Where God’s Aseity Meets My Legalism

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  • October 06, 2017

I have recently been reflecting on the aseity of God. The aseity of God refers to His property of being self-existent, and that He is unreliant on anything or anyone else for His own existence. This is in contrast to the rest of creation, which is reliant on God for its existence. Acts 17:28  reflects this truth: “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” We are reliant on God in order to keep being, the reverse of this cannot be said of God. To say it another way, there is nothing outside of God that He relies on for his existence.

These reflections help me in my legalism. Legalism can take many shapes in a Christian’s life but for me, it primarily shows itself when I try to find my value in how well I perform/conform to God’s law or my own standards of goodness. The problem with this, of course, is that I can’t conform to God’s law, I can’t even keep up with my own standards! This vice of legalism robs me of my joy and leaves me feeling ashamed.

Here then is where God’s aseity can help. My legalism is rooted in a desire to perform, and to be self reliant. Knowing of God’s aseity, I can no longer cling to any sense of self-reliance. Only God has aseity, the idea of me having it is laughable. I can’t even rely on myself to perform, let alone continue existing, but that is actually a beautiful thing. In the same way that I can and do rely on God to “live and move and have my being,” I get to rely on God’s performance instead of my own. The gospel tells me that Christ has taken my sin and gives me His righteousness. While I still must battle my sin, and strive to be holy, I get to remember that ultimately I rely on God. The very same self-sufficient, self-reliant God has created me to  rely on Him for life, breath and godliness, and to find my sufficiency, value, worth and love in Him. I hope this is as encouraging to you as it is to me.

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About Jimmy Hettinger

Jimmy is a pediatric critical care nurse by trade, and a member of Seven Mile Road by providence where he serves as regular blog contributor and bassist on the music worship team.

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