Over the last few weeks I’ve been scrolling through Social media and one of the things that I see are the back to school pictures.
All these parents…including myself, are taking pictures of their little ones beginning their first day of the new school year.
And then at the end of the year they are going to post another picture talking about the last day of school and how much their babies have changed.
We’ve all seen it.
Those of us who have kids in the digital age have probably done it.
And I’m not here to shame anyone, like I said Corrie and I do it too.
Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that our motivation is that we know this snapshot in time is going to be the last time that our kiddos are going to be this age.
They won’t stay small forever.
They are constantly changing.
It seems like just yesterday we were bringing the kids home from the hospital, and now they are all going to school.
Not just our kids, but we ourselves change.
And not just us but the world around us.
In fact, several of weeks ago in Sunday School we were talking about how quickly things have changed in our world.
And we all have felt the reality of change in our world.
Facebook was publically launched in 2006.
Think about this the first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. A little over 16 years ago.
How much has the world changed since the first iPhone was released?
How much has the world changed since social media was introduced to the world?
The reality of change in our lives has been observed since for ever.
The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus (Hair-a-Cly-Tus) 600 years before Jesus said this
“Everything changes and nothing remains still;”
he also said, “You cannot step twice into the same stream”
It doesn’t take much to see this reality of the world around us
You’ve changed, I’ve changed, your families changed, your friends have changed.
Your world, circumstances, and situations have changed.
These may have been changes for the better.
They may have been changes for the worst.
But regardless, change is a comin’
However, not everything changes.
There is always one constant.
There is alway one who doesn’t change.
And that’s what we are going to talk about this morning.
The attribute of God we are going to look at is called
The Immutability of God- that is the fact that he is unchanging.
Immutable is the negative of mutable.
Mutable means “Subject to change”
So if God is immutable, it means he isn’t subject to change.
Humanity is mutable, God is not.
This teaching of God’s Immutability is found all over the scriptures.
It’s revealed in his very name YHWY- “I AM WHO I AM”.
Theologian A.W Tozer puts it this way.
““All that God is He has always been, and all that He has been and is He will ever be.” Nothing that God has ever said about Himself will be modified; nothing the inspired prophets and apostles have said about Him will be rescinded. His immutability guarantees this.”
Before we go further talking about our unchanging God, let’s go to him in prayer.
One of the ways that God is described in the Scriptures that highlights his immutability is when he is called or described as a rock.
When the Scriptures call God a Rock they don’t have a pebble in mind.
They don’t have even a small rock in mind
This is more like a boulder or mountain.
An enormous mountain of strength.
Listen to what Moses said.
3 For I will proclaim the Lord’s name. Declare the greatness of our God! 4 The Rock—his work is perfect; all his ways are just. A faithful God, without bias, he is righteous and true.
Why would they want to use this imagery.
B/c a mountain or boulder shows something that is not affected by the changes of the world.
A mountain stood there before you existed
And will stand there after you’re gone.
It is strong and not impacted by the world around it.
The trees, animals, and seasons may change, but the mountain is still the mountain.
It doesn’t shift or move.
It is constant
A fixed constant in the midst of changing times.
No matter what is happening in the world around us, our God never changes.
No matter how we feel or what we face, Our God never changes.
There’s a pretty popular Christian Song out there that talks about this concept.
It was released by a group called Sanctus Real.
When did He break His promise? When did His kindness fail? Never has, never will My God is still the same When did He lose His power? When did His mercy change? Never has, never will My God is still the same, yeah My God is still the same
This is how Paul put it in 2 Tim 2:13 “13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.”
We tend to be super emotional creatures.
We tend to let what happens around us dictate how we feel and at times what we think about God, but we must not let our emotions dictate what is true.
Yet God’s Immutability must be a truth that we as followers of Jesus need to cling to.
Regardless of our circumstances.
Regardless of how things in the world are going.
Regardless of the ups and downs of life, Our God is still the same.
He is our Rock.
He is where our hope is found.
And he never changes or shifts with the winds of culture.
He never gets tossed by the waves of change.
We can hope in him and his promises b/c he never changes.
This truth isn’t just found in Moses’ writings.
King David says the same thing in
2 He said: The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, 3 my God, my rock where I seek refuge. My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior, you save me from violence.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God.
6 “Because I, the Lord, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.
God’s stability and immutability are vitally important if we are going to trust him fully and completely.
How difficult is it to trust someone who has lied to you?
Who has proven themselves to be untrustworthy?
When they say one thing and mean something completely different?
This isn’t someone whom you can trust in.
And I’m sure each person in here has been lied to.
