JTTH: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Part Five)

That word above all earthly powers

No thanks to them abideth

The Spirit and the gifts are ours

Through Him who with us sideth

Let goods and kindred go

This mortal life also

The body they may kill

God’s truth abideth still

His kingdom is forever!

Scripture makes it clear in many places that God is not only above all earthly or heavenly creatures, but that He reigns completely and wholly independent of them. There is no earthly kingdom which gives God authority, nor is there any heavenly creature who somehow exalts Him to be higher than He has been for all eternity.

“To whom would you liken Me
And make Me equal and compare Me,
That we would be alike?

Those who lavish gold from the purse
And weigh silver on the scale
Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
They bow down, indeed they worship it.

They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it;
They set it in its place and it stands there.
It does not move from its place.
Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer;
It cannot deliver him from his distress.

Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.

Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,

Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.

Isaiah 46:5-11

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:33-36

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 

Exodus 3:14

Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Psalm 90:2

This doctrine of God’s independence is called the doctrine of aseity. Regarding this attribute of God, John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue write in their book Biblical Doctrine:

God is independent of all things. He is perfectly self-sufficient, not depending on anything outside of [H]imself for anything, and is therefore the eternal, foundation being, the source of life and sustenance for all other beings.[1]

Another way to articulate this doctrine is to say that “The aseity of God is His attribute of independent self-existence. God is the uncaused Cause, the uncreated Creator. He is the source of all things, the One who originated everything and who sustains everything that exists.”[2]

In Colossians, it is said of Christ that

by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 

Colossians 1:16-18

By Christ all things were created, and in Him everything in the universe holds together. There is nothing outside of Him that did not have its origin in Him, and nothing, from the smallest insect to the strongest angel, can even breathe apart from His decrees.

This God who is all-powerful, who controls all things and holds all things together, is the God we worship and serve. When we keep this in view, an unyielding devotion to Him and His Word is the only possible outcome. For if God is independent of everything and everyone, He needs no one. He is above all. He is infinitely greater than every created thing, no matter how impressive or mighty. There is nothing but victory to look forward to “through Him who with us sideth.” Why would we not choose to go through all earthly difficulties for our allegiance to Him, if we know that in the end we will be vindicated by our conquering King? (Rev. 19:11-16) God, in His sovereignty and aseity, promises ultimate victory, and He will accomplish what He ordained before the foundations of the world! This should be our battle cry as we charge forward on the path, through all the dangers and sufferings that await, for we know that our Savior’s triumph is secure!

Let goods and kindred go

This mortal life also

The body they may kill

God’s truth abideth still

His kingdom is forever!

SDG <><

[1] MacArthur and Mayhue, Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Crossway), pg. 168

[2] https://www.gotquestions.org/aseity-of-God.html

Top Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bottom Photo by Marco Milanesi on Pexels.com

This is the fifteenth installment in the Journey Through the Hymns series. A new installment will be posted each Wednesday until the series’ completion.

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