The Glory of God’s Independence

Note the following:

1) God owns all things:

Gen. 14:19 (and 14:22), God possesses heaven and earth. Psalm 24:1, ‘The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.’ Psalm 50:10-12, ‘Every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a 1000 hills, I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the filed is mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness is Mine.’ Compared to God – Bill Gates, Donald Trump, and the other billionaires on the planet are barely ants. God owns all things. ‘O’ the depths of the riches…’ says Paul in Romans 11:33.

2) When we give something to God, we only give Him what He has first given to us:

Romans 11:36, ‘For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.’ We never give to God something that is new to Him. When it says all things are ‘from Him’ it implies God is the source of all things. When it says all things are ‘through Him’ it implies God is the means of all things. When it says all things are ‘to Him’ it implies God is the goal of all things. Therefore, everything comes from God, so what we give to Him has come from Him.

3) When we give something back to God, He’s not obligated to compensate us, for God owes nothing to any creature:

Job 41:11, ‘Who has first given to Me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.’ Paul quotes this later in Romans 11:35, ‘Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?’ Before ever making the world God was fully independent, fully self-sufficient in Himself. God loved His Trinitarian glory and fullness so much that He created a world to communicate that fullness outside of Himself. Thus, He has never been, is not now, and will never be under obligation to the creatures He made. Knowing this makes us understand that the covenants God made with man were from pure grace. God is not obligated to us all, yet in His holy grace He has brought Himself under promises in His covenants with us. But these are voluntary covenants on God’s part, self-imposed, not forced on Him by us.

4) God has no needs:

God gives to us not so we will help Him fill a lack in Himself, but because He is gracious. If He were dependent on us, we must conclude that God owes His very existence or well-being to us. This truth has a massive effect on our worship. Notice Psalm 50:8-15 (read). So Biblical worship isn’t intended to meet the needs of God. The purpose of animal sacrifice in the OT was not to satisfy God’s hunger but to symbolically atone for sin. The essence of worship (seen in v14-15) is that God met our needs when He didn’t have to. In fact, God mocks worship where a so-called deity (idol) is dependent on man and where man meets the needs of the so-called god (see Isaiah 44:15-17). This means a being who is worshiped must be worthy of worship.

In Acts 17:24-30 Paul describes how the independence of God informs our worship (read text). Notice that God is not served (worshiped) by man’s hand ‘as though He needed anything.’ God is truly worshiped by man, but that worship is out of thankfulness and not to supply God with something He needs. God, Paul says, Has marked out the lives and dwellings of all men, and it is in Him that we live, move, and have our being. We are dependent on Him, and He is gloriously independent.

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