Select Page

The Essence of God

William Ames (1576-1633) - One of the Greatest Theological Puritans and Writers

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

“The first act of religion, therefore, concerns those things which are communicated to us from God. The other concerns those things which we yield to God.”

The accommodating language of the Bible helps us to see the nature of God.

2. God, as He is in Himself, cannot be understood by any save Himself. 1 Timothy 6:16, “Dwelling in that inaccessible light, whom no man has seen or can see.”

4. Since the things which pertain to God must be explained in a human way, a manner of speaking called anqrwpopaqeia, anthropopathy, is frequently used.

5. And because they are explained in our way for human comprehension, many things are spoken of God according to our own conceiving rather than according to his real nature.

8. What can be known about God are His sufficiency [sufficientia] and efficiency, or working power [efficientia]. Romans 4:21, “Being fully persuaded that He was able to perform that which He had promised.”

9. These are the two pillars of faith, the base of consolation, the incitements of piety and the surest marks of true religion.

11. The sufficiency of God is the first reason why we believe in Him: He is able to give us life, Romans 4:20, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;”

12. The sufficiency of God is in His essence [essentia] and subsistence, or manner of being [subsistentia].

13. The essence of God is that by which he is absolutely the first being. Isaiah 44:6, “I am the first and the last, besides me there is no god.” Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

31. The attributes of God tell us what He is and who He is.

36. He is said to live in Himself, because He receives neither being nor life from any other source in any way.

37. Hence, the chief title of God, by which he is distinguished from all idols, is that he is the living God, Deut 32:40, “For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.”; Psalm 84:2, “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”; Jeremiah 5:2.

58. The will of God is single and totally one in Him.

59. The will of God is unchangeable because He always wills the same and in the same manner, Psalm 33:11, “The counsel of the Lord remains forever.”

60. The will of God is eternal because He does not begin to will what He did not will before, nor cease to will what He willed before. Malachi 3:6, “I the Lord do not change.”

62. The affections attributed to God in Scripture, such as love, hatred, and the like, either designate acts of the will or apply to God only figuratively.

66. The perfection of God whereby He is called blessed results from all His attributes, 1 Timothy 1:11, “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”

Offsite Banner Ad:

Help Support APM

Search the Site

Reformed Theology at A Puritan's Mind