Biblical Concept of Faith/Faithfulness:
The biblical concept of faith/faithfulness stands at the heart of God and His people’s relationship. In its essential bi-polarity, a relationship that is intensely personal, dynamic, and multi-form. A characteristic terminology is always employed whenever the relationship is in view. For example, in the Old Testament, other terms form a penumbra around the terminology, like the semantic domains such as steadfast love, covenant, righteousness, and salvation.
The NT vocabulary is the Greek translation(s) of the Hebrew Bible with words like truth, faithfulness, hope, hope in, and righteousness. But a biblical-theological concept cannot be approached merely by delineating the relevant terminology and its meaning. It is especially true where Faith and Faithfulness define the sine qua non of the God/people relationship. Indeed, the biblical writers exploit several images and metaphors to elucidate the trust-shaped relationships: marriage, Father & Son; king & people; and parties to a covenant. God’s relationship with His people is intensely personal and all-consuming.
The Scriptures (The Bible):
I believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, and the Holy Spirit moved the men of God to write the very words of Scripture. To me, and most Believers, ‘the Bible is therefore without error in its original manuscripts. The Bible is the sole and final authority for Faith and Life, providing encouragement, guidance, comfort, and instruction for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
I believe in one true God eternally existing in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person is fully and equally God with the divine nature and attributes and is worthy of worship and service (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 1:14, 10:30; 2 Cor. 13:14).
I believe that man was created in the image of God by a direct act of God and did not come into being as a result of evolution. Man was created to glorify God, worship and serve Him and have fellowship with Him. The man fell through sin by disobeying God, thus incurring physical and spiritual death that alienated him from God. Man’s nature was thus corrupted and was dead in trespasses, totally incapable of saving himself and coming back into the right relationship with God by his merit or effort (Gen. 1:26, 2:6, 17, 3:17-24; Is. 59: 1-2; Rom. 3:9-19, 23, 5:6-8; Luke 18:26-27; Eph. 2:1-3).
I believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sins and salvation, which is the gift of God’s Grace. Salvation comes into effect from the Holy Spirit’s regenerating work and cannot be secured by man’s works or personal merit. Salvation is only appropriated by a person placing his faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Repentance is a turning toward God and away from sin and is a part of but not separate from believing in faith. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Those who receive Jesus Christ by faith are born again, have their sins forgiven, become children of God, are a new creation in Christ, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption, being kept by the power of God (Eph. 1:7, 13-14; John 1: 12-13, 3: 1-7, 14-16; 2 Cor. 5: 17; Rom. 1:16, 10:9-10; Eph. 2: 8-10; Rom. 8: 14-17, 31-39; John 10: 27-29, 14:6; Acts 26:20; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
God has complete power over the Earth:
The very first chapter of the Bible (Genesis 1) is full of references to God’s power. The words of His mouth brought the Universe into existence. God spoke the Cosmos into existence with only a word (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3). To create the Universe, God needed no pre-existing matter with which to work; instead, He spoke the very first matter into existence (see Thompson et al., 2003a, 2003b). After He created “the heavens and the Earth,” He spoke “light” into existence on Earth (Genesis 1:3). After creating light, He created the firmament and much more, all by the power of His word.
God has complete power over the Spiritual Realm:
Just as the first chapter in the Bible reveals that God created light on Earth, the last chapter reminds us that God’s power will be responsible for the eternal light in heaven (Revelation 22:5). Christ repeatedly cast out devils during His earthly ministry (Matthew 8:16; 9:32-33. 12:22), and James revealed that the demons believe in the one God of the Bible and that because they are aware of God’s omnipotence, they tremble (Luke 8:31; James 2:19). God now limits Satan himself, keeping him from directly inhabiting people or causing people physical pain (Zechariah 13:1-2). Only God can perform “wonders,” and only God can furnish that capability to others (Job 5:9; Psalm 72:18; John 3:2).
