Hi, I hope I can shed some light on your questions. I don't claim to have all the answers. I just hope I can help a little. I apologize ahead of time
for the length of the post. Thanks for reading.
The word ‘omnipotent’ comes from ‘omni’ meaning all and ‘potent’ meaning power. As with the attributes of omniscience and omnipresence, it
follows that if God is infinite, and if He is sovereign, which we know He is, then He must also be omnipotent. He has all power over all things at all
times and in all ways.
Job spoke of God’s power in Job 42:2: “I know that you can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job was acknowledging
God’s omnipotence in carrying out His plans. Moses, too, was reminded by God that He had all power to complete His purposes regarding the
Israelites: “The LORD answered Moses, ‘Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.’”
Nowhere is God’s omnipotence seen more clearly than in creation. God said, “Let there be…” and it was so (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, etc.). Man needs
tools and materials to create; God simply spoke and by the power of His words, everything was created from nothing. “By the word of the LORD were
the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6).
God’s power is also seen in the preservation of His creation. All life on earth would perish were it not for God’s continual provision of
everything we need for food, clothing and shelter, all from renewable resources sustained by His power as the preserver of man and beast (Psalm 36:6).
The seas which cover most of the earth, and over which we are powerless, would overwhelm us if God did not proscribe their limits (Job 38:8-11).
God’s omnipotence extends to governments and leaders (Daniel 2:21), as He restrains them or lets them go their way according to His plans and
purposes. His power is unlimited in regard to Satan and his demons. Satan’s attack on Job was limited to only certain actions. He was restrained by
God’s unlimited power (Job 1:12, 2:6). Jesus reminded Pilate that he had no power over Him unless it had been granted to him by the God of all power
Having total omnipotence, nothing is too hard for God. However, that doesn’t mean God has lost any of His omnipotence when the Bible says that He
cannot do certain things. For example, Hebrews 6:18 says that He cannot lie. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t have the power to lie, but that God
chooses not to lie in accord with His own moral perfection. In the same way, despite His being all powerful and hating evil, He allows evil to happen,
according to His good purpose. Of course, He does use certain evil events to allow His purposes to unfold, such as when the greatest evil of all
occurred—the killing of the perfect, holy, innocent Lamb of God for the redemption of mankind.
As God incarnate, Jesus Christ is omnipotent. His power is seen in the miracles He performed—His numerous healings, the feeding of the five thousand
(Mark 6:30-44), calming the storm (Mark 4:37-41), and the ultimate display of power, raising Lazarus and Jairus’s daughter from the dead (John
11:38-44, Mark 5:35-43), an example of His control over life and death. Death is the ultimate reason that Jesus came—to destroy it (1 Corinthians
15:22, Hebrews 2:14) and to bring sinners into a right relationship with God. The Lord Jesus stated clearly that He had power to lay down His life and
power to take it up again, as he allegorized when speaking about the temple (John 2: 19). He had power to call upon twelve legions of angels to rescue
Him, during His trial, if needed (Matthew 26:53), yet He offered Himself in humility in place of others (Philippians 2:1-11).
The great mystery is that this power can be shared by believers who are united to God in Jesus Christ. Paul says: "Therefore I will boast all the
more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:9b). God’s power is exalted in us most when our
weaknesses are greatest because He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”
(Ephesians 3:20). It is God’s power that continues to hold us in a state of grace despite our sin (2 Timothy 1:12), and by His power we are kept
from falling (Jude 24). His power will be proclaimed by all the host of heaven for all eternity (Revelation 19:1). May that be our endless prayer!
When we talk about free will, we are usually concerned with the matter of salvation. Few are interested in whether we have the free will to choose
salad or steak for our dinner tonight. Rather, we are troubled over who exactly is in control of our eternal destiny.
Any discussion of man’s free will must begin with an understanding of his nature because man’s will is bound by that nature. A prisoner has the
freedom to pace up and down in his cell, but he is constrained by the walls of that cell and can go no further, no matter how much his will might
desire it. So it is with man. Because of sin, man is imprisoned within a cell of corruption and wickedness which permeates to the very core of our
being. Every part of man is in bondage to sin – our bodies, our minds, and our wills. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us the state of man’s heart: it is
“deceitful and desperately wicked.” In our natural, unregenerate state, we are carnally minded, not spiritually minded. “For to be carnally
minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of
God, neither indeed can it be” (Romans 8:6-7). These verses tell us that before we are saved, we are at enmity (war) with God, we do not submit to
God and His law, neither can we. The Bible is clear that, in his natural state, man is incapable of choosing that which is good and holy. In other
words, he does not have the “free will” to choose God because his will is not free. It is constrained by his nature, just as the prisoner is
constrained by his cell.
