William Lane Craig has said, “I have found that the more I reflect philosophically on the attributes of God the more overwhelmed I become at His greatness, and the more excited I become about Bible doctrine.” Things have changed since the days when the children of Israel at Sinai begged God not to talk to them directly but through Moses. We have access to God through the Blood of Jesus to boldly come before Him at the throne of grace. Therefore, we need to take advantage of this access and learn as much about God and His attributes as we possibly can.
In “The Attributes of God – Part One” we explored the attributes of God’s self-existence, His self-sufficiency, and His eternality. In today’s post we consider God’s infinitude, omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience.
GOD IS INFINITE
“I AM the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was, and who is to come. The Almighty.” Rev. 1:8
God is infinite. He exists outside of and is not limited by time or space. He is without limits. Indeed, He is bounded only by His own nature and will. Upon finishing the Temple, Solomon declared in 1 Kings 8:27, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house that I have built!” In Ps. 90:2, Moses spoke of God as unlimited by time saying, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
This attribute also sheds light on all God’s other attributes for He is infinite in every one of them. He is infinite in His goodness, He is infinite in His holiness, by all means, He is infinite in His love, He is infinite in all of His many attributes many of which we have no knowledge of.
Don Fortner in his book, “The Attributes of God” says, “God dwells alone in His infinity. There is none before Him to limit Him, none after Him to limit Him, and none above Him to limit Him (Isa. 43:10; 44:6). …our great, infinite God is the only totally independent Being. All things depend upon God; but God depends upon nothing. All things are of Him, through Him, to Him, and by Him; but God dwells alone. All things are checked by God; but God is checked by nothing. All things are limited by God; but God is limited by nothing. God is infinite; and He alone is infinite.”
Yet, as infinitely above and beyond us as God is, He still takes time to care about each one of us. In “Beyond Personality: The Christian Idea of God,” C.S. Lewis says, “God has infinite attention, infinite leisure to spare for each one of us. He doesn’t have to take us in line. You’re as much alone with Him as if you were the only thing He’d ever created.”
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there, if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (Ps. 139:7-10)
A.H. Strong defines God’s omnipresence as follows: “God, in the totality of His essence, without diffusion or expansion, multiplication or division, penetrates and fills the universe in all its parts.” This means that God is present everywhere with His whole being at the same time.
It is prudent to divide the omnipresence of God into two categories so we can understand it better. First, we look at God’s immanence: this speaks of God’s presence in the world, acting within and through His creation (Ps. 139:7-12). Second, we look at God’s transcendence: this states that God is above and beyond His creation (Matt. 18:20; Ps. 97:9).
Tozer says it better, “God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.
What does God’s Omnipresence Mean for Me?
His omnipresence means two things to you, one positive, and the other negative. First of all it means He will never leave you or forsake you (Deut. 31:6). He is not just a phone call away, He is right beside you at all times ready to meet your every need. Secondly, since no one can hide from His sight (Heb. 4:13), no one can hide their secret sins. Your Church, family, and friends may have no idea what your secret life is like but God knows. In the words of a very famous Christmas song, “He sees you when you’re sleepin’, He knows when you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake….” One thing to remember, however, God is alive and real, Santa is not.
GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE AND MANIFEST PRESENCE CONTRASTED
By the way, there is a difference between God’s omnipresence and His manifest presence. God is here around us whether we realize it or not. When we are in the manifest presence of God we are fully aware of His presence. A good example of this is the glory cloud that appeared in Solomon’s Temple at its dedication. (2 Chron. 5:13, 14)
God’s Omnipresence in a Nutshell
To sum this attribute up, here is another quote from Don Fortner, “Our God is gloriously present with His saints in heaven. He is powerfully present in the exercise of His dominion throughout the earth in the assembly of His saints (Matt.18:20; Rev. 1:13), in the ministry of His Gospel (Matt. 28:20; Rev. 1:12), in the trials we must face (Isa. 41:10; 43:1-5), and in the indwelling of His Spirit. He says, ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you.’ (Jn. 14:15-18)”
GOD IS OMNIPOTENT
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Rev. 19:6
“The greatest single distinguishing feature of the omnipotence of God is that our imagination gets lost thinking about it.” Blaise Pascal
That God is omnipotent means that God can do anything if it can be done and if it does not contradict His own nature. An old question that atheists often used to question God’s omnipotence was, “Can God create a rock so heavy that He could not lift it? This question is not used much anymore because they finally realized that it was so illogical that it bordered on stupidity. It is in the same category as, “Can God make a square peg fit into a round hole.” These questions make absolutely no sense and therefore cannot be done. God also cannot lie or steal, for these things would run counter to His nature.
Scripture gives us a clear picture of God’s omnipotence. God is omnipotent over nature (Gen. 1:4,7,10; Isa. 40:12,15). He is omnipotent over men (Dan. 4:30-32) and angels (Ps. 103:20). God is omnipotent over Satan (Job 1:12; 2:6). And God is omnipotent over death (Heb. 2:14,15). There are many, many more examples of God’s omnipotence given in the Bible. These are just a few.
Without God’s omnipotence all of His other attributes would be lifeless and empty. Stephen Charnock says the following, “As holiness is the beauty of all God’s attributes, so power is that which gives life and action to all the perfections of the Divine nature. How vain would be the eternal counsels, if power did not step in to execute them. Without power His mercy would be but feeble pity, His promises an empty sound, His threatenings a mere scarecrow. God’s power is like Himself: infinite, eternal, incomprehensible; it can neither be checked, restrained, nor frustrated by the creature.”
GOD IS OMNISCIENT
“For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:20
Dictionary.com defines omniscience as having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things. On this subject, Don Fortner says, “God sees, knows, comprehends, and understands all things perfectly and at once. ‘There is no searching of His understanding’ (Isa. 40:28). In comparison with God’s wisdom the wisdom of the heavenly angels is only folly” (Job 4:18).
Arthur Pink goes farther and says, “God is omniscient. He knows everything: everything possible, everything actual; all events and all creatures, of the past, the present, and the future. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail in the life of every being in heaven, in earth, and in hell. Nothing escapes His notice, nothing can be hidden from Him, nothing is forgotten by Him.”
This means God not only knows everything that has, is, or will happen, He also knows every choice we might possibly make and every possible outcome. He also knows the location of every atom in the universe at the same instant – past, present, and future. All this while dwelling in our hearts and knowing all our thoughts. (Ps. 139:1; 66:18). Has your head exploded yet!
There is actually one thing that God forgets and that is our sins when we ask forgiveness and repent from them (Micah 7:19; Ps. 103:12). This is a choice by God to forget our sins which is why we can be justified in His sight as if we had never sinned. Hallelujah!!!
Wow! God is so awesome and wonderful, and we have only covered 7 of His attributes. We have 14 more to go. I hope you are having as much fun in this study as I am. Exploring who God is through His attributes can only have the effect of drawing us closer to Him the more we discover. Part 3 will be on the way soon.