I occasionally hear a Christian say something that literally makes me cringe. It is usually something like, “We just don’t get into theology,” or “I’m not concerned about doctrine, I just love Jesus.” I think I know what they mean – they don’t want to get into debates about things that have little or no bearing on everyday life. They have seen some people focus on words instead of people and others talk about God in some abstract way that has little relevance to everyday life.
The reality is, however, that theology is extremely relevant. The things we know about God will have an impact on our lives every day. The better we understand Him, the better we will understand our world, ourselves, and our purposes in life. Our perception of God will have an impact on our everyday decisions and our relationships with other people.
Let me give you an example by introducing you to a word that you may not be familiar with. Theologians use the word “immutable” to describe an important characteristic of God. The basic meaning is that God does not change. You are probably familiar with the word “mutation” which describes a genetic change. The immutability of God describes the truth that He cannot change. The practicality of that truth is seen in the many scripture passages that express it:
We read in 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?” God will never say an untruth to mislead us, nor will there ever be a time when God will fail to do what he has promised. That makes our reading of scripture take on a new significance – it removes a lot of the thought that, “that was then, but this is now.” His words are as accurate today as they were two or three thousand years ago.
That same thought is expressed in Isaiah 46:9-10; “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” Since His purposes will never change and since he is all-powerful (another great doctrine), He will accomplish everything He has planned to do!
Because He will never change, He will never retract the grace He has extended to us; “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6 ESV)” We never need to wonder if His grace and mercy will become unavailable because He never changes!
Because He does not change, He always gives perfect gifts – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17 ESV) And, of course, the greatest gift He has given is His Son who also never changes – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)
God is immutable, and the more you consider that great truth the more you will trust Him. The more you trust Him and His word, the more you will confidently obey Him. The more you trust and obey Him, the greater joy you will experience! Spend some time today thinking about Our great, unchanging, God.
In Christ, Pastor Nord