The word immutability with the prefix imm with mutability means unchangeable. God Himself is an unchangeable deity. A God who is forever active in the affairs of His creation and that is something that will never change. The doctrine of God’s immutability does not mean that God is not mobile; or that He restrains Himself from anything. God is not limited to movement and does not limit Himself, or keep Himself from the affairs of man, as the deist would teach. The deist thinker believes that God created and then removes himself from the matters of his created creatures. God’s immutability means that every aspect of His being, character, mind, attributes, and will, is never changing. God is the only being in existence which is unchangeable. God has determined since eternity to be involved in the affairs of His created creatures, and that determination will never change; it is immutable. Thank God He is an immutable ruler in the dealings of man. The world is full of constant change and we see how sometimes change in our world has an evil consequence. But we can trust in the one sovereign God who is unchangeable that everything that is currently being worked out will be to the glory of God, and that is His word; and His word will live forever, and that is unchangeable.
The being of God is immutable:
Malachi 3:6 For I am Jehovah, I change not. Because of this you sons of Jacob are not destroyed.
By the very declaration of God Himself; we can trust in Him. God does not change in being; in attributes, neither character, or mind. God is not a mutable man who tells you what you want to hear in order to get elected into favorable positions. God is not a mutable man who falls short of integrity and breaks His promises. God is the only God in existence and He is unchangeable. The being of God is not contingent or conditioned on anything outside of Himself. The decrees of God are immutable and everything He decrees has been decreed from eternity, and will come to pass because His decrees are unchangeable. His knowledge and foreknowledge is immutable. God can never grow wiser neither can God become absent minded. Our Lord our God Jehovah is supreme over all existence to include the wills of men; and though all men are fallible, weak, and mutable; nothing which we do, nor any angel in Heaven can cause God to rethink anything. God reigns over all throughout all eternity and has been the same yesterday, today, and will be the same tomorrow. The sovereign rule of God is immutable.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.
Even the Son, who is the physical manifestation of the Father in heaven, is immutable. Christ the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow implies that He has been unchangeable throughout all eternity. He is the very same essence as the Father and the Holy Spirit. Even in the flesh Jesus Christ was immutable in every respect. Furthermore; the Gospel of Jesus Christ has always been the same from the Old Testament, to the New Testament. In the old days the Jews professed their faith in Christ by sacrificing animals as a shadow of the coming Messiah. Those who believed in Jehovah, and the prophecy of the coming Messiah; believed with the same faith given to them by God, which is the same faith given to the New Testament believer who believes in the risen Lamb who was slain. The Gospel of Christ and method of salvation will always be absolutely dependable because the Gospel of Christ is immutable, it does not change.
Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock; His work is perfect. For all His ways are just, a God of faithfulness, and without evil; just and upright is He.
2Samual 22:32 For who is God, except Jehovah? And who is a rock except our God?
In the Old Testament; God is proclaimed as the immutable rock because a rock is inelastic, it cannot be molded. All of God’s works are perfect and just. God is faithful to His people to never forsake us. He is an upright God who is never the author of evil in the affairs of men, and in all these things He is consistent and never changes. In the New Testament the triune deity and the immutability thereof is found in Christ as the Rock.
1Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
1Peter 2:6 Therefore also it is contained in the Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner Stone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him shall never be ashamed.
1Corinthians 10:4 is in reference to Moses in Exodus 17:6 at the rock of Horeb. God commanded Moses to smite the rock so that water would pour out for the people to drink. The Old Testament Jews drank from the rock which was a type or shadow of Christ who is known as the Rock. Just as Moses smote the rock so that water poured out for His people to drink; so it was that God smote His son Jesus Christ by bruising Him and crucifying Him for the sins of the world, so that His blood would be poured out for His people to drink; and have remission of sins. Think of this every time we partake in communion in remembrance of Christ; that He is the heavenly manna and the Rock who was smote for the remission of sins. So it is that Christ is also the Stone; the Chief Corner Stone by which our foundation begins, which becomes the very foundation which we build our faith on. Jesus Christ is our refuge, our shelter, our immutable and impenetrable Rock which becomes our sanctuary.
The duration of God is immutable:
Genesis 21:33 And Abraham planted a tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of Jehovah, the everlasting God.
Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God.
