Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion — God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written specifically to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


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God's Self-Existence


There is inexhaustible meaning wrapped up in that short statement from God to Moses. One of the things it points to is God’s independence or self-existence or asceity. He is in a constant state of being and has no beginning or end. If God has no beginning or end, then He cannot be dependent on anything outside of Himself for His existence. He must be the one uncaused cause.

Our God “has life in Himself” (John 5:26), and this “from-Himself-ness” extends to all that He is. No one can be God’s counselor (Romans 8:34), because He is independent as to His thinking. He is independent, as well, in what He wills, working “all things after the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:11). He also has the power within Himself to work his independent will, doing whatever pleases Him (Psalm 115:3).

That God is self-existent also means that nothing can add anything to Him. Creation adds nothing to God. His glory is revealed in creation, but it does not add to His glory. God has need of nothing from anything outside of Himself, for He is not 

served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all life and breath and all things… (Acts 17:25)

This verse from Acts points to the uniqueness of God’s self-existence. He needs nothing from us, but exists wholly of Himself. We, however, depend on Him for everything. Everything we have and our life itself we derive from God. It is in Him that “we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)We are completely dependent, completely derivative; we haven’t a smidgeon of self-existence. He is completely independent and the only underived being—the One who exists from Himself, the “I AM THAT I AM.”

How ought we respond to our self-existent God? First of all, we should be awed at His absolutely unique being. He is in a class by himself. How can we feel anything but humility before the self-existent One—the great “I AM”? Furthermore, we must acknowledge our complete dependence on Him and respond with thankfulness to Him for our lives and everything that we have. And we can have complete confidence in the stability of our God and be sure that His promises to us will be kept, for He is not depending on anything outside Himself to fulfill His word.

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