Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | July 2, 2006

Invisible God

This Lord’s Day we consider the fact that our God is invisible.  It appears that the affirmation of this attribute necessarily affirms that God is Spirit and omnipresent.  Although, we do not see Him our God is present everywhere, yet separate and not to be confused with the creation itself.  God being a Spirit is not bound to spatial boundaries like we are.  His immensity is without limitation and unable to be contained.  Although, He is everywhere we do not see Him, because as a Spirit He is not visible to us.    The following section from the 6/23/06 Tabletalk devotional will be helpful for the purposes of our discussion today:

As human beings we are defined by our locality.  We can be localized at one particular place at one particular time.  Though we are composed of body and spirit, our spirits are always where our bodies are, at least while we are alive.  God, on the other hand, cannot be localized.  When we say that He is spirit, we are saying that He is invisible, not contained.  There is some analogical similarity between our spirits and the being of the Lord, but they are not identical.  To be physical is to have extensions.  Our bodies extend out from our core to a definite boundary.  However, our Father has no such extensions or limitations.  We cannot be in more than one place at a time, but God is everywhere.  Even our spirits have limits (Luke 16:19-31), but God is forever omnipresent.  “God Is Spirit” Tabletalk Ligonier Ministries and RC Sproul, June 2006

God is not contained nor has any limitation to His being.  He is everywhere at the same time.  As a result, there is no place that we can run or hide to escape the presence of our God.  This may be hard to for us to understand, since are presence is limited.  The earth itself is extremely large and to consider a being that is present not only over its entire area, but the entire universe is impossible.  However, God is present in all areas of the universe and beyond.  Francis Turretin identifies three modes by which God is omnipresent:    

God may be said to be present with all things in three modes: (1) by power and operation; (2) by knowledge; (3) by essence…He is said to be everywhere by his power because he produces and governs all things and works all things in all (in which sense Paul says, “In him we live and move and have our being,” Acts 17:28).  He is present with all by his knowledge because he sees and beholds all things which are and become in every place as intimately present to and placed before him.  Hence “all things” are said “to be naked and open unto the eyes of him” and “there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight” (Heb 4:13).  Finally, he is everywhere by his essence because his essence penetrates all things and is wholly by itself intimately present with each and everything.  3.9.4

Here we begin to see the overlap that exists among the Divine attributes.  God’s omnipresence is naturally related to His omniscience, since being everywhere contributes to His knowing all things.  God’s omnipresence is also related to His omnipotence and sovereignty, since He is involved governing the entire universe He must know and be everywhere within it.

This doctrine is helpful for believers to know that God is always with us wherever we are and we are not alone.  It is also good to know that we cannot hide from God.  Thus, all of our sinful behavior is ever before Him.  It is uncomfortable to think about this and know that God has been present in every sin that we have performed. 

Back in our 5/19/06 entry (Hell) we considered that the common notion that hell is separation from God may not be accurate.  Based on the fact that God is everywhere can anyone really ever be separated from God, even in hell?  As mentioned in that entry, our position is that God is present there and is actively administering justice to the evil doers and God haters.  What say you?

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Responses

  1. Don’t know. But the thought of common grace being lifted and evil no longer retrained is pretty scary.


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