God's Immutability

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Question
What is God’s immutability?
Answer
Among the different attributes of God that we talk about, there's one called immutability, from the Latin that means he's not changing. He doesn't mutate, I guess is how we would hear that in English. God doesn't change, and that comes specifically straight from the Bible in many places, but most obviously, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday … today, and for ever." The Bible is clear that God doesn't change, and yet it does describe things that look like change. For example … the fact that the Bible talks about God changing his mind doesn't contradict God not changing … but the important thing there is that the way that God relates to us doesn't change, therefore, I can count on that consistency. God doesn't, for example, when we're talking about God's law, the Bible doesn't indicate that God, over time, gets a little softer, you know. God doesn't lower his standards, you know. It isn't like he's looked at the human race for thousands of years now and said, "Well, you know, I knew they weren't perfect, but now I see how really imperfect they are, so they don't have to live up to the same standards." Those things never change. What God told Moses on Mount Sinai and what God has revealed throughout the Scriptures, still the same. We are held to the same standard, which would be very frightening if it were not for the fact that the gospel message doesn't change either, that God has always loved his creation and, specifically, very purposefully loved human beings enough that he came into the world to make a difference in our lives, to change it so that we wouldn't be consigned to hell forever, but could live with him in heaven forever. So, when the Bible talks about God not changing, it may be talking in a law term. So, you know, don't think that the standards are relaxed. But also, always, it comes back to, in the gospel, God does still love us. There's no point in my life where I can say God's love can't reach me here, God's love has now ended because of whatever it is that I've done. God's immutability is a warning to us on the one side and a great comfort to us on the other.

Answer by Dr. Jeffery Moore

Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Orlando.