Sermons

Summary: If God has really created beings who can choose, then there is a multiplicity of power sources in the world. He can no longer then be the only cause for all that is. There are now other power sources who can cause things to be that He does not will to be.

It is a great paradox, but the fact is, the real test of

omnipotence is what it can do when it limits itself, and gives up

absolute and total control. Absolute and total control means the

power is not shared with other being. All is just as you will, and

there can be no freedom of choice made by any other will. That is

one concept of omnipotence, and it is a powerful picture, for there

is no power other than the one with this kind of omnipotence.

This would seem, on the surface of things, to be the ultimate in

power. To have all power so completely that there is no other

source of power in existence. It would seem that you could go no

higher, or could there be a higher way?

Yes there could be! Just do as God does in the Bible. He

creates other beings who also have power. Some of them have

very great power, like the angels and archangels. Satan had

enough power to challenge his creator, and even take a vast host

of other beings with him in rebellion. Then God created man

with the power of free will, and it is also capable of choices that

are not His will. This is all so risky, for it puts God's omnipotence

to the test. The God who takes no such risk, but keeps all in His

own control, is no where near as powerful as the God of the Bible,

who can take these kinds of risks, and still be able to have

ultimate control, and victory in achieving His purpose.

The God of the Bible has the ability to give up control, and

still win and achieve His goal. God takes on enormous limitations

to His power. He cannot let men be free to choose, and at the

same time force them to choose only good. He could have, had He

made them mere machines, but He made them persons in His own

image, and so they are free. This puts a limit on His power. God

says that they are not to steal, but gives them the power to steal.

They will have to pay for their disobedience, but they are free to

choose. Cannot God stop people from stealing? Yes He can, but

He will not, for His purpose is not to force people into obedience,

but to persuade them to choose obedience.

If God has really created beings who can choose, then there is

a multiplicity of power sources in the world. He can no longer

then be the only cause for all that is. There are now other power

sources who can cause things to be that He does not will to be.

Since He chose this sharing of power, He can also freely change it

if He chooses. His limiting of His own power does not in any

change His sovereignty, He is still the source of all power, and He

can make all other sources of power cease to be. But by going

through with the plan to the end, God will demonstrate a far

greater omnipotence than a God who fears to take a chance, and

holds onto all power for Himself. That would be taking the easy

way out, but the God of the Bible is a risk taker.

If love, justice, holiness, truth, and beauty are the end result

for all eternity after the risk of evil, hate, war, injustice, and all

the ugliness of sin, then God will have demonstrated an omnipotence

that is not a mere victory of power, but of love and

wisdom, and this is the kind of omnipotence that is worthy of our

love, worship, and praise.

So now we have a logical answer to all of the why questions.

Why doesn't God do something to stop or prevent all the evil? All

such questions are based on the omnipotent God concept which

we have shown is a philosophical illusion, and is not the God of

biblical revelation. All such questions imply that God can do

whatever He wants. This leads to all sorts of false conclusions.

God can do whatever He wants, but He does not want to take full

control of all power and end His experiment of giving freedom to

other powers. Those who condemn God for doing so would not

want the alternative of all humans being mere robots

programmed to do everything as God wills. We do not like the

evil that freedom produces, but we also would not want to give up

our freedom, and so we live in a world where much is evil, and

not what God wills.

The biblical concept of omnipotence reveals a God who not

only cares about the suffering that evil produces, He enters into

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