Attributes that Anchor Us: God is Omnipotent

An exclusive attribute of deity is that God is all powerful. He is the omnipotent God, with power to do all things in accord with His character. This is reflected in His title El Shaddai, first made known to Abram: “I am the Almighty God” (Gen 17:1), and used frequently in the book of Job: “Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power” (Job 37:23 KJV).  God’s omnipotent act of creation particularly displays “his eternal power and Godhead” (Rom 1:20), leaving man without excuse. As Creator, He spoke the world into existence: “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psa 33:9 KJV).

In Psalm 139, David contemplates attributes of deity, including omniscience (vv1-6), omnipresence (vv7-12), and then omnipotence (vv13-18) in relation to God’s creatorial power, which David appreciates relative to his own personal being. Divine creatorial power was operating in his formation and prenatal protection: “Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb” (v13). It was all hidden to man’s gaze but overseen by the omnipotent God when he was “fearfully and wonderfully made” (v14), and “curiously wrought” (v15), like a piece of embroidery,[1] made for God’s own pleasure and purpose. God has “fashioned” our members (v16), as the potter sovereignly fashions the clay, according to a pattern written in His own design book. From the moment of conception, all individual human beings are a product of divine formation and design, a testimony to God’s creatorial power.  In view of such prenatal divine workmanship, the thought of aborting unborn human beings is abhorrent.

New Testament passages attribute the past work of creation to God’s Son (Col 1:16), and declare His continuing present creatorial power (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3). Many times when the Lord Jesus moved as a Man in this world, He displayed this divine power over both the animate and inanimate physical creation. The disciples appropriately marveled when He calmed the storm on the lake, and creation was immediately obedient to the Creator’s spoken word. His omnipotence was further displayed by His healing all who were brought to Him with divers sicknesses, and when He raised dead ones back to life.

The Savior’s creatorial omnipotence was particularly displayed at Calvary. Scripture says, “He was crucified through weakness” (2Co 13:4), allowing wicked men to bind Him in Gethsemane, and ultimately nail Him to the cross. But in such apparent weakness, at the ninth hour He cried from the cross with a loud voice, and creation responded with a mighty earthquake; graves of saints were opened, and the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom. “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God” (Mat 27:54 KJV). This display of divine omnipotence is truly reassuring to all believers; our blessed Savior was in complete control upon the cross, and it was in all His omnipotence that He then bowed His head in a place of rest, committed His Spirit into the hands of His Father, and willingly went into death.

As we think of this divine attribute of omnipotence as a truth to anchor all believers, we remember the teaching of the apostle Paul in Ephesians. Paul’s prayer is that we might know “what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power” (1:19 KJV). That mighty power was wrought in Christ, in His glorious resurrection out from the dead, and His place of glorified exaltation, enthroned at God’s right hand, far above all, with all things under His feet (vv20-22). The exceeding greatness of God’s power took our Savior from the tomb to the highest place in heaven, the throne of God, according to divine righteousness, for He is worthy to be “exalted and extolled, and be very high” (Isa 52:13).

In Ephesians 2, that same exceeding great power of God has operated toward believers in our salvation, in accord with divine grace. Being spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins” (v1), we needed to be spiritually made alive, “quickened … with Christ” (v5), and then He “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (v6). God’s power has spiritually exalted believers to a place of supreme heavenly blessing, united to Christ, where we enjoy “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). Satanic workmanship tries to oppose – “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (v2), but God’s power will always prevail in every believer’s salvation, “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (v10 KJV).

This elevated place of present spiritual blessing, indissolubly united to the risen glorified Man who is exalted at God’s right hand, is true of every believer in the Lord Jesus positionally. In the mind and purpose of our God, we are already there in heaven with His Son, as the Father views us as being “in Christ,” eternally united to Him. The blessed truth is that we can never be relegated from this place of exalted blessing, for as believers we “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pe 1:5 KJV). The truth that God is omnipotent is a divine attribute that anchors us eternally to Christ.

But while we are still physically living in this world, waiting for our bodily redemption at the coming again of our Savior, believers face many challenges. The truth that God is omnipotent means He is able to meet our needs: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Eph 3:20 KJV). We say with the prophet, “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 KJV). We must not fall into Israel’s sin of unbelief, questioning the ability of our God to help us, for “with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). We say with the psalmist: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psa 91:1 KJV). We sing with the multitudes of heavenly hosts, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Rev 19:6).

[1]¹ Flanigan, J. M. What the Bible Teaches – Psalms. (John Ritchie Ltd., 2001).