“I don’t put God in a box.”
That’s the response I heard after explaining God’s will from the scriptures rightly divided.
I recognized it immediately as Christian-speak for “my God is better than your God.”
Of course, it is true that we cannot limit God, but does God have limits? Does God have a box? The Bible says he does.
According to some Christians, God is not confined to any box. It is said “He can do anything, anytime, anywhere, anyway we can imagine”, and “He can be anything we want him to be.”
This is not God as described in the Bible, and the Bible is the only reliable objective description of God.
God Limited by His Nature
The Bible does not tell us everything about God, but we learn from it that God is limited by his nature and by his words.
Yes, God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (all places), and is one.
However, the Bible says God is perfectly righteous, which means God cannot sin. He is limited by his righteous nature to do only righteous works.
In other words, he is in a box of righteousness where no sin can enter. If we take God out of that box, then he is contaminated with sin.
God Limited by His Words
Also, God’s actions are limited by his words. When God makes promises, he limits what he can do.
For example, God made a covenant with all living that he would not cut off everything with a flood (Gen 9:9-11). He can’t do that twice.
He also can’t die twice for sins, since the scripture said he died once for sins (Heb 9:26).
God promised to be at peace with anyone justified by faith in the gospel of Christ (Rom 5:1). Therefore, he cannot be at enmity with those same people.
God is limited by his own words! He is in a box of promises. The only other alternative to these limitations is that God is a liar (which is something else he cannot do – Titus 1:2).
Trusting God’s Limits
A god without limits, is an untrustworthy god. If God could lie, why would I trust him with my soul? He can’t lie, and so I trust him wholeheartedly.
It is a devil’s lie that there are no limits to what God can do (Gen 3:4-5). The truth is limited.
Adam and Eve were limited to what they could eat in reflection of God’s pure nature. They rejected purity, obedience, and faith towards God in order to be outside the box of righteous limitation. The result: sin and death.
My God is in a box, limited by his nature and purposes defined by his own inspired words of the Bible. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). God will do what he promised (Rom 3:4; 2 Tim 1:12).
Leaving God in a box means confining what we know about God to what the Bible says about him. Without the confines of the words of the Bible, God will be and can do anything our imagination conjures up.
At the very least this is contrary to the Bible with it’s dispensations and revelations of God’s will. At its worst, it is the invention of a false god and the beginning of idolatry.
We can’t put God in a box of our own making, but we should not remove him from the one he describes either.