Can God Do “Anything”? Yes & No

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

Some people like to ask whether or not it is possible for God to do “anything.” The question goes like this, “Can God do anything? Like make a rock too big for him to lift.” Now, of course you can read the question and partially answer, yes. It is true to say that God can do anything in the sense that (1) he can do something (he did create the world, after all), (2) he can do what he pleases (Psalm 115:3), (3) and nothing is impossible with him (Luke 1:37). So, we can answer yes to this question in certain ways.

However, we must also answer “no.” God cannot do “anything.” That is, there are certain actions, thoughts, and feelings that God cannot have. Since he is by nature faithful, he cannot be unfaithful (Ps. 89:1). Since God is just, he cannot be unjust (2 Thes. 1:6). Because God is always truthful, he cannot lie (John 14:6, Numbers 23:19). Our God is loving, and thus cannot be unloving (1 John 4:8). And the list can go on.

So, it is right to say in one breath that God can do anything and in another breath to say that God cannot do anything. Yet, it is probably better not to use that language at all. Instead, we can say that God always acts in accordance with his nature and will never desire to act, nor finally act, in anyway that would contradict who he is.

And what about the rock? Well, since God is all-powerful, it doesn’t seem to work for us to say that an omnipotent God would create something that would contradict his omnipotence.

How great is our God who always acts in accordance with his perfect nature.

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