God’s Love and His Self-Sufficiency

Theologians rightly speak of the self-sufficiency of God (the doctrine is formally called the Aseity of God). They rightly speak of this attribute because Scripture teaches it. God has no need outside of Himself and He is in no way deficient. Paul told the crowd at Athens:

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)

Garry Williams in his book, His Love Endures Forever, has a chapter reflecting on God’s love in light of His self-sufficiency. Speaking of God’s love for us, he wrote:

God does not look for what he lacks in his beloved, because he lacks nothing…He creates out of the superabundance of his own being, not out of any lack. (pg. 102)

He later said:

God does not need us, but he does love us with the greatest love. (pg. 107)

He then concludes with why this is so encouraging:

The fact that God does not need us actually makes his love for us all the more extraordinary…If God were an idol who needed us to bring him food, then we might easily think that his love for us is just a quip pro quo relationship. We scratch his back so he scratches ours. The Bible magnifies the wonder of God’s love by testifying to his self-sufficiency. For no gain or benefit, he has poured out his love upon us. (pg. 107, emphasis mine)

Williams ends every chapter with a prayer. Here is a portion of his prayer from this chapter:

Heavenly Father, Forgive me for the times when I have thought I could place you in my debt because of what I give you. Forgive me for the times when I have thought myself necessary to the work of your kingdom. Grant me right humility and an awareness that I add nothing to your life.

I marvel that you love your people without needing us. Fill me with delight as I think of how you love me without any necessity. I praise you for your uncaused, self-caused love. In Christ’s name. Amen. (pgs. 107-8)

Let us join in that prayer.

About Pastor Matt

Matt Baker is the Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church.
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