God's Attributes: Self Existence

February 19th, 2009

Now for something a little different. A look at God, but using some reference tools that most people probably don't have, but are free for the asking. I just wanted to get that out front so you know.

To  try to summarize the nature and person of God is a little tough. The entire Bible is his word. His name is on nearly every single page. To help me out, I went to a Bible scholar named Torrey to use his outline and references.

Torry wrote a topical index of the Bible nearly a hundred years ago. He didn't try to put spin on things. No comments or devotions, just the scripture reference, topic, and subtopic info. Before the days of databases and search engines, he read through the Bible with an eye to categorize what each passage said and tag it with a topic. His topical index is his lifes work. It can be obtained for free from various Internet resources. Contact me, or leave a comment and I can tell you how to get a copy.

I'll be looking at what Torrey has to say in his collection of passages on the Attributes of God. This may be a little rough for the typical devotion, so please bear with me. Rough, because I'm also using some original language bibles and transliterating English words. The grammar will seem a little rough at times. Why do it that way? It lets me see the unvarnished, raw words the original authors used. Please do compare the verses to your own favorite bible version. I don't claim to be a bible translator, so please consider all words in this series to be my own. I allow that an unintentional mistake could possibly be present. Note to All Readers: Consider your selves my editors. Tell me if you think I need to correct something. Be blunt. Anything from a typo, to a grammar issue, to a dispute over my transliteration of the scripture verses. I have tried to render an honest representatilon, word for word, but I know my abilities are far from scholarly.

The subtopic listed here is, "Self Existence. Life in Himself; underived;inexhaustible." To me most of these are self explanatory, but the use of "Underived" had me scratching my head. What the idea is, means that God is what he is. He was not created, but rather the creator. He isn't derived from a mama god, he exists, he always has been, and always will be. 

Torrey's Topics:
Concerning God, His Being, Attributes

I. Concerning God.
   A. His Being.
      1. Attributes
         a. Self Existence. Life in Himself; underived;

Ge 1:1, "In the beginning God."

At the beginning of time, the first thing at all, ever was God. Everything else was null and void, not even light. First was God. (elohyim = most high gods)

Ex            3:14, "I AM."

Litterally, the verse translates to:
Said God to Moses, "I am..."

God exists. Whether you see him or hear him or touch him, he exists anyway. Sensing him is only the point at which we discover him.

Ps 36:9;
For with you is the wellspring of life...

Search for the source of life. What caused it, where did it come from, when did it begin? Trace life back and you will find that the source is God. Unlike a watersource which only seems endless, he is the one source that is endless. With God is life. He is like a well with deep water that gushes it out. And from a source that is too deep to ever be found.

Isa 41:4;
Who practiced and made it?
Calling the generations from the head.
I, Yahweh, the first *and* the last.
I'm he.

The answer to the question is plain and simple. God only performed the actions. From the head of time, he created. From the head of time, he calls the generations, it's his plan. Nobody else. He alone is worthy of leading us. The above lines are a very literal rendition of the original Hebrew. The phrasing seems a little blocky, but read each phrase. Let it sink in. It is an emphatic message.

Joh 5:26;
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so he gave the son to have life in himself.

The same durable, perpetual life that God possesses, he chose to give to his son as well. Here, it is revealed that just as much as God is eternal, so is his son, existing before and after all else.

Ac            17:24,25;
God, that made the world and all in it.
That same quietly began as lord of heaven and earth.
His permanent dwelling is not a temple built by hands.
Niether adored under mens hands, as requiring a need for any. himself.
He gives to all life and breath and all things.

The lord who created, in all power and might, did it quietly and without fanfare from anyone. Men can build no adequate structure to contain him. We worship him, not because he has a need that he demands that we satisfy. Or even any need that we have the ability to satisfy. We worship because we are the ones that have the need for him to meet. The very life and breath we have comes from him, because he freely and lovingly gives it.

Ro 11:35,36
between who? The first gift to him. And it will be repaid to him.
for that original thing, and through him, and into him, are all things his. In the glory into the ages amen.

A very literal translation. To make a little more sense in English, it might read like this:
Who did it? Who gave anything to Godbefore he gave it to us? If there is such a person, claim your item as full repayment.
The real answer is that nobody has anything that God didn't already provide, or create or in some way provide long before we had possession of it. No matter how you look at it, any tangible item in this world as we know originated from him and came to us through him and this process is so timeless that it will continue into the ages. Glory, hallelujah and all those religious words like that.

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