Bible Study Tools / God The Father

What If God Were Not Omnipotent?

by Michael Caputo

The dictionary defines "Omnipotence" as a "divine attribute" signifying "infinite power" (Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary, 1974). Infinite power is a mind-boggling concept we humans have difficulty comprehending. Yet, the Bible tells us that God can do anything, and that nothing is impossible for Him.

But what if God did not have "infinite power"? What if, in reality, He did have limits?

If this were the case, this would, of necessity, lead to another question: How powerful then is God, and what are His limits? We could, also, reasonably ask: What is it that God cannot do? In other words, the greatness of God would be immensely diminished and, perhaps, so would our faith and trust in Him.

Our faith in God is based on the knowledge that He is a loving God, and that He is a God of truth. Accepting His magnificent promises means also, accepting that He is an Omnipotent Being on whom we can totally rely today and for eternity.

We believers trust God that He will resurrect the dead, that He will come to rule over the whole earth and that He will neutralize the hosts of evil, including the prince of evil himself. We trust God that He will create a New Heaven and a New Earth, and that He will bring with Himself a wondrous New Jerusalem of stunning beauty and dimensions where He will reside among transformed humans. The fulfillment of such wondrous promises demands a God with awesome power - almighty power.

Christians believe in and depend on the notion of God's infinite power. We are awed by the reality that God created our awesome universe (everything that can be seen) out of that which does not appear (the invisible) Hebrew 11:3, and that He exerts titanic power to keep it running. We are overwhelmed by the idea that God would create an unfathomably gigantic universe containing an estimated 100 billion galaxies, each of which is made up of about 100 million stars. We are awed by the fact that He created all living beings out of that which does not appear; that he created Adam "of the dust of the ground,"(Genesis 2:7 KJV throughout). Only a being with awesome power could bring about the inundation of the whole earth (Genesis 7), the elongation of a day to allow Israel to finish its victory over the Canaanites. (Joshua 10) Only such a mighty God could bring the dead back to life (Mark 15), and His Son back from the dead into a glorious state. (Matthew 28)

The Bible teaches the magnificent truth of God's omnipotence from Genesis to Revelation. It is, therefore, quite meaningful that God introduced Himself to Abraham giving emphasis to this great truth. "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Genesis 17:1). Sarah, Abraham's wife, could not accept this reality and doubted God's promise that He could make her bear a child, being beyond the childbearing years. "Should I surely bear a child since I am old?" (Genesis 18:13). God took the opportunity to teach her a fundamental truth and asked her: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (verse14).

Job had no difficulty accepting God's endless power. "I know that Thou canst do everything" (Job 42:2). Isaiah thundered the same truth to Israel: "In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength" (Isaiah 26:4). God's mighty archangel, Gabriel, reassured Mary when she expressed doubts about the promise that she would bear a child without any sexual contact: ""For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). Christ totally supports this same great truth in the New Testament: "With God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). Lastly, in the last book of the Bible, we read that the great multitudes of angels shout the same reassuring truth: "The Lord omnipotent reigneth" (Revelation. 19:6).

Who is the God that we believers worship then? Is He a God of limits? Is there any situation, any person or any great impediment that can stop Him? Has any great leader of the past, or will any great leader of the future, resist His will? Is there any disease He cannot cure? Is there any blind, deaf, mute, paralyzed person that he cannot heal? Is there anyone dead He cannot resurrect? Can believers ever find themselves in any seemingly impossible situation God cannot deliver them from?

When things get tough, we know that nothing can prevent God from intervening and saving us, no matter how serious the problem may be. "The Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear" (Isaiah 59:1). Believers have at their disposal the "exceeding greatness of His power" (Ephesians 1:19) and know that He is "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).

God is Almighty, and He is the God of great and seemingly impossible things. Nothing is impossible for God.

God The Father
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