There has been someone in your life that has spoken out of both sides of their mouth.
Assuring you one thing, meanwhile they are deceiving you.
This isn’t the God we serve.
If he says something, he doesn’t change what he said.
If he makes a promise he follows through.
Listen to what he says in
10 I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will.
He is going to do his will.
He has already declared the end from the beginning.
He sees, knows, and accomplishes all that he set out to do b/c he alone is God.
We see this ultimately in the person and Work of Jesus Christ.
The fact that God promised a savior back in Genesis and that we see him follow through with that promise assures us that he does what he says he is going to do.
B/c he doesn’t change.
He won’t change.
He can’t change.
Within the last 40 years or so, there’s been a new movement that’s been popping up in some circles of Christianity.
This movement is called “Open Theism”
Open Theism basically means that God adapts to or changes what he is going to do based on human actions.
According to Open Theist, God doesn’t have foreknowledge about what is going to happen, he’s accommodating and makes choices based on what humanity is doing.
And to some of you this may make sense.
For others this may sound ridiculous.
Now I don’t want to create a straw-man argument against open theist.
They do have what may appear to be scriptural evidence for their claims that God changes and adapts to human actions.
And maybe you read these before too and questioned exactly what they mean.
The first one we are going to look at occurs in
5 When the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, 6 the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. 7 Then the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”
The first question that may pop into your mind is the word “regretted”.
How can the Lord regret something that he knew was going to happen.
Maybe he did change his mind.
Maybe he didn’t know how humanity was going to end up so he decided in that moment of regret that he was going to save Noah and start over.
So what is going on here?
How do we reconcile God’s Immutability with this passage?
God often and graciously reveals himself to us in ways that we can understand him.
Remember, God is so completely other than us that we can’t completely relate to him or even know all that he knows.
John Calvin says that God “lisps with us as nurses are wont to do with little children.”
So what may look to us as God changing his mind, is truly God accommodating to our understanding of him.
Often in the Scriptures God uses what is called anthropopathism-that is the describing God’s actions using human emotions.
Just b/c God is described as regretting didn’t mean that God did regret, but it is a way for us to understand the reasoning of God’s decision.
Another example is in Exodus 32.
In Ex 32, the Israelites have created and began to worship a Golden calf while Moses is on the mountain with God.
God tells moses that he is going to destroy them.
9 The Lord also said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone, so that my anger can burn against them and I can destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
However, Moses petitions God and tells him to remember his promises,
And we go on to read
14 So the Lord relented concerning the disaster he had said he would bring on his people.
Did God forget his Promises?
Was God going to forsake his promises b/c of Israels rebellion?
No, God did what he has eternally purposed to do.
God is not changing in these situations.
Rather he is revealing his true character to humanity.
Sin, rebellion, and disobedience grieve the heart of God.
And as sinful, rebellious , and disobedient creatures we deserve death.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So God didn’t change his mind, he revealed his love, mercy, grace, and patience to man.
In his relenting from man’s destruction, he revealed even more of who he is and what his plan and purpose is and was.
God doesn’t change his nature based upon what we do as his creation.
If he did that then he would be dependent on mankind.
Waiting for us to act.
Waiting for us to make decisions.
Waiting for us to move so that he could respond.
But as we looked at last week, God doesn’t depend on anyone or anything.
He is completely independent.
So we can trust him to be who he has always been.
One of the problems with these open theist, those that say God changes and adapts depending on the actions of man, is that whether they want to or not have to determine that God is inconsistent in his teaching and in his actions.
In fact, some of the strongest proponents of Open Theism claim an ancient heresy as the truth.
They believe that the God of the OT is evil.
That he is wicked and that it isn’t until God dwells with us in Jesus that God becomes more loving, merciful, compassionate, and gracious.
So for them, God in the OT bad, Jesus in the NT good.
We see the dangers in this, right?
If God in the OT is different than the God in the NT how can we trust him?
How can we believe in him?
What happens if humanity stops pleasing God?
What happens if God decides that he is going to treat us differently b/c of our thoughts and actions?
What if Jesus gets fed up?
This also leads to something that is happening all over our country in many pulpits, bible studies, and small groups.
How people have read and understood God’s word forever is now also Subject to change.
If God is mutable.
If God can change based on human actions.
Then we can’t trust what he has said in his word.
The scriptures aren’t everlasting.
They can also be manipulated and changed.
What God said he hates sin.
In all its forms.
Whether sexual immorality, lying, adultery, changing God’s idolatry, etc.
Is now up for question.
It’s now up for debate.
Did God really mean what he said?
