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

Don Stewart :: Is God All-Powerful?

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Is God All-Powerful? (Omnipotent)

The Attributes of God That Belong to Him Alone – Question 12

When the Bible speaks of God, it speaks of Him as being “all-powerful” or “omnipotent.” The word omnipotent comes from two Latin words, omnis, meaning all, and poetntia or potens which means “power.” Hence, the God of the Bible is the God of all-power.

He appeared to Abraham as the Almighty God.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1 ESV)

He is God Almighty the all-powerful One.

The Book of Revelation also speaks of the Lord God being all-powerful, or omnipotent. We read the following description.

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Revelation 19:6 NKJV)

Thus, we find that Scripture says that God is all-powerful. As we examine specific passages, we find that He is all-powerful in the following ways.

1. God Is Free to Do What He Pleases

If He so desires God is certainly free to do anything that can actually be done. Indeed, there is no limit to His power. At times, He uses people to carry out His purpose.

For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will mutually agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled. (Revelation 17:17 NLT)

In the Book of Romans, it speaks of God accomplishing His purpose without the use of any other means. Paul writes,

So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. (Romans 9:18 HCSB)

However, when we say that God is free to do as He pleases, this does not mean that He can do contradictory or evil things. He can only do things that are consistent with His character.

2. He Is Powerful Enough to Do Anything: All Things Are Possible for Him

God is able to carry out all that needs to be done. No one can tell Him what to do, and no one can stop Him from carrying out His perfect plan. Nothing from the outside can force God to do anything. There is no personage or force in the universe that is powerful enough to cause God to do anything that He does not wish to do.

There are a number of biblical examples of God doing the seemingly impossible. They include the following.

Abraham And Sarah Conceived A Son After Their Child-Bearing Years Were Past

The Lord promised Abraham that his wife Sarah would conceive a son though both she and Abraham were beyond the childbearing years. He said,

“I am the LORD! There is nothing too difficult for me. I’ll come back next year at the time I promised, and Sarah will already have a son.” (Genesis 18:14 CEV)

God said that nothing was too difficult for Him to do. Anything that can be done, God can do. This promise was literally fulfilled. The Lord miraculously enabled Sarah to conceive a son, Isaac.

The Destroyed City of Jerusalem Would Be Rebuilt

Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord warned Jerusalem that it would be destroyed and the people taken captive. However, the Lord also promised that the city of Jerusalem would be restored after being destroyed by the Babylonians. The prophet Jeremiah responded to the Lord’s predictions by confessing His great power. He said,

Ah Lord God! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17 NRSV)

Jeremiah said that nothing is too difficult for the Lord. Nothing.

We read the reply of the Lord to Jeremiah.

“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 NLT)

He agreed. Nothing is too hard for Him. The city was destroyed as the Lord had warned, but as the Lord had promised, the people returned and rebuilt the city and the temple. Again, He was able to carry out His promises.

The Virgin Mary Would Conceive a Son

The Lord, through the angel Gabriel, promised a young virgin named Mary that she would conceive a son. We read the following in the Gospel of Luke.

Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s already in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:34-37 NLT)

As always, the promises of the Lord come true. She did conceive a Son, the Lord Jesus.

When Jesus grew to be adult He also emphasized that all things were possible with God. We read His words recorded by Matthew.

But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NRSV)

Many things that are impossible for humans are possible for God.

The psalmist likewise testified of God’s mighty power. He penned the following words.

Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among mortals. He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There we rejoiced in him, who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations—let the rebellious not exalt themselves. (Psalm 66:5-7 NRSV)

Thus, the Scripture testifies that God can do anything that He chooses to do. Nothing stops Him from doing as He pleases.

3. His Purpose Cannot Be Stopped

We also find that God’s plans and purposes cannot be stopped. Job said of the Lord,

“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2 NIV)

Indeed, nothing which the Lord sets out to do can be thwarted.

Daniel the prophet recorded that the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar acknowledging the power of the Lord, the God of the Bible. He said the following.

All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35 NIV)

God sovereignly rules over the entire universe. As Nebuchadnezzar noted, nothing can hold back His hand or question what He is doing.

In the Book of Revelation, we read these wonderful words of triumph when Jesus Christ returns to the earth:

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Revelation 19:6 NKJV)

There is no force in heaven or on earth that can stop God from doing what He wants to do. Absolutely nothing.

4. He Does Not Get Tired

The all-powerful God does not ever grow tired or weary. Isaiah the prophet testified as to this attribute of the Creator God of the Bible.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28 NRSV)

Nothing makes Him grow faint or weary.

Indeed, the Lord does not need to sleep. Consequently, the psalmist testified that the Lord is always ready to act.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. (Psalm 121:4 NLT)

The Lord is not like humans. He does not get tired or weary. He never sleeps. He’s always ready to act.

5. God’s Omnipotence Is Seen in Creation

The omnipotence of the God of Scripture is illustrated in creation. By His will, God brought about the entire universe. We read the following in the first verse of the Bible.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV)

God created everything in the beginning.

