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Who is God? The Self-Existing One

February 2, 2015

Grace to you! For the next several weeks we are going to take a brief survey of what God is like. A wrong view of God is called idolatry, no matter how sincere we may be in our thoughts about Him. So it’s very important that we understand God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. This week we are going to look at God’s self-existence.

What does self-existence mean? It means that God has no beginning and no end to His existence. In short, there never was a time, if we can use the word ‘time’, when God was not already there. God needs no food, water, or anything else to keep Him going. The one true living God is completely self sustaining. You and I daily need food, water, oxygen, and all types of provisions to stay alive. But not God. He is in need of nothing.

When God confronted Moses at the burning bush, God revealed His name to Moses as ‘I Am that I Am.’ It sounds a little off when you ask someone their name and their response is ‘I Am that I Am.’ (Exodus 3:14) What in the world does that mean? God was revealing Himself: He was the One who has always existed. God always ‘is’. Technically, it’s more accurate to say ‘God is’ rather than God ‘exists’. Why? Because the TECHNICAL definition of ‘exists’ means to ‘come out of’. For example, the word ‘exit’ means ‘a place to go out of’. God, however, never ‘came out of’ anything. He simply and always has been ‘there’. He ‘is’. In our everyday use of saying ‘God exists’ though we understand to mean that God really is there and has always been there. Scripture points us in this direction also: the person “who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Heb 11:6)

When Jesus replied to the religious leaders question on what authority Jesus was doing the things He was doing, He said, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” The Jewish leaders were saying their ancestor Abraham was greater than Jesus. The Lord Jesus replies, ‘No, because before Abraham existed, I always was there as the self-existent God.’ The Jewish leaders understood Jesus’ claim to be the very God who spoke to Moses at the burning bush. (Exodus 3:14) The sought to stone Him for His supposed blasphemy: a mere man they thought claiming to be God.

But this is the wonder of the gospel message. God the Son took on human flesh, He lived in obedience to the law, died in the place of sinners, and offers His atoning work to all who would trust in Him for salvation. The self-existing God took on human nature with its inherent limitations, facing a broken and sin cursed world, and felt the agonies of death. Why? So that you and I when we trust in Him can have eternal life from the self-existing God and Savior!

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