Our Changeless God

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Our Changeless God

Doctrine of God Series: 1

Text: Ps 90:2; Gen 21:33; Ps 102:26-27; James 1:17

Date: 10/12/03 – Tok; 10/5/08 - LMB


-         Today we are starting a series on Doctrine.  I think it is important that we know the basic truths of the Bible.  We can only act on what we believe and if we do not know the truth, then we cannot possibly act on the truth.

-         We live in a time of change.  The world is changing so fast around us that it is hard or sometimes even impossible to keep up.  The saying, “the only thing certain is change” could be the motto of the times.

-         The problem is that people do not really do well in constant change.  People need stability and consistency if they truly want to function properly.  We are told that Children grow better in stable environments and even if you cannot always give them that, then you need to have certain routines that give them a sense of security. 

-         This is great but what stable thing can we as adults rely on for our security?

o       Many of us come to church to find stability and do not find it.

o       Many of us try to read our bibles for stability, but we really do not understand how the Bible relates to our world. 

-         The reason this happens is because we keep trying to look at the people and relate to them, but the person we should be relating to is God.  The people may have leprosy, which is rare in the US, and we may not be able to relate, but God is still the God who heals.  The armies may be in chariots and have swords, where our armies have M1 tanks and M-16 rifles, but the victory is still determined by the Lord. 

-         The issue is not the lives of the people but how they inter-related with God.  Times have changed and will continue to change it is the nature of time, but God has remanded the same and still deals with us and relates to us the same as He did in ancient times.

Thesis: If we want stable lives, we must base our lives on the only stable thing, the Unchanging God!

Text: Ps 102:26-27

Opening up the Passage:

-         I want us to focus on Ps 102:27, This verse tells us two things

o       1st – God is always the same – He is Unchanging

o       2nd – God is eternal – He has no beginning or end


-         There are several doctrines that we are going to deal with today, mainly because this whole series is about doctrine, but I want you to learn some terms and their meanings

Eternality –

-         means God is eternal, He has no beginning or ending

-          Ryrie says, “ means that God exists endlessly. His existence extends endlessly backward and forward (from our viewpoint of time) without any interruption or limitation caused by succession of events.”

-         The word eternal is used in two senses in the Bible: figuratively, as denoting existence which may have a beginning, but will have no end, e. g., angels, the human soul; literally, denoting an existence which has neither beginning nor ending, like that of God. Time has past, present, future; eternity has not. Eternity is infinite duration without any beginning, end, or limit—an ever abiding present. We can conceive of it only as duration indefinitely extended from the present moment in two directions—as to the past and as to the future.—Great Doctrines of the Bible, The

-         Other Verses

o       Ps 90:1-2 à LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (NKJ)

o         Rev 4:8-9 àThe four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, (NKJ)

o       Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

o       Genesis 21:33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.

-         Hodge says, “Eternity is infinite duration; duration discharged from all limits, without beginning, without succession, and without end”.[1][1]

o       What relation does time bear to eternity?

o       Eternity, the unchanging present, without beginning or end, comprehends all time, and co–exists as an undivided moment, with all the successions of time as they appear and pass in their order.[2][2]

-         This means that God is outside of time.

o       Isa 57:15 à For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

-         This is a hard concept to understand and we cannot fully understand it because it is impossible for us to think outside of time.

o       For us, we think in past, present, and future.

o       God thinks in present – AS He watches you in your pew, He is also seeing Cain kill Able, Moses parting the Red Sea, Paul persecuting the early church, and His Son dieing on a cross.  For us this all happens at different times, but for God it all happens at once, but He is also knows that it happens in order in time.  (We have to remember that He created time)

-         God’s attribute of eternity lets us know that God has always and always will exists.  “His sustaining, providential control of all things and events is assured.” (Ryrie, 37)

-         Genesis 21:33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.

-         What an encouragement to know “the Everlasting God”! Wells would disappear, trees would be cut down, ewe lambs would grow up and die, altars would crumble, and treaties would perish; but the Everlasting God would remain.[3]

-         This truth allows us to have something truly stable on which to lean or base our life upon, in a world that everything is unstable.


