Does God require anything?

Asked by jeff

Does father God have needs?


Can I begin with a gentle warning? The potential mistake in asking questions like this is that we impart our human concepts of ‘needs’ or ‘wants’ into our thinking on God. As created beings, and fallen ones at that, we cannot know anything about God, unless he reveals himself to us. Christians believe that God has indeed done this and that we can find out about him in the Bible. Now, the Bible seems to focus much more on how much human being needs God, and in fact, on how human being cannot exist apart from God the loving Creator, than on whether God has any needs.

Acts 17:23-25 is a case in point: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him [...].”

What Bible verses like this affirm is that God is self-existent, self-sufficient, and self-sustaining.

Yet we could also see from God’s revelation of himself throughout history to the ancient people of Israel and the culmination of this revelation in his Son, Jesus Christ, that God is a personal being who relates to us. One of things that the Bible says about him is that God is love (1 John 4:8,16).

God also reveals himself as three distinct persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We call this the trinity. While it may be hard to comprehend, the trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - live in community with one another in perfect unity. In other words, God himself lives ‘in a community’, he exists in the relationship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And this partly explains why God is self-existent, self-sufficient, and self-sustaining. But because this self-sufficiency is inseparable from his relational nature, his very revelation as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is bound up with his plan to save the fallen human beings through the death and resurrection of the Son. The term the Bible uses to describe his motivation to do this is love (John 3:16).

 

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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