I’m happy to be back with the first Bite-size Theology post of the new year! I am, in a sense, rebooting this series. You will notice a slightly different tone to the posts from here on out: more devotional than academic. I feel that this will better aid myself and you, dear reader, to cultivate an attitude of praise to our God as we grow in our knowledge of him. May you be blessed and our God be glorified through these humble offerings.
God’s Eternity – 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. (Taken from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology)
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2, ESV)
“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, ESV)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8, ESV)
“…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…’” (Isaiah 46:9-10, ESV)
How difficult it is to conceive of a being who is outside of time and yet still able to interact within time!
Of course we know that it was God himself who created time when he flung the planets into orbit around our life-sustaining star. Before he created, there was nothing–only the eternal Triune God who had always, perfectly existed. And then out of the abundance of his love, he created. And as he created, moments succeeded moments and days passed into days. Time, itself, began by the words of his mouth; he spoke it into existence!
This God who set into motion the progression of time is not subject to it as we are. He is not altered by the passing of years because he exists perfectly outside of time–his creation. Unlike his created beings who age, change, forget, learn, improve, worsen, or gain wisdom over the course of time, our eternal God has always been and will continue to be Perfection for all of eternity. Time does not affect him. His plans and purposes never change. This is welcome truth for our souls, as we long for a god who can be trusted, who is steady, who is [intlink id="13356" type="post"]unchanging[/intlink].
He is also not limited in his knowledge of the future because to him it is as though it has already happened. Our future is to him as clear as our present because he has decreed it all and sees all events from outside our experience. He is somehow [intlink id="13248" type="post"]equally present [/intlink]in every moment! And yet, how marvelously incomprehensible is the fact that he is at the same time acting within our experience of time.
It may be incomprehensible, but it is comforting. Our loving God is fully present with us now, in this very moment. He is not a God who is far off, but a God who is near, a God who chooses to fellowship with his finite creatures. His love compels him to enter into our experience of time. How precious is this fellowship!
And oh how majestically is it expressed in the incarnation of the Son of God! Consider this thought, dear sisters, that he who created time, chose to enter into time as a baby who would have to grow, moment by moment, into a man who would sacrifice himself upon a cross for the sins of his people! Colossians 1:16 says that ”by [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” This creator God, who was not subject to the constraints of time, chose to enter into time for our salvation. What love is this!
How precious is the attribute of God’s eternity. The One who was, and is, and will always be has invited us to experience his abundant love for all of eternity. As he lives, so we too will live and with good reason! For as John Newton’s famous hymn states:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
Surely, we could sing of his love forever, and the one who himself is eternal, has promised us eternal life in which we will be able to do just that!
“…in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began…” (Titus 1:2 ESV)
To find more entrees in the Bite-size Theology series, visit the series index.
If you are interested in digging deeper into systematic theology, I highly recommend you purchase Wayne Grudem’s classic work, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. It has been unmatched in usefulness as I’ve sought over the years to better understand the Word of God and know the Lord of our salvation better.