GOD IS OMNIPOTENT
The OMNIPOTENCE of God is the third attribute in this series of three bearing a special relation to creation. Reason alone insists that God must possess all power. The pagan with no more than the revelation of God in nature is able to draw the inevitable conclusion that "the invisible things of from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things; that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead" (Rom. 1:20). God could not be God apart from the power to create, sustain, and control that which He has made. Since God is infinite, then His power must be without limits. He possesses all power.
1. The Biblical testimony is clear and ample. It is clearly asserted that "the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Rev. 19:6). This is the only place in the King James Version where the original word is translated by the word "omnipotent." But the same word occurs nine other times in the New Testament and is uniformly rendered into English by the Anglo-Saxon word "almighty." The Old Testament employes a Hebrew word that is uniformly translated by the word "almighty." It appears no less than 48 times in the course of the Old Testament record (Gen. 17:1).
However, the idea of God's omnipotence is written irrevocably into the Scriptures and is expressed in a variety of ways. The Lord Himself poses the question to Abraham, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Gen. 18:14). Jeremiah breaks forth in a word of praise concerning God's power: "Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee" (Jer. 32:17). Job was amazingly vocal concerning the power of God. In the closing chapter of that book, Job breaks forth with this expression: "I know that thou canst do everything"
(Job 42:2). In seeking to give assurance to Israel, God says through his prophet, Isaiah, "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth, faintest not, neither is weary?" (Isa. 40:28).
It is asserted that Abraham was "fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform," and this in the face of a seemingly impossible situation (Rom. 4:21). The angel Gabriel pointed Mary to the omnipotence of God in a situation beyond human comprehension, "For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). Getting rich men into the kingdom of God poses an absolutely human impossibility, but Christ asserted that even though "With men this is impossible: ...with God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). The Bible asserts that it was the almighty power of God that caused light to shine out of darkness (Gen. 1:3), that stretched forth the heavens (Isa. 44:24), that upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3), that was exhibited in Christ's resurrection (Eph. 1:19), that "giveth life to the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were" (Rom. 4:17), so that it can be said that "He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased" (Psa. 115:3), and that He "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1:11).
2. By way of explanation, some things need to be said to put the doctrine of God's omnipotence into Biblical perspective. In speaking of the omnipotence of God it is correct to say that it means that God is able to do all things that are consistent with His nature and character. Omnipotence does not mean that God has power to do that which is self-contradictory or out of harmony with His being. God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2). God cannot be tempted with evil (Jas. 1:13). God cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). These things would be out of harmony with His holy and perfect nature, for God is a God of truth (Isa. 65:16), the Amen (Rev. 3:14), the absolute and unchanging One (Mal. 3:6). Things that are self-contradictory are also excluded, such as "the making of a past event to have not occurred—drawing a shorter than a straight line between two given points; putting two separate mountains together without a valley between them... Even God cannot make wrong to be right, nor hatred of Himself to be blessed. "
The doctrine of God's omnipotence does not imply that God exercises all His power in the discharge of responsibility to the universe He has created. God is not exhausted by the exercise of His power. He "fainteth not, neither is weary" (Isa. 40:28). Being infinite in power, there is always an inexhaustible store of unused power. He upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3), and there is no danger that the universe will run down, for there is still an inexhaustible store of unused power in reserve. Implicit in this is the fact that God has control over the exercise of His power. It is always according to His good pleasure (Eph. 1:11). "He doeth according to His will" (Dan. 4:35), and therefore God is not the slave of His own omnipotence.
A clear inference from the omnipotence of God is that every manifestation of power in the universe comes from God. "God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God" (Psa. 62:11). God is the source of all power. That which is exercised by creatures is delegated to them. God does not relinquish anything of His perfections, including power, but He does provide power and permit its use. But all that He gives remains His own and must ultimately return to Him (Rom. 11:36). This fact explains why the Psalmist attributed the manifestations in nature to God (Psa. 29). Modern man has substituted the laws of nature as an explanation, thus removing from the thinking of men the clear source of that power. Consider the broad scope in the manifestation of God's power: in creation (Jer. 10:12), in nature (Jer. 10:13), in history (Dan. 4:17), in heaven (Dan. 4:35), in redemption (Eph. 1:18-22).
3. Certain practical values issue from the truth concerning the omnipotence of God; in fact they are almost unlimited. As an encouragement to those who are striving for moral perfection, the omnipotence of God provides enablement (Gen. 17:1). How many there are who, struggling in the face of almost insurmountable odds and suffering defeat after defeat in the effort to accomplish good, grow weary with the conflict and finally give up. What comfort to know that there is an unfailing source of strength to accomplish blamelessness (Isa. 40:28-30).
Physical impossibilities to men pose no hindrance to God. He can put the camel through the eye of the needle, for there is nothing impossible with God (Matt. 19:25-26). The impending and certain conquest of Judea poses no problem to God, and therefore He instructs Jeremiah to buy a tract of land that humanly viewed is not only stupid but also reckless, for it will be lost. But there is nothing too hard for an omnipotent God, even though at the moment such may appear to be an impossible situation (Jer. 32:17, 27), for "houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land" (Jer. 32:15 cf.2:26).For those who have grown discouraged as they view the world scene, with its sin and wickedness on every hand, with not the slightest glimpse of hope on the human and natural horizon, what hope and encouragement it must bring to search the pages of Holy Writ and discover that an omnipotent God will one day take to Himself His great power and reign (Rev. 19:6 with 11:17).