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Is God the first cause?

Philosophers throughout the ages have sought for an argument to prove the existence or non-existence of God. One such argument for the existence of God, summarized by Thomas Aquinas, is known as the Argument from Causation. Aquinas considers the idea of cause and effect, reasoning that the things caused in this world had to have been caused by something that was caused by something else which, again, was caused by something else. He concluded that this cause and effect cycle could not logically go on forever, therefore there must have been something that originally caused everything that itself is uncaused—a first cause.

Based on observations of the world, we know that this first cause must have certain characteristics. For example, it must be powerful, eternal, necessary, changeless, intelligent, and creative. The first cause must be powerful enough to have created this universe. It must be eternal, having no beginning or end. It must be necessary, meaning there had to be a first cause that's existence was not contingent on anything else. It must be intelligent and creative to have caused a world of diversity and order. It must be changeless because the first cause had nothing before it to influence it.

The God of the Christian Bible satisfies each of these requirements. He was there in the beginning before creation, and without Him nothing in creation that was made would have been made (Psalm 90:2; John 1:1–3; Romans 11:36). He has not changed from the beginning of time (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). His intelligence far exceeds our own (Isaiah 55:8–9), and He is more powerful than we could imagine (Job 38—39). Some scholars disregard this argument because the first cause could have been a different god or a group of deities. In this regard, the argument is not quite enough to prove the existence of the God of the Bible, but it certainly is part of the proof.

It is easy to see that God is the uncaused causer, or the "First Cause." The very first verse in the Bible reveals this to be true: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Even Jesus introduces Himself as the first cause in Revelation 22:13: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." God was there at the beginning; He created matter and energy and the universe, putting into motion all of the seasons, the revolutions of the earth, and the flowing of rivers, and giving life to all that exists. He is not only the first cause of creation, but He is also the first cause of our salvation. He took the first step in forming us, and He took the first step in having a relationship with us: "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

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