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February 28, 2014

The IMMUTABILITY of God – 2.28.14

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 11:58 am

IMMUTABILITY SCRIPTURES

  • Psalms 102:25, 27 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Psa 102:27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.
  • Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
  • 1 Samuel 15:29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.”
  • Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
  • Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

OBJECTIONS TO IMMUTABILITY:

  • Genesis 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
  • 1 Samuel 15:11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the LORD all night.
  • Exodus 32:9-14 And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.” 11 But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'” 14 And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.
  • Isa 38:1-6 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 and said, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

The definition of immutability states that God does not change in His being or the attributes of His character (i.e., ontological immutability). It does not mean that God cannot change His mind concerning His relationships (i.e relational mutability). God will always act consistently with His character, since He is faithful to Himself (“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself.” 2 Tim. 2:13).

  1. God regretted that He has created man in the sense that man had turned away from God. God knew that humanity would turn on Him, and He knew that He would regret that He made them, but He still believed that it was worth the regret since He already had a remedy planned (Eph. 1). God’s regret, therefore, is not the same as the regret that we often experience, since our regret had no previous knowledge of the outcome of any situation that causes regret. If God regrets, His regret is based on a relational reaction which is always consistent with His character.
  2. God’s change of mind is based on the change in man. If God purposes to judge a nation and states that purpose, He is being consistent with the immutability of His righteous character. If man repents, and God changes His mind, this change is based on the immutability of His gracious character. When a man bicycling against the wind turns around and goes with the wind instead of going against it, the wind seems to change, although it is blowing just as it was before. In all cases, God is consistent with His character since He cannot change. When the Bible speaks of God’s inability to change, it speaks of His ontological immutability. When the Bible speaks of God’s change, it speaks of His relational mutability based on His immutable character.



Discussion taken from “The Theology Program“; Credo House Publishing.

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