[Papercut Press] 2004-03-15 - The Immutability of God

Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"

There are three great mysteries in the Christian faith.

  1. The Mystery of the Trinity. The Trinity is made up of three persons and yet one God. This is a mystery.

  2. In the person of Jesus Christ, there are two natures but one person.

  3. The reconciliation of the mercy and justice of God in the forgiveness of sinners. Many are prone to think only of God's infinite mercy and grace, but not of His justice. We might all agree that God is merciful, but do we ever think of the justice of a God who is offended by our sin?

These mysteries Christians have to admit that they do not comprehend. God has simply not revealed Himself to us fully in those areas. We know that God is the creator of all things, and all things are His. He governs all things. He maintains all things. He never changes, "For, I, the Lord, do not change," Malachi 3:6. Try for a moment to think of a God who changes. Could we worship a God who is ever -changing? Could we worship a God who changes even once? God is perfect in Himself, and therefore He cannot change.

Suppose that God is perfect now. But on Wednesday, suppose God changed in some aspect of His being or person. Could He still be perfect? Of course not. For God to change would be to either make Him more perfect, or something short of perfection, if He was perfect to start with. If He could become more perfect, then He could not have been perfect to start with. If God became short of perfection, then for God to change would make Him less than perfect. If God is perfect, then He cannot change without there being a change in His perfection.

Going back to the mercy and justice of God, we can see how practical this truth that God does not change is to our lives. Think for a moment how often we have gone to the edge of sin, or even crossed that line. We have all brought ourselves to the brink of ruin, if not ruin itself. We all deserve God's justice and punishment for our sin. In short, we have all earned hell, torment, and separation from God for all eternity, by our actions in this life. That is God's justice, and many will experience it. But God has offered mercy in Christ. He is a God who does not change. That mercy is there for the 17-year old who struggles with sin and for the 80-year old who has struggled with sin all his life. The forgiveness is offered in Christ, and it is for all who will come to Him in faith and repentance. No matter how serious the sin, God has promised, in Christ, forgiveness if we come seeking it. Since God does not change, His promise is sure and His mercy is for all who will ask.

Such is the importance of an immutable God. God's unchanging nature makes His promises sure in Christ. We may lay hold of Christ's promises with confidence. If one of God's promises could change, there would be no point of speaking of His promises in Christ.

A man of great social position stood on the promises of God. He asked someone of a much lesser social position why he was always happy. The second man replied that he threw himself upon the promises of God. "There I lie: you stand on the promise...and down you go, when the wind comes." The second man, because he was lying on the promises of God, to begin with, had no place to fall. "Down I go on the promise flat! No standing up for me. That is where you should go, prostrate on the promise; and remember, every promise is a rock, an unchangeable thing." As God is unchanging, so are His promises. The two go hand-in-hand.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com