The Efficiency of God

Dr. William Ames (1576-1633)

What is the working power of God all about?

The Efficiency of God by Dr. William Ames

1. The efficiency, or working power [efficientia], of God is that by which he works all things in all things. Ephesians 1:11, “He who works all things.” Romans 11:36, “From Him, through Him, and in Him are all things.”

5. The meaning of that efficiency which pertains to God’s essence is his omnipotence.

9. The very will of God, as the effecting principle, is the cause [ratio] of power. Romans 9:19, “Who has resisted His will?”

19. Absolute power is that by which God is able to do all things possible although they may never be done. Matthew 3:9, “God can, of these stones, raise up children of Abraham.”

20. The ordaining power of God is that by which he not only can do what he wills but actually does do what he wills. Psalm 115:3, “Our God is in the heavens, He does whatsoever He wills.” (cf. Psalm 135:6; Ephesians 3:11)

31. As for the boundary of the action, that aspect in which one person’s working or manner of working shines forth most clearly is chiefly attributed to that person. So in the usual appropriation, creation is attributed to the Father, redemption to the Son, and sanctification to the Spirit.