Does God Change?


Some Christians believe that God never changes in any way about any thing whatsoever. But that is not true.

Program Transcript


Some
Christians believe that God never changes in any way about any thing
whatsoever.

But that is
not true.

When we
humans try to describe God, the only tools we have are our human languages with
words that describe things we already know about. So we have no choice but to
use analogies and comparisons to created things, things we already know about
through our five senses. But we need to remember that God is never exactly like
anything we can compare him to.

Even the
pronoun “he” in reference to God is only an analogy. It’s a mistake
to think that God is actually male or female. Even the term “Father” can be
misunderstood. The term “Father” refers to the relationship between
the Father and the Son, as we’re told in John 1:14, 18, 34. The term “Father”
also refers to the relationship between the Father and creation, as we see in
Ephesians 3:14-15. But the term “Father” is only an analogy. It does not mean
that the Father is just like human fathers. It only means that there are
certain ways in which the Father is somewhat like an ideal human Father.

So what
about the question of whether God can change?

God—Father,
Son and Spirit—is the source and cause of all being and existence. He brings
everything into being without anything bringing him into being. He is pure
Being, and all other being finds its source only in him. All things depend on
God for their existence, and he depends on nothing for his existence.

So when we
say God is “unchangeable” or “immutable, we do not mean that God
cannot change as he, in his divine freedom, chooses to change. What we do mean
is that God cannot be changed by anything outside himself, as though he were a
created being.

When God
created the universe, he freely in grace and love became something
new—Creator—and he did so in the freedom of his grace and love. Likewise, when
the Son became flesh in the Incarnation, God became something new—human like us
and for our sakes. God did not have to create, nor did he have to become flesh,
but he did so in his divine freedom out of the abundance of his grace and love.

But there is
an all-important way in which God never changes!

Malachi 3:6
reads: “For I the Lord do not change. Therefore you, O children of Jacob,
have not perished.”

This and
other passages about God’s unchangeableness are declarations of God’s absolute faithfulness
to his covenant promise. In other words, God declares that despite all our
trials of faith and doubt, he will never change his mind about loving us and
saving us
.

So, when we
say that God is “immutable” (which means unchangeable) and
“impassible” (which means incapable of feeling), we do not mean that
God cannot change or feel. We mean, rather, that God cannot be changed, or
moved, or hurt against his will by anything outside himself.

But in his
divine freedom as God, he can, and does, of himself and for his own loving
purposes, both change and feel. The bottom line is that God loves you and God
is for you, and he will never give up on you.

I’m Joseph
Tkach, speaking of LIFE.

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