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Lewis Sperry Chafer's "Systematic Theology"   Volume 1, Page 210

Attributes of God

Section 3: Will


OMNIPOTENCE. The infinite power of God, which is termed omnipotence, is employed in the realization of all that God wills. Much that God does is by a direct volition apart from means and agencies. God said, “Let there be light: and there was light.” This is omnipotence operating through volition. The will of man is restricted to thoughts, purposes, volitions, and certain bodily movements. Man can cause nothing to exist by the force of his will. The divine ability to bring a universe into existence out of nothing by volition is the grand manifestation of power. Such power belongs alone to God. He is able to do whatever He wills, but He may not will to do to the full measure of omnipotence. His will is directed in the way of holy and worthy ends. He cannot contradict himself. John Howe has said, “It belongs to self-existent being, to be always full and communicative, and to the communicated, contingent being, to be ever empty and craving” (cited by Watson. Institutes, I, 363).

Mr. Richard Watson has written somewhat at length on divine omnipotence. The following is vital:

In the revelation which was thus designed to awe and control the bad, and to afford strength of mind and consolation to the good under all circumstances, the omnipotence of God is therefore placed in a great variety of impressive views, and connected with the most striking illustrations.

It is presented by the fact of creation, the creation of beings out of nothing, which itself, though it had been confined to a single object, however minute, exceeds finite comprehension, and overwhelms the faculties. This with God required no effort—“He spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast.” The vastness and variety of his works enlarge the conception. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work.”  .” “He spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea; he maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south; he doeth great things, past finding out, yea, and wonders without number. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in the thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them; he hath compassed the waters with bounds until the day and night come to an end.” The ease with which he sustains, orders, and controls the most powerful and unruly of the elements, presents his omnipotence under an aspect of ineffable dignity and majesty. “By him all things consist.”


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