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God is Immutable

Posted in Attributes of God, Gospel, Grace, Theology

By Ricky Wright

“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

“There is but one only, living, and true God, who is…immutable…” (Westminster Confession of Faith 2.1)

To say that God is immutable is to say that he is unchanging. It is to say that he is constant and consistent. It is to say that he is not fickle. The God who reveals himself in his creation and in his Word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. With this in mind, there are at least four ways in which we can speak of God as being immutable:

First, God is immutable in his essence. God is the “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). He never had a beginning, and he will never have an end. He does not grow, develop, learn, or undergo improvement. With him, there is “no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). Who he is now is who he always has been and will always be.

Second, God is immutable in his attributes. None of God’s attributes will ever change. He is always holy (Isa 6:3). He is always loving (1 John 4:8). He is always good (Psalm 34:8). He is always merciful and gracious (Psalm 103:8). He is always just (1 John 1:9). These attributes have, are, and will always be unchanging truths about who God is.

Third, God is immutable in his plans. God is infinitely wise and omniscient; therefore, he does not have to change his plans, learn from his mistakes, or say, “Oops!” His plans are established and always come to pass. “But the counsel of the LORD stands firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11).

Fourth, God is immutable in his promises. God is faithful to every promise he makes. If he says he will do something, he will do it. “God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19).

Because God is immutable in his essence, attributes, plans, and promises, we can rest in the fact that our God is faithful, dependable, and trustworthy. We live in a world in which change is constant, sometimes inevitable. People change. Jobs change. Dreams change. Governments change. Highs and lows in life seem abundant at times. But, in every change, in every up and down, God does not change! The God who was holy yesterday is holy today, and he will be holy tomorrow. The God who loved you yesterday, loves you today, and will love you tomorrow. The God who gave you grace yesterday, gives you grace today, and will give you grace tomorrow. The God who promised to be with you yesterday, is with you today, and will be with you tomorrow. Our God is immutable. By his grace, let us grow, develop, learn, and improve in looking to him, trusting in him, and depending upon him.

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