Does God Necessarily Exist?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v. 1). - John 1:1–5
We live in an age of unparalleled skepticism about the essential content of the Christian faith. There is a tremendous doubt concerning the origin of human life and of the universe. It is held that we are cosmic accidents, grown-up germs that have emerged from the slime, having no significance and no dignity.
The secular skeptic knows that if he can demonstrate that God as Creator is unknowable or unprovable, that is as far as he needs to go to destroy all the truth claims of Christianity. This is because if there is no act of creation, then the whole idea of a redemption of that creation is just an illusion. All we have is “endless, changeless being” with “no vestige of beginning, no prospect of an end.”
Thus, the technical and abstract question of whether or not we can demonstrate that there is some eternal, transcendent, self-existing Creator from whom all other life and reality derives is a critical issue. In fact, what we decide about this issue touches heavily upon everything else the church proclaims about Christ and God.
The philosophical argument for God’s existence is this: If something exists now, then Something exists necessarily. What we mean by “necessary existence” is that there is Something that has the power of existence within itself eternally. That Being cannot not exist. It exists by the sheer power of what it is.
To come at it another way, let’s assume that there was a time when there was absolutely nothing. You don’t have to be a philosopher to answer the following question: If there were a time when there was absolutely nothing, then what would there be now? Absolutely nothing. You cannot get something from nothing. So, since the world presently does exist, there has to be something that has always existed. And, that Something must have sheer existence within itself.
Could this be the universe itself? No, because if the universe as a whole were self-existent, it could not change. Change means something is contingent, dependent, derived. Therefore, the self-existent Being must be the Creator of the universe of time and change.
The god of the philosophers is not the God of the Bible. We worship and serve no abstract First Cause but a loving Father. Yet, we also know that our loving God is the self-sufficient origin of all things. Praise God for His power that allows Him to create the complex beauty of the universe.
Passages for Further Study
- Psalms 14; 2:1–3, 6
- Luke 12:16–21
- Philippians 3:18–20
- 2 Tim. 3:2–5
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