Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Benefits of attributing omnipotence to God

Those who attribute due praise to the omnipotence of God thereby derive a double benefit. He to whom heaven and earth belong, and whose nod all creatures must obey, is fully able to reward the homage which they pay to him, and they can rest secure in the protection of Him to whose control everything that could do them harm is subject, by whose authority, Satan, with all his furies and engines, is curbed as with a bridle, and on whose will everything adverse to our safety depends. In this way, and in no other, can the immoderate and superstitious fears, excited by the dangers to which we are exposed, be calmed or subdued. I say superstitious fears. For such they are, as often as the dangers threatened by any created objects inspire us with such terror, that we tremble as if they had in themselves a power to hurt us, or could hurt at random or by chance; or as if we had not in God a sufficient protection against them.

In this excerpt for The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin puts forward two benefits to those who praise God for and exult in His omnipotence. He indicates that the recognition and resulting regard for the righteous power that resplendently resides in the Ruler of the universe results in two advantages. First, a supremely powerful God has the wherewithal to do good to those who subject themselves to Him. And secondly, superlative safety is within the purview of One to whom all harmful things, of this world or otherwise, are subservient to. God's omnipotence supports His sovereignty. He can back himself up!

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