God is Not Omnipotent

I find the God of scripture to be limited. He cannot lie. He cannot break his promises. He cannot act unjustly. He cannot sin. He cannot fail. He cannot die. He cannot cease to exist. He cannot destroy himself. He cannot tolerate wrong. He cannot be impure. He cannot be unclean. The list goes on.

To say that God "can" do these things, but chooses not to, is to call into question the very nature of God. Can God not be just? Can God not be love? Can God not be God?

Can God create another God who is equal in power and ability? If God is the most powerful being, can He create a being who is also the most powerful?

All of these questions can be put more generally as a question of God's power or ability to accomplish logically impossible outcomes. Can God create a square triangle? Can God make 1 + 1 = 3? Can God be God and not God?

The answer is not "yes, but he chooses not to." The answer is no. He is not limited by His choice, He is limited by His own nature and necessity. He does not have power over His nature. He cannot change His nature. He must exist. And He must abide by the nature of His existence. It is impossible for Him to do otherwise. Against this He is powerless.

God cannot be a husband to my wife as I can. He cannot give my love to my wife. Only I can do that.

God cannot raise my children as me, and be all that I am to them in the way that only I can.

God cannot offer my forgiveness to someone else. He cannot forgive them for me and still accomplish in me and in them what my forgiveness accomplishes.

God cannot offer someone else's forgiveness to me. It will not accomplish in them or in me what their forgiveness would.

God cannot do what only people can do.

God became a man so that He could suffer and die, so that he could stand in solidarity with humanity, so that He could be tempted just as we are, in order that we would know that He empathizes with our weakness. He became a human in order to experience things in the way only humans can, to do the things that only humans can do.

Yet Christ could not suffer for the Colossians in the same way that Paul did. It would not mean or accomplish all the same things. Christ's suffering was lacking in this way. Only Paul could suffer as Paul.

God institutes His church to do what only the church can do. We are at work, in every relationship we have, doing for God what God cannot do alone, what only we can do, yet by His power. And so simultaneously, we need God to do what only He can do, or else we could never do our part.

God cannot love others through us without us.

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