By Bethany Verrett, Crosswalk.com
There are many people who believe they can do whatever they want, that they have a level of invincibility that allows them to live a life they may call limitless. This limitlessness can inspire some people to live happy and exciting lives, and drive others to commit sins they would have otherwise avoided.
While it is good to strive to do our best and sometimes push boundaries, this limitlessness is an illusion. Human beings live under many constraints, some visible and some invisible. God, on the other hand, does not exist under the same limitations. When people are reminded of what they cannot do, it is a good opportunity to consider how God is not constrained by the same things as human beings.
What Are Our Limits?
When considering the limits of a person, there are several things which are evident. People are limited by their genetics, by gravity, by the law, and even by other people. Some limitations are good, as they can prevent people from being hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Other limitations can exist because of circumstances. The fact that there are things outside of our control proves that everyone has limitations.
The most important limitation that exists in humans is that we all sin and are incapable of living a sinless life. No matter how hard people may try, they can never live a holy life that would allow them to approach the throne of God without repentance. This limitation was demonstrated over and over again in the Bible. Paul summarized this truth in his Epistle to the Romans,
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned — for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come” (Romans 5:12-14).
He emphasizes that everyone chooses to sin, but that sin also reigns over people. Once someone makes the choice to sin, it grabs a hold of them, and they are limited by their flesh in their ability to fight it. No one, not even the great heroes of the Old Testament like Moses and David, and even prophets like Elijah or Isaiah committed sin, and died because of their sin. The ultimate reminder of the limitations of people is death.
How Do We Know God Is Limitless?
God’s character stands in stark contrast to that of humanity. He is:
- Omniscient – all knowing
- Omnipotent - all powerful
- Omnipresent - in all places
He even exists beyond the bounds of time as people experience it. He created everything from nothing and has the power to judge all living beings. These characteristics put Him above and beyond the limitations of people.
One of the greatest proofs of God’s limitlessness actually comes from when He chose to pour out a bit of His glory and take on the limitations of humanity. When Jesus, who is the second person in the Triune God, came to earth, He put aside His natural state to take on the natural state of humanity. He was born of a virgin, and lived a full human life, from birth to adulthood.
Unlike every human born from the line of Adam, Jesus never sinned:
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you… He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:21-23).
Jesus humbled himself to mortality and a fleshly body, but was so limitless in His capacity for good, He kept His divine spirit and was able to live a human life without sinning. Because of this sinless life, when He submitted to the Father’s will on the cross, His body never saw corruption or decay, and He was resurrected three days later. Because of this time on earth, Jesus understands our weakness and limitations, but He was not subject to them.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus conquered the ultimate limitations of humanity - sin and death.
Bible Verses about Our Limitations
Human limitlessness can be observed in the world. Anyone can look around and see that people do not have unlimited power, unlimited resources, or unlimited capacity. The Bible also affirms these observations.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 - “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”
Mark 16:16 - “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Romans 3:23 - “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:12 - “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 - “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5a - “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”
Hebrews 10:4 - “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
James 1:14-15 - “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
James 3:2 - “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
1 John 1:8 - “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Bible Verses about God’s Limitlessness
While God does give people glimpses into His character and nature in the world, it can only be observed indirectly, as sinful people cannot be in the presence of holy God. His most direct method of communication about Himself is through the Scriptures.
Psalm 18:30 - “This God — his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
Matthew 5:18 - “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 19:26 - “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
Romans 1:20 - “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Colossians 1:16 - “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him.”
Hebrews 1:3 - “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Hebrews 10:14 - “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
James 1:13 - “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
Prayer for God to Help Us Overcome Our Limitations
Thank you for loving us so much that You created us in the first place. Thank you for being willing to use your limitless power to give us life, to extend mercy to us when we sin against You, and to redeem us from our sins through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Lord, while You are not limited by temptation, sin, and death, I am. I know that I am frail, limited by the flesh and by my inability to resist temptation. Lord, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide me and convict me. I know that I will always wrestle with temptation and the flesh until I die or until the return of Jesus Christ, and I receive a glorified body. Until then, help me to hear the Holy Spirit, to resist the flesh, and to be victorious over my sinful limitations.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
Walvoord, John F. and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Old Testament and New Testament. United States of America: Victor Books, 1987.
Wilmington, H.L. Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1981.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Olga Strelnikova
Bethany Verrett is a freelance writer who uses her passion for God, reading, and writing to glorify God. She and her husband have lived all over the country serving their Lord and Savior in ministry. She has a blog on graceandgrowing.com.