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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Is God All-Powerful? (Omnipotent)

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Don Stewart

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. The Bible says.

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).

He Upholds All Things

Scriptures says that He upholds all things.

And he is the radiance of his glory and the exact representation of his nature, and upholds all things by the word of his power. When he had made purification of sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3).

Jesus Christ is said to hold together all forces of the universe.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).

God Is Free To Do What He Pleases

God is free to do anything that can be done - there is no limit to His power. He can get people to carry out His purpose.

For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled (Revelation 17:17).

In the Book of Romans it says.

So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses (Romans 9:18)

However, this does not mean that He can do contradictory or evil things. He can only do things that are consistent with Him for reasons known only to Himself.

There Are Two Sides To God's Omnipotence

There are two sides to God's omnipotence. First, He has the freedom to do all that is consistent with His nature. Second, He is able to carry out all that needs to be done.

God's Omnipotence Is Seen In Creation

The omnipotence of God is illustrated in creation. By the His will God brought about the entire universe.

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

The psalmist wrote.

For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm (Psalm 33:9).

God spoke, and it came about.

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

He willed that light appear, and it appeared.

He Appeared As The Almighty God

He appeared to Abraham as the Almighty God.

I am Almighty God; walk before me and be blameless (Genesis 17:1).

There Is Nothing Too Difficult For Him

God said that nothing was too difficult for Him to do. Anything that can be done, God can do.

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27).

The psalmist testified of His power:

Come and see the works of God; he is awesome in his doing toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the river on foot . . . he rules by his power forever; his eyes observe the nations; do not let the rebellious exalt themselves (Psalm 66:5-7).

His Purpose Cannot Be Stopped

God's planned cannot be stopped. Job said of the Lord.

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted (Job 42:2).

Daniel the prophet said.

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does what he wills with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth (Daniel 4:35).

He Does Not Get Tired

God does not ever grow tired.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom (Isaiah 40:28)

All Things Are Possible For Him

Jesus said all things were possible with God.

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

Not all things that seem impossible and contradictory are really so. Many things that are impossible for humans are possible for God.

He Has The Power To Save And Keep Believers

God's power is shown in His ability to save and keep the believer. Peter wrote.

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)

He Raises Believers From The Dead

God's power was demonstrated when He raised Jesus, and will be demonstrated when He raises the believer from the dead.

By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also (1 Corinthians 6:14).

There Are Limits To What He Can Do

But does this mean God can do anything? Can God destroy Himself? Can He make a being that He cannot control? Can God make two plus two equal five? No, God cannot do what is logically or actually impossible. He cannot contradict His nature or character. That is not within the realm of His power.

God Cannot Lie

There are limits to what God can do. For example the Bible says that God cannot lie:

In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began (Titus 1:2).

God Cannot Be Tempted To Sin

God cannot sin; He cannot be tempted to sin.

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God;" for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone (James 1:13).

God Cannot Deny Himself

The Bible says that God cannot deny Himself.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13).

God Cannot Go Back On His Promises

God has also stated that He cannot go back on His Word:

Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).

Since there are certain things that God cannot do how can He be all-powerful?

A Proper Understanding Of God's Omnipotence Is Needed

The answer lies in a proper understanding of God's omnipotence. Omnipotence does not mean God cannot exercise self-limitation. God cannot contradict His nature or the nature of things as they are. It is not possible for God to either lie or to die. Neither can He make two plus two equal five.

The biblical God has limited Himself only to acts that are consistent with His righteous, loving character. Therefore, God's power is self-restrained. He cannot do evil and He cannot do anything irrational. He cannot go back upon His word. He is all-powerful when it comes to doing things that are right, but He has no power to do things wrong.


When we speak of God being omnipotent or all-powerful we must understand exactly what that means. It means that God is able to do anything that is consistent with His holy character. He is not able to lie, do anything sinful, or do anything that is logically impossible. This does not limit His power. He can do everything that is holy and wise.

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