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Volume 27 - Page 48 of 212 Index | Zoom | |
The Self-limitation of Omnipotence.
pp. 188 - 191
We can quite understand that some of our readers will not feel together comfortable
about a title which speaks of the "limitations of omnipotence", even though they are
"self-limitations". It may be well, therefore, to show how such an idea permeates the
whole scheme of salvation before we turn our attention to the wider issues raised.
That the Lord Jesus Christ possesses the title "Omnipotent" none can question. The
word Pantokrator is translated in the A.V. "Almighty" nine times, and "Omnipotent"
"I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord, Which is, and
Which was, and Which is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1: 8).
In structural correspondence with this verse we have verses 17 and 18, which remove
any doubt as to whether verse 8 refers to the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Fear not; I am the First and the Last. I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold I
am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Rev. 1: 17, 18).
The titles "Alpha and Omega" and "Beginning and Ending" are exchanged for "the
First and the Last", while the title "Almighty" corresponds with the possession of the
"keys of hell and of death".
In Rev. 19: 6, when the "Marriage of the Lamb is come", the proclamation is made:
"The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth." In Rev. 11: it is Christ Who is to reign
(verse 15), and once again the title "Almighty" is given to Him:
"We give thanks, O Lord God Almighty, Which art, and wast (The best texts omit the
words `and art to come', for He is now conceived of as present), because Thou hast taken
to Thee Thy great power and hast reigned" (Rev. 11: 17).
There is no need to multiply proofs that the title "Almighty" belongs to Christ.
Neither is there any need in these pages to prove that for our sakes "He made Himself of
no reputation". We glory in the fact that He Who was rich for our sakes became poor.
Without the self-limitation of omnipotence, neither Bethlehem nor Calvary would ever
have known the presence of the Son of man.
With this reassurance, we must now go on to consider the question of omnipotence in
relation to creation and the sphere of moral government. The Lord has limited His
omnipotence in order that righteousness and holiness may work their wondrous way and
love have its fullest scope without compromising the throne of glory.