God is Eternal and Powerful – by Fred Balbuena

Fred Balbuena is a pastor at Desiring God Community Church (DGCC), a TCTN member church in Charlotte, NC.  He was born and raised on a small island in the Philippines.  Fred graduated from Bethel Theological Seminary with an MDiv. degree and served as an apprentice at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Ministry at Reformed Theological Seminary. His passion is to be a faithful minister of the Word, which ultimately means to be in the business of proclaiming the glorious perfection of God.  This post originally occurred on DGCC’s blog.

God is Eternal and Powerful

Everything in heaven and on earth had a beginning. Their beginning is caused by God who created all things. The book of Isaiah declares, “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”  (Isaiah 45:18) This act of creation then proves that God is eternal. Bill Bright says “Before He spoke the first work of creation, time did not exist.”[1] He existed in eternity, which differentiates Him from everything He created. He is not bound to time. Thus, all history is but a little speck within eternity. This is how Abraham described God as he experienced His faithfulness after making a treaty with Abimelech in Barsheeba. “[I] planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God’” (Genesis 21:33).

Given that God is the originator of everything, there is nothing that can bring an end to His existence. This is the attribute of God clearly in view when Moses prayed to Him, which was recorded in Psalm 90. Moses prayed; “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Palm 90:1-2). When Paul wrote to Timothy, he thanked God for His patience. Paul said, “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:16-17).

 The Bible clearly requires us also to believe that God created the universe out of nothing. The common Latin phrase used to describe what creation teaches is Ex Nihilo.  This means that before God began to create the universe, nothing else existed aside from Him. In other words, the word “nothing” does not imply some kind of existence, as some philosophers have taken it to mean.  Ex Nihilo means that God did not use any previously existing materials when He created the universe.[2]  Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Psalm 33: 6 and 9 also tells us, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” This means that God simply said the words and everything came into being instantaneously and orderly.

 The difficulty which people commonly ask regarding creation is twofold: “Who made God?” and “How can God make something out of nothing?” In any case, the Bible says God is eternal. He was not made nor did anything cause Him to exist. Only the universe had a cause, which is God. He is the one who caused everything to exist and “God does not need a cause because He had no beginning.”[3] The New Testament affirms this truth from several sources. John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” The words “in the beginning” are identical in the original language to the opening words in the Old Testament, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This is not an accident.  What John is doing here is telling us who Jesus is and what He did.  Jesus is eternal God, and He created the universe along with the Father. Therefore, the words “in the beginning” mean, before there was any created matter or beings, there was the Word, the Son of God.  Jesus Christ was the Father’s agent, or Word, in the creation of all things. Jesus our Savior, our Lord, our Friend—is our Maker.

My main purpose in addressing these topics is simply to encourage you to hold onto the promises of God at this present time and for our final destiny. As the writer of the book of Hebrews says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Let us put our trust in the wisdom and power of our Maker. Let us set our hope in God who knows all things and who has the power to bring about His good purposes in our lives according to the power of His grace. Let us cast all of our cares upon God, “for nothing will be impossible with Him.” (Luke 1:37) He promises that He will sustain us in distress and in all calamities in life as we depend on His power and grace.

By Fred Balbuena

[1] Bill Bright, God: Discover His Character (Orlando, FL: NewLife Publications, 1999), pg. 35.

[2] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: an Introduction to Biblical Doctrine(Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), pg. 262.

[3] Ravi K. Zacharias and Norman L. Geisler, Who Made God?: and Answers to over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003), pg. 25.