The Infinitude of God
I spoke again for Jzone Mandaluyong last Friday. They were having a series on the attributes of God, and His infinitude was the assigned topic to me. So far, it’s the most difficult topic I preached on. Preaching on it felt like trying to put the whole Pacific Ocean into a soda can, or teaching calculus to an ant. But by God’s grace, it was over and some gave good feedback. Anyway…
This topic is really challenging to me. When it was offered to me, I was like, “What’s that?” Nevertheless, I took the opportunity so that I’ll learn more about God. This also meant that I’m going to prepare by faith.
So what exactly do we mean by the infinitude? I checked the online dictionary for the word infinitude. It is the state of being infinite. Well, that should be a no-brainer.
Defining the Infinitude of God
So let’s be a little more specific. Let’s now define the infinitude of God. God’s infinitude means that He “is not subject to any of the limitations of humanity, or of creation in general.”1
In simpler words, God has no limits or boundaries.
So in what sense is He infinite? He is infinite in the sense that He is immeasurable in relation to (1) space and (2) time, and in terms of (3) His attributes. Let’s discuss them one by one.
1. God is immeasurable in relation to space. Space cannot contain Him. When Solomon was preparing to build a temple for the name of the Lord, he sent word to Hiram, the king of Tyre, and said:
5The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. 6But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him? (2 Chronicles 2:5-6, emphasis added)
Solomon acknowledged that God cannot be contained by “heaven, even highest heaven.” And this humbled him (“Who am I to build a house for him”).
We know how wide and vast the outer space is, right? And yet, we learn that God cannot even be contained by it. That’s how immeasurable He is (in relation to space).
2. God is immeasurable in relation to time. Just as God cannot be contained by space, He cannot be contained by time as well, for He is eternal. He is without beginning and without end.
When Moses inquired of God about what he will say to the Israelites when he will be asked of God’s name, God replied: “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). His name suggests that He has always existed and was never created.
Moses tells us in his psalm:
2Before the mountains were brought forth, / or ever you had formed the earth and the world, / from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2)
This line in Moses’ psalm tells us that before everything else was created, God already existed. And he has always existed. He is eternal.
And Jesus, the second person in the Trinity, is also eternal. Speaking to the Jews, Jesus said:
58…“Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58, emphasis added)
The verse tells us that Jesus did not only exist before Abraham was born. It also tells us that He is the great I AM. He is the eternal I AM.
3. God is immeasurable in terms of His attributes. I will just discuss just a few attributes due to brevity of time. There are four I have in mind: (1) Wisdom/Knowledge, (2) Sovereignty, (3) Holiness, and (4) Love/Goodness.
God is infinitely wise and knowledgeable:
33Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)
He is infinitely sovereign (and in His infinite sovereignty, He has ensured our salvation):
28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)
He is infinitely holy:
3…“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; / the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)
He is infinitely loving and good:
1Praise the LORD! / Oh give thanks to the LORD, / for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 106:1)
So what can we say about God’s infinitude? God’s infinitude displays the incredible, incomprehensible, and indescribable greatness of Himself. And this should bring us into a greater worship of Him!
If He is Not Infinite
Think with me for a moment. Let’s imagine that God is not infinite. Let’s say that He is just 99% wise and knowledgeable. And 99% sovereign. And 99% holy. And 99% loving and good.
If this is the case, then He is 1% unwise and unknowledgeable. And 1% not sovereign. And 1% unholy. And 1% unloving and evil.
I think we will encounter a problem. Even if God is 99% wise and knowledgeable, what will assure us that He always knows what He is doing, since He is 1% unwise and unknowledgeable as well?
And even if He is 99% sovereign, what will assure us that He, in His sovereignty, has ensured our salvation and that He is always in control when tough times come, since He is 1% not sovereign as well?
And even if He is 99% holy, what will assure us that He has cleansed us from our sins, since He is 1% unholy as well?
And even if He is 99% loving and good, what will assure us that He has in mind only what is good for us, since He is 1% unloving and evil?
How can we trust God with our lives if He doesn’t know what He’s doing? And how can we put our faith in Him for our salvation if He can’t ensure it and He can’t cleanse us from our sins? And how can we surrender to Him if He isn’t concerned for our welfare?
You see. We can’t afford to have a God who is finite or short of infinity. But we must be thankful, because our God is infinite!
The Infinite God is for Us
One more. Even though God is infinite, or infinitely great, or infinitely different from us, He is also personal. He isn’t far away from us; He is with us in the person of Jesus (Matthew 1:23). He is mindful of us (Psalm 8:4). He wants to show us wonderful things in His word (Psalm 119:18). He wants us to pray to Him, addressing Him as Father (Matthew 9:9-13). He is inviting us to a sweet fellowship with Him (Revelation 3:20). He is infinite. But he is also personal. This is grace!
Let me encourage you with Romans 8:31:
31…If God is for us, who can be against us?
Yes! The infinite (and personal) God is for us! So who can be against us? This is so comforting!
Once again: God’s infinitude displays the incredible, incomprehensible, and indescribable greatness of Himself. And this should bring us into a greater worship of Him.
1Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 167.