-         This doctrine is a product of God’s Eternity.  If something is eternal, then it has to be self-existent.

-         We all know the law of cause and effect.  That everything is has a cause and an effect.  This is true for the created order or for creatures, but it is not true for God.

-         God is not an effect, therefore He has no cause. 

-         RC Sproul says, “He has, within Himself, the power of being.  He requires no assistance from the outside sources to continue to exist.  This is what is meant by self-existent.” (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, 37)

-         I find it interesting that God is not only self-existent, but He is also the cause of all creation.  See verses below:

o       Col 1:16-17 à For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (NKJ)

o       Rev 1:8 à "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (NKJ)

o       Acts 17:28 à "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' (NKJ)


-         This basically means that He is unchanging.

-          Hodge says, “By his immutability we mean that it follows from the infinite perfection of God; that he can not be changed by any thing from without himself; and that he will not change from any principle within himself that as to his essence, his will, and his states of existence, he is the same from eternity to eternity”.[4][3]

-         By the Immutability of God is meant that God's nature is absolutely unchangeable. It is not possible that He should possess one attribute at one time that He does not possess at another. Nor can there be any change in the Deity for better or for worse. God remains forever the same. He is without beginning and without end; the self-existent "I am"; He remains forever the same, and unchangeable.—Great Doctrines of the Bible, The

-         Verse support

o        Ps 102:26-27 à read text again

o       Mal 3:6 à "For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. (NKJ)

-         Problem: KJV says that God repented, this is not possible if He cannot change?

o       o       Gen 6:6 à And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (NKJ)

§         The word for repented is in niphal which is better translated sorry or moved to pity for man, or to have compassion

o       o       Jonah 3:10 à Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. (NKJ)

§         The word for relented is also the word KJV uses for repent.  This indicates that God changes his mind, but I do not think this is true.

o       JI Packer says, “the reference in each case is to the reversal of God’s previous treatment of particular people, consequent upon their reaction to that treatment. But there is no suggestion that this reaction was not foreseen, or that it took God by surprise and was not provided for in His eternal plan. No change in his eternal purpose is implied when he begins to deal with a person in a new way.” ( Knowing God, 80)

o       God made a covenant with Israel that if they followed God they would have blessings and if they did not then they would have curses.  He often showed himself merciful and would wait a very long time before bringing punishment.  If the people changed their ways then God would bless.  From our view point God may have appeared to change His mind, but in reality He is still maintaining His righteousness and keeping to the covenant.

o       "The repentant attitude in God does not involve any real change in the character and purposes of God. He ever hates the sin and ever pities and loves the sinner; that is so both before and after the sinner's repentance. Divine repentance is therefore the same principle acting differently in altered circumstances. If the prospect of punishment answers the same purpose as that intended by the punishment itself, then there is no inconsistency in its remission, for punishment is not an end, it is only a means to goodness, to the reign of the law of righteousness."—Great Doctrines of the Bible, The

-         -         There are a few great ramifications to God’s Immutability:

o       1st – God’s Character never changes

§          James 1:17 à Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (NKJ)

§         Exodus 34:5 Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 "keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation."

o       2nd – God’s Truth and promises never fail

§         2 Tim 2:13 à If we are faithless, he remains faithful; he cannot deny Himself. (NKJ)

§           Isa 46:10 à Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,' (NKJ)

§          Isaiah 40:6 The voice said, "Cry out!" And he said, "What shall I cry?" "All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."

o       3rd – God’s Purposes do not change

§         1 Sam 15:29 à "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent." (NKJ)

§         Num 23:19 à "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? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (NKJ)

§         God’s overall plan does not change

§         JI Packer says, “What God does in time, he planned from eternity.  And all that he planned in eternity he carries out in time.  And all that he has in his Word committed himself to do will infallibly be done.” (Knowing God, 80)


            We have talked a lot about God today and one of the complaints about preaching doctrine is that it does not apply directly to my life.  We have talked before about that doctrine is the foundational truths that we believe that cause us to act.  Therefore the doctrines that we have talked about today should cause us to act, but How?  Answer the SO WHAT?


