One of my primary goals is to help others comprehend God accurately. I have previously written about the attribute of God’s perfect love for all people (See The Omnibenevolence of God). I spend much time on this specific attribute because so many people (Christians and non-Christians) have a faulty and low view of God. While understanding God’s perfect love is vital, it is also of importance to grasp other truths about the Maximally Great Being! The next attribute of God that is vital to comprehend is called omnipotence. This is referring to the power of God. If you do not like the word “omnipotence,” you can simply say, God is “all powerful!”
What do we mean when we say that God is “all powerful”? Does this mean that God can do anything and everything?
Many people in the church today think that is the case, but they are wrong! In fact, it was not until just a few years ago that I realized that although God is omnipotent, this does not mean that God can do ALL things!
Allow me to clarify by offering some questions for you to consider: Can God create a married bachelor? Can God create a triangle with four corners? Can God create a stone that is so big that even He cannot lift it? Can God create something that is not contingent upon Him? Can God sin?
In Titus 1:2 the Bible indicates that God cannot lie.
What about this: Can God force someone to freely choose to love Him? Of course not — that is logically impossible!
So, if there are clearly things that God cannot do, then why do we say He is all-powerful or omnipotent? Let me give you a good definition of omnipotence:
God can do all things that are logically possible.
So, if a being can do all things that are logically possible, that would include many things that are scientifically impossible (these are different categories) – like creating a universe from nothing and raising a man from the dead. These are called miracles (See Are Miracles Metaphysically Impossible?)!
The Bible teaches that God is All-Mighty. It says,
“Oh, Lord God, it is you who made the heavens and the Earth by Your great power! Nothing is too hard for You” (Jeremiah 32:17).
The Bible is clear that “nothing is too hard for God.” But when you contemplate and study “triangles with four corners” and “married bachelors,” they are not really things at all. As William Lane Craig states, “they are nothing but an inconsistent combination of words.”
So, when thinking about it *that way*, then, God can do ALL things, but if it helps, just remember that God can do all things that are logically possible.
Do you know what is exciting about God’s omnipotence? If you have a personal love relationship with God then the omnipotence of God lives within you too! Think about that — this means you practically have super-powers! As my parents used to teach me:
“The same power that created the universe and raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that lives in you through the Holy Spirit! That is the ultimate Force.”
With God’s power working in you and through you, you can do “all things” that are logically possible too (Philippians 4:13)!
This passage of Philippians is often taken out of context (for a short and humorous example click here). However, the truth of my prior statement remains: If an omnipotent God chooses to use you — and you do not choose to resist His will — then God can use you to do all things that are logically possible.
It is important to realize that this is only in regards to the things that God wants you to accomplish. For example, you cannot choose to use God’s power to rob the bank, but if God desired you to walk on water or to simply love an unlovable neighbor then God’s power is available for you, and He wants you to choose to use it!
Stay reasonable (Isaiah 1:18).
Tim Stratton (The FreeThinking Theist) Tim pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Kearney (B.A. 1997) and after working in full-time ministry for several years went on to attain his graduate degree from Biola University (M.A. 2014). Tim was recently accepted at North-West University to pursue his Ph.D. in systematic theology with a focus on metaphysics.
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