Aseity and Possibility

From this attribute of God, he has one of his names, “Shaddai”, which signifies, who is sufficient, or all-sufficient; of which see Chapter 3. Three things may be observed under this attribute.

1. That God is a self-sufficient Being, and needs not anything from without himself to support himself, or to make himself happy. He is the “first” of Beings, the first and the last; before him there was no God formed, nor will be any after him; from everlasting to everlasting he is God; and therefore his existence is not owing to any; nor has he received any assistance or support from any; being self-existent, he must be self-subsistent; as he existed of himself, and subsisted in and of himself, millions and millions of ages, even an eternity, inconceivable to us, alone, before any other existed, he must be self-sufficient, and as then, so to all eternity. He is an “infinite” and “all-comprehending” Being; to what is infinite nothing can be added: if anything was wanting in him he would be finite; if there was any excellency in another, which is not in him, he would not be infinite, and so not God: being infinite, he is incomprehensible by others; and comprehends in himself all excellencies, perfections, and happiness; and therefore self-sufficient; “Who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him again for of him, and through him, and for him are all things” (Rom. 11:35, 36). God is the “summum bonum”, the chief good, and has all that is good in him; he is good essentially, originally, and inderivatively; the source and fountain of all goodness; every good and perfect gift comes from him, (James 1:17) and therefore must have a fulness of goodness in him sufficient for himself, as well as for his creatures, and can receive nothing from them; otherwise he would not be the independent Being he is: all have their dependence on him, and owe their being, and the preservation of it, to him; but he depends on none; which he would, if he stood in need of, or received anything from them. He is possessed of all perfections, as has been abundantly showed in the preceding chapters, and is sufficiently happy in them; he is perfect and entire, wanting nothing, and therefore self-sufficient: he is the Fountain; creatures, and what they have, are streams; and it would be as absurd for him to need them, or anything from them, as for the fountain to need its streams. Besides, God in his divine persons, God Father, Son and Spirit, have enough within themselves, to give the utmost, yea, infinite complacency, delight, and satisfaction among themselves, and to one another, and had before any creatures were made, and would have had if none had been made, and so ever will; the Father delighted in the Son, “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person”; the Son in the Father, before whom he was always rejoicing, when as yet no creature existed; and both in the blessed Spirit, proceeding from them; and he in them, see (Prov. 8:30) for creation adds nothing at all to the perfection and happiness of God, nor makes the least alteration in him. It is indeed said, “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created”, (Rev. 4:11) but pleasure there does not signify delight, satisfaction, and happiness; as if they were made for the sake of that in God; to add unto it, and increase it; but the good will and pleasure of God; it is dia to yelhma sou, and should be rendered, “by thy will they are and were created: God has made all things for himself; that is, for his glory, his manifestative glory; but then this adds nothing to his essential glory and happiness; the heavens, and so the other parts of the creation, declare his glory; but to whom? not to himself, he needs no such declaration; he knows perfectly his own glory, which is always invariably the same; but to angels and men, that they may contemplate it, and receive benefit by it. The invisible perfections of God, his eternal power and Godhead, are seen and understood by the things that are made; but not by God himself, who needs no such glass to view them in; but by men; and the design thereof is, to make some better and happier, and others inexcusable. All creatures stand in need of God to supply them and support them; they consist in him, are upheld by the word of his power, live, and move, and have their beings in him; but he stands in need of none of them, being self-sufficient.[1]

When considering possibility, one needs to consider what possibility is. In the case of the nature of God, all manners of possibility are in view simultaneously. Also in the case of God, His aseity demands that we treat statements on possibility with regards to Him in terms of His self-sufficiency. God is necessary; He exists of Himself. it is definitionally impossible that God be non-existent, or exist as other than He is. It is, therefore, logically impossible that God, a se, be other than what He is. God exists self-sufficiently; there is no question as to whether God could be other, as He is who and what He is, of Himself. Logically, it is impossible, given God’s self-existence and self-sufficiency, that He be other than He is. Epistemically, we know it is solely possible for God to be as He has revealed Himself to be. God’s specific and general revelation to and in us is unified, and necessarily true with regard to Himself. It cannot be considered possible that God be other than He has revealed Himself to be; our knowledge of God comes from the words of God Himself to us, so we cannot truly know God except as He has revealed Himself.

So, can the Fristianity objection assert that it is “logically possible” that God be other than He is, and that this “other” can account for all things “in the same way” as Christianity? Not in the least. First, this objection advances a god not revealed, but supposedly “like” God – what does Isa 46:9 say? A God comparable to Himself; What does Isa 46:5 say? Again, and again, and again God says “to whom will you compare me?”

Let the God of Fristianity answer this challenge: “Present your case,” the LORD says. “Bring forward your strong arguments,” The King of Jacob says. Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together.” That is the Biblical test of a claimant for the throne. So, trot ’em folks folks, and let them answer.

A god not known by God of Scripture? “Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” If the god of Fristianity is claimed to be “just like” the God of Scripture – let him prove it. I’ll be here. We’re waiting to hear how the God of Scripture doesn’t know the god of Fristianity, says there can be no other God like Himself; but yet the god of Fristianity is logically possible.

  1. [1]Gill, Body of Doctrinal Divinity, Book 1, Ch. 24

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