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Can God Be Affected by Anything Outside Himself?

God cannot be anything He does not will Himself to be. Since He is totally sovereign, He is unaffected by any influence outside of Himself, unless He wills it. It is imperative to understand that God can do nothing outside of his will, and that His will is totally independent of everything outside of Himself (John MacArthur 186*). This is not to say He is impassible to the point that he is uninvolved with the inner workings of his Creation. Rather, this is to say that His will cannot be influenced by anything outside of Himself, which would infer that He willed the change. As Creator, He is in control of all Creation (Job 10:9, 33:6). As God, His will is for His own pleasure (Phil. 2:13). Should He give mercy or pour out His wrath, He does so according to His own mind (Romans 9:19-33). In this, He is impassible. This does not mean that He does not interact with His creation. It simply means that He acts at the discression of and for the purpose of His will.

* John MacArthur, Richard Mayhue. Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth. Wheaton: Crossway, 2017.

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