A Quick Look
We believe the Bible, and the Bible presents God as the ultimate being with all power over and knowledge about everything. The Bible presents a great many concepts of this nature about God.
He is the creator:
Psa. 148:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!
2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!
4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
6 He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
He has all power:
Psa. 65:6 Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power;
7 You who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples.
He has all knowledge:
Psa. 139:1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
He is ever present:
Psa. 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
A Personal Analysis
The creative, all-knowing, all-powerful and all-present aspects of God go well beyond human understanding, but, after all, this is what you would expect of a supernatural being from whom everything in heaven and earth came, and we believe that is what God is. Throughout the Bible record, people of faith have proclaimed God to be all of these things, and the concept is at the very centre of our understanding of what He stands for. Different people will have different reactions to this philosophy. We can either love that omniscience and embrace it, or we can stand back from it and fear it. It does take some coming to terms with, especially in our modern world where we are encouraged to think so highly of our own power and that of men around us.
At the very heart of belief and salvation is a need to recognise that God has these qualities, and that they have the potential to be a power in our lives – that they have the capacity to take us away from fear and establish us as part of God’s wonderful family. Many Bible people have found God to be their rock in this way – a safe and solid place to lean when humanity around us turns oppressive or daunting, or if we are keen to discover what He has to offer us that those around us cannot.
What of all those things we have done wrong? How do we cope with God knowing them all? To answer this we need to examine our personal concept of God and how we think He operates. If we are convinced that God is a God of reward and punishment, then we will worry about the many times we have failed to behave in a way that we feel is correct. However, if we could be certain that God was a God of mercy and forgiveness, we would find great comfort in His knowledge of us, as indeed those who believe in Him do.
Yes, God has the power to do anything. This does mean He can bring about bad events and circumstances, but it also means he can save us, and has indeed promised that He will do just that for those who are willing to believe and trust in Him.
A God who sees everything, knows everything, plans everything and created everything is indeed somewhat intimidating, because of our limited human understanding, and He does need us to accept His abilities to do all this, overcoming that natural fear, allowing Him into our hearts and minds so that He can give us the comfort and care and eternal life He has promised those who consent to His transformation (which we are certain He has the power to bring about).
Eph. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
More Detailed Bible Teaching
That God was the creator is of no doubt from the very first verse:
Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This means that God predates the whole universe, and is a pretty impressive statement. This is not the end of the references to God’s creative work though. There are a great many passages but here is a flavour of them:
Deut. 4:32 "For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard.”
Psa. 89:12 The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name.
Isa 42:5 Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it:
This last reference extends into some of the rest of our current consideration. Not only does God have the ability to create the earth, but he also has an on-going involvement with everything that lives within that system. He supplies breath for those who live there, which includes you and me. This presents God as both all-powerful and all-present. Clearly the act of creation was not a one-off and God has now gone away to do something else elsewhere. It was the beginning of a long-term purpose that He has promised that He will see through to the end, and sustain all life along the way, even though we, as human beings, don’t deserve it. Here are a few of the many passages that speak of His power, and we have purposely chosen ones that show how His power is used to our ultimate benefit.
2Sam. 22:33 God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.
1Chron. 29:10 David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said: "Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.
12 Both riches and honour come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.
13 "Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name.
Job 37:23 As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, In judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress.
Jude v.24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Saviour, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
Although by nature, such great power frightens us, we can see that God’s power need not work that way, and that He uses it to save those who trust in Him, indeed to present us faultless before the presence of His glory.
So what of his knowledge? As mortal beings we can really only appreciate having knowledge of a small number of things, and certainly cannot comprehend the idea of possessing knowledge of another person’s innermost thoughts, but this is indeed the way of the mind of God.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
If God knows my thoughts, you say, then there is no hope for me. My thoughts are often pretty bad. Indeed the Bible tells us that this is how it has always been – Here are some words of Jesus:
Mark 7:21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
23 "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."
But God is willing to use His power to get around this problem, and treat us, if we believe in His promises, as if we did not have those bad thoughts. For us, this is the most important use of God’s power, and will result in us being given eternal life as a free gift by God’s grace.
2Tim. 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
And finally, what of God’s presence? We have already said that if it were not for God’s presence, there would be no life in the universe, so we have that to be thankful for at least. But God’s desire to be present with us goes much further than that. Right back at the beginning we became estranged (God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve before they sinned, but afterwards was no longer able to do so) and ever since we have by nature done things that do not please God. This excludes us from His presence. Yet, undeterred by our hopeless state, God has continued to work out His purpose through us, even though that means Him transforming our minds to cause us to be worthy of His presence with us again. God gave His son, Jesus, so that through his perfect life and his resurrection from the dead, He could begin again to restore His presence among us, if we believe.
Heb. 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
1Pet. 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.