The Attributes of God Devotional - God is Independent
Our Triune God is independent. He does not depend on anyone or anything for his existence and continuance. You and I, as his creatures, depend on him for our existence and continuance, but he, as the uncreated Creator, is self-existent and self-sustaining.
God declares in Job 41:11, “Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.”
The Apostle Paul cites this verse in Romans 11:33-36 in his doxology:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
The Westminster Confession of Faith 2.2 states:
God has all life, glory, goodness, and blessedness in and of himself. He alone is all-sufficient, in and to himself, not standing in need of any creatures which he has made, nor deriving any glory from them, but rather manifesting his own glory in, by, to, and on them. He alone is the fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. He has absolute sovereignty over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatever he pleases. In his sight all things are open and manifest; his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent of his creatures; so that nothing to him is contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatever worship, service, or obedience he is pleased to require of them.
This doctrine might seem unsettling to some people. Don’t we want God to be dependent on us? Don’t we want God to need us around? That way he might be more likely to help us and sustain us.
Matthew Barrett, in his book, None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God, clearly explains why God’s independence is Good News:
If God were not life in and of himself, if he were not independent of us, then he would not be worthy, qualified, or able to save us, let alone worthy to receive worship and praise. If God were not a se [independent], then he would be weak and pathetic, for he would be needy and dependent too. He would need saving, just as we do. He would be a God like us but not a God other than us. He would be a God in our world but not a God distinct from our world. We might pray for this God, but definitely not to him.… It is precisely because God is free from creation that he is able to save lost sinners like you and me (Ephesians 1:7-8). If God were a needy God, he would need our help just as much as we need his. What good news it is, then, that the gospel depends on a God who does not depend on us.
To him be glory forever! Amen!
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