God's Incomprehensible Power

God’s omnipotence, His power, is a subject well worth contemplating. I like what Puritan Stephen Charnock wrote: “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.”

Scripture speaks of Christ’s “incomparably great power” and “mighty strength” that made possible his resurrection. Today He sits at God’s right hand, “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” (Ephesians 1:19-22, NIV).

God is “the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle!” (Psalm 24:8, NIV). The rhetorical question “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” implies a “no” answer (see Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:27).

Gabriel says to Mary, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Jesus says, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

God is the “Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8). He is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). John the Baptist says, “God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham” (Matthew 3:9).

Jeremiah 32:17–19 says, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. You show love to thousands.... O great and powerful God, whose name is the Lord Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds” (NIV).

In the New Testament, God’s power is referred to numerous times. Here’s just a sampling of those verses. I think their cumulative force is well, powerful.  (My thanks to EPM’s Karen Coleman for sharing these with our staff last year.)

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)

And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” (Luke 4:36)

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

“I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”(John 17:11, NIV)

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. (Acts 4:32-34, NIV)

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose…. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke…. All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. (Acts 6:8-9, 10, 15 NIV)

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38,  NIV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

…so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:5)

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. (1 Corinthians 6:14)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:18-21, NIV)

This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:4-5, NIV)

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to] his own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3)

Perhaps what’s most incredible is that because of Jesus, the power of the almighty God of the universe is available to us , and we are free to call upon that power. What grace!

Karen also shared with our EPM staff the lyrics from Jeremy Camp’s song “Same Power”, which I think well reflects this truth. (The song was written by Jeremy Camp and Jason Ingram. You can watch the full song video.)

I’ll close with some of the song’s words:

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave

The same power that commands the dead to wake

Lives in us, lives in us

The same power that moves mountains when He speaks

The same power that can calm a raging sea

Lives in us, lives in us

He lives in us, lives in us.

Photo credit: Jordan Donaldson

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries

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