Since HIs God, HISimple, Immutable, and Eternal

Considering that God is both a se infinite, he is, therefore, simple by virtue of his complete, absolute, and infinite being. God is not composed or made of parts because he is absolute in essence, and, therefore, the supreme essence. For if God were to be a se without being infinite, then he could be susceptible to change, thus meaning that he would be made of parts that could change, add, or subtract from in his nature. If God were to be infinite and not a se, then he could not existence as one in the same since his essence would have to extend to his creation for perfection, thus we have no God, since God cannot live or find complete sustainment in his own creation, for creation would not exist in the first place. “For whatever is made up of parts is not absolutely one, but in a sense many and other than itself…” [1] Since he is God, the source of life itself, and infinite in essence, power, and authority, he is simple and unchangeable change.

God is immutable (unchangeable) because he is Yahweh and he never changes in any dimension or respect. For God to change, he would need, or desire, something which he did not need, or desire, before, and thus, making him subject to time as well, much less be dependent upon something of the created order. He is whole and complete in every way: emotionally, spiritually, even in companionship in the Trinity eternally; he is perfect in essence. “But as God is infinite in essence, infinitely good, wise, holy; so, it is a perfection necessary to his nature, that he should be immutably all this; all excellency, goodness, wisdom, immutably all that he is; without this he would be an imperfect being.” [2] Without his immutability, he would not be God, and, therefore, he would not be a se or infinite.

Since God is self-existing in and of himself infinitely, he must, therefore, necessarily be eternal in every way. God’s eternity is logically true because of God’s aseity and infinitude; and sits between both as well as equal and the same in his nature. For if God were not infinite but a se he would not exist in eternity but in a void; and if he were infinite but not a se then his eternal state would not exist since he could not exist without his aseity, in and of himself, as we have already established.

Therefore, God has always existed. “His existence has always rendered his non-existence impossible, because it is impossible for anything to be, and not to be, at the same time.” [3] Moreover, we define God’s eternality as “existence without beginning, without end, and without succession.” [4] God is perpetually now; i.e, eternally present. All that God is, in relation to eternity, derives from his aseity and infinitude. He is the reigning King over all (Deut. 32:40; 33:27; Jer. 10:10; Lam. 5:19; 1 Tim. 1:17).


Therefore God IAll-Good, Being Complete and One in All His Attributes and Essence

Since God is simple, immutable, and eternal in his self-existence and infinitude, he is good in all that he is. God is summum bonum, meaning that he is the highest good. There is nothing better. As Anselm of Canterbury put it: God is “something-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought.” [5] God’s essence is absolute goodness, supreme good, from which all heavenly and earthly blessings flow. He is that “good” which defines all good in creation. It is the essence of God’s eternal nature. “As God is infinite in power from all eternity, before there was any display thereof, or any act of omnipotency put forth, so he was eternally good before there was any communication of his bounty, or any creature to whom it might be imparted.” [6] In between God’s infinitude and aseity, we will always find God’s infinite and absolute goodness.

We cannot separate his aseity and infinite essence; if we did all the other attributes of God would fall. All of his attributes spring from these two attributes, because they are all one since he is One. Each one of these is wholly what God is in essence. [7] God is infinite life in the most absolute sense. He cannot be omniscient, omnipotent, all-wise, omnipresent, or even holy if he is not all that he is in and of himself and infinite in all ways. Bavinck articulates this truth well when he said, “he is absolute essence, fulness of essence, hence, eternally and absolutely independent in his existence, in his virtues, and in his works.” [8] The 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith coherently defines God’s being and essence in summary when it says:

The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute;… (1689 LBCF, 2.1)

In Part IV of this series we will look at two objections to the Classical Theist view of God found in relation to his aseity and infinitude.

[1] Anslem“Proslogion, in The Major Works, ed. Brian Davies and G. R. Evans (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 18.

[2] Stephen Charnock, The Works of Stephen Charnock Vol. I (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2010), 381.

[3] J. L. DaggManual of Theology (Harrisonburg: Gano Books, 1990), 64. 

[4] Ibid., 65.

[5] Anselm, Proslogion, 2. 

[6] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Attributes of God (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), 74. 

[7] Anselm, Proslogion18. 

[8] Herman Bavinck, The Doctrine of God, ed. and trans. William Hendriksen (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1978), 145. 

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