Aseity of God Means He Exists but Was Not Created.
Merriam-Webster defines “aseity” as the “quality or state of being self-derived or self-originated, specifically the absolute self-sufficiency, independence, and autonomy of God.” The word “aseity” has been used since the late 17th century to mean “a being by itself, independent existence" according to etymonline.com. The “Medieval Latin aseitas” means “state of being by itself." How can God exist without having been created?
One can approach the question either by trusting the Scripture or by pursuing a “process of logical reasoning,” as the Christian Courier said.
Who Created God? Scriptural Evidence:
Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
In other words, God has always existed. God “is not created. He is eternal. […] He could not do anything if He did not exist. Therefore, it is not possible for God to create Himself,” as Christian Apologetics & research Ministry (CARM) stated.
Blue Letter Bible’s definition of God’s eternality serves us well: “There was never a time when He came into existence, there will never be a time when He goes out of existence. Because He created time, He is not limited by it.”
Who Created God? Logical Reasoning:
Scriptural evidence might sound improbable, even impossible, but the alternative is mind-boggling. “If there ever was a time when nothing at all existed, then there would be absolutely nothing today,” as the Christian Courier stated. This makes sense, but it begs the question “what is the ‘something’ that has been in existence always?” they said.
Scientists arguing as to what must have existed prior to the formation of the earth have already stated matter or physical things (cells for example) were created at some point; matter did not always exist. Therefore, whatever existed prior to the creation of the earth was not material and was therefore non-material; that is spirit, the Christian Courier explained. If spirit, why not God?
God Is Eternal.
The Lord is existence in and of itself, from which all things are created. The word “Yahweh,” which occurs nearly 7,000 times in the Bible is thought to come from “haya” meaning “to be,” or “the eternal One,” according to the Christian Courier.
This applies to Jesus as part of the Trinity: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8). In Genesis 1:2, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters,” so the Spirit, as part of the Trinity, is also eternal.
“If God is self-existent and depends on nothing else for His being, then He is necessarily without cause and eternal” according to CARM. Since God always was, that means no other force designed a purpose for Him. Does that meanour lives are without purpose?
God says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please’” (Isaiah 46:10). This statement from the Father tells us:
1. God does have a purpose. It will not be overturned but will “stand.”
2. Stand-up to what? Opposition and rebellion will rise up against God, but to no avail. "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35).
3. “If God is independent and self-sufficient, then it is not possible for us to force God to do what we want,” CARM stated. God will not be manipulated or controlled: not by us; not by others; and not by Satan. “God’s faithfulness is based on the firm value of his name, not the fickle measure of our obedience,” according to Desiring God.
4. Not only are we powerless to manipulate God to do our will, but also unable to change God’s good plans for us; “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11). This is blessed assurance.
5. God communicates His intentions with us. There are no constraints upon Him, including how He is able to and chooses to speak with us (through the Word, prophets, prayer, and more). We can be grateful for the obedience of ancient saints such as Isaiah, and that God’s words to him were faithfully recorded for our comfort and understanding.
6. God knows the beginning, the end, and every part of the story – His story. He has full knowledge of all that will unfold and has already reassured us, in His Word, of the glorious future for those who are in Him.
Aseity of God Means He Is Self-Sufficient.
No choice of ours will take The Lord by surprise; He is never scrambling to adjust His plans according to our mistakes. He foresaw those too. An unchanging Lord is reliable. His character is set and sure. He will not sway with weak waves of cultural change and the latest value adjustments legitimized by the law. Satan cannot stir Him. When we come to rest with the Father and we feel ourselves being pulled out to sea by the tide, our anchor will hold fast against the rock.
Knowing that God possesses absolute autonomy and self-sufficiency should provide comfort. In this state of total independence, He did not need people; the Trinity is already perfect and whole. The Father created us to glorify and praise His name anyway; to live in wonder and awe at His feet, marveling at the goodness of a master who, though satisfied with His triune relationship, created children who would always rely on His self-sufficiency. When the world at large or our individual lives seem to be under threat of destruction, believers can remember that God is in control of the past, present, and future but nothing is in control of Him.
Candice Lucey lives with her husband and daughters in (mostly) tranquil Salmon Arm, BC, Canada. Here, she enjoys digging into God’s word when not working or taking part in ministry activities. Her prose and poetry has previously appeared in such publications as Purpose and Creation Illustrated, and her short plays were performed at Christmas by Sunday School students for several years. Catch up with Candice’s scriptural studies at her blog Wordwell.ca.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Greg Rakozy