De Moor IV:16: God as Living

2. God is Living Substance, just as Life is attributed to God everywhere in the Sacred Scriptures, both by Himself, John 5:26, and by others, Psalm 84:2; Matthew 16:16, so also He is distinguished from dead Idols, Jeremiah 10:10, 11; Acts 14:14, 15. Neither is rational Life able to be denied to the very Father of rationally living Spirits. The fount and origin of all Life is not able to be without Life. Indeed, the inanimate things themselves, by their singular craftsmanship and marvelous arrangement, reveal a living Artificer and infinitely wise Governor. Neither does God do anything as first cause, without it arguing that He lives.


Now, when we say that God lives, by the Life of God we understand nothing other than the very Essence of the same, Active of itself in a rational mode; both insofar as it is unceasingly active in understanding and willing itself; and also insofar as it gloriously manifests itself as such, through the exercise of its Power in all its works, especially in rational creatures.


There is no doubt that this Life, as Independent, Eternal, and Immutable, is far more perfect in God, than in Creatures Vegetative, Sensitive, or Rational, which all are said to Live in their own manner. For, when each one is active in the way in which it exists; it is not able to live Independently, the first and essential Perfection of which is Independence itself. But, since through His Independence God has Life in and of Himself, not borrowed and precarious; the perpetual possession of Life in God is also so necessary that neither internal defect, nor external force, is able in any manner to interrupt this Life, or to bring it to an end: whence this Life is to be called Immutable and Eternal, and God alone is to be said to have with Life Immortality in Himself, 1 Timothy 6:16.


Now, that Living Nature of God is Active, with Him understanding and willing whatever things; and also in efficacious exercise of His power outside of Himself placing whatever by His most wise counsel He wills to exist in addition to Himself. Wherefore the Learned at this point are judged not incorrectly to have long since observed, both the twofold genus of the Actions, Immanent and Transient; and three Faculties, as it were, as just so many principia of the divine works; the first Directing, which is Intellect; the second Commanding, which is Will; the third Accomplishing, which is Power. Which three again, because of the Simplicity of God, are not actually diverse from each other, but all with respect to God are the same Most Pure Act: yet in the perception of reason they are not to be confounded with one another. There are also three Faculties, as it were; for, since God is Most Pure Act, no one ought here to imagine a first act, which actually is different from the second act: compare VAN MASTRICHT’S Gangrænam Novitatum Cartesianarum, posterior Section, chapter VIII, pages 242-246.

ABOUT US

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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