The Eternity of God
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
I. How God Is Eternal
1. God is without beginning: “In the beginning” God created the world (Gen. 1:1). God was then before the beginning, and no point can be fixed in to where God began, if He were before the beginning of created things? God is without beginning though all other things had time and beginning from Him. Abraham called upon the name of the everlasting God, “the eternal God” (Gen. 21:33). It is opposed to the heathen gods of foreign nations.
Time began with the foundation of the world, but God, being before time, could have no beginning of time, there could be nothing but eternity.
2. God is without end. He always was, always is, and always will be what He is. He remains always the same in being -so far from any change that no shadow of it can touch Him (James 1:17). The Scripture states, “the earth shall perish, but God shall ‘endure forever,’ and His ‘years shall have no end” (Ps.102:27).
That which had no beginning of duration can never an end or any interruptions in it. There is no weakness in the character of God that can introduce an corruption, because He is infinitely simple without any mixture; nor can He be overpowered by anything else. God is immovably fixed in His being.
3. There is no succession in God. God is without succession or change. God does not only always remain in being, but He always remains the same in that being: “You are the same” (Ps. 102:27). The being of creatures is successive; the being of God is permanent and remains entire with all its perfections unchanged in an infinite duration. Creatures are in a perpetual flux; man for example requires something every day until he becomes mature. God is without flux, for He eternally exists in His perfection. Nothing is needed to add to Him or sustain Him.
Of a creature, it may be said, he was, or he is, or he will be. Of God it cannot be said but only, He is. He is what He always was, and He is what He always will be. He is the great "I AM."
4. All the perfections of God are eternal. In regard of the divine eternity, all things in God are eternal: His power, mercy, wisdom justice, knowledge etc..
II. Evidence for the Eternity of God
1. His eternity is evident by the name God gives Himself: “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am; thus shall you say to the children of Israel, “I Am has sent me to you” (Ex. 3:14). This description is in the present tense and shows that His essence knows no past nor future. He simply -is.
2. God has life in Himself: “The Father has life in Himself” (John 5:26). He has life by His essence, not by some sustainable outside force. He is a sun to give light and life to all creatures but receives no light or life from anything, and therefore has an unlimited life. He has life in Himself; all creatures have their life from Him.
3. God is immutable in His nature. It is contrary to nature of immutability to be without eternity; for whatsoever begins is changed in its passing from not being to being. Nothing will ever spring up in God that was not already there before.
4. God would not be the first cause of all if He were not eternal. The world as we know it was once nothing, it must have some cause to call it out of nothing. Nothing has no power to make itself something; there is a superior cause, by whose will and power it comes into being and who so gives all the creatures their distinct forms.
III. The Use
1. If God be of an eternal duration, then “Christ is God.” Eternity is thus ascribed to Christ (Col. 1:17). Christ Himself hints of His own eternity: “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world, and go to the Father” (Jn. 16:28).
2. If God is eternal, He knows all things present. All things are present to Him in His eternity, for this notion of eternity, to be without succession. God considers all things in His eternity in one simple knowledge, as if they were now acted before him (Acts 15:18).
3. How bold and foolish is it for a mortal creature to censure the counsels and actions of an eternal God. Eternity sets God above our inquiries and censures.
4. How dreadful is it to lie under the stroke of an eternal God. His eternity is as great a terror to him who hates him as it is a comfort to him who loves Him.
5. What a foundation of comfort believers has in God’s attributes. Since God is eternal so are His attributes. The New Covenant is founded upon the eternity of God. And there is no one greater than Himself that He must swear by (Heb. 6:13).
6. Since God is eternal our enjoyment in God will be eternal. God is eternal and eternity knows no change; there will then be the fullest possession without any decay in the object enjoyed. The infinite fulness of perfection that flourishes in Him now will flourish eternally. Psalm 102:27 states, “buy you are the same and your years have no end.”