Or did he only mean it for a little while until we become more enlightened.
But if God is unchanging.
If he is the rock.
Then this can’t be.
In his word, he has even revealed to us that he knew something like this would happen.
8 The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.”
Even Jesus Said in
18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished.
What he has said is what he has meant and continues to mean.
The sin he hated is the sin he still hates.
God doesn’t change.
Not on a whim.
Not based on humanity’s “progress”
For no reason will God ever change.
This is why its so crazy to me that people are trying to change and manipulate God’s Word to say what they want it to say.
And here’s the thing, we don’t have to like it.
We don’t even have to agree with it.
We can live our lives doing whatever we want.
Believing God to be whoever we want him to be.
But no matter who you want or what you think God is, it isn’t going to change his nature.
He is going to continue to be who he is for all eternity.
And there is nothing that we can do about that.
So we will either submit to him in worship and follow after Jesus, or we will spend eternity separated from him.
Beauty of Immutability
Beauty of Immutability
Now the immutability of God can be difficult for us to wrap our minds around.
Remember what I said earlier, we are ever changing.
However, the immutability of God is the most beautiful when standing in stark contrast to the mutability of man.
The fact that God doesn’t change is an amazing truth and comfort.
I want you to hear what God says in
19 God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?
We talked about this last week in depth, but God is completely different from us.
He is just a better version of yourself, He is a distinct, perfect, and holy being.
And when we contrast that with our own frailty we can stand back and marvel at his faithfulness to us.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Just a couple of weeks ago I was at a men’s gather, and the topic came up about whether God Changes or not.
And b/c I was studying this topic, for this sermon I had a pretty good answer if I do say so myself.
Now this isn’t original to me, but it is profound in what it demonstrates.
Now for God to alter or change at all, to be different from Himself, one of three things has to take place:
1. God must go from better to worse, or
Impossible b/c he is eternally holy.
2. He must go from worse to better, or
1. Can't b/c he's perfect
3. He must change from one kind of being to another.
1. Can't b/c he's Self-Existent
Here's something that until last week I hadn't given a whole lot of thought toward.
When we pray.
We are praying to the same God who spoke the world into existence.
The Same God who created all living beings by the word of his voice.
The same God who formed and fashioned man in his own image out of the dust of the earth.
We are praying to the same God that revealed his plan to Abraham.
We are praying to the same God that saved Israel from the hands of pharaoh.
We are praying to the same God who made the walls of Jericho fall down
The Same God that came down to dwell with us 2000+ years ago.
The same God that your parents and grandparents prayed to.
The same God who has been preached about for the last 2 millennia.
The same God who is worshiped in the church down the street.
Our God is the same God.
He hasn't and won't change.
After we're gone from this earth he will still be worshiped.
After our children and grandchildren are gone he will still be worshiped.
What peace and comfort we can have knowing that God never changes.
That he is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
His plan was always to save sinners.
His goal is always his glory.
He is faithful and true.
He doesn’t shift or change.
He continues to do what he began to do.
And that is why he is worthy of all worship honor and praise.
And his immutability stands in stark contrast to our ever changing nature.
And Thank God you're not immutable.
Unlike God you can change.
You can go from worse to better.
You can go from sinner to saint.
You can go from selfish to other centered.
You can go from dead in your sins and trespasses to alive in Christ.
You can be transformed by the mercy, grace, compassion, and love of God.
But, you can't get there alone.
You need help from the unchanging God.
And here’s an even more amazing truth.
If God changes you, he promises he won’t leave you.
6 I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God continues the work in you.
He started the work and he’s going to finish the work.
In your fickleness, in your disobedience, in your horrible circumstance.
If God saved you, he will continue to work in you.
Not b/c of who you are or what you’ve done.
Not based on your own good works.
Not based on anything except the salvation that he has bestowed upon you.
That he has granted you, b/c of Jesus.
Here’s a question I have for you?
Have you been changed by the unchanging God?
Have you submitted your life to Jesus and are you following him?
Remember he loves saving sinners.
He loves changing hearts.
Today, you can go from condemned in your sin to saved by Jesus.
You can be changed, transformed, and made new by repenting of your sins and turning toward Jesus.
If you have already placed your faith in Jesus, continue to know that what he said is what he meant.
You can trust him.
I want to close with a quote that I pray encourages you.
God never changes his moods or cools off in His affections or loses enthusiasm.
His attitude toward sin is now the same as it was when he drove out the sinful man from the eastward garden, and His attitude toward the sinner the same as when He stretched forth his hands and cried
“Come to me all ye that labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest.”
Come find your rest in him today.