Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon God's Immutability ]

Lonnie Branam

In the above passage God said, “For I am the LORD, I do not change.” Unchangeableness is another attribute of God's nature. Scripture clearly teaches that God does not change and declares that He is immutable. Immutable is a synonym for unchanging and is derived from the Latin word immutabilis. The word is found twice in the Bible–Hebrews 6:17,18. We will discuss that passage later in the lesson. Psalm 102: 25-27 says that God of old laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens. They will perish but You endure. They will grow old like a garment. Like a cloak you will change them, but You are the same. James 1:17 declares that God is the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. I shall be able only to touch hem of the garment on this aspect of God's nature.

In contrast with God, change or mutability is characteristic of all created things. Trees grow and fade; animals appear and perish; even the rocks decay and are sometimes violently removed from their places. Man who stands highest in the scale is also a creature of change. His body passes from feebleness of infancy to the vigor of manhood, and then sinks into the infirmity of old age. His mind undergoes a similar process; its powers unfold, flourish and then declines. He has lost much of the image of God with which is endowed, and has become a slave to his own body. But God is not subject to any of these changes we see about us on the earth. We will consider three aspects of God's immutability.

First, God is immutable or unchanging in His existence. There was a time when there were no created beings, but at that time God was. There will be a time when the visible creation will pass away with a great noise and will apparently be annihilated, but then God will continue to exist. Jesus referred to the unchanging duration of the Divine nature when He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”(John 8:58) That sentence contradicts the law of grammar, for present time is represented as preceding the past. Jesus was expressing the immutability of His existence from the Divine side of His nature. The words I AM is the name of God and means the Existing One. When Jesus spoke of Himself as I AM, He is asserting that in His existence the distinction of past, present and future have no place. He was not merely saying, “I was or existed before Abraham, “ for the angels could make the same statement. When He said, ‘Before Abraham was I AM, He was simply saying He was as one of the Divine beings in the Godhead, one of the Divine Three. Not only did Immanuel(God with us} exist before Abraham did but He existed before the angels existed. The name I AM, applies to Him, as it does to the other two in the Godhead. 2
Secondly, God is immutable in knowledge. Man comes into the world destitute of knowledge. We are endowed with the ability to acquire knowledge. Our mental state constantly undergoes change from childhood to adulthood. Unfortunately, our mental condition often deteriorates in advanced age, and we cannot remember to what heights we attained in intelligence. But God's mental condition is not subject to change or deterioration. He knows Himself; He knows all things that now are, which have been, and all else that shall be in the future. In Psalm 139:3, David said, “You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.” Nothing is new to Him who fills heaven and earth. When God informed Abraham He was about to destroy Sodom, Abraham disputed with Him and pleaded for Sodom. Then God said, “I will go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know”(Gen. 18:21).. We tend to misunderstand statements that represent God as looking down or coming down to see what men are doing on earth. Peter says that the eyes of God are over righteous and His ears are open to their prayers. This is all figurative language of scripture. Nothing more is intended than to teach us that God has perfect knowledge of how we live and of all that goes on here on earth.

In the third place, God is unchangeable or immutable in all His counsels, laws and decrees. In all the covenants, agreements and communications God has made with mankind in the three religions He has given to man, He has always worked by means of facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed and promises to be enjoyed. When God said to Israel in Malachi 3:6, “I am Jehovah; I do not change,” He had reference to the commands or decrees He gave under the Law of Moses. Those decrees were unchangeable, and He held them responsible and accountable for their disobedience. Moreover, He refuses to change His decrees..

Moreover, all promises God makes to mankind for their obedience are also unchangeable and immutable. The only times the words immutability and immutable are used in scripture, they are used in reference to God's promise of eternal life to the old covenant and new covenant
covenant people of God. The promise of eternal life God made to the human race is absolutely and positively unchangeable and immutable. Turn
with me to Hebrews 6:13-20 and let's read this amazing and comforting passage together. In Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 22:17,18, God made two promises to Abraham. The first was to make a great nation of him, and
that nation was the Jewish nation and the Jewish religion. The second promise was that through Abraham and his seed, all families and all nations of the earth would be blessed. This blessing was eternal life in heaven .

To encourage the Jews, Christians and unbelievers in general that God will keep this great promise, God put Himself under oath, and swore under oath to Himself, that He would never change His mind. He did this to convince the human race that the promise of eternal life cannot possibly fail. The promise of eternal life is founded on two immutable or unchangeable things. One is God's word of promise, and second is the oath which confirmed it. God promised eternal life to all who obey Christ, and put Himself under oath that He would keep that promise. God can do anything that is consistent with His nature, but He can do nothing contrary to His nature. He can create a universe; He can raise the dead, but He cannot lie or deny Himself. Christ said, “ Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

As a closing thought since God promises, laws and decrees are unchangeable, we should use great caution and not add to or take away anything from what God has commanded in the New Covenant revelation. God said to old covenant people, “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it that you may keep he commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.(Deut. 4:2} God said to Christians, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take a away his part from the holy city and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18,19). These words would apply to all 27 books of the New Testament, for equivalent warnings are given in other books of the New Testament. Paul said, “If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than that which you have received, let him be accursed”(Galatians 1:9).

Apparently, the teachings of the New Testament are unchangeable. Surely, we should not change anything God has given commands about the New Testament plan of salvation, New Testament worship and the identifying characteristics of the New Testament church. Unto the unchangeable God be power, glory and honor forevermore. Amen..

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