Sunday, December 27, 2009

Omnipotence of God, from “Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Evans

Notes: (1) “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Rev. William Evans, Ph.D., D.D. is a well-respected reference material for Bible students, pastors, missionaries and laymen. You can read the entire book from Google (click the picture of the book cover), or download the complete zipped e-book. (2) Surf to the index of lessons and online quizzes from Evans. (3) The most important ideas and statements from this part of Evans’ book are listed in the “Basic truths” section below.

The Omnipotence of God.

The Omnipotence of God is that attribute by which He can bring to pass everything which He wills. God’s power admits of no bounds or limitations. God’s declaration of His intention is the pledge of the thing intended being carried out. “Hath he said, and shall he not do it?”

(1) Scriptural declarations of the fact; In general:

Job 42:2.(R. V.)—“I know that thou canst do everything (all things), and that no purpose of thine can be restrained.” The mighty review of all God’s works as it passes before Job (context) brings forth this confession: “There is no resisting thy might, and there is no purpose thou canst not carry out.” Gen. 18:14—“s anything too hard for the Lord?”What had ceased to be possible by natural means comes to pass by supernatural means.

(2) Scriptural declaration of the fact; In detail:

In the world of nature:. Genesis 1:1-3—“God created the heaven and the earth. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.” Thus “he spake and it was done. He commanded and it stood fast.” He does not need even to give His hand to the work; His word is sufficient. Psa. 107:25-29—“He raiseth the stormy wind ... he maketh the storm calm.” “Even the winds and the sea obey him.” God’s slightest word, once uttered, is a standing law to which all nature must absolutely conform. Nahum 1:5, 6—“The mountains quake at him ... the hills melt ... the earth is burned at his presence ... the rocks are thrown down by him.” If such is His power how shall Assyria withstand it? This is God’s comforting message to Israel. Everything in the sky, in sea, on earth is absolutely subject to His control.

bb) In the experience of mankind:

How wonderfully this is illustrated in the experience of Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 4; and in the conversion of Saul, Acts 9; as well as in the case of Pharaoh, Exod. 4:11. James 4:12-15—“ ... For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that.” All human actions, whether present or future, are dependent upon the will and power of God. These things are in God’s, not in man’s, power. See also the parable of the Rich Fool, Luke 12:16-21.

cc) The heavenly inhabitants are subject to His will and word:

Dan. 4:35 (R. V.)—“He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven.” Heb. 1:14—“Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” It has been said that angels are beings created by the power of God for some specific act of service, and that after that act of service is rendered they pass out of existence.

dd) Even Satan is under the control of God

Satan has no power over any of God’s children saving as God permits him to have. This fact is clearly established in the case of Job (1:12 and 2:6). and Peter (Luke 22:31,32), in which we are told that Satan had petitioned God that he might sift the self-righteous patriarch and the impulsive apostle. Finally Satan is to be forever bound with a great chain (Rev. 20:2). God can set a bar to the malignity of Satan just as he can set a bar to the waves of the sea. (From “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Rev. William Evans, Ph.D., D.D.)

Basic truths

[1] “The Omnipotence of God is that attribute by which He can bring to pass everything which He wills. God’s power admits of no bounds or limitations.”

[2] Scriptural declaration of the omnipotence of God, in general: Job 42:2

[3] “God’s slightest word, once uttered, is a standing law to which all nature must absolutely conform. Everything in the sky, in sea, on earth is absolutely subject to His control.” Genesis 1:1-3, Psa. 107:25-29, Nahum 1:5, 6

[4] “All human actions, whether present or future, are dependent upon the will and power of God.” Daniel 4 and Acts 9, Exodus 4:11, James 4:12-15, Luke 12:16-21

[5] “The heavenly inhabitants are subject to His will and word.” Dan. 4:35, Heb. 1:14

[6] “Even Satan is under the control of God. Satan has no power over any of God’s children saving as God permits him to have.” Job 1:12, 2:6; Luke 22:31, 32; Rev. 20:2

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Materials by John Piper against open theism

Some Early Baptist Confessions of Faith Explicitly Disowned the “Openness” View

How Open Theism Helps Us Conceal Our Hidden Idolatries

Beyond the Bounds, Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity (you can also read this book online, 3.4MB PDF).
This understanding of God’s foreknowledge has united the church for twenty centuries. But advocates of “open theism” are presenting a different vision of God and a different view of the future.

