The Self-Existence of God
When the Bible declares that God is the Creator of the universe it indicates that God Himself is not created. There is a crucial distinction between the Creator and the creation. The creation bears the stamp of the Creator and witnesses to His glory. But the creation is never to be worshipped. It is not Supreme.
It is impossible for something to create itself. The concept of self-creation is a contradiction in terms, a nonsense statement. I ask the reader to pause and reflect a bit. Nothing can be self-created. Not even God can make Himself. For God to create Himself He would have to be before He is. Even God can’t do that.
Every effect must have a cause. That is true by definition. But God is not an effect. He has no beginning and therefore no antecedent cause. He is eternal. He always was or is. He has, within Himself, the power of being. He requires no assistance from outside sources to continue to exist. This is what is meant by the idea of self-existent. Granted, it is a lofty and awesome concept. We know of nothing else quite like it. Everything we perceive in our frame of reference is dependent and creaturely. We can’t fully comprehend anything as self- existent.
But just because it is impossible (by definition) that a creature be self-existent does not mean it is impossible for the Creator to be self-existent. God, like us, cannot be self-created. But God, unlike us, can be self-existent. Indeed, this is the very essence of the difference between the Creator and creation. This is what makes Him the Supreme Being and the source of all other beings.
The concept of self-existence violates no law of reason, logic, or science. It is a rationally valid notion. By contrast, the concept of self-creation violates the most basic law of reason, logic, and science—the law of noncontradiction. Self-existence is rational; self-creation is irrational.
The notion of something being self-existent is not only rationally possible, it is rationally necessary. Again, reason demands that if anything is, then something must have, within itself, the power of being. Otherwise there would be nothing. Unless something existed in itself, nothing could possibly exist at all.
Perhaps the oldest and deepest question of all is, why is there something rather than nothing? A necessary answer to at least part of the question is because God exists. God exists in Himself eternally. He is the source and fountainhead of all being. He alone has, within Himself, the power of being. Paul declares our dependence upon the power of God’s being for our own existence when he says: “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
- Every effect must have a cause.
- God is not an effect; He has no cause.
- Self-creation is an irrational concept.
- Self-existence is a rational concept.
- Self-existence is not only rationally possible, but rationally necessary.