“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” Acts 17:24-25
It’s true that man can’t grasp what it is to be truly and completely independent. We can’t fully grasp what it is to be self-sufficient. We don’t know what it’s like to be self-existent. For we are creatures created by God. We have always existed in a dependent, finite way. This is part of the Creator creature distinction. God is eternal, self-sufficient, independent, and self-existent. We are not. We refer to God’s self-existence as His “aseity”.
The term aseity comes from the Latin phrase “a se”, meaning “from or by Himself.” In Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology (page 58), Berkhof defines God’s aseity as, “He has the ground of His existence in Himself.” Herman Bavinck, in his book The Doctrine of God (page 144), explains that God “is whatever He is by His own self or of His own self.” God isn’t dependent on anything outside Himself. God doesn’t have “holes”, limitations, or deficiencies that He needs us or anything else to fill. He is completely and perfectly sufficient within Himself for all that He is and does.
This is what Paul preached to the men of Athens at the Areopagus in Acts 17. Paul proclaimed God is the “Lord of heaven and earth”. He is the rightful owner of and possessor of all His creation. Paul said He doesn’t dwell in temples made by hands. He isn’t worshiped with men’s hands “as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” Beloved, God doesn’t call us to worship Him because He is lacking or in need of something. God doesn’t need anything. We have been made by Him and for Him. God calls His people to worship Him and it is our duty and privilege to do so. How wonderful it is to consider this! Further, the great God, who is a se, gives us life and breath. He sustains us and causes us to consist every second of every day.
What are some other truths the Bible teaches us about our self-existent and independent God?
1) God is I AM WHO I AM (Exodus 3:14)
2) God declares that He has life in Himself (John 5:26)
3) He is independent of all things and all things exist only through Him (Psalm 94:8, Isaiah 40:18-26, Colossians 1:17)
4) God is independent in His thought (Romans 11:33-34)
5) He is independent in His will (Daniel 4:35, Romans 9:19, Ephesians 1:5, Revelation 4:11)
6) God is independent in His power (Psalm 115:3)
7) He is independent in His counsel (Psalm 33:11)
Wonderful things to study and meditate on! I pray you and your family have a great day and rest of your week.