The rise of open theism within evangelicalism has raised a host of questions. Was classical theism decisively tainted by Greek philosophy? Is open theism a product of process theism? What philosophical presuppositions and cultural conditions are allowing open theism to flourish? How should we understand passages that tell us that God changes his mind or repents or expresses surprise? Are essentials of biblical Christianity—like the inerrancy of Scripture, the trustworthiness of God, and the gospel of Christ—at stake in this debate? Where, when, and why should we draw new boundaries—and is open theism beyond them? Beyond the Bounds brings together a respected team of scholars to examine the latest literature, address these questions, and give guidance to the church in this time of controversy.
[2] An Examination Of Open Theism, by Gregg Cantelmo (Senior pastor, Bridgeway Community Church; teacher in “The Institute,” the educational arm of East Valley Bible Church in Gilbert, and at Southwestern College in Phoenix; pursuing Doctorate of Ministry degree at Phoenix Seminary)
Open theism is concerned with how God experiences the world. It asks and attempts to answer the questions, “What does God know?” and “When does He know it?” The essence of the questions open theists ask are not dealing with how God knows the future, but if he knows it at all. An early proponent of open theism said, “God experienced the events of the world He has created. . .as they happen, rather than all at once in some timeless, eternal perception. This also means that not even God knows the future in all its details.” Open theists maintain that God does not know what a given human being will do until he acts. They refer to such human actions as “possibilities.” Because God remains unaware of human possibilities, the future remains “open” in His mind. This means that rather than God knowing all things, He is in the process of learning new things as they take place. This is a significant redefinition of the classical doctrine of God’s omniscience. The open theist’s view of omniscience is that God has complete knowledge of the past and the present, but not the future. What God does know of the future is in reference to what he knows of “present dispositions, proclivities, inclinations, intentions and probabilities as well as they can be known.”

“Though God’s sovereignty conflicts with our autonomy, it in no way diminishes the value and role of our earthly walk with God. Just as the Scriptures begin with God and His sovereignty and creative authority over creation, so should theology begin with God and His sovereignty and creative authority. Whereas the Scriptures elevate God, open theism elevates man. The many difficulties open theism presents on the theological landscape come not from God’s lack of knowledge concerning man, but from man’s finite limited understanding of an infinite and awesome God. Of God we affirm with the Apostle Paul, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:36).” (Read the complete article)
[3] Who’s Moving Whom?: An Evaluation of Clark Pinnock’s Theology of God’s Openness, by Glenn R. Kreider (Professor of Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary)

[4] “The Attributes of God” part 1 and part 2, by A. W. Tozer (Infinitude, Immensity, Goodness, Justice, Mercy, Grace, Omnipresence, Immanence, Holiness, Perfection); read also Knowledge Of The Holy, The Pursuit of God and other works by Tozer.

“If a sermon can be compared to light, then A. W. Tozer released a laser beam from the pulpit, a beam that penetrated your heart. If you have never read Tozer - what are you waiting for? Thirty minutes spent in a Tozer essay is often better than a week at a Bible conference.” (Warren Wiersbe, Bible teacher; General Director, Back to the Bible Broadcast; Former Pastor, Moody Church in Chicago)

[5] Knowing God, by J.I. Packer

“We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”

Knowing God study guides: Section 1 Introduction and Chapters 1-6; Section 2 Chapters 7-17; Section 3 Chapters 18-22.

[6] Evidence from Nature, from Institute for Creation Research (God’s Invisible Things, The Earth Is Unique, The Heavens Declare )

ICR’s popular Acts & Facts free monthly news magazine contains articles and information of current interest dealing with creation, evolution, and related topics. Current and past issues can also be read, and you can sign up to receive future issues in the mail, all for free. Full versions of previous editions can be viewed online in PDF format.

[7] Does God Exist? by Jimmy Williams (also available in Spanish)

[8] Does God Exist? by Hampton Keathley IV

[9] Evidence For God's Existence by J. Hampton Keathley, III

[10] The Rationality of the Christian Worldview

[11] Materials by Ken Boa

[12] Evidentialist Apologetics: Faith Founded on Fact

[13] Presenting Evidence That Demands a Verdict

[14] Classical Apologetics: It Stands to Reason

[15] Taking Every Thought Captive

[16] How I Know Christianity is True by Patrick Zukerian

[17] Survey of Bible Doctrine: God by Sid Litke

Sermons on the attributes of God
(Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Sermons by Philip G. Layton, Gold Country Baptist Church

[2] Sermons by Pastor Jeremy Stephens, Southview Baptist Church

[3] God is, by David Palmer, East Side Baptist Church

[4] The Doctrine of God - Part A: The Nature and Attributes of God, by Randy D. Starkey, East Bend Baptist Church

[5] SF523 - WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT GOD (Hebrews 11:6), by Timothy McGhee, First Baptist Church – Powell

[6] Materials by Kurt Andree

[7] Praise to the God of Unlimited Power, by Dr. Kelly Randolph, Country Acres Baptist Church

[8] Is It Possible To See God, by Thomas

[9] God The Holy Spirit, by George Toews

[10] Three Forgotten Perfections of God, by Kenneth P. McCaulley

[11] Attributes of God, by Shaun LePage

[12] Attributes Of God: Faithfulness, by Timothy D. Hall

[13] Doctrinal Statement: Theology Proper, by Jason Button

[14] 100 Names of Jesus, by Ralph Andrus, Calvary Baptist Church

[15] What We Believe and Why We Believe It Concerning God 4, by Richard E. Rutherford Jr

[16] The Immensity of God, by Wayne Gropp

[17] Some Things God Cannot Do, by Kenneth W. Burton

Note: This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials.

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