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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Theological Term of the Week

Moving on to some terms related to the nature of God.

God’s perfection whereby he is self-sufficient, self-existent and independent, existing “from himself”; his possession of life in himself so that he needs nothing from anything outside of himself, but rather is the source and sustenance of everything that exists.

  • From scripture:
    For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (John 5:26 ESV)
    Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world,from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2 ESV)
    The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:24-25 ESV)
  • From The Second Helvetic Confession, Chapter 3:
    GOD IS ONE. We believe and teach that God is one in essence or nature, subsisting in himself, all sufficient in himself…
  • From The Independence or Self-Existence of God by Rev. D. H. Kuiper

    That God has life in Himself as the independent God, that He has given life to Christ that He mightbe the life source of His people, has several humbling implications of the believer. First, what a great,good, and wonderful God our God is! He had need of nothing, nothing can ever be added unto Him, Helives a perfect life within Himself … how glorious God is! And the other side of it is, how small,insignificant, dependent we are! God doesn’t need us, but we need Him! God gives and never receives; wereceive and never really give.

    Secondly, it becomes us, then to confess this dependence upon God, to live consciously out of Him. You can give yourself over, body and soul, to such a God without any reason to fear. Blessed is theman who looks away from himself, from governments and all human institutions, and looks to God thefount of every blessing.

    And finally, that God is independent and self-existent is the foundation of all worship of God! Letus never think that God is altogether such an one as we, but rather let us always acknowledge Him as thehigh and lofty One Who is excellent in praises and Marvelous in Being. Having life in Himself, He is thesource of our life in Christ! Let us worship at his footstool!

Learn more:

  1. J. I. Packer: Self-Existence: God Has Always Been
  2. Blue Letter Bible: Self-Existence
  3. Mercy Drops Online Bible Classes: Aseity of God—Self Existence
  4. John Frame, Divine Aseity and ApologeticsDivine Aseity and Apologetics
  5. A. W. Tozer: The Self-Existence of God
  6. S. Lewis Johnson: The Attributes of God, Part II:  Where Did God Come From? (mp3 and transcript)
  7. D. A. Carson: The Aseity of God (YouTube video)
  8. From my attributes of God posts: God’s Self-Existence

Related terms:

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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Reader Comments (3)

Funny you should post this today. Last night I was thinking about the aseity of God. I'm reading Sproul's new book, The Consequence of Ideas, and he was describing Aristotle's 'unmoved mover.' Obviously, Aristotle didn't get it quite right, but his 'unmoved mover' reminded me of the aseity of God, even though his god wasn't personal or engaged in the world.

July 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkim from hiraeth

Interesting. I don't recall seeing or hearing the word before and had to look it up at to hear how it is pronounced; however, I certainly understand and embrace its meaning and have for years.

My daughter and I went through the Consequence of Ideas CD series her senior year. It is excellent.

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecky, slave of Christ

It's a good word to learn...and one I should learn to spell.

August 17, 2010 | Registered Commenterrebecca

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