1)      God will always be here to maintain control and to either discipline us or reward us.  This means that we can rest assured in His control.  Parents and Spouses may leave us, but God is always here and we can count on Him 100%.

2)      God never changes. We do not have to worry if today God will be pleased with an action and tomorrow that same action will make Him mad.  If we know what pleases Him today, then we know it will please Him any day. 

3)      God’s Character never changes.  He acts the same today as He did during Moses time.  God is still the God of mercy, grace, war, and of justice.  I think that we do not look around to see the hand of God in things.  The other great thing about this is that God has not changed in how He relates to us personally.  We see the close relationship between God and Isaiah, Moses, and Paul.  These relationships are still possible today, it is us who have changed not God.  I am not saying that you can write scripture, because that part of God’s plan has been completed, but God still desires us to have a very close walk with Him. 

4)       God’s Truth and Word will stand.  This means that we can take the promises of the Bible and make them ours (if they are general) and they are as good today as they were 2000 years ago.  JI Packer says, “God still stands behind all the promises, and demands, and statements of purpose, and words of warning, that are addressed to New Testament believers.” (knowing God, 79).  We can take God’s word and base our life on it, and expect Him to carry out His end of things just like the people in the bible expected Him too.  Do you really realize what this means?  It means it is possible to live with God like our hero’s of the faith did.  The stumbling block is not God, but us.

5)       But the thought brings a searching challenge too. If our God is the same as the God of New Testament believers, how can we justify ourselves in resting content with an experience of communion with him, and a level of Christian conduct, that falls so far below theirs? If God is the same, this is not an issue that any one of us can evade.  Packer, J.I.: Knowing God. electronic ed. Downers Grove : InterVarsity, 1996, c1973

6)      God’s Purposes do not change.  God has always been about spreading His Kingdom and bringing Glory to Himself.  This purpose has not changed and in that we can be confident in what God wants us to do and what is pleasing to God.  God has always required obedience of His people, we know this therefore we always know obedience is good and pleasing to Him.  People who worship other gods and always in fear of what they should do or what will please their god.  The Greek gods were very fickle, but the Lord lets us know what He expects and does not change it.  We have ultimate stability in the Lord.


            Have you had a wrong view of God?  Do you base your life off of the stability of Scripture? Or do you find yourself often wondering what would please God?  Please begin to look earnestly at scripture and determine what pleased God 2000 years ago or even further back and you will find what will please Him today.  In our changing world base your life on God the only thing that is stable and find the peace and pleasure of living in the presence of God!!


-         Speaking of God’s eternality in contrast with His Creation was an expression of the psalmist’s confidence in the Lord. The earth and the heavens. . . . will perish (cf. 2 Peter 3:10; Rev. 21:1), wearing out like old clothes. By contrast God is unchanging (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8) and eternal (His years will never end; cf. Ps. 102:27). Therefo re He will be faithful to all generations (to the saints’ children and to their descendants).[5]



[1][1]Hodge, A. 1996. Outlines of Theology. Index created by Christian Classics Foundation. (electronic ed. based on the 1972 Banner of Truth Trust reproduction of the 1879 ed.) . Christian Classics Foundation: Simpsonville SC

[2][2]Hodge, A. 1996. Outlines of Theology. Index created by Christian Classics Foundation. (electronic ed. based on the 1972 Banner of Truth Trust reproduction of the 1879 ed.) . Christian Classics Foundation: Simpsonville SC

[3]Wiersbe, Warren W.: Be Obedient. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1996, c1991, S. Ge 20:1

[4][3]Hodge, A. 1996. Outlines of Theology. Index created by Christian Classics Foundation. (electronic ed. based on the 1972 Banner of Truth Trust reproduction of the 1879 ed.) . Christian Classics Foundation: Simpsonville SC

[5]Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 1:867

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