For the next few weeks, I am going to share with you what are considered, by many theologians, The Divine Attributes of God. These attributes include Omnipotence, Eternity, Omnipresence and Omniscience. So, what does each attribute tell us about our understanding of God? Also, I hope that a little different slant on these attributes will help us appreciate even more, what God has to offer us and the importance of what we choose to receive from God really is.
Omnipotence as defined by Webster means “having unlimited power or authority; all powerful.” And, often when this attribute has been ascribed to God, Webster’s definition is the one used by most believers. However, I would argue that a better understanding of God’s omnipotence comes from the following thought.
For instance, in The Creed we affirm that God is our Father almighty. How we understand almighty is very important in our appreciation of the word omnipotent. I believe a better way to look at this attribute of God is to understand that it means that God has sufficient resources for every life, for every need and the perfect fulfillment of God’s own desires. Getting our heads and hearts around this may take time, as we understand that God does not constrain any of God’s creatures, but moves so that they will act from their own wills (we have free will!).
The above helps us appreciate the fact that God does not use God’s almightiness to coerce, but beckons to us in order to bring to pass God’s plans and purposes so as to achieve the moral ends of life. Thus, as Christians, we are confident that God will withhold no good thing from our necessity. In other words, God does not withhold good from us. We choose whether or not to accept it.
Again, in this particular understanding of God’s Omnipotence, we appreciate that God is indeed “the source of human good” always ready, willing and able to guide our moral senses. God has all the resources necessary for a moral life and a moral world. In this way God is truly omnipotent! However, that is not the challenge. The challenge has been and continues to be whether or not we accept the good that God offers?
– Doug Fairbanks
Published on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 1:19 PM EDT