In which men and women, wounded in body and soul, learn that God’s omnipotence is a promise of healing.
What do you think: Would debating the existence of Satan be more interesting? Or debating whether God can defeat evil?
Or is it the same discussion?
Anyway, this is a good opportunity to talk about an often-disputed attribute of God: His omnipotence.
What Is Omnipotence?
Omnipotens. The Latin word for all powerful. Omni means all. Potent means powerful.
The English Bible translates omnipotens “almighty” 56 times. And only applies it to God. It means God can do all things. Including defeating evil. But that will take a little time to answer. So pay attention.
Biblical Support for God’s Omnipotence
Psalm 147:5 says that God is infinite in his knowledge. And if God is infinite in one attribute, he is infinite in all attributes. Including power.
The Bible also reveals God’s power in creation.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
None of these activities can be performed without infinite power. And theologians throughout history agreed.
Historical Support for God’s Omnipotence
Some theologians wander into God’s omnipotence at random. Others, like Augustine, Calvin and Hodges, are led by overpowering desires.
God is rightly called omnipotent, even though He is unable to die or be deceived. We call Him omnipotent because He does whatever He wills to do and suffers nothing that He does not will to suffer. Augustine
God’s power is not just over the natural world. But over the moral world, too.
He is possessed of omnipotence, wherewith to maintain his dominion over the world; and he has dominion in the moral as well as the natural world. Johnathan Edwards
And Charles Hodges points to the place where our idea of absolute power comes from:
This simple idea of the omnipotence of God, that He can do without effort, and by a volition, whatever He wills, is the highest conceivable idea of power, and is that which is clearly presented in the Scriptures.
Furthermore, “Sovereignty of God and omnipotence must go together,” said Tozer. “One cannot exist without the other. To reign, God must have power, and to reign sovereignly, He must have all power.”
Objections to God’s Omnipotence
But there are common objections to God’s omnipotence. Here are the three most common.
Objection 1: God cannot do everything, cause…. The punch line to this classical theologian stumper is if God created a rock so heavy he couldn’t lift it, he isn’t all powerful.
Quite contrary. Whatever God can make, he can move. Whatever he can create, he can destroy. Think law of non-contradiction.
Objection 2: If God is all good, God desires to save all people. However, the Bible is clear that God doesn’t save all people. So, God cannot be all powerful.
However, God can only save those who want to be saved. This is seen most dramatically in Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem. Forced salvation is a contradiction. God’s love compels, not coerces.
Objection 3: The problem of evil. The classical statement of evil says that an all good, all powerful God could and would want to defeat evil. But evil still exists. Hence, there can be no such god.
But there’s a possibility most agnostics and atheists overlook…
God does want to defeat evil. And he has the ability. Whoever has the desire and ability will defeat evil. In short, since God is both all good and all powerful, he’ll eventually defeat evil. And this jives with Scripture.
What Omnipotence Can Do for You
Men of the Bible everywhere walked with God in a warm rapture of devotion. It was deeply satisfying then. It is deeply satisfying now.
It follows then God is a compassionate God who knows the suffering of his children. And plans to eliminate our suffering.
Omnipotence is an attribute of a personal God whom we Christians believe to be the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whom we Christians believe suffered and died on the cross. Who we believe will one day return and restore the corrupted earth, our maimed bodies and the premature dead to a pristine state.
In other words, destroy evil. What do you think?
**Part of The Nature of God series.**