God is an infinite, all-powerful and perfect God. His nature is revealed to us in both natural revelation and special revelation. The special revelation of the Bible aids in our understanding of what God is like. The Bible tells us what characteristics He holds and embodies although even Scripture cannot contain the vastness of God’s nature and attributes. Today’s study covers three very important facets of God’s nature. These three attributes go hand in hand and are necessary for the others to exist and function properly.
We start first with immutability. The immutability of God is a fancy way of saying that God is unchanging. The word is basically the opposite mutating or evolving. Immutability is one of the foundational attributes of God, as it allows us to rest in the validity of the other attributes. Everything about God is constant, unchanging, and unmoving. One of these three things must be true in order for God to be a changing being: God can get better, God can get worse, or God can change into something else altogether. These three things cannot be true about God: because He is perfect, He cannot become better. Because God is holy, He may not become worse than His current perfection. Because He is altogether God, He cannot become something other than the infinite being that He is. Scripture illustrates this point in a number of places. Malachi 3:6 tells us that God does not change and James, Jesus’ brother, tells us that “there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Hebrews 6:13-20 gives us a glimpse of the unchanging nature of God in His faithfulness in keeping promises and His inability to lie. We can take comfort in God’s promises because He will not change His mind or go back on His word. All of His attributes are 100% true, 100% of the time. His promises will not fail and His word remains sure. Paul tells us that He is faithful to complete the work that He started in us (Phil 1:6) and Jude praises in his doxology of how He who called us is faithful to keep us blameless until His return. (Jude 24-25) Tim Chaddick says, “God has never been unfaithful; He isn’t going to start today.” Our assurance in life and death is that God never changes or fails. His immutability brings comfort to our souls.
We can take comfort in God’s promises because He will not change His mind or go back on His word. All of His attributes are 100% true, 100% of the time.
The sovereignty of God is an attribute in which we can find comfort in both good and bad times. God is sovereign over all. He controls all that happens in the world and is not taken by surprise. The events in our lives and the work of the enemy are not outside of His purview or control. Scripture is full of examples of God’s plan being worked out and His intimate, personal involvement in the details of life. From the creation of the world in Gen 1:1 to the plan of Christ’s redemption of His people foreseen in Isaiah 53, God is in control of all and is powerful enough to fulfill His plan. Acts 4:28 shows God’s hand in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and countless other passages point to His predestined plan for the world. The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 46:9, 10, 11 tells us to “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’ ... I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” Daniel 4:35 says of God that “He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘what have you done?’” As John Piper says God does not drive an ambulance; he is not running from tragedy to tragedy cleaning up messes but rather He is working all of the messes and beauties of life for His glory and for our joy in Him.
God’s hands are not tied by anyone, but that does not mean that we are not responsible to engage in what He calls us to do. God’s sovereignty does NOT negate our responsibility to share Christ and push others to love and good deeds. They are not mutually exclusive. The commands of Scripture and the Spirit are not precluded by God’s plan worked out in history and in our lives. His sovereignty frees us to not be anxious about tomorrow (Matt 7) or doubt His goodness in the trials of life. (Job 19:25) We can rest in the fact that we don’t have to be in control because He ultimately is.
God’s hands are not tied by anyone, but that does not mean that we are not responsible to engage in what He calls us to do.
Over All Things
God’s sovereignty and supremacy go hand in