[Papercut Press Publishing]1998-07-06 - Limiting God

Statements From the Christian Pulpit, Part 1

Luke 22:69AT THE RIGHT HAND of the power of God. NASB

For the last few months I have been attending a new church. This church is a very active one. Every week someone is being commissioned and sent somewhere. A suburban church, but one that reaches out to both the city of Philadelphia and its surrounding community, not just with money, but with labour, grit, and compassion. They do a lot of good things. However, activism does not equal doctrinal integrity and for weeks I have heard a statement here or there that has caused me to ask myself, Is that true? Often I have concluded that while, in the context of the sermon, I may know what was meant, still, what was said was not true. In this occasional series, "Statements from the Christian Pulpit", I would like to examine some things, both good and bad, that I have recently heard preached from the pulpit.

The statement I would like to examine today is this, "We need to be willing to be humbled in order for God to work with power." Ask yourself, is that true? Lets take the negative of the statement, "If we are not willing to be humbled, God can not work with power." Actually, both statements are false and both statements deny an important doctrine called the Omnipotence of God. The doctrine of the Omnipotence of God means that God is all powerful. He may do as He pleases.

Don't get me wrong, humility is essential to our life and growth in Godliness. The sermon was on 1 Peter chapter 5 and it says a lot about humility and the importance of it. I'm not against humility, rather my concern is that the above statement in question limits God. Nothing limits God, nothing.

Who will put a limit on God? Would we limit His love, unthinkable! Would we limit His mercy, foolish! Would we limit His power, ridiculous! However, to say that we need to do anything (have humility, clip our fingernails, go to church, get a good nights rest, or whatever) for God to do anything (work with power, protect us, care for us, love us) limits God and the above statement is simply not true.

The joy of knowing that God has all power is that this grants us security in that power. When someone pushes your buttons and you feel like getting angry and blowing up at them, the power to hold back and avoid losing it comes from God and from His strength that He gives us in Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. When someone close to us is ill or hurting, the power to heal or comfort comes from God. He may use us, or a doctor, or a stranger, but the power is from God. And God is good, He is wise, He is loving, and He cares for His children tenderly as a loving Father. There is great joy and strength in knowing about and trusting in the power of God.

"All things (but lying, dying and denying Himself) are possible to God." Christopher Nesse

For any golfers: "God can make a straight stroke with a crooked stick." Thomas Watson

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tim