THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD Lesson #7
Our Infinite, Eternal, Omnipresent God John 4:24
That which Elijah prayed, when he both denounced the prophets of Baal and mocked their God, ought to be the goal and driving ambition of every believer, every preacher, and every church. “It came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy Word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God” (I Kings 18:36-37). I want all people to know that the Lord our God is God indeed and that he alone is God. Let us ever pray that God the Holy Spirit will be pleased to use us to turn men and women away from the idolatrous vanities of their corrupt imaginations that they may fall down before the throne of the living God in reverent faith and adoration.
God’s greatness is to be seen in those magnificent attributes of his Being which are essential to him as God and distinguish him from all his creatures. The three attributes of God that are now under consideration, (Infinity, Eternality, and Omnipresence), are attributes of God alone. He who is infinite, eternal, and omnipresent is God. These three magnificent attributes of God are full of comfort for his children. They are so closely related to one another that they may be best appreciated when considered together. In John 4:24 the Lord Jesus Christ tells us, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” God does not have a body, consisting of parts and material substance, as we do. “God is a Spirit.” His spiritual nature him being the uncreated Spirit by whom all things were made, implies that he is infinite, eternal, and omnipresent.
GOD IS INFINITE. “When we say that God is infinite, the meaning is, that he is unbounded and unlimited, unmeasurable, or immense, unsearchable and not to be comprehended” (John Gill). God dwells alone in his infinity. There is none before him to limit him, none after him to limit him, and none above him to limit him (Isa. 443:10; 44:6). As we have already seen, our great, infinite God is the only totally independent Being. All things depend upon God; but God depends upon nothing. All things are of him, through him, to him, and by him; but God dwells alone. All things are checked by God; but God is checked by nothing. All things are limited by God; but God is limited by nothing. God is infinite; and he alone is infinite. No creature is infinite. No thought, word, deed, work, or possession of any finite creature can be infinite. Indeed, nothing created is infinite. Space is not infinite. Time is not infinite. Light is not infinite. Darkness is not infinite. Only God is infinite. Infinity distinguishes God and sets him apart from all his creatures. We sometimes speak of sin as an infinite evil. But even that is not strictly accurate. The God against whom we sin is infinite. But sin is not infinite. Sin is the finite act of finite creatures. However, our sins, because they are acts of enmity against the infinite God, demand an infinite satisfaction. That is the reason why none but Christ, the Son of God, could make atonement for sin. Finite creatures can never render infinite satisfaction to the infinite God. That is the reason why hell is eternal. The sufferings of finite creatures in hell can never satisfy the offended justice of the infinite God (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11). Here is the good news of the gospel - Christ, the infinite God, our Savior, has rendered infinite satisfaction to God for our sins by his obedience and death in our nature, as our Substitute before God (Isa. 53:10). Therefore, all for whom satisfaction has been made must go free.
Complete atonement Christ has made, The law’s demanded price He paid:
All that His people owed to God, He satisfied by His own blood.
Christ Jesus my discharge procured, The whole of wrath divine endured:
The law’s tremendous curse He bore; Justice can never ask for more!
God alone is infinite. And God is infinite in all the attributes of his Being. Everything that God is is infinite. His understanding is infinite (Psa. 147:4-5). God sees, knows, comprehends, and understands all things perfectly and at once. “There is no searching of his understanding” (Isa. 40:28). In comparison with God’s wisdom the wisdom of the heavenly angels is only folly (Job 4:18). His power is infinite. With God nothing is impossible. His power has never yet been exerted. All power is his. He who created one world by his eternal power could have made ten million worlds. He spoke this one into being and upholds it by the word of his power (Rom. 1:20; Heb. 11:3). There is no end to God’s infinite power. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” No. His power is infinite. His goodness is infinite (Mic. 7:18-20). I have heard men say, “There is a limit to God’s goodness.” But that is not so. There may be a limit to your enjoyment of God’s providential goodness in this world. But there is no limit to the goodness of God. He is good, eternally good, always good, and infinitely good. Particularly, he is infinitely good to all his people in Christ. His holiness is infinite. There is none holy but God. None are pure and righteous before him. Even the holy angels are not pure in the sight of his infinite holiness (Job 4:17-18). Once we understand that God alone is holy and that he is perfectly holy, so perfectly holy that he can receive, accept, and look favorably upon nothing except that which is perfectly holy (Lev. 22:21; Ps. 24:3-4; Matt. 5:20; Heb. 12:14), then we know that salvation could be accomplished for us only by an infinite and perfect Substitute. No man can make himself holy, righteous, and pure in the sight of God (Job 14:4). Our only hope of acceptance with him is the imputation of Christ’s purity, righteousness, and holiness to us by the grace of God (Rom. 3:23-26). All who are made pure before God by divine imputation are clothed with humility before him (Isa. 6:2-3), knowing and confessing that our acceptance with him is altogether his work (Ps. 115:1). God’s love is infinite (Eph. 3:18). Though God’s love is manifestly limited to his elect as its only objects (Isa. 43:3-4), his love toward his elect in Christ is without beginning, without cause, without condition, without end, and without limit.
