Attributes of God pt. 2
Attributes of God - The immutability of God.
Look up ; ; ; ; ; ; .
What is one difference between God and His creation?
What is meant by the immutability of God?
By His immutability we mean that it follows from the infinite perfection of God; that He can not be changed by any thing from outside Himself; and that He will not change from any principle within Himself. “Say what??”
Think really carefully through a few statements:
A. This is implied in His absolute perfection. Perfection permits neither increase as though He lacks, nor decrease as though He can lose. Change must be for the worse or for the better, but God cannot become worse or better.
His unchangeableness is expressly taught by the Scriptures in the following as well as in other particulars. A few passages out of many are referred to in support of each.
(a) They declare Him to be unchangeable in duration and life: ; , ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .
(b) They affirm the unchangeableness of His nature: ; ; ; .
(c) They also assert that His will is without change: ; ; .
(d) His character is also said to be immutable, as for example
His justice: ; ;
Boyce, J. P. (2010). Abstract of Systematic Theology (pp. 73–74). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
His mercy: ; ; ; , ;
His truth: ; ; ; ; , ; ;
His holiness: ; ; ; and
His knowledge: , , , .
a. God is immutable in His essence. God is both immutable in Himself and unchangeable by anything outside Himself. His nature and being are subject to no mutations, no process of development, no self-evolution. He is eternally exalted above every cause and effect and entirely separate from any possibility of change. He cannot grow, decay, improve or deteriorate. He is perpetually the same and can never cease to be God.
Any change is always for better or worse. God cannot change for better because He is already perfect, and being perfect He cannot change for worse. He did not make Himself, nor did anyone else make Him, for He has always been what He is. He cannot change Himself or be changed by others, for His being is unalterably fixed. What is He? (; ; ; )
He is the One in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning. Being infinite in duration He cannot know succession and, being uninfluenced by time, He cannot age. Where is He from? () _______________________________________
He is the One in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning. Being infinite in duration He cannot know succession and, being uninfluenced by time, He cannot age. He is ‘from all eternity’ () the ‘immortal God’ ().
He truly is the ‘immortal God’ ().
b. God is immutable in all His perfections. The very term ‘perfections’ indicates their eternal immutability. What they are today is what they have always been and always will be, without increase and incapable of diminishing. God is immutable and, as His perfections coincide with His being, they can no more change than God Himself. God’s perfections are infinite and nothing can be added to or taken from the infinite.
God can never know more or less than He has always known for he is omniscient What does Peter declare about Jesus? ().
He has known all things from the beginning. Can anything be hidden from God? () _____________.
He can never become more or less powerful for He is eternally omnipotent. Look up these two verses and discover what’s too hard for God:Nothing (, cf. ) What is it? ______________.
He is ‘the only wise God’ () whose ‘love endures for ever’ (). He is ‘rich in mercy’ and grace (,), ‘majestic in holiness’ () and faithful through all generations (). His word of truth ‘stands firm in the heavens’ (), unalterable and unbreakable (), never to be updated or revised. He is constant in all His perfections and therefore utterly dependable in His relations and faithful to His covenants.
c. God is immutable in his counsel. God’s decree stands as an immovable mountain, founded on infallible wisdom and supported by unrestricted power.
His eternal purpose is unchanging in nature ().
His promises never fail and His plans are executed without modification.
His ‘gifts and His call are irrevocable’ ().
‘He stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever He pleases’ (; cf. ).
What He performs in time He planned from eternity, and what He planned in eternity He carries out in time. He is omniscient and therefore alternative plans are unnecessary and, being omnipotent, He always possesses sufficient power to see them through. "Many plans are in a person’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.” () "...As I have purposed, so it will be; as I have planned it, so it will happen.” (; cf 46:10–11).
Shenton, T. (2005). Our Perfect God: A Summary of the Attributes of God (pp. 18–20). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.
God has placed us into a world of change.
The weather and the seasons change; the moon waxes and wanes; the planets change their positions in the sky.
The public concept of morality has changed.
It is no longer shocking to live together before marriage.
Fashions change; postmen wear shorts.
Hairstyles change, popular music changes, the foods we eat have changed.
We are growing older and our hair is whiter, and our eyesight is poorer, and our hearing weaker and we walk more slowly and our shoulders are rounder.
But God is perpetually the same. He never changes. His being, and nature, and perfections can’t be altered. Nothing can be added to the infinite God and nothing can be taken from him. What God is today he always was. What God is today he shall always be. He is immutable; that is his state, and he is eternal; that is the measure of his state. It is essential that God is unchangeable. Without it he could not be God. This is one of the excellencies of God which distinguishes him from all his creatures. It distinguishes him from the angels. Yes, they are as sinless as he is, but they are not omnipotent and there was a time when they were not. They began; they changed from nothingness to something; God never began. He is from eternity to eternity, changeless in his attributes and purposes and character. He is everlastingly, ‘the Father of lights with whom there is no varableness, neither shadow of turning’ ()
May he help us to digest it well and feed upon it, that He is our unchangeable heavenly Father. Your friends may betray you, your husband may leave you, your friends may be taken away, everything may change, but God does not. He will love you still. Let your station in life change, all you possess be taken from you, let your whole life be shaken and you become weak and frail, yet there is one Name that never changes, one place which change cannot touch, one heart that never alters. That heart is God’s. That name is Love. Great is His faithfulness!
Boyce, J. P. (2010). Abstract of Systematic Theology (p. 73). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.