The Immutability of God

Bill Thrasher
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In a world that is changing at a record pace, it is comforting to be able to build your life around a God who does not change. This is the God revealed in the Bible.

Scripture and Immutability

No greater passage than Psalm 102 declares the truth that God does not and cannot change.

“Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end. The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before You.” (Psalm 102:25–28)

James the apostle describes God the Father as lacking in any variation: “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

His Immutability Testifies to His Perfection

Theologians call this constancy and lack of change immutability. God is unchangeable. He is immutable. Would you like to be immutable? If you are in any way cognizant of your shortcomings, you would emphatically say, “No, I can’t do that! That’s not me; I’m not consistent. I don’t have my life together like that.”

God has every quality—He is complete—and each quality is in its highest perfection.

God’s immutability testifies to His perfection. He does not need to mature in any of His qualities. He could not possibly be wiser, more loving, more merciful, or more holy. Every quality is in its perfected state. Likewise, He does not need to add any quality to make Him more complete. God states that the fruit of responding correctly to trials is Christlike character. He describes this as being both “perfect and complete” (James 1:4).

God’s character is such that not only is each quality perfect, but also He (unlike us) is not missing any perfection. He is perfectly balanced in all His perfections, unlike the man who is generous but also wasteful or the one who is frugal but also stingy. God has every quality—He is complete—and each quality is in its highest perfection.

Because God is immutable, He is not running out of any of His qualities. You may have been in a great trial and cried out to Him for deliverance. After God grants you deliverance, He does not have any less power to do it for you or anyone else the next time. You do not burden Him down or wear Him out by casting your cares upon His shoulders. You can see Him richly bless another person out of His kindness and goodness. When you are tempted to be jealous, remember that He has no less kindness and goodness left over for you. He is immutable in His goodness, and it is not being depleted.

His Immutability Applies to All His Attributes

I remember one time feeling very encouraged as I sensed God’s love for me. Then I reminded myself, This is always His attitude toward me as His child. Unfortunately, you and I often interpret His love for us based on our emotional state, which often is influenced by our present circumstances. Instead we should base our confidence on His unchangeable truth that says we cannot be separated from His love (Romans 8:38–39).

All of His attributes are immutable. He has known, does know, and always will know all things. He is truthful, and His Word is forever “settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89), “stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8), and “cannot be broken” (John 10:35). His holiness and love are always just as intense as when Jesus was dying on the cross for us!

For Further Reading:

God as He Wants You to Know Him

by Bill Thrasher

Every believer has a need for an understanding of systematic theology, but very few theology books present material in a personal, devotional...

book cover for God as He Wants You to Know Him