A much neglected teaching

‘Aseity.’ Now there’s a word you don’t hear every day of the week.

In fact, I’d bet most of you have never heard the word at all, let alone recently. And I suspect you would be in the vast majority of Christians if you don’t know the word or what it means.

And I also suspect that you’d be in the vast majority if you don’t care what it means either. Let’s face it, a word that rare and unused can’t be very important, can it?

No prizes for guessing my answer to that question. But first, let’s define what it means.

Aseity [uh-see-i-tee] means that a being “has its existence originating from and having no source other than itself.”

And Mike was adamant when he shared this with us yesterday that this is one of the attributes of the God of the Bible, right up there with omnipotence, eternity, love, holiness, etc.

While you may not be familiar with the word ‘Aseity,’ I’m sure you’ll recognise the concept that God exists in and of Himself, and is not dependent on any other being or any other thing for His existence.

But it means more than that. It also means that God has no needs. There is nothing God requires to make Him happy, or to complete Himself. He is perfectly happy, complete and fulfilled in Himself – within the Trinity – and requires nothing external to Himself to meet that need.

If this is true, it also means that God doesn’t need mankind – God doesn’t need us. We sometimes talk about ‘a God-shaped hole in all of us’ that is a cause for the deep spiritual longing that seems to be within us.

But God doesn’t have a corresponding ‘man-shaped hole’ in Him that needs to be filled. If that were true – if God had anything He needed – then He wouldn’t be God, and whatever He needed would be God instead.

This may sounds like a bit depressing to you though. “If God doesn’t need me, then why would He create me in the first place? If He doesn’t need me, then that must mean I’m worthless.”

God creates, not out of need, but out of love, and joy, and abundance. I liken it to my own little act of creating – homebrewing. I brew a batch of beer because I get joy out of brewing. And I love to share it with others, not because I need to, but because I want to. I have more than I need, and it is my delight and pleasure to share it with others.

But that doesn’t mean the beer is worthless, nor the people I share it with. Rather, I share it because the beer itself has value, and the person I share it with is valuable to me.

So with God. Out of His abundance He created us. And it is His delight (not His need) to share His abundance of love, of mercy, of joy, with His creation.

This, friends, is good news. This is the gospel. God did not need to create us, but He did so in the full knowledge that He would then have to come in the flesh Himself to live as one of us – and to die for us – to reconcile us back to Himself.

That God would choose to lay down His own life on behalf of a humanity that He didn’t need to create should cause our jaws to hit the floor in amazement.

It should cause us to be in awe of this loving and merciful God who does these things because He delights  to, not because He is trying to fill an empty hole in Himself.

It should cause us to worship. For the aseity of God truly is a wonderful, live-giving doctrine.

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