Immutability: Relation to Other Attributes

The connection of immutability with the other attributes is vital in terms of importance and understanding. We have looked at the self-existence of God and how God exists in and of Himself. God is life itself and has the power of life in His being. But if God does not have the power of life immutably, then of course He would not have life without change. That would mean that it would be possible for God to go out of existence. So the teaching of God’s immutability is utterly necessary for God to be self-existent and that for eternity. We can also think of immutability in terms of eternity and know that this connection is vital and clear as well. If God could change, then He might or even would change from being eternal. We can see how this is also linked with His self-existence. A being that can change is not safe for eternity nor is anyone that depends on that being.

What would happen to God’s omnipresence if He could change? Clearly that would mean that He would not be present in all places and so He would not be in sovereign control of those places. If God is not in all places and not in control of all places, then He is not God. Another problem that would immediately come up is that if He is not in all places how could those places be kept into existence? If God changed, parts of the universe would go out of existence since God would not be there to uphold them.

God’s power would also be completely different if He changed. His omnipotence would be simply power. No longer would God be able to do any and all things that please Him. No longer could it be said that no one can thwart God and no one can ward off His hand. No longer could God say that He brings down the proud. We would also have to ask ourselves about the efficacious power of God in calling sinners to Himself through Christ.

What would happen to the holiness of God if He could change? Would God still be perfectly holy if He could change? He couldn’t be perfectly holy since perfect beings cannot change for the better or for the worse. Perfection does not and cannot change. This would mean that God is not perfect. But if God is not perfectly holy, then what standard do we really have for holiness? What would happen to the Scriptures that command us to be holy as He is holy? We would then have a God that is very powerful, but is now unholy. That means God might not keep His word and we would never know how to be like God on a daily basis. But then again, if God is not immutably holy, we might not want to be like Him. Most likely it would not matter anyway. Why would He put up with us?

Can we imagine a world where there is no love at all? That would be nothing short of hell. No one has love in them and that means that they are unable to love unless they are born of God and know Him (I John 4:7-8). But if God could change, what would happen to His perfect love? On the one hand, since God is love within the Trinity a movement away from love would destroy the Trinity which exists in perfect love. Since God’s holiness consists in perfect love for Himself, this would mean that there would be no standard for love either. This would mean that God’s love for Christ would change and since all His saving love for humanity is focused in Christ, there would be no salvation possible. Humanity would be nothing but a cesspool of hate on earth. They would then die and go to the place of eternal hate. Immutability is necessary for love to continue.

If God could change, then His truth would change as well. Scripture tells us that it is impossible for God to lie. But if He could change, then it would be possible for Him to lie. Not only would God be able to tell things that were not true, but He would not watch over His Word to see that it stood true. The Scriptures would be nothing more than statements about what used to be true about God and man. This would also reflect heavily on His faithfulness. In one sense God’s faithfulness is really just His ability to say what is true and then do what He says He will do. Immutability is necessary for the truth of God, the Scriptures, and the faithfulness of God.

As we have seen, the immutability of God is utterly vital to the Christian faith, though no more important than our very concept of God is. Without the immutability of God there would be no God and no Christianity. Without this there would be no hope for any good or love at all. When people posit a doctrine that requires God to be mutable or to change, they are teaching a different god than the God of Holy Scripture. Whether one judges that to be an unkind statement or not, it is still true. If it is true, then it is not unkind since it is always kindness to teach people the truth about God. The Church must repent and teach the glory of the immutability of God.

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