How then can anyone be saved? Ephesians 2:1 describes the process. We who are “dead in our trespasses and sins” have been “made alive” through
Christ. A dead man cannot make himself alive because he lacks the necessary power to do so. Lazarus lay in his tomb four days unable to do a thing to
resurrect himself. Christ came along and commanded him to come to life (John 11). So it is with us. We are spiritually dead, unable to rise. But
“while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He calls us out of our spiritual graves and gives us a completely new nature, one
undefiled by sin as the old nature was (2 Corinthians 5:17). God saw the desperate and helpless state of our souls, and in His great love and mercy,
He sovereignly chose to send His Son to the cross to redeem us. By His grace we are saved through the gift of faith which He gives us so that we can
believe in Jesus. His grace is a free gift, our faith is a free gift, and our salvation is a free gift given to those whom God has chosen “before
the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Why did He chose to do it this way? Because it was “according to the good pleasure of His will, to
the praise of the glory of His grace” (Ephesians 1:5-6). It’s important to understand that the plan of salvation is designed to glorify God, not
man. Our response is to praise Him for the “glory of His grace.” If we chose our own salvation, who would get the glory? We would, and God has
made it clear that He will not give the glory due to Him to anyone else (Isaiah 48:11).
The question naturally arises, how do we know who has been saved “from the foundation of the world”? We don’t. That is why we take the good news
of salvation through Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, telling all to repent and receive God’s gift of grace. Second Corinthians 5:20 tells us
we are to be pleading with others to be reconciled to God before it is too late. We cannot know who God will choose to release from their prison cells
of sin. We leave that choice to Him and present the Gospel to all. The ones who come to Jesus He “will in no way cast out” (John 6:37).
If “free will” means that God gives humans the opportunity to make choices that genuinely affect their destiny, then yes, human beings do have a
free will. The world’s current sinful state is directly linked to choices made by Adam and Eve. God created mankind in His own image, and that
included the ability to choose.
However, free will does not mean that mankind can do anything he pleases. Our choices are limited to what is in keeping with our nature. For example,
a man may choose to walk across a bridge or not to walk across it; what he may not choose is to fly over the bridge—his nature prevents him from
flying. In a similar way, a man cannot choose to make himself righteous—his (sin) nature prevents him from canceling his guilt (Romans 3:23). So,
free will is limited by nature.
This limitation does not mitigate our accountability. The Bible is clear that we not only have the ability to choose, we also have the responsibility
to choose wisely. In the Old Testament, God chose a nation (Israel), but individuals within that nation still bore an obligation to choose obedience
to God. And individuals outside of Israel were able to choose to believe and follow God as well (e.g., Ruth and Rahab).
In the New Testament, sinners are commanded over and over to “repent” and “believe” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19; 1 John 3:23). Every call to
repent is a call to choose. The command to believe assumes that the hearer can choose to obey the command.
Jesus identified the problem of some unbelievers when He told them, “You refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:40). Clearly, they could have
come if they wanted to; their problem was they chose not to. “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7), and those who are outside of salvation
are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20-21).
But how can man, limited by a sin nature, ever choose what is good? It is only through the grace and power of God that free will truly becomes
“free” in the sense of being able to choose salvation (John 15:16). It is the Holy Spirit who works in and through a person’s will to regenerate
that person (John 1:12-13) and give him/her a new nature “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Salvation
is God’s work. At the same time, our motives, desires, and actions are voluntary, and we are rightly held responsible for them.
It is impossible for us to fully understand the dynamics of a holy God molding and shaping the will of man. Scripture is clear that God knows the
future (Matthew 6:8; Psalm 139:1-4) and has total sovereign control over all things (Colossians 1:16-17; Daniel 4:35). The Bible also says that we
must choose God or be eternally separated from Him. We are held responsible for our actions (Romans 3:19; 6:23; 9:19-21). How these facts work
together is impossible for a finite mind to comprehend (Romans 11:33-36).
People can take one of two extremes in regard to this question. Some emphasize the sovereignty of God to the point that human beings are little more
than robots simply doing what they have been sovereignly programmed to do. Others emphasize free will to the point of God not having complete control
and/or knowledge of all things. Neither of these positions is biblical. The truth is that God does not violate our wills by choosing us and redeeming
us. Rather, He changes our hearts so that our wills choose Him. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), and “You did not choose
me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).
What are we to do then? First, we are to trust in the Lord, knowing that He is in control (Proverbs 3:5-6). God’s sovereignty is supposed to be a
comfort to us, not an issue to be concerned about or debate over. Second, we are to live our lives making wise decisions in accordance with God’s
Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:5). There will be no excuses before God for why we chose to disobey Him. We will have no one to blame but ourselves
for our sin. Last but not least, we are to worship the Lord, praising Him that He is so wonderful, infinite, powerful, full of grace and mercy—and
I hope this information helps somewhat. I apologize if it takes me a while to respond to any replies regarding this information.