passion is too strong for God to subdue. No temptation is too powerful for God to overcome (1 Cor. 10:13). No misery is too deep for God to relieve. (Psa. 27:1; Eph. 3:20-21).