Why it’s impossible to measure God. He is neverending. Incomprehensible. Infinite.
Picture this: You’re at the Equator on a boat anchored in the Pacific Ocean. You pull anchor and raise your sails. The wind drives you east.
Somehow, after 24,901 miles, you are able to sail around the earth in a straight line and arrive back at port.
That’s NOT infinity.
Now, imagine you are in the Space Shuttle. You’ve just launched from Cape Canaveral.
If you traveled in a straight line through the universe would you reach your starting point, earth?
Not if the universe is ever expanding and you couldn’t fly faster than the rate of expansion.
In that case, you would never reach the earth–even if you had forever to do it–since the starting point would be receding away even as you traveled toward it.
This should give you an idea of infinity.
What Is Infinity?
Properly speaking, infinity can’t be applied to the universe. Or a boat. Or us. Only God.
God knows no bound. He can’t be measured by degrees, pounds, miles, volume, amps, decibels, hertz or numbers. A. W. Tozer said it best:
Our concepts of measurement embrace mountains and men, atoms and stars, gravity, energy, numbers, speed, but never God. These tell of degrees. There is no degrees in God.
To say God is infinite is to say God is without limit in his being. God is neither a series of moments. He is actually without end and cannot be added to in any way.
The Intriguing Consequences of an Infinite God
Infinity means limitlessness. Thus, God is unlimited, even in his attributes…meaning there is more to God than his love, mercy, anger or justice.
And once you’ve exhausted all known attributes, what else is there? God still exists in ways we can’t imagine. We are only scratching the surface.
Every time we think about one aspect of his being, one million more could multiple in that space of time. What we are tying to do is imagine something altogether foreign to us.
Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths of the grave—what can you know?
Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. Job 11:7-9
God is greater than our minds. “Greater than all languages,” said Tozer, “and no statement can express him.” And “In the awful abyss of the divine being may lie attributes of which we know nothing and which can have no meaning for us.”
The side of God we can’t know is like the far side of the universe: We know it is there, but it has never been explored. Therefore, it has no meaning for us.
Crude Ideas about God
However, sloppy doctrine does not a true God make.
Christianity is a cognitive religion. We need to understand God not only in our hearts, but in our minds, too. Hence, we need to reform our minds. Teach, rebuke, correct, and train our minds. Otherwise, out of these weak and lazy minds, poor ideas about God grow.
Because God is an eternal, infinite and immutable spirit, we have to deny such speculation. But we wouldn’t know these things about God unless we became students of God.
Infinity Follows Other Attributes
Studying God, we know this: God is without beginning. Or end. He is also all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present. That is why he is spirit. Stephen Charnock concluded:
If God were not a spirit, he could not be infinite. All bodies are of a finite nature…reason therefore tells us, that the most excellent nature as God cannot be of a corporeal condition, because of the limitation and other actions which belong to every body.
Norman Geisler expressed it this way: “A gallon jug is limited by its size to hold only one gallon of water.” Likewise, the expanding universe is limited by its expansion to hold only the expanding universe. God, on the other hand, is limitless.
Like eternity and immutability, infinity touches every other attribute. That’s why the Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”
How This Incomprehensible Doctrine Can Comfort Us
Despite our efforts, we can’t have a suitable conception of God. It is beyond our limits. Yet, that alone should soothe us: We can turn to a God whose nature, love and mercy have no limits.
For those who don’t know Christ, time grinds away at them. On the other hand, for those who know Christ, who are “sons of the new creation,” time is a gentle, rolling stream on which they ride because we share in God’s own infinite life as born-again believers.
The mercy of God is infinite, too. And not only academic. Just ask the army of men who know stomach-wrenching guilt. Limitless grace is the hope of mankind.
Finally, love is part of God. Therefore, it has no bounds. Furthermore, it is the essential nature of God. It is something that he is. And because he is infinite, his love is infinite and can envelope you, your boat, the ocean and the expanding universe…and have room for one hundred thousand more.
**Part of The Nature of God series.**