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Tuesday
Aug042009

Theological Term of the Week

omnipotence
That perfection of God whereby he has the power to execute his will; his infinite power by which he has the ability to do everything that is possible except for those acts that are contrary to his nature.

  • From scripture:
    Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17ESV)
    I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2 ESV)
    Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.(Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
  • From The Belgic Confession:

    Article 12: We believe that the Father created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing, when it seemed good to him, by his Word—that is to say, by his Son. 

    ….Even now he also sustains and governs them all, according to his eternal providence, and by his infinite power…

  • From Discourse on the Power of God by Stephen Charnock:

    Meditate on this power of God, and press it often upon your minds. We reason many things of God that we do not practically suck the comfort of, for lack of deep thoughts of it, and frequent inspection into it. We believe God to be true, yet distrust him; we acknowledge him powerful, yet fear the motion of every straw. Many truths, though assented to in our understandings, are kept under covers by corrupt affections, and have not their due influence, because they are not brought forth into the open air of our souls by meditation. If we will but search our hearts, we shall find it is the power of God we often doubt of. … The belief of God’s power is one of the first steps to all religion; without settled thoughts of it, we cannot pray lively and believingly for the obtaining the mercies we need, or the averting the evils we fear; we should not love him, unless we are persuaded he hath a power to bless us; nor fear him, unless we were persuaded of his power to punish us. The frequent thoughts of this would render our faith more stable, and our hopes more stedfast; it would make us more feeble to sin, and more careful to obey. … Why doth he reveal himself so often under the title of Almighty, and press it upon us, but that we should press it upon ourselves? Any shall we be forgetful of that which every thing about us, everything within us, is a mark of? How come we by a power of seeing and hearing, a faculty, and act of understanding and will, but by this power framing us, this power assisting us? What though the thunder of his power cannot be understood, no more cart any other perfection of his nature; shall we, therefore, seldom think of it? The sea cannot be fathomed, yet the merchant excuseth not himself from sailing upon the surface of it. We cannot glorify God without due consideration of this attribute; for his power is his glory as much is any other, and called both by the name of glory (Rom. 6:4), speaking of Christ’s resurrection by the glory of the Father; and also “the riches of his glory” (Eph. 3:16). Those that have strong temptations in their course and over-pressing corruptions in their hearts, have need to think of it out of interest, since nothing but this can relieve them. Those that have experienced the working of it in their new creation, are obliged to think of it out of gratitude. It was this mighty power over himself that gave rise to all that pardoning grace already conferred, or hereafter expected; without it our souls had been consumed, the world overturned; we could not have expected a happy heaven, but have lain yelling in an eternal hell, had not the power of his mercy exceeded that of his justice, and his infinite power executed what his infinite wisdom had contrived for our redemption. How much also should we be raised in our admirations of God, and ravish ourselves in contemplating that might that can raise innumerable worlds in those infinite imaginary spaces outside this globe of heaven and earth, and exceed inconceivably what he hath done in the creation of this?

Learn more: 

  1. Blue Letter Bible, Don Stewart: Is God All-Powerful? (Omnipotent)
  2. Sam Storms: The Omnipotence of God
  3. Ray Pritchard: Is Anything Too Hard for God?
  4. Arthur Pink: The Power of God from The Attributes of God
  5. S. Lewis Johnson: The Power of God, Part 1 and Part 2 (mp3 lectures and transcripts)
  6. From my attributes of God posts: God’s Power

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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Reader Comments (1)

Rebecca, thanks for mentioning my sermon in your list of resources. Blessings, Ray Pritchard

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRay Pritchard

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