As we continue our look some of the principles shared within the Godhead we have up till now seen that He exists and therefore wants us to know Him as God, as well as that God is Eternal. This week we will look at the fact that God is Immutable. That is He does not change. As stated last week that “since God is eternal it is also very good that He be Holy” and to add … it is also good that He does not change.
Again the goal here will be to offer enough of a foundation from which to operate.
As usual a brief definition:
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines Immutable as:
Invariable; unalterable; not capable or susceptible of change.
I think that his definition bares a closer inspection. He states that to be immutable you must be “unalterable” as well as “not capable … of change” and here we have two great statements of God as it relates to His being immutable. 1) That He is not alterable, that is no outside force can or will change Him. And logically we must acknowledge this for if He could be changed then the force changing Him would be greater than Him and of necessity He would not be God. 2) He is not capable of change that is He is incapable of change not that He could change and chooses not to but no He by His very nature cannot change.
A. W. Pink reminds us that... “God cannot change for the better, for He is perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse”
And it follows that since He is not capable of change then by definition His essence cannot change that is His very being cannot be something it is not already. He cannot increase. He cannot decrease. He cannot self-evolve. He cannot develop. He is unchangeable.
He therefore cannot have any new attributes which would suggest change in his essential being. Now if any perfection could be separated from God, he would cease to be God. If we were, for example, to think of a God from whom his goodness were taken, then of course he would not be the infinite God that he was before. He cannot be wiser than he was before, he cannot be holier than he was before, he cannot be more righteous or more merciful than he was before, and He cannot be less merciful than he was before.
Further His will is unchangeable in His plans and purposes. He does not, for example, purpose something today that he changes tomorrow. He does not change his mind. He does not have to sit and think now what shall I do? Shall I do this or shall I do that? Well I think today I’ll try this, or I think tomorrow I will try that. Because God is infinite in his wisdom, then there is no error in the conception of his plans. All of his plans are perfect, and he does not have to reason them out. He has within himself the power to know that which is the finest plan.
So what comfort is there in knowing that God does not indeed cannot change? As we saw earlier God has set a standard and that standard is that we, you and I, be holy just as He is. But imagine trying to reach that standard if God were to change. It would be like trying to score a touchdown with the goal posts constantly moving. And this is what moral relativism does it constantly moves the goal so that anything is possible and defendable. But not so with God; He is immutable.