God’s Omnipotence

As we have seen in previous blogs, there are many problems with God controlling all aspects of our natural world and personal lives.  While the Bible teaches God is all-powerful, does it mean he must control every event on earth because he can do so?  Some believe that God must or he would not be God.  However, God could do many things but he does not.  God would be justified in sending each one of us to hell for our sins but he chose instead to send his son to die for our sins.

Granting humans free will does not mean that God is not in control of events on our world.  Parents do not control every event in their children’s lives but if they are good parents, they exert control over their children.  Managers do not control all of what their subordinates do but if they are good managers they do have control of the organization.  God, in order to accomplish his purposes in our lives, also limits himself.  Being all-powerful means God can accomplish his purposes even if he gives us free will. [1]

If God must deny us free will to accomplish his purposes, then he is not all powerful.  It would mean he needs to stack the deck in his favor to win.  Is this God we read about in the Bible?  We humans are so limited we think God controlling all of our actions would be the only way to guarantee a particular outcome.  But God is bigger than our idea of him.  Even we humans do not always attempt to control all aspects of the lives of those for whom we are responsible.  Good parents and managers exert less control over their children or subordinates than they could.  They do this for a reason:  to develop the abilities of their children and subordinates.  Are we smarter than God?


We have learned that just because God is omnipotent, omniscient, and sovereign it does not mean God controls everything and we have no free will.  But some argue that we have no free will because we are so corrupt that we can do nothing good without God’s help; it is our natural inclination to always do evil.  While the sinful nature of humans is part of almost every Christian doctrinal statement, is it true we have absolutely no ability to do good without God?  We will determine that next week.


[1]   Gregory A. Boyd, God of the Possible (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Books, 2000), pp. 68-69.

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