What Is Immutability?
You may have heard this phrase or description of God all your life but never really understood what it means. The immutability of God refers to his unchanging nature. He does not change in his character, his nature, his purposes, or his will. “It is that perfection of God by which He is devoid of all change, not only in His Being, but also in His perfections, and in His purposes and promises.” (L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938), 58).
Does the Bible Teach Immutability?
The unchanging nature or immutability of God is taught in Exodus 3:14 with the revelation of His divine name “I AM.” He is. He is unchanging. Psalm 102:27 says, “you are the same, and your years have no end.” Isaiah 41:4 says, I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.” Malachi 3:6 says, “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” Romans 1:23 describes God as “the immortal God.” The most famous passage is perhaps James 1:17 which describes God as “the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
How Does this Impact Me?
The unchanging nature of God may not seem impactful at first, but there are some very powerful implications.
First, because God does not change we see that he is perfect and always is/has been perfect. Our God is not improving. Our God is not falling apart. Rather our God is always as great as could possibly be, he always has been, and always will be. Isn’t that a God you want to worship?
Secondly, we can be thankful that we know what to expect from God. Because God is unchanging, then is Word is unchanging (2 Peter 1:19). We do not serve a temperamental God. We serve the God we can depend upon and the God who has revealed his “once and for all” will to us (Jude 3).
Finally, since God is unchanging and has revealed himself to us in the Scripture, we can know something of his character. In reading the Scriptures, we can “behold the goodness and severity of God.” We can see how God is gracious. We can also see how God punishes the rebellion of sin. In seeing these things, we can know how God will relate to us in Christ.
When we think of this wonderful doctrine, we can exclaim, “my God how great Thou art!”