3159 21st Street N.
St. Petersburg, FL
Elder Steve Shelton
THE INFINITY OF GOD
By C. D. Cole
when applied to God, means that He is unbounded, unlimited, unsearchable,
immeasurable, incomparable, and incomprehensible. These are big words, both
in size and meaning, and big words are needed to describe such a great and
glorious God. God is so great that in comparison with Him. "And all the
inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to
his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and
none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Da 4:35).
Infinity contrasts God with His creatures. God is infinite; man is finite.
God is infinite in all His attributes, but infinity has chief respect to His
omnipresence and eternity. God is not bound by space, therefore He is
everywhere; nor by time, therefore He is eternal.
1. HIS ETERNITY.
Godís infinity as to duration is
called His eternity. He has neither beginning nor end. "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." (Re 1:8). This attribute is
possessed by each of the three persons, who have a common and undivided
nature. He is eternal whether you look backward or forward. Godís nature is
not subject to the law of time. God is not in time; time is in God. God gave
existence to time. There is no succession of time with God; to Him past,
present, and future is "one eternal now." "But, beloved, be not ignorant of
this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a
thousand years as one day" (2Pe 3:8). It has been well remarked that God is
no older now than in the days of David, or when the world was created; for
time makes no changes in Him. "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one
like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient
of days, and they brought him near before him" (Da 7:13), But not ancient in
days. "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before
the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and
the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Ps 90:1,2).
He is without end. This is not
difficult to understand. We think of men as existing forever, so it is easy
to believe this of God. That which has no beginning, obviously could have no
end. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the
last" (Re 22:13) .
He is without beginning. At this
point God is incomprehensible. But whether we can conceive of life without
beginning or not, we are bound to attribute this kind of existence to God.
This may be argued:
1. From His necessary
self-existence. The existence of God is either arbitrary or necessary.
If arbitrary, it must lie from His own will or from the will of another.
If from His own will, this would suppose His previous existence, which
would be a contradiction. If His existence is from the will of another,
that other would be both prior and superior, and so be God. This would
involve another contradiction. God then must necessarily exist. "Ye are
my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye
may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there
was no God formed, neither shall there be after me" (Isa 43:10).
2. That God is without beginning
may be argued from His immutability. If God is not eternal, He must have
passed from non existence into being, and this would involve a change.
"But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end" (Ps 102:27 ).
"For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not
consumed" (Mal 3:6).
3. The eternity of God may also
be argued from His attributes, several of which are said to be eternal.
His power is expressly said to be eternal: "For the invisible things of
him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by
the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that
they are without excuse:" (Ro 1:20). His knowledge is from eternity:
"Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world" (Ac
15:18). His mercy is said to be from everlasting to everlasting: "But
the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that
fear him, and his righteousness unto childrenís children" (Ps 103:17).
His purposes are eternal: "According to the eternal purpose which he
purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:" (Eph 3:11). His love is called
everlasting: "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have
loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have
I drawn thee" (Jer 31:3).
4. The eternity of God may be
concluded from the covenant of grace which is styled an everlasting
covenant: "Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with
me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is
all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow"
(2Sa 23:5). It is called the everlasting covenant not only because it
will endure immovable forever, but because it was from everlasting. It
is sometimes called a new covenant, not because newly made, but because
it is always new and never grows old.
5. The incommunicable name of
God is Jehovah, which means "The Existing One." "That men may know that
thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth"
(Ps 83:18). God exists naturally and necessarily, which means that there
is no cause of His existence. He is the great First Cause, and therefore
cannot be the effect of any other cause. "Jesus Christ the same
yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Heb 13:8). There are no wrinkles
on the brow of the eternal God. There is no feebleness of old age with
2. HIS OMNIPRESENCE.
This means that God is everywhere.
He is not bound by space. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither
shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the
morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy
hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (Ps 139:7-10). There is no
escape from Him for the wicked and no separation from Him for the righteous.
This may be proven:
1. From His power, which is
everywhere, as appears in creation and providence. "Who being the
brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and
upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself
purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:"
2. From His knowledge. "Neither
is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things
are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Heb
4:13); "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and
the good" (Pr 15:3). The presence of God may be considered in different
ways. He is not present everywhere in the same sense or way. His
glorious presence is in heaven, where He displays Himself to angels and
to the spirits of just men made perfect. His powerful and providential
presence is with all His creatures, " upholding all things by the word
of his power" (Heb 1:3). His gracious presence is with His people,
regenerating, sanctifying, comforting, and blessing them. His wrathful
presence is in hell, inflicting punishment upon the wicked. "If I ascend
up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou
art there" (Ps 139:8). "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the
abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Re 21:8).
Godís omnipresence is particularly and fully expressed in Psalm 139: "O
LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting
and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou
compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my
ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou
knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid
thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high,
I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither
shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art
there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the
wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even
there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I
say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light
about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth
as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou
hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my motherís womb. I
will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous
are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not
hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the
lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being
unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in
continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How
precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of
them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:
when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O
God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against
thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate
them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise
up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine
enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my
thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the
way everlasting." This speaks of His essential presence. So immense is
God that the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him: "But will God indeed
dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot
contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?" (1Ki 8:27).
"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my
footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the
place of my rest?" (Isa 66:1).
OBJECTIONS TO GODíS OMNIPRESENCE
It has been urged in objection to
the omnipresence of God that Cain went out from the presence of the Lord:
"And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of
Nod, on the east of Eden" (Ge 4:16), and that Jonah fled from Godís
presence: "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the
LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he
paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish
from the presence of the LORD" (Jon 1:3). But in reply it may be said that
Cain only went away from the place of worship where Godís gracious presence
was manifested. And Jonah was fleeing from the service of God, foolishly
supposing that he could avoid being urged to do his duty. He soon found that
God was everywhere, and could met with him on the sea as well as on the
The God with whom we have to do has
no limitations. One of the sins charged against Israel was that they limited
the Holy One of Israel: "Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited
the Holy One of Israel" (Ps 78:41), that is, they thought there were some
things too much for Him; they circumscribed Him in their thoughts and in
lack of faith.
There are no crises with God, and no
secret places to Him. All things are naked and open to His eyes. "Neither is
there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are
naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Heb 4:13).
There is no hiding from Him, and no withstanding Him when His anger is
aroused and when He chooses to execute His wrath.
May both writer and reader say with
the Psalmist: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my
thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way
everlasting" (Ps 139:23,24).