We know that God created the world and everything in it. We are told that in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis chapters 1 and 2. In these verses we are told that God created all things in six days, He rested on the seventh day after proclaiming His creation to be “very good”. Genesis 1:31. On the fourth day of creation, God set the sun and moon into action thereby establishing the time that governs us throughout our lives.
We, along with all of the created order, have a beginning and an end. In other words, simply put, we are bound by time; we are finite; we are not eternal. God, however, is not so bound. God is eternal and His eternality is one of His attributes.
Wayne Grudem says: “God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being, and he sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time.” [Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 168]
Louis Berkhof notes that the eternal nature of God means that He “possesses the whole of His existence in one indivisible present.” [Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 60]
Being outside of time is virtually impossible for us to comprehend. However, it is an attribute of God which is fundamental to our thought about our Creator and Savior.
In Exodus Chapter 3 God is speaking with Moses and, in answer to Moses’ question about Who was sending him on the mission to free the Israelites from Egyptian captivity, God says:
“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.'””
God will exist undiminished everlastingly into the future, and He has existed identically throughout the infinite past. For this reason, God said to Moses “I AM WHO I AM”.
David understood God’s attribute of eternality when he wrote:
“But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations.”
Not only is God the Father eternal in His nature, but this same eternality extends to Jesus Christ, the eternal Son. He existed eternally before His incarnation as the Firstborn over creation, even though at that time He did not have human form.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Peter wrote of the eternality of the Lord in words that we can understand, even if we cannot wrap our minds around what it means:
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
2 Peter 3:8
The attribute of eternality is a wondrous truth for the believer God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. This attribute gives us confidence in our faith and in the salvation and preservation that He gives to us as we live within time. We can live without fear because God is always with us.
Eternality – a word that we don’t use or think about, but it is a word that gives hope, security and confidence as we rest in God’s eternal nature and in His eternal promises.
Father, I cannot understand how You can exist forever … I cannot even understand the concept of forever since all that I have known will last just a short time. But I understand Your name – I AM – and I bow at Your feet in thanksgiving that the God of creation would rescue me from sin and claim me as His child, eternally.