We see in these two passages that, God is referred to as everlasting and everlasting to everlasting. This conveys that there is no beginning, neither any end to the eternal duration of God. God is an eternal being and that will never change. His eternal duration will never grow neither decrease in measure; God’s eternality is immeasurable and unchangeable.
Consider also Abraham planting the tree in Beer-sheba. In this place he called on the name of Jehovah. John Gill proposes that, it is most likely that he planted the tree to provide shade, but he also called on God’s name meaning he settled and worshiped God in public. And so it serves us well to follow this example from our forefather of faith; that wherever we go we ought to unashamedly worship God. If you are going to plant anything on the soil of which your feet tread; let it be the Gospel of Christ firmly planted in the hearts of men wherever you go.
Romans 16:26 but now has been made plain, and by the prophetic Scriptures, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.
1Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in light which cannot be approached, whom no one of men have seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.
Immutability of God’s will and mind:
I believe one of the greatest qualities of God within His attribute of immutability; is the immutability of His mind and will. Unlike God; natural man can rarely go a day without telling a lie. Neither can live a day without changing his mind in relation to anything. Man attempts to meet his goals; makes his plans, but whatever goal is not failed, it is culminated with inaccuracy and miscalculation. More often than not man has to lie or sin in order to meet a desired goal. But not our God:
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?
What has God ever spoken or decreed that has not come to pass? All of existence subsists because of His spoken word. God does not change his mind or repent as man does. Man realizes his sin and repents to follow in the holiness of God; but God does not necessitate following anyone, and neither has any reason to repent, because His ways are perfect and Holy.
Hebrews 6:18 so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
These two immutable things spoken of in the book of Hebrews are His oath and His counsel; as it is written in the preceding two verses. His oath and counsel can never fail, they can never deceive, they can never confuse, and His promises are true and trustworthy from eternity. The unchangeableness of His oath and counsel are a strong consolation and strong comfort to us who are His. It is by His eternal unchanging oath and counsel that God saved us through the work of Christ, which becomes our refuge we flee to for the hope of salvation. This salvation is a consolation to us because God has promised it to us from eternity for us who believe in Christ, and God cannot lie or repent from His promises as it also reads in:
1Titus 1:2 on hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the eternal times.
What about the contenders of this doctrine? Those who may say, God is not immutable. God is mutable because He changes His mind as it is written in:
Genesis 6:6-7 And Jehovah repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was angry to His heart. 7 And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air. For I repent that I have made them.
To any logical mind this may seem as a contradiction considering the many verses presented referencing God’s immutability. But to the Christian rational mind it is easily justified. Arthur Pink justifies it by saying that, “When speaking of Himself, God frequently accommodates His language to our limited capacities,” (Pink). Theologian and expositor of the whole bible, John Gill proposes that, attributes of this kind of expression from God is anthropopathy. Webster’s dictionary defines anthropopathy as- The affections of man, or the application of human passions to the Supreme Being. What this is conveying is that God uses anthropopathy so that man may realize how truly degenerate man has become in their wickedness. If God could ever change His mind, which He cannot, but if there was one thing that would cause Him to repent; it is the creation of man. We have fallen so short of the glory of God, our imagination is only evil continually. We are slaves to the very lusts that we wish to fulfill. We are disobedient creatures; we deceive and manipulate in order to receive our carnal pleasures. Our lives are filled with malice; we envy and hate one another to the end of murdering, maiming and raping. Our heart is flooded with wickedness, adultery and fornication. How could God love such a wretched thing as us? How could God not cast all of His creation to the lowest parts of hell? How could such a Holy God not destroy all His creation? What kind of incomprehensible love is this God that He would choose to pardon an innumerable measure of wicked men? By removing Himself from His throne to wrap himself in the nature of His creation; in order to be murdered and crucified by His own people. May God’s passionate human language delivered to us; incline us to understand how low and hopeless we truly are toward salvation. The sinful nature of man is so corrupt, that if left to our own will we would never choose to follow Christ and would walk straight through the gates of hell by our own device. But God is an immutable God who we can depend on.
Romans 11:29 For the free gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Although God has used anthropopathy to express to us our own degeneracy; God never uses anthropopathy with a negative connotation or suggestion for those whom He has called on to salvation. In this God is immutable.