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Thursday
Sep242009

Theological Term of the Week

omniscience
God’s perfection “whereby He….knows himself and all things possible and actual in one eternal and most simple act.”1

  • From scripture:
    Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge…. (Job 37:46 ESV)
    O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
    You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
    Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
    You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139:1-6 ESV)
  • From The London Baptist Confession, 1689, Chapter 2:

    …in his sight all things are open and manifest, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain….

  • From The Divine Omniscience by A. W. Tozer:
    In the divine omniscience we see set forth against each other the terror and fascination of the Godhead. That God knows each person through and through can be a cause of shaking fear to the man that has something to hide - some unforsaken sin, some secret crime committed against man or God. The unblessed soul may well tremble that God knows the flimsiness of every pretext and never accepts the poor excuses given for sinful conduct, since He knows perfectly the real reason for it. ”Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.” How frightful a thing to see the sons of Adam seeking to hide among the trees of another garden. But where shall they hide? ”Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?… If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day.”

    And to us who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope that is set before us in the gospel, how unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.

Learn more: 

  1. Blue Letter Bible, Don Stewart: Does God Know Everything?
  2. Sam Storms: The Omniscience of God
  3. A. W. Pink: The Knowledge of God.
  4. S. Lewis Johnson: The Knowledge and Wisdom of God, Part 1 (mp3 with transcript)
  5. From my attributes of God posts: God’s Omniscience

1Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof

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 (2)

I've listened to that S. Lewis Johnson sermons that you linked. It was really good.

September 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim in On

I liked it, too.

September 25, 2009 | Registered Commenterrebecca

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