The psalmist wrote about God’s power to bring things into existence by His spoken Word. He declared the following.

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. (Psalm 33:6-9 NIV)

God spoke, and it came about. This gives us an insight into His mighty power.

We also discover this in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. Scripture describes the appearance of light in the following manner.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3 KJV)

He willed that light appear, and it appeared.

The prophet Isaiah wrote about God’s power in creation. He said that the Lord calls each individual star by its name! We read,

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another, calling each by its name. And he counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away. (Isaiah 40:26 NLT)

The creation testifies to the mighty power of the God of Scripture. All one must do is to look around.

6. He Upholds All Things in the Universe

Scriptures says that it is Jesus Christ who upholds all things. The writer to the Hebrews put it this way.

He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs. (Hebrews 1:3 HCSB)

Everything in the universe is sustained by the power of God the Son, Jesus Christ. He does this by His powerful word.

In another place in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is said to hold together all forces of the universe. Paul wrote to the Colossians,

He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together. (Colossians 1:17 NLT)

All things in creation are held together by God’s power. Indeed, it is God the Son who holds creation together.

7. He Has the Power to Save and Keep Believers

God’s power is shown in His ability to save and keep the believer in Jesus Christ. Peter wrote about the believer being shielded by His power.

...who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:5 TNIV)

God’s power is there to save us and to keep us saved.

We also read about Jesus’ power to save and keep in Matthew. In speaking to His disciples He spoke of how all things are possible with God.

Jesus said to his disciples, “I can guarantee this truth: It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. I can guarantee again that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” He amazed his disciples more than ever when they heard this. “Then who can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them and said, “It is impossible for people to save themselves}, but everything is possible for God.” (Matthew 19:23-26 God’s Word)

The Lord has the power as well as the desire to save and keep those who are His. As Jesus said, all things are possible with God.

8. He Raises Believers from the Dead

God’s power was demonstrated when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. It will be demonstrated when He raises the believer from the dead.

Paul wrote to the Colossians,

And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. (1 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV)

It was the power of God which raised the body of Jesus from the dead.

Elsewhere, Paul wrote to the Ephesians about the great and mighty power of God. He again emphasized that it was God who brought Jesus Christ back from the dead.

I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven. There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well. God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything. (Ephesians 1:19-22 CEV)

The Bible says that believers will be raised from the dead to newness of life because of the mighty power of the living God.

9. He Is Able to Do More than He Actually Does

While the Lord has done many remarkable things, the Bible teaches that God is able to do more things than He actually does. For example, John the Baptist said to the religious leaders that God could actually raise up stones as children of Abraham.

“Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9 NRSV)

Not only could God raise up stones as children of Abraham, Jesus could have turned stones into bread if He so wished. At His temptation, the devil said to Him.

Then the Devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread.” (Matthew 4:3 NLT)

Jesus refused to do it. However, He did not deny that He could have done this if He so desired. He did not do it because it was the will of God for Him to fast. However He never said that this would have been something impossible for Him to do. Indeed, a miracle like this was something which Jesus was perfectly capable of doing.

The point is that there are an unlimited number of things that God is able to do, but He chooses not to do them.

This sums up some of the important truths about the power of the God of the Bible. As an all-powerful being, He can indeed do what He sets out to do.

Summary – Question 12
Is God All-Powerful? (Omnipotent)

The Bible says that the God of Scripture is all-powerful or omnipotent. Basically this means that God is able to do anything that He pleases. There is nothing which is too difficult for the Lord. Nothing whatsoever.

However, this does not mean that God can do evil things or things contradictory to His own character. God is able to do all things that are possible for Him to do. We must appreciate this as we understand what it means for Him to be omnipotent.

From Scripture, there are a number of things which we learn about His mighty power. We can summarize these truths as follows.

To begin with, as the all-powerful God of the universe, nobody can stop His purposes. Indeed, He accomplishes everything which He sets out to do.

Since God is all-powerful He does not get tired. Unlike us, He does not have to sleep or rest. He is always ready to act.

We see examples of God’s omnipotence in His creation. Indeed, the Bible says that the universe was brought about by the spoken Word of God. He willed the universe into existence. He spoke and something came from nothing.

He now upholds the entire universe by His mighty power. We are told that Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the One who keeps the universe together with His power.

God’s power was also demonstrated when He brought Jesus back from the dead. This is a major emphasis in the New Testament. The Lord Jesus was raised by the power of the living God.

In addition, this mighty power of God will also raise believers from the dead. Our bodies will be raised immortal by Him.

The God of the Bible has the power to save believers in Jesus Christ as well as to keep them saved. He exercises His power to do so.

Finally, the omnipotence of God also means that He can do more than He actually does. While there are an unlimited number of things which He could do, He does not choose to do all of them.

This sums up the all-powerful nature of the God of the Bible. He indeed is a God who can do what He sets out to do.

If God Is Present Everywhere, Then How Can Unbelievers Be Separated from Him? ← Prior Section
If God Is All-Powerful, Then Does It Mean He Can Do Anything? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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