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“God is infinitely perfect, infinitely blessed and happy” by John Gill

“God is infinite in all His attributes; and which are indeed, Himself, His nature, as has been observed, and are separately considered by us, as a relief to our mind, and helps to our better understanding it. And, perhaps, by observing some of these distinctly, we may have a clearer idea of the infinity of God.

His understanding is infinite, as is expressly said Psalm 147:5, it reaches to and comprehends all things that are, though ever so numerous; to the innumerable company of angels in the highest heavens; to the innumerable stars in the lower ones; to the innumerable inhabitants of the earth, men, beasts, and fowl; and to the innumerable creatures that swim in the sea; yea, not only to all that are in being but to all things possible to be made, which God could have made if He would; these he sees and knows in His eternal mind, so that there is no searching of His understanding, (Isa. 40:28), there is no end of it, and therefore infinite.

The same may be said of His knowledge and wisdom, there is a βαθος, a depth, the apostle ascribes to both; and which is not to be sounded by mortals, (Rom. 11:33); He is a God of knowledge, or knowledges, of all things that are knowable, (1 Sam. 2:3), He is the only and the all-wise God; and in comparison of Him the wisdom of the wisest of creatures, the angels, is but folly, (Job 4:18).

The power of God is infinite; with Him nothing is impossible; His power has never been exerted to the uttermost; He that has made one world, could have made millions; there is no end of His power, and His making of that, proves His eternal power, that is, His infinite power; for nothing but infinite power could ever have made a world out of nothing, (Rom. 1:20, Heb. 11:3).

His goodness is infinite, He is abundant in it, the earth is full of it, all creatures partake of it, and it endures continually; though there has been such a vast profusion of it from the beginning of the world, in all ages, it still abounds: there is no end of it, it is infinite, it is boundless; nor can there be any addition to it; it is infinitely perfect, (Psalm 16:2).

God is infinite in His purity, holiness, and justice: there is none holy as He is; or pure and righteous, with Him; in comparison of Him, the most holy creatures are impure, and cover themselves before Him, (Job 4:17, 18, Isa. 6:2, 3).

In short, He is infinitely perfect, and infinitely blessed and happy. We rightly give Him titles and epithets of immense and incomprehensible, which belong to His infinity. He is immense, that is, unmeasurable; He measures all things, but is measured by none; who can take His dimensions? They are as high as heaven, what canst thou do? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know? If the heavens above cannot be measured, and the foundations of the earth beneath cannot be searched out, how should He be measured or searched out to perfection that made all these? (Job 11:7–9, Jer. 31:37)

As there is an immeasurable height, depth, length and breadth in the love of God, (Eph. 3:18), so there is in every attribute of God, and consequently in His nature. His immensity is His magnitude, and of His greatness it is unsearchable, (Psalm 145:3), and therefore, upon the whole, must be incomprehensible.

His greatness not only cannot be comprehended and circumscribed by space, or in place, for the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him; but He is not to be comprehended by finite minds, that cannot conceive of Him as He is; His omniscience is too wonderful for them, and the thunder of His power who can understand? (Job 26:14)

Something of Him may be apprehended, but His nature and essence can never be comprehended, no not in a state of perfection; sooner may all the waters of the ocean be put into a nutshell, than that the infinite Being of God should be comprehended by angels or men, who are finite creatures.”

–John Gill, A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity: Or A System of Evangelical Truths, Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures (vol. 1, London: Tegg & Company, 1767/1839), 1: 60-61.

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“He is an immeasurable and unbounded ocean of being” by Herman Bavinck

“God must always be God, distinct from and above all things, the Creator and Ruler of all that exists, on whom believers can rely in times of distress and death, or else God can no longer be God to them.

As such God is the strictly independent and only absolute being. This is what the concept of absoluteness meant in the past. ‘Absoluteness’ was not obtained by abstraction, deprived of all content, and the most general kind of being, but true, unique, infinitely full being, precisely because it was absolute, that is, independent being, belonging only to itself and self-existence. Absolute is that which is not dependent on anything else.

From ancient times Christian theology connected this view and description of God with the meaning of the name YHWH as that is given in Exodus 3:14. Now people can disagree on the question whether the concept of ‘absolute being’ is implied in the name YHWH, and we will expressly revisit it in the following section.

In any case it is certain that the unicity, His distinctness from, and His absolute superiority over, all creatures is highlighted throughout Scripture. However much He is able to descend to the level of creatures, specifically humans—represented as He is as walking in the garden, coming down to earth to see the city and tower of Babel (etc.)—nevertheless He is the Creator of heaven and earth.

He speaks and things come to be; He commands and they stand forth. From everlasting to everlasting He is God, the First and the Last, from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things (Gen. 1:1ff.; Ps. 33:6, 9; 90:2; Isa. 41:4; 43:10–13; 44:6; 48:12; John 5:26; Acts 17:24ff.; Rom. 11:36; Eph. 4:6; Heb. 2:10; Rev. 1:4, 8; 4:8, 11; 10:6; 11:17; etc.).

Stated or implied in this biblical teaching is all that Christian theology intended to say with its description of God’s essence as absolute being. God is the real, the true being, the fullness of being, the sum total of all reality and perfection, the totality of being, from which all other being owes its existence.

He is an immeasurable and unbounded ocean of being; the absolute being who alone has being in Himself. Now, this description of God’s being deserves preference over that of personality, love, fatherhood, and so forth, because it encompasses all God’s attributes in an absolute sense.

In other words, by this description God is recognized and confirmed as God in all His perfections. These attributes cannot, of course, be logically developed from the concept of absolute being, for what God is and what His attributes are can only be known by us from His revelation in nature and Scripture.

Yet all these attributes are only divine characteristics because they pertain to God in a unique and absolute sense. Hence, in that respect aseity may be called the primary attribute of God’s being.

We can even say—on the basis of God’s revelation, not by means of a priori reasoning—that along with His aseity all those attributes have to be present in God that nature and Scripture make known to us.

If God is God, the only, eternal, and absolute Being, this implies that He possesses all the perfections, a faint analogy of which can be discerned in His creatures. If God is the absolutely existing being, He is also absolute in wisdom and goodness, in righteousness and holiness, in power and blessedness.

As One who exists of and through and unto Himself, He is the fullness of being, the independent and supremely perfect Being.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation (vol. 2; Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 2: 123–124.

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