God’s Immensity and the Omnipotence of the Consequential Power of God

I had a conversation this morning with a seventy-something year old microbiologist with a slight English accent, named Malcolm. Having been a professor at UC-Davis and at Clemson University, the discussion was intriguing. Uncertain of his stance on creation, God, and the like, I decided to adapt the conversation to end up at those worldviews. I wasn’t surprised that he believed in the Big Bang Theory – multiple one’s at that – but that the immensity of the cosmos, of even a single human cell proved too much to be comprehended. Malcolm was of the mind that we cannot prove anything of that immensity with any kind of certainty in order to come to dogmatic conclusions about origin and life.

But it appeared that the reality of the vastness of the cosmos and of the amount of information in a single strand of DNA captured his wonder if not his interest. It turns out that God would give me a foothold with Malcolm upon which I could speak to him of the immensity of God.

During the summer session between my freshman and sophomore years at Clemson I took my biology requirement – it was the only other class besides a liberal Old Testament class that I made an “A” in! Malcolm knew my professor, and it was this professor with whom I had several discussions concerning the origin and meaning of life. This was the open door that I was graciously given to become what I needed to be in order to speak with Malcolm about God. And that was my endeavor in this particular meeting – to set God and God’s immensity in relation to and demonstrated in the immensity of the creation that Malcolm studied and taught. By God’s grace, next will come the reality of God in Christ!

So it was, that by means of creation and natural revelation that I set before Malcolm the Almighty, and the meaningfulness of life found in relation to Him and His creative work. And I found, also, my own affections and mind drawn up into the greatness of the infinite God whose habitation is eternity.

I recently heard by the providence of God the inherited instruction of a Christian cosmologist and apologist. This man uses his study and understanding of the universe to make the case for intelligent design and meaning. He shows slides of the universe, for example, a slide of nothing but stars, and says that if you were to count every star on that slide that it would take you 2800 years to finish; or a slide of a pillar of dust in the universe where we are looking at multiple galaxies; and after these things he places a white slide on the screen and hands someone a fine tipped pencil and asks them, with pencil in hand, to place any sized dot on that screen corresponding to your significance in the immensity of the universe – point being that even the slightest dot would seem to be an overstatement. However, as he begins to speak about carbon based life forms and all of the elements and aspects in the universe that had to be exactly right in order for their to be any kind of sustained carbon based life form, he mentions that the sphere in which we live for various reasons has to be about 15 million light years across to sustain life – and that the one in which we live is approximately 15 million light years across; and he concludes by saying, “now how significant are you in the universe?” And the answer is very significant, but I would add, and I think he would as well, how significant and valuable is God? If the universe is what it is, or if the amount of information in a single cell boggles the cleverest minds, then what of its infinite Creator – “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived , ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse,” Romans 1:19-20.

More amazing is the conclusion of Jonathan Edwards about that which will consume our stay in eternal glory, that glory is in fact eternal because it will take eternity to comprehend in an ever-increasing way the infinite and unending glory of God and all that His glory encompasses. We will forever be growing in the knowledge and worship of Him because the knowledge and glory of Him is everlasting. God is eternally immense. The sheer thought of the volume of Him collapses the most brilliant human mind at once.

If this immense and eternal volume be placed upon God, indeed, a volume that we cannot measure, nor ever come to the end of, then what of the power of this Almighty God? What vast effulgence overflows from Him? If God declares that there is a power at His disposal, what in heaven or on earth or under the earth may equally rival Him and His power? But God has said through His apostle, “the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)

The Gospel is the power of this eternally voluminous God to save wretched worms like us. The power of the President, or the Pope, or a King, or a tyrant is great and extends quite far, but has its limitations in all spheres of life. But all of these are inferior to the power of God and the throne of Christ in the culmination of the Gospel. No human will may stand before the power of God to save, which He calls the Gospel. What sinner can withstand the power of God in the Gospel? What degree of sinner can resist the Almighty’s effectual Gospel call? What political party or religious group can redeem like God’s Gospel of gracious salvation by the righteousness of Christ and not of man’s works? God’s Gospel delivers from Mormonism, Nihilism, Buddhism, Postmodernism, Hinduism, Islam, and any other world religion or spirituality – nothing stands in the way of the power of God’s Gospel when in effectual grace He rips you out of darkness and sets you in the light of Christ! As former Muslim turned Christian Thabiti Anyabwile writes, “The Gospel triumphed where no other power had or could. The Gospel of Jesus Christ freed me from the clutches of sin and the darkness of Islam…The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…I’ve received and experienced that power myself through faith in Christ.” (The Triumph of the Gospel in a Muslim’s Life; thegospelcoalition.org/articles.php?a=51)

The consequential effulgence of the glorious immensity of God is manifest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the revelation of the gift of God’s righteousness for sinner’s imputed through faith in Him. Therefore, the Gospel carries with it the effectual omnipotence of the God who saves sinners from any bondage and sets them securely in the invincible promise of faith in Christ. That this God would love sinners and deliver sinners from His wrath, and empower that message with the might of His Spirit, is the reality of what may be called the omnipotent Gospel – it is the power of God to save without distinction. What is microbiology when pitted against the Gospel of God, but the servant of it which inevitably witnesses to it. Praise God for the inherent, omnipotent power and call of the Gospel of Christ – that He who created the universe by the power of His Word, also creates Christians out of His enemies by the power of His Gospel, in Jesus’ name.

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