Christ again revealed His power over the spiritual realm when He brought Lazarus’ soul back from the realm of departed spirits and returned it to Lazarus’ body (John 11:43). Similarly, God will resurrect all the dead one day, having already determined the fate of their souls (Mark 12:26-27; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:15,32; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
God has complete power over the affairs of men:
John Waddey observed: “God was known to the patriarchs as El-Shaddai, God Almighty (Exodus 6:2-3). The term Shaddai, when connected with the Hebrew word El (God), means, ‘the mighty One to nourish, satisfy and supply.’ Thus we see His power to send forth blessings for He is the all-bountiful One” (1987, p. 1). It makes sense, then, that when Moses spoke to the entire assembly of the children of Israel the lyrics of a lengthy song, he included this line: “Nor is there any that can deliver out of My [God’s] hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39). Of course, just as God has the power to bless us and deliver the righteous from spiritual harm, He also has the uncontainable power to destroy the wicked, as can be seen in His utter destruction of the world through the global Flood of Noah’s time (except eight souls; see Thompson, 1999a)
The plural form of El, Elohim, brings to light the fullness of God’s power in that it highlights the Trinity (Psalm 38:75). Still another Old Testament expression used to denote omnipotence is Abhir, or “strong One” (Genesis 49:24; see Vos, 1994, 3:2188-2190). Jesus said that God is Spirit, emphasizing that God is not limited by the impotence of flesh, as are humans (Isaiah 2:22; 31:3; John 4:24).
God’s power over the nations of the Earth is evident. Though God used the children of Israel as His means of bringing Christ to Earth, God’s power over large groups of people has never been limited to Israel. God has authority over all nations and frequently has used them to accomplish His purposes (Isaiah 10:5; Jeremiah 25:9; Amos 1). Job said: “He makes nations great and destroys them” (Job 12:23). Kings have their dominion only because God allows it (see Custance, 1977, p. 134).
Vos observed: “The prophets ascribe to Jehovah not merely relatively greater power than to the gods of the nations, but His power extends into the sphere of the nations, and the heathen gods are ignored in the estimate put upon His might (Isaiah 31:3)” [1994, 3:2189]. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was warned. This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, so that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men. It is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my Lord, the king:
- They shall drive you from men.
- Your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field.
- They shall make you eat grass like oxen.
They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses (Daniel 4:17,24-25.
God has complete power over the devil, whom He created (though the devil was not evil at the time of his creation; see Colley, 2004). While the devil has certain powers humans do not possess (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 11-12), Satan is not omnipotent. During his temptation of Christ, Satan admitted that whatever power he possessed had been “delivered to him” (Luke 4:6). Satan had to ask for God’s permission to harm Job (Job 1:7-12). Jesus said that Satan had desired to sift Peter as wheat; Satan sought the express permission of God. Without it, Satan would be powerless to tempt Peter.
While God never had a beginning, Satan was created (Colossians 1:16). For this and other reasons, Satan is not omnipotent, and his power is far less potent than the power of God. John wrote: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). If we were to imagine someone whose power approached God’s might, we might think of Satan. Yet, the Bible reveals that nothing is too hard for the Lord—even defeating Satan (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17). In fact, Christ already conquered the devil and eventually will punish him everlastingly in hell (Matthew 25:41; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 12-13). Hebrews 2:14 reads: “He [Christ] Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Milton, in Paradise Lost, wrote of Satan: “Him the Almighty Power hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky…Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms” (1.49).
God’s complete power is unending:
Because God would not be God if He were not Omnipotent, and because we know that God will never end, we can know that God’s power will never cease or diminish (see Colley, 2004). Furthermore, Isaiah plainly stated: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable” (40:28)
God’s omnipotence reassures us because it is through the Divine power that His servants know that “nothing will be impossible” to those who faithfully serve Him (Matthew 17:20; Mark 9:23; Philippians 4:13). Those not faithful to the Lord should be terror-stricken by God’s omnipotence because, on the Day of Judgment, the force that created the Universe will condemn them to everlasting punishment.
Vos commented on Omnipotence; Evokes a specific religious response: This is true not only in the Old Testament, where the element of the fear of God stands comparatively in the foreground, but remains true also in the New Testament. Even in our Lord’s teaching, the prominence given to the fatherhood and love of God does not preclude that the transcendent majesty of the Divine nature, including omnipotence, is kept in full view and made a potent factor in the cultivation of the religious mind (Matthew 6:9).
The beauty of Jesus’ teaching on the nature of God consists in the that He keeps the exaltation of God above every creature and His loving condescension toward the creature in perfect equilibrium and makes them mutually fructified by each other. Religion is more than the inclusion of God in the general altruistic movement of the human mind; it is a devotion at every point colored by the consciousness of that Divine uniqueness in which God’s omnipotence occupies a foremost place (1994, 3:219). Little wonder that the multitude of Revelation 19:6 cried: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” The fact that God so willingly uses His omnipotent capacity for the ultimate benefit of His servants should motivate everyone to obey the Gospel (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). We will not escape the vengeance of God if we neglect the great salvation offered us (Hebrews 2:3).
Read more in my book “Satan Is Not Omnipotent” on sale on amazon: