Friday, June 04, 2010

The Unchanging God

One of God's attributes is immutability. All Creation changes, but God does not change. This is expressed in two ways. The first way is directly:
  • Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

  • James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
A second way is indirectly using the concept of "enduring forever":
  • Psalm 9:7 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

  • Psalm 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

  • Psalm 102:12 But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.

  • Psalm 145:13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
We begin to see this applied to Christ even in the Psalms. There the seed of David is said to endure forever:
  • Psalm 89:4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

  • Psalm 89:29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

  • Psalm 89:36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
While "seed" can be collective, we learn from Paul's epistle to the Galatians that in the Old Testament prophecy it was was intentionally singular:
  • Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
That was referring to the promise to Abraham, but the same is the case here in the promise to David. It was a promise first given by Nathan the prophet:
  • 2 Samuel 7:12-13
    And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

  • 1 Chronicles 17:11-12
    And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
While there was a typological fulfillment of this promise in Solomon, Isaiah shows us that the complete fulfillment was yet to come:
  • Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
We can also see another cross-connection in that the LORD's throne is described as unending:
  • Lamentations 5:19 Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation.

  • Psalm 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
In any event, the final link of this proof of Jesus' divinity is the implicit application to Jesus:
  • Hebrews 1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
And the explicit application to Jesus:
  • Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Let us, therefore, worship Jesus our Immutable Lord!

-TurretinFan

5 comments:

natamllc said...

Amen,

Lord, I do, I worship you. Thank you Lord for planting the seed of the Word of God in my heart and planting me in that place I have longed for.

Thank you Lord for the Holy Christian Church and the fellowship through Christ by One Spirit!

My Pastor has repeatedly said that there is one gift God will give us that we will only enjoy once!

When we die, we will not die alone!

Now, perchance you happened to be in the decree or the short line of Mosea, Elijah or Lazarus, you will only get to experience natural life only once and not as Lazarus, death only once.

It's time to praise the Lord!
1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
1Ch 16:34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Anonymous said...

Turr,

How does "enduring forever" speak to immutability and not eternality?

Although I love your style of apologetics, this claim seem to be a stretch. Are there any source that you know of making this claim?

Turretinfan said...

Of course, immutability and eternality are necessarily linked (i.e. something couldn't really be immutable and anything other than eternal).

I think "enduring" suggests a constancy that's (as I said in the post) indirectly related to the issue.

The "enduring" aspect, however, is mostly a further illustration. If you don't agree (and I don't insist that you must) just refer to the first two verses and the last two verses.

-TurretinFan

Ryan D. McConnell said...

It's quite refreshing to see a post on an aspect of our God that is seemingly abysmally discussed these days – which is a shame especially given the adherence to open theism by Christians in today's age.

Do you also plan on perhaps doing a post on God's impassibility? I know immutability and impassibility are closely related but a post on that aspect of our God would also, I believe, be edifying and refreshing. :)

hutchman said...

Oh what a Savior!