God's Attritbute of Independence

In our Theological Foundations 101 class, we spend time studying the attributes of God and always have a wonderful time in absolute amazement of who our God is. The first attribute we usually discuss (and one of the most intriguing to students) is an "incommunicable attribute" (those that are not shared with mankind) called God's independence. This doctrine teaches that God is a self-sufficient, self-existing, Being who does not need anything from the rest of creation. While all of creation depends on God for its very existence and purpose, God depends on no one and nothing except Himself. God is! God reveals Himself to Moses as "I Am who I Am" (Ex 3:14). This doctrine is sometimes called the aseity of God or His self-existence. Paul preached of this attribute of God to the pagans on Mars Hill saying God "is not served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all men life and breath and everything" (Acts 17:24-25). 

Where this discussion gets interesting is in relation to why God created the world in the first place if He didn't need anything from us. The idea is often expressed today that God created the world and mankind because He was lonely and needed fellowship with other people. So He created mankind so that He has someone to express His great love to and someone to love Him back. The problem is, God hasn't been alone for all eternity. He has always self-existed as a Triune Being, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect, satisfying, unbroken fellowship forever. Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17:24 saying "my glory which you have given me in Your love for Me before the foundation of the world." There has always been perfect love and communication between the Father and Son from before creation. 

And if God really was lonely and for some reason He was unsatisfied with the fellowship of the Son and Spirit, do we really think that we are so special that we could fill up what God was lacking? We can't even satisfy ourselves, let alone the One is infinite and incomprehensible. 

This realization, that God is absolutely independent and doesn't need us for anything, sometimes causes the pendulum to swing too far as folks start to wonder, "Well then what is the point of any of this? Is not our existence meaningless if God has no need for us?" But here is the amazing reality, while God does not need us, He desires us and has chosen to make us in such a way that we can genuinely bring Him joy and glory. God says, "Everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made" (Is 43:7). God chooses to delight in us and to allow us to bring joy to His heart (Is 62:5; Zeph 3:17-18). So when someone wonders, "how does my life have any significance if God doesn't need me?", we must remember that God choosing us to be significant to Him is the most ultimate significance one can possibly have. 

Rejoice today in the God who is absolutely independent and has chosen to make us, not out of lack in Himself, but out of the overflow of His superabundance that He might share His glory and love with all of creation. 

In Christ,

Pastor Bryan