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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Independency of God

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is his existence in and of himself, without depending on any other being. "His being and perfections," as Dr. Ridgey observes (Body of Divinity, p. 7), "are underived, and not communicated to him, as all finite perfections are by him to the creature. This attribute of independency belongs to all his perfections.

1. He is independent as to his knowledge. He doth not receive ideas from any object out of himself, as intelligent creatures do. This is elegantly described by the prophet, Isaiah 40:13-14.

2. He is independent in power. As he receives strength from no one, so he doth not act dependently on the will of the creature (Job 36:23);

3. He is independent as to his holiness, being sin necessarily, and not barely depending on some reasons out of himself inducing him thereto; for it is essential to the divine nature to be infinitely opposite to sin, and therefore to be independently holy. 4. He is independent as to his bounty and goodness.

He communicates blessings not by constraint, but according to his sovereign will. Thus he gave being to the world, and all things therein, which was the first instance of bounty and goodness; and this not by restraint, but by his free will: for his pleasure they are and were created.' In like manner, whatever instances of mercy he extends to miserable creatures, he acts independently and not by force. He shows mercy, because it is his pleasure to do so (Romans 9:18). That God is independent, let it be further considered,

1. That all things depend on his power which brought them into and preserves them in being. If, therefore, all things depend on God, then it would be absurd to say that God depends on anything, for this would be to suppose the cause and effect to be mutually dependent on and derived from each other, which involves a contradiction.

2. If God be infinitely above the highest creatures, he cannot depend on any of them, for dependence argues inferiority (Isaiah 40:15; Isaiah 40:17).

3. If God depend on any creature, he does not exist necessarily; and if so, then he might not have been; for the, same will by which he is supposed to exist might have determined that he should not have existed, which is altogether inconsistent with the idea of a God.

From God's being independent, we infer,

1. That we ought to conclude that the creature cannot lay any obligation on him, or do anything that may tend to make him more happy than he is in himself (Romans 11:35; Job 22:2-3).

2. If independency be a divine perfection, then let it not in any instance, or by any consequence, be attributed to the creature: let us conclude that all our springs are in him, and that all we enjoy and hope for is from him, who is the author and finisher of our faith, and the fountain of all our blessedness." (See GOD).

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Independency of God'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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