Monday, January 19, 2009

Aseity: God’s Independence

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by Laura Springer, M.Div., Th.M.

Aseity –noun Metaphysics. existence originating from and having no source other than itself.
[aseity. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/aseity (accessed: January 02, 2009).]

God is self-existent; he depends on nothing and no one for his existence. This is what Jesus meant when he said that the Father has life in himself (John 5:26). God also made this claim when he told Moses his name: I AM WHO I AM (Exodus 3:14).

God's decisions and actions are his alone; no other being can influence or change them apart from God's own choice (Psalm 115:3). Nothing and no one can be compared to God, for he is the only self-existent one. There is none like him (Isaiah 40:13). In a speech given after God chastised his arrogance, Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed that God alone can do whatever he wills and that no one can question him (Daniel 4:35).

At the end of the theological section in his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul proclaims God's ways as wholly independent, basing this proclamation on the utter dependence on him of everything in existence (Romans 11:33-36). Paul spoke similarly in his speech to the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17:25). In his record of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Apostle John writes down the song of the elders, proclaiming God's independence and our utter dependence.

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created."
(Revelation 4:11 ESV)

Some will respond to God's aseity with rebellious posturing, while others will respond with humility and passionate worship.

How will you respond?