God is self-existent, which means He has always existed, He will always exist, and He doesn’t depend on anything else for His existence. He is an eternal, holy being who is unchanging and perfect. He is the source of everything that has been made and the only one who is not a “caused” being.
Of all the attributes of God, His self-existence is one of the most mind boggling.
One of the biggest arguments between Christians and Atheists is the question of who made God. In a world governed by cause and effect, Atheists look at science, logic, and the laws of the universe and claim that if God exists, something MUST have caused Him to. Without an answer to that question, they refuse to consider the reality of His existence.
Christians hold to The Bible and, in faith, accept that God is an eternal, holy being. God has always existed and He always will. Let’s take a closer look at both of these arguments and how the very nature and being of God satisfies them both. It can make your head hurt, much like the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
The Argument: Intelligent Design
A favorite, and well-loved theory that Christians use to defend their faith and the existence of an invisible God, is intelligent design. Intelligent design states that if something ordered, and functional exists (like the Earth), it had to be created by something or someone with the skill and knowledge to do so. If you found an intricately made pocket watch on a rock at the beach, you would immediately know it had been crafted by someone of considerable skill.
It makes sense. It holds merit. Until Atheists respond with “ok sure, but who made God?” Um…
The Argument: Cause and Effect
Atheists look to tangible evidence and relationships in science that can be described and experimented with. Their argument is cause and effect. If something exists, something else caused it to exist (not very different from the theory of Intelligent Design). But instead, this helps them to discredit the existence of God.
Unfortunately for them, it also unravels their own theory: if the universe exploded into being from pockets of gas, who made the gas? And so on, all the way to eternity past. Um…
The Answer: A Self-Existent God
There is only one solution to this problem. One answer that satisfies both science and faith and brings them into agreement. There is a source of the “design” and there is a source of the “effect”, that never had a beginning—that exists without anything “causing” it to exist. And just as He has, His Kingdom has always existed.
Accepting this solution is a huge step of faith. As humans, it is beyond us to fully grasp the concept of an eternal being. In The Bible, God reveals this about himself (His transcendence) in a few different passages in the Bible.
God’s Name is I AM
Genesis 1:1a (ESV) In the beginning, God…
The first four words of scripture are no accident. When we consider the beginning (not a beginning that defines God, but a beginning that defines us as people), we are to accept that God was already there.
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”Exodus 3:13-14 (ESV)
I AM seems like a weird name, right? But when God shared His name with Moses He was telling him so much more than a small detail. God reminded Moses that He (God) is eternal. There was never a time when God wasn’t. He is. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, I AM is the same.
Moses could take comfort in this, he would remember the faithfulness of God to His chosen people in the past and know that this same God was with him on that mission right then, and would remain with him in the future, all the way through his death and ascension to heaven.
God is Not Like Man
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
- Job 11:7 (ESV) “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
- Jeremiah 10:12 (ESV) It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
- Psalm 90:2 (ESV) Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Not only is God eternal, but He is also superior in every way. He is spiritual, and we see Him move on the earth through the person of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to accurately imagine God using our tiny, limited, human imaginations. He is a higher-order being. He is all-powerful. He is above and before all He has made. He is not like man. As such, the laws that govern man, do not apply to God. God is the Creator. Man is the creature. God is over all things. Man is under God.
That said, God came to earth as a man in Jesus. They are one in the same, so we can see God through the life of Jesus.
God Has Always Existed: A Question of Faith
What do you think? No matter what theory you hold to, whether you’re a Christian looking to defend your faith and Intelligent Design, or you’re an Atheist looking to discredit the Christian faith – you are placing your faith in something.
Can you look around at creation, the intricate details of the plants, animals, solar system, and your own body, and believe that it created itself from nothing? Is it possible sea cows just appeared? Or that fowls simply showed up one day? That requires even more faith than believing in a self-existent, transcendent Creator.
Christian, be encouraged, you are loved by a God who never changes, His ways are perfect, and He keeps His promises from everlasting to everlasting. He is over all things, in all things, and works through all things.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.Romans 11:33-36 (ESV)