“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)
Think about those words. Jesus Christ is the same as He has always been and He is the same as He will always be. Think of how different that is to us; we change constantly. Our choices, fashion, likes and dislikes, friends, appearance, devices, tastes, etc., they change from year to year, month to month, day to day, and even minute to minute. We are constantly changing, but God never changes.
The theological word for God never changing is immutability. The oxford dictionary defines immutability as “unchanging over time” or “unable to be changed”. This means that God cannot change. This is important because if He could change, then He wouldn’t be perfect. We need to change because we are imperfect beings and need to be molded to the image of Christ. God not only doesn’t need to change, He won’t and He can’t.
So, what does it mean for us as Christians, as teens, that God is unchanging? It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. It seems almost inconsequential. A nice piece of trivia, but certainly nothing life altering. God’s immutability, though, is just as relevant to us as all the other attributes that we have discussed this month. It is as important to us as His love and justice, as His mercy and grace; we just need to understand why and how
- God’s immutability is important because of His commands
Imagine how difficult our lives would be if God kept changing His mind. One minute He told us that we must love our enemies and the next minute He told us that it wasn’t really that important. We would never know where we stood, we wouldn’t know what was expected of us, and we would feel lost all the time. For example, imagine a situation where you work for an erratic boss. He can never make up his mind and he is constantly changing his standards and expectations. There would be chaos. Some people would be doing something based on what he said two days ago, some on what he said yesterday and others on what he said today. There would be confusion, frustration, insecurity, and dissatisfaction. No one likes to be around a person who can’t make up their mind; just imagine if that person were God.
- God’s immutability is important because of salvation
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and has told us that once we are saved, we are always saved. If God were constantly changing, how could we be sure that this was the case? We wouldn’t be sure that the plan of salvation was the same today as it was yesterday; we would even be concerned that God may change His mind once we get to heaven. We would have a lack of assurance and we would live in a state of constant doubt.
- God’s immutability is important because of His other attributes
So far this month we have learned that God is holy, righteous, just, loving, merciful, gracious, sovereign, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Those are only a few of His attributes; He has so many and they are all so important. But if God were constantly changing, we wouldn’t be able to rely on those things. What if God decided to not be loving today, or maybe take a break from being in control? That is why God’s immutability is vital to the fact that He is perfect and why it is so necessary.
God is unchanging. As a result, you can rely on Him completely. When you really stop to think about that, it is a truly an amazing and wonderful thing.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17 ESV)