Imagine for a moment the multitude of factors upon which your life is contingent: your parents meeting, the process of reproduction, a planetary environment perfectly suited to your existence with air, food, water, shelter, and so on, to name a few. There are, in fact, so many factors contributing to your existence, that it ought to be outright admitted – you are nothing short of a miracle. You do not exist by yourself. You did not even have to exist … but you DO exist because of an essential series of outside causes.
The same thing could be said for everything in the universe. Not that everything in the universe has the same essential series of outside causes, but everything has causes. You exist because your parents exist. They exist because their parents existed – and they exist because their parents before them, and so on. If you keep going backwards far enough, you eventually get to the beginning of humanity, and even the beginning of life. For Christians, we believe the beginning of our lineage is Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis 1-2. For evolutionists, they would claim our lineage can be traced back to primordial soup where inorganic matter generated organic matter from which all life evolved.
The evolutionist view might sound reasonable to some, but when we take such a worldview, we must consider the initial cause that such a theory necessitates. What I mean is this: for the theory of evolution, when was the beginning? What was there in the beginning? What is the first cause? Has matter always existed? If so, why did it exist? Was there a big bang that caused everything? If so, what caused the big bang? If we were to attempt to trace the origin of everything, what is the beginning point? What is the first cause that caused everything? What is the first cause that, by definition, had to be uncaused? For evolutionists, can such a cause even exist? What characteristics would make up an uncaused cause?
For Christians, the answer is quite simple, and it is exemplified in two Scriptural truths concerning the nature of God.
- The only uncaused cause is God, because God is the only self-existent One| Exodus 3:13-14.
For there to have been a beginning to the chain of causes – and reason and time demand there must be a beginning – there must be something that exists by its very nature. Rocks, trees, water, and creatures exist, but they do not exist by their very nature. They were caused. But Scripture teaches that God is different than anything else in the universe. Different than me, you, our parents, and the rocks and trees. God is the only being in all of the universe that exists by His very nature.
In fact, in Exodus 3:13-14, as God is speaking to Moses from the burning bush, sending him to Egypt to free Israel, Moses asks, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’” God responds to Moses “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” Without getting deeply into the Hebrew and the link of “I AM” to God’s proper name “Jehovah” (translated LORD), the meaning of this statement is profound because His very name refers to the fact that God exists by His very nature. “I AM” means “to be” or “to cause to be”. To put it another way, if we were to ask God’s proper name, an appropriate and literal response might be “the self-existent one” or “the cause”. God is the first-cause that has caused all other causes and all things to come into existence. All things exist and consist because of Him (cf. Col. 1:16-17).
Christianity very clearly and simply answers this otherwise difficult philosophical issue. Why does everything exist? Because God caused it. Who caused God? No one, because God is the only uncaused cause. He is uncaused, because by His very nature, He exists. And not only does He exist by His very nature, but also…
- By His very nature, God is the possessor of life | Genesis 2:7, John 5:24-26, 1st John 5:11-12
Childbirth is a miracle. It is a miracle that illustrates the creationary aspect of God’s image, which He imparted into us. While we mere mortals participate in the reproductive process, we have no power to make cells divide, to make a baby’s organs develop, to make its heart beat or its brain to become capable of motor functions and cognitive ability – God does all of that. Through our actions we might trigger the programming in some of that, but God is the programmer. You might enjoy gardening and getting to participate in bringing plant-life from a dormant ground and a dormant seed. And while you certainly are, again, a participant in the life-giving process, it is not your power that makes the plant react to the nutrients in the soil, water, and sunlight – that’s all God’s power.
You see, we can participate in the life-giving process, but God is the possessor and author of all life. In the creation account (Genesis 1-2), we see God bring to life plants, animals, sea creatures, fowl, and so on. And on the final day of creation, when God creates man, Scripture says, “Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.” The breath of life comes from God. God is the possessor of life, and – vitally important to us – God is also the life-giver. Humans sometimes have the privilege of participating in this miracle of life-giving, but the power is God’s.
However, when I say that God is the life-possessor and life-giver, I don’t just mean physical life. God is the life-possessor and life-giver for all eternity. 1st John 5:11-12 says, “11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12The one who has the Son has life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
While evolutionists don’t have a satisfactory answer for the origin of all things, their theory is left with an even more discouraging view of the end of all things—particularly you and me and what happens when we die. Christianity, however, gives hope. The self-existent one, the life-possessor, and life-giver offers eternal life for all who place their faith in Jesus Christ.
Imagine, again, the multitude of factors upon which your life is contingent. You are a miracle. Your existence is the extraordinary result of an innumerable series of factors and variables that all lead back to one source — God. You are not an accident. You exist because the life-possessor and life-giver has caused you to exist. You were knit together by the God who has caused all things to come into existence. You are known by Him and loved by Him, and you can exist with Him for all eternity through faith in Jesus Christ. Now that’s quite an origin story.
“This is what the Lord, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb, says: ‘I am the Lord, who made everything; who stretched out the heavens by myself; who alone spread out the earth.'” – Isaiah 44:24
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