What does it mean that God is immutable?

Immutability –

A.                Definition: That perfection of God by which He is devoid of all change; not only in His being, but also in His perfections, and in His purposes and promises.

1.                  He is exalted above all becoming – He does not change.

2.                  In God there is no accession or diminution.

3.                  There is in Him no growth or decay.

B.                 Proof

1.                  Rationally:

a.                   His independence implies His immutability. Since He is dependent on nothings, but rather a necessarily existing being, nothing outside can change Him.  Since He affirms His own immutability, He will not change Himself.

b.                  Perfection itself implies His immutability. If He is perfect, He cannot become better or worse. If He can become worse than He is, there is already something imperfect in Him.

2.               Biblically:

a.                   Isaiah 41:4; 41:26 – There is no change in His Knowledge or plan.

b.                  James 1:17 – There is not even a hint of change in God.

c.                   Malachi 3:6.

C.                 Scope of God’s immutability:

1.                  1 Timothy 6:15-16 – In time, in His being.

2.                  Psalm 139:7-12 – In space.

3.                  Psalm 139:1-6; Isaiah 43:9-13 – In Knowledge.

4.                  Genesis 18:14 – In power.

5.                  Malachi 3:6; Psalm 136 – In goodness.

6.                  Psalm 33:11; Isaiah 43:13 – In His plans.

D. Two examples where it appears God is not immutable:

A.                Exodus 32:10-14: It appears that God changed his mind about destroying His people, but in truth God simply wanted Moses to respond in Faith about the Promise God had made to Abraham.

B.                 Psalm 18:25-26: It appears that God is different things to different people. In reality God is unchanging in His essence. He is always righteous and always  requires faith of people. People who have faith receive the results of that faith, while people who are crooked receive the results of that. Its like the law, someone who does not break a law is not arrested by the police, but someone else who does break a law is arrested. Neither the police nor the law have changed, the different people, who did different things, received different results. The difference between my ‘law’ example and God is that God simply requires belief. If we believe, we are counted as righteous.

 

 

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