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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Attributes of God That Belong to Him Alone

Don Stewart :: In What Sense Is God without Limits?

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In What Sense Is God without Limits? (Infinity)

The Attributes of God That Belong to Him Alone – Question 6

The Bible says that God is without limits. This is also known as His “infinity.” We can express His infinity in that He is not limited to either space, or time. The Bible says the following about God being unlimited.

1. God Cannot Be Limited in Space

God cannot be limited in relation to space. King Solomon made it clear that God is not limited to one geographically place. When the First Temple in Jerusalem was dedicated, he prayed the following prayer.

But will God indeed live on earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built. (1 Kings 8:27 HCSB)

Solomon was aware that the Lord was not limited to that one small space in the Holy of Holies in the temple. Indeed, the entire universe could not contain Him.

The prophet Isaiah wrote of the Lord's declaration of His infinity. He recorded the Lord saying the following.

This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?” (Isaiah 66:1 NIV)

There is no house in the entire universe that one can build for the infinite God.

The martyr Stephen also emphasized the idea that God cannot be limited to a certain place. He said the following to a hostile crowd.

“However, the Most High doesn't live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you ever build me a temple as good as that?’ asks the Lord. ‘Could you build a dwelling place for me?’” (Acts 7:48, 49 NLT)

This again stresses the truth that the God of the Bible is without any limitations.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul spoke of God's infinity. When he was in the city of Athens, He spoke the following to a group of people who met to discuss such issues. The Book of Acts records his words as follows.

“The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:24-28 NRSV)

Paul emphasizes that the God of Scripture is the infinite Creator. As such, He needs nothing.

We also find that God is equally present in all parts of the universe. The Lord declared the following to the prophet Jeremiah.

“Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:23, 24 NKJV)

Therefore, the Bible teaches that there are no spatial limitations to the God of Scripture. Consequently, it is not correct to think of God as being present in space at all. All finite objects in the universe have a location. Indeed, they are somewhere. This, of course, prevents their being somewhere else.

However, this question does not apply to God. He is present everywhere. This separates Him from every other being whether it be human or angel.

2. There Is No Limitation in Time for the Lord

We also find that God is not limited in relation to time. We find that He will rule forever. The Bible makes the following claim about the Lord's rule.

“The LORD will reign forever and ever.” (Exodus 15:18 ESV)

Time does not place any constraints upon the Lord.

Moses called Him the “eternal God.” He wrote,

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!’” (Deuteronomy 33:27 NIV).

As the eternal God, He has no limitations of time.

Nehemiah spoke of the Lord being God from everlasting to everlasting. He wrote,

Then the Levites...said: Stand up. Bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Praise Your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You created the heavens, the highest heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them, and the heavenly host worships You. (Nehemiah 9:5, 6 HCSB)

The Lord, or Yahweh, is the everlasting God.

The psalmist also declared that God has been God from everlasting to everlasting; always. He stated it this way.

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2 NIV)

This means that He always has been God and that He always will be God.

Jeremiah the prophet called the Lord the true God, the living God, and the everlasting King. He made the following claim.

But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and eternal King. The earth quakes at His wrath, and the nations cannot endure His rage. (Jeremiah 10:10 HCSB)

This is another way of expressing the fact that the Lord is infinite or without limits.

John wrote in the Book of Revelation about the limitlessness nature, or character, of the Lord. He put it this way.

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing, “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing... (Revelation 4:8-10 NRSV)

God is unbound by time or space.

3. Infinity Is Not the Same As God’s Omnipresence

We must make the distinction between God's infinity and His omnipresence. The infinity of God is not the same as His being everywhere present, God's omnipresence. Infinity speaks of the fact that there is no limit to His Person in either space, or time. He is unbound, without limits. While sometimes these terms are used interchangeably there is a distinction between them.

4. God Is Personal

There is one final thing. We also need to remember that the infinite God is also a personal God. While He is without limits, He is also intimately concerned with His creation.

Therefore, it would be incomplete to merely describe Him as the infinite God; He is the infinite/personal God. This describes the God of the Bible.

Summary – Question 6
In What Sense Is God without Limits? (Infinity)

The God of the Bible is said to be “infinite.” This means that He cannot be limited by space neither can He be limited by time. Indeed, there are no temporal or spatial limitations to God.

God cannot be confined to one geographic place. This was certainly understood by the biblical writers. When King Solomon dedicated the First Temple in Jerusalem he testified that the Lord was not limited to that small building. Indeed, the entire universe cannot contain His Person! This truth is repeated elsewhere in Scripture. God is not confined to one particular area.

It is also wrong to limit God to any one point in time. As space is no barrier for Him, neither is time. He inhabits eternity.

The infinity of God should not be confused with His omnipresence. Omnipresence means that He is everywhere in the universe at the same time. The infinity or the immensity of God means that He is not limited by space or by time.

While God is infinite or immense, He also is personal. We must never forget this when we describe His character. Therefore, it would be more correct to say that the God of the Bible is the infinite/personal God. This is the God whom we love and serve.

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