Do you see the unsearchable greatness of our God? He is infinite, immense, incomprehensible. The heavens cannot contain him, much less our puny minds. God measures all things; but he is measured by none. God comprehends all things; but he is comprehended by none. We know him by faith in Christ; but our ignorance far outweighs our knowledge. God is too big for our brains. No creature can ever begin to comprehend the infinite God. In heaven’s glory we will know God in perfection; but even then we will not know him perfectly, fully, comprehensively. One glory of heaven will be the saints’ ever increasing knowledge of our great, infinite God. Because he is infinite...
GOD IS ETERNAL. God is not limited by time. He is eternal. The infinite God is the One who inhabits eternity. He is the eternal King, the everlasting God (Gen. 21:33; Deut. 33:27; Isa. 40:28; Rom. 16:26; I Tim. 1:17). That which is eternal is without beginning, without end, and without succession of time. It never changes. In this sense God alone is eternal. We speak of eternal happiness for the saints in heaven and eternal misery for the damned in hell; and the Bible describes our salvation as the gift from God of eternal life. But the word “eternal,” in that sense, simply means everlasting. That which is everlasting has a beginning, but no end. When the Bible speaks of God being eternal, the meaning is that he comprehends in himself the everlasting past and the everlasting future (Psa. 90:2). God alone is eternal, without beginning, without end, and without succession of time or change. Eternity, like infinity and omnipresence, is an attribute belonging to each of the three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we say that God is eternal, three things are implied.
First, God is without beginning. There never was a time when God began to be. He is self-existent and independent. God alone possesses immortality in the essence of his Being. He has made his angels immortal spirits and men to be immortal souls. But their immortality and ours depends entirely upon God. He makes us immortal. But he could annihilate us as easily as he made us, were it his pleasure to do so. God, however, is essentially immortal. And he alone is immortal (I Tim. 6:16), because God alone is eternal. Everything about God, every attribute of his Being, is eternal. His power is eternal (Rom. 1:20). His knowledge is eternal (Acts 15:18). His mercy is eternal (Psa. 103:17). His love is eternal (Jer. 31:3; I John 4:16). All God’s purposes, counsels, and decrees are eternal, too. They are all of old, even from everlasting (Isa. 25:1: Eph. 3:11). His covenant of grace is an everlasting, eternal covenant (II Sam. 23:5). His blessings of grace are eternal blessings (Eph. 1:3). His election is an eternal election (Eph. 1:3; II Thess. 2:13). His book of life is an eternal book (Rev. 17:8). His salvation is an eternal salvation (II Tim. 1:9).
Second, as he is without beginning, God is without end. He is called, “the incorruptible God” (Rom. 1:23). God is over all, blessed forever. His dominion is an everlasting dominion. He is the most high God who lives for ever and ever (Rev. 4:9-10; 10:6). Let me again emphasize the fact that God is totally independent. It is a fact that seems to have been forgotten in this day of spiritual ignorance and darkness. God does not depend upon any of his creatures for anything. His Being, his glory, his happiness and his satisfaction are all in himself. He does not need us. Because he is infinite and eternal, he is independent. Therefore we are assured that...
1. His counsel stand forever (Psa. 33:11).
2. He keeps his truth forever (Psa. 146:6).
3. His covenant stands fast with Christ forever (Psa. 89:28).
4. He sustains his elect in grace forever (Psa. 89:33-36).
5. God will be the portion of his saints forever (Ps. 73:25-26).
Third, God is without succession of time. Time means nothing to the Ancient of Days (II Pet. 3:8). God is not restricted, limited, constrained, pushed, or hindered by time. Time is his servant, not his master. Time moves by him. God does not move by time. He never gets in a hurry, never gets frustrated, is never pushed, and never changes. God is eternity; and he inhabits eternity. With him there is no beginning of days, nor end of life. God is eternal.
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT. That simply means, God is everywhere, at all times, in all the fullness of his infinite, eternal Being. As he is eternal, unlimited by time, so he is omnipresent, unlimited by space and place (Acts 17:27-28; Psa. 139:7-10). The Lord Jesus Christ, God our Savior, this magnificent, infinite, eternal God is to us “a God at hand and not far off” (Jer. 23:23-24; Phil. 4:4). Though his human nature is limited by time and space, his divine nature is not. He is with us, always, everywhere with us. Our God is gloriously present with his saints in heaven. He is powerfully present in the exercise of his dominion throughout the universe (Isa. 66:1). He is graciously present with his elect throughout the earth in the assembly of his saints (Matt. 18:20; Rev. 1:13), in the ministry of his gospel (Matt. 28:20; Rev. 1:12), in the trials we must face (Isa. 41:10; 43:1-5), and in the indwelling of his Spirit. He says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you” (John 14:15-18). He promises to be with us throughout our time on this earth, through all this valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:6). After this, we shall be with him and him with us in the perfection of eternal life forever
“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”