Birth of God
(When did God come into existence?)

QUESTION: When did God begin?

ANSWER: Thanks for the question. It's one I have dealt with before (see When God Began), but here are a few more thoughts. The answer is that God had no beginning and has no ending. He is "the everlasting God" (Gen. 21:33), "the eternal God" (Deut. 33:27), and "the King eternal" (I Tim. 1:17).

God always is, living in an eternal present. All other things in the universe were created by Him and for Him (Rom. 11:36; Col. 1:16-17), which means they had a beginning. He alone is uncreated and eternal. He established time and space as an environment within which we could dwell. But He is outside of both. He says to Jeremiah the prophet, "Do I not fill heaven and earth?" (Jer. 23:24). He is "the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity" (Isa. 57:15).

We get a sense of that eternal present tense when the Lord tells Moses His name. "God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exod. 3:14). Similarly, the Lord Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity, says of Himself, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn. 8:58).

When a person trusts Christ as Saviour, he or she is born again, spiritually, by a work of the Spirit of God (Jn. 1:12-13). When that happens, we are said to have eternal or everlasting life (Jn. 3:16; I Jn. 5:11). It is endless life. We will live forever, and enjoy the fellowship and blessings of God.

However, that is not the same as God's life. Our life had a beginning. His did not. As Moses said, "Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God" (Ps. 91:2). And when Micah prophesies about the birth of Jesus he describes Him as "The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting" (Mic. 5:2).

It's helpful to combine this great truth with another--the immutability of God (His changelessness). Not only is God the eternally existing One, in His essential nature and character He does not alter. He says, "I am the Lord, I do not change" (Mal. 3:6; cf. Heb. 13:8). The Westminster Shorter Catechism (from 1647) puts it as follows.

Question: What is God?
Answer: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

That tells us that the Lord's holy standard will be consistent. What was sin in Bible times is still sin. The righteous standard reflected in the Law of Israel is also expressed in the New Testament. This is also a reassuring truth when it comes to the promises of God. What He has promised He will do He will do. Whether to punish sinners, or to grant eternal life to those who trust in Christ, the Lord will keep His word.

In a chaotic and ever-changing world, this provides wonderful stability. We can rest confidently in the truths expressed in the Scriptures, because behind every line is the never-changing, eternal God.