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Big Mistake: No Change


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You don’t have to be a part of many discussions on matters of faith where people have different views before you hear, ‘but God never changes.’ That phrase is used over and over in a variety of contexts but how often have we discussed what that means specifically? Not that I can remember. Because of this another big mistake is that we believe this extends to how He relates to others. When we make these mistakes, we will have a faulty understanding of doctrine and the Gospel of Grace.

First, let’s conclude on what most believe about God never changing. More than anything, God’s character doesn’t change. Oddly, you won’t find many verses in the Bible that confirm this or specifically outline how His character doesn’t change but we can use logic to confirm God’s character will never change. He is perfect and thus His character is perfect. If His character changed it would be due to imperfection and God can’t be imperfect. Therefore, we know His Holiness, Righteousness, and Justice can’t change, nor can His love, mercy, and love. God is perfect with perfect character and that can’t change.

Second, God’s Word never changes and that is truth we can find in Scripture:

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Is 40:8

But, more so, according to John 1, Jesus is the Word of God and He never changes:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb 13:8

We also learn that God is forever and that He has always been- He is the only constant in eternity.

So, where do we think God doesn’t change but does? Most notably in how He relates to us. Look at this timeline and how God related to us:

Pre-sin: God was a friend of Adam and Eve. They were pure as He was, and their relationship was one of perfection.

Post-sin: God could no longer relate to man in a perfect way and became separated from man. Ultimately, while God relates to us while we are alive, once dead, without Christ we have a permanent separation from God.

Adam-Moses: While the sin problem was universal for all time, God began to relate to man in imperfect ways (God could not be in our presence in all His glory {Moses on Mount Horeb for example} but He ‘walked’ with man (Gen 5:24, Gen 6:9 etc.). It is interesting that this term is used but appropriate since God had to have distance between Him and man so ‘walking’ conveys this separation.

Moses-Jesus (pre-cross): God related to man through the Nation of Israel and the Law. Here God changes in that He didn’t relate to man directly (except through His appointed ones like Kings, prophets, judges). Now God set up a system (the Law) to guide the relationship. It was driven by conditions and man was obligated to it. This relationship was a servant-master type relationship, far different than before.

Jesus (post-cross)-present: Through Jesus everything changed. Jesus provided the bridge for us to go back to the Garden and have a perfect relationship with God again- we can now be friends again (John 15:14-15). We can only do this through forgiveness and receiving the Righteousness of Christ. For the first time since sin, man could now be freed from the wrath of God and no longer had to worry about death. Now, to those who believe, death is the final passageway to the fullness of our perfect relationship with God (our imperfect body keeps us from the perfect fullness).

So God may not change His character, Word, and constant presence, but He can change how He relates to us and the most important thing for us to understand, is that His new relationship with us through Christ is perfect- should we ‘eat the fruit’ again, we would have no new death of Jesus so we must either be secure in the Righteousness of Christ and now have no tree of forbidden fruit, or we will have but a brief existence in the Garden as one sin would cast us back out forever. Why? Because God’s character can’t change. If we could sin to the point we lose our Salvation it would have to be a single sin or God has changed. Or we can simply trust that it is no longer about our righteousness but His and therefore no tree with forbidden fruit remains- we are secure in Him because of the tree of death- the cross.

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