t{squared}: Incommunicable Attributes of God: Independence

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God’s Independance

Since it’s been a few weeks, you may wish to go back and refresh yourself on the definitions of communicable and incommunicable attributes of God. Briefly, communicable attributes are those that attributes of God shares with us in some sense. Incommunicable attributes are those that belong solely to God and are not shared with us.

independenceMy son is beginning the “independent” stage that most toddlers go through. He wants to feed himself even though more food ends up on him, the floor, and the highchair than in his belly. He wants to put his boots on himself, even though he puts them on backwards. He wants to brush his own teeth even though I know ick still remains when he “finishes”.

While my son is trying to exert his independence on the world around him, he is still dependent in each of these actions. After all, he depends on me to prepare his meals, buy his shoes, and provide a toothbrush and toothpaste. We are much the same. We “think” we are independent–working to pay our own bills, providing homes for our families, and food for our tables. In actuality we are totally dependent on the Lord providing us with the skills to work, the job to employ us, and the food to purchase to put on our tables.

God, however, is completely independent. Grudem defines God’s independence as follows: “God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy” (160).

5 Points about God’s Independence:

1.  God does not require anything from any part of creation to bring about or sustain His existence or for any other reason (Acts 17:24-25). We often get caught up in this mindset that God needs us to follow His plan to accomplish His will on earth. No, he doesn’t. He is sovereign and able to accomplish anything He desires with or without you (and me!).

2. Humanity does not offer anything to God which did not first come from God Himself (Ps. 50:10-12). This is the undergirding principle behind New Life Steward–recognizing that everything I have–right down to the toilet paper in my bathroom–is from God Himself. My desire is to use all that He has given me to bring Him glory–the reason He created in the first place.

3. The Trinity exists in “perfect love and fellowship and communication for all eternity” (161; John 17:5). This means that God did not create us because He was lonely. This is a lie that I believe. I believed that I was created because God needed relationship. God does not need our companionship, but YES He absolutely desires it.

4. God has always existed and will always exist. He was never created or came into being. Psalm 90:2 reads “…from everlasting to everlasting you are God”.

5. God’s being is unlike anything we can fathom. Grudem writes, “It is not just that God does not need the creation for anything; God could not need the creation for anything…God’s being is qualitatively different” (162).

Application

At this point, you may be wondering “Well, what is the point of me? Why did God even bother with creating us if He has absolutely no need for us?

Let’s not forget the last half of Grudem’s definition of God’s independence: “…yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy” (160-1).

Stop and soak that in for a moment. YOU have the ability to glorify God (Isa. 43:7) and bring Him JOY (Zeph. 3:17-18)!
God did not have to create us, and yet He chose to. <–Click to Tweet!

Not only did he create us, but he also chose to find joy in us. He bestows value on us in that choice to create and rejoice in us.

Grudem says it well, “This is the basis for personal significance in the lives of all God’s people: to be significant to God is to be significant in the most ultimate sense.

Do you struggle with your self worth? Rest in knowing that you have extreme value in God’s sight.

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If you are new to t{squared}, I am using Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine to guide this study! The numbers you see in parenthesis refer to page numbers in this text.

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Comments

  1. God truly is unfathomable… And we wouldn’t want Him to be any other way! Thanks for linking up with Thrive @ Home, friend.

  2. These are the qualities of God that are so weighty and freeing at the same time. I can glorify Him and that is an amazing priviledge, but at the same time it does not diminish God’s glory if I don’t. It’s the dichotomy of wanting to experience every opportunity without the bondage of obligation, yet at the core of our existence is this obligation. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the two opposing perspectives that are in total agreement. It’s hard to even express the need and needlessness of doing the same thing. The heart of it is motivation, I think. God is still God either way, but my experience is drastically altered. (I hope at least some of this made sense)

    • That makes absolute perfect sense. I think you hit it on the head when you said that it is OUR existence that is drastically altered in our choice to glorify Him or not.

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