The Immutability of God
THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD
They shall perish, but you shall remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. Psalm 102:26-27
I. How God is Immutable
1. God is unchangeable in His essence. He is unalterably fixed in His being, so that not a particle of it can be lost form it, not a mite added to it. He who has not being from another cannot but be always what He is: God is the first being, an independent being; He was not produced of Himself or of any other but by nature always has been, and therefore He cannot by Himself, or by any other, be changed from what He is in His own nature. He is not capable of change. The author of Hebrews, speaking of Jesus, wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
2. God is immutable in regard to His knowledge. God has known from all eternity all that which He can know, so that nothing is hid from Him. He knows not a present any more than He knows from eternity, and that which He knows now He always knows: “All things are open and naked before Him” (Heb. 4:13).
3. God is unchangeable in regard of His will and purpose. A change in His purpose is when a man determines now to do that which before he determined not to do, or to do contrary. But everything that God has decreed is immutable; whatsoever God has promised shall be accomplished: “The word that goes forth of his mouth shall not return to Him void, but it shall accomplish that which he pleases” (Isa. 55:11).
4. God is unchangeable in regard of His place. He cannot be changed in time, because He is eternity. He is eternal, therefore cannot be changed in time; He is omnipresent, therefore cannot be changed in place. He does not begin to be in one place or cease to be in one place. He who fills every place in heaven and earth cannot change place. He is everywhere simultaneously.
II. Arguments for God’s immutability.
1. The name Jehovah signifies this attribute: “I Am THAT I AM; I AM has sent me to you” (Ex. 3:14). It signifies His unchangeable being throughout eternity. It signifies His constancy in His counsels and promises, which spring from no other cause but the unchangeableness of His nature. The very name Jehovah bears, according to the grammatical order, a mark of God’s unchangeableness. It never has anything added to it nor anything taken from it. All things that are changed cease to be what they were and begin to be what they were not, and therefore cannot have the title applied to them. But God never changes and His name bears witness to this fact. God will always be what He has always been.
2. If God were changeable, He could not be the most perfect being. God is most perfect. If He could change from that perfection, He would cease to be perfect. If God does change, it must be either to a greater perfection (which makes no sense) or to less, which would mean God lost something, or diminished in some way. However, there is no defect with God, no need for God to be better, no need for God to change. He is God. Perfect!
3. If God were changeable, He would not be infinite and almighty. All change implies bounds and limits to that which is changed, but God is infinite: “His greatness is unsearchable.” What is all-powerful cannot be made worse. If He could be made better than He was not perfect before.
4. If God were changeable, then the world could not be ordered and governed. Principles are always more fixed and stable than things that process from those principles, and this is true both in morals and nature.
III. Immutability Proper Only to God
Every creature created by God is mutable, while only God is immutable. He alone is infinite in wisdom and able to foreknow future events. There is none above Him, none who are equal to Him, none who compare with Him. As Scripture states, “They shall be changed, but You are the same” -Hebrews 1:10-12. The changeableness of all creatures is evident, while immutability is reserved only for God.
Every creature rose from nothing; created solely of God. The very notion of being created speaks of changeableness, because to be a creature is to be made something of nothing, and therefore creation is a change of nothing into something. Therefore, every creature depends purely upon the will of God. Whereas God is Creator and not creation He is not subject to change. He has eternally existed as He is now -perfectly immutable.