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How Did God Begin?
by Daryl E. Witmer
How did God begin?
God never began.
“Began” is a time-word. God dwells outside of time. For this reason, the question is inherently irresolvable.
“‘Began’ can have no personal meaning for the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.” -A. W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy
God always was. He always will be. God is without ends, eternal.
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, From everlasting to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.” -Psalm 41:13, NASB
“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.'” -Exodus 3:14a
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” -John 8:58, NASB
God encompasses and is beyond the beginning and the end.
The first character in the Greek alphabet is Alpha. The last character in the Greek alphabet is Omega.
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'” -Revelation 1:8
Someone might say, “But if God created everyone and everything, who created God?”
No one created, or could have created, God, for there was never a time, place, or circumstance when God was not.
God is by nature a necessary being. He cannot now cease to exist, and He never could have ceased to exist.
The key attributes of God include His self-existence (aseity) and His pure actuality. He doesn’t just have being – He is being. And that’s the way it has always been with God.
“If we cannot conceive of anyone or anything greater than God, then nothing or no one could have created him because that creator would have to be something even greater. The idea of God is the logical end of our speculations.” -Chuck Colson in Answers to Your Kids’ Questions
“…if a God exists who has no beginning, it is absurd to ask, ‘Who made God?’ It is a category mistake to ask, ‘Who made the Unmade?’ or ‘Who created the Uncreated?’ One may as well ask, ‘Where is the bachelor’s wife?'” – Norman Geisler in Who Made God? Edited by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler, ©2003 Zondervan Publishing. See inset at right.
But doesn’t every being, every effect, and every thing need a cause?
No. That is not true.
Only that which once was not, which now is, and which therefore had a beginning, needs to have a cause.
“God does not need a cause because he had no beginning. If God has a cause, he is not God.” -Dr. Norman Geisler, ibid.
“The answer to the child’s question, ‘who made God?’ is simply that God did not need to be made, for He was always there. He exists for ever; and He is always the same. He does not grow older. His life does not wax or wane. He does not gain new powers, nor lose those that He once had. He does not mature or develop. He does not get stronger, or weaker, or wiser, as time goes by…God is immutable and can never cease to be what He is.” -J. I. Packer in Knowing God
The Divine attribute of immutability necessarily requires the self-existence of God. Follow the logic:
a) God cannot change.
b) God exists.
c) There could never have been a time when God did not exist.
“God, as creator of time, is outside of time. Since therefore He has no beginning in time, He has always existed, so He doesn’t need a cause.” -http://www.ChristianAnswers. net/q-aig/aig-c039.html
TO SUMMARIZE, THEN –
God by definition could not have been created, made, or ever had a beginning.
“The human mind, being created, has an understandable uneasiness about the Uncreated. We do not find it comfortable to allow for the presence of One who is wholly outside of the circle of our familiar knowledge. We tend to be disquieted by the thought of One who does not account to us for His being, who is responsible to no one, who is self-existent, self-dependent, and self-sufficient.” -A. W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy
FOR FURTHER RESPONSE to a related question, “Where did God come from?” – in language intended for kids – see http://www.k4t.com/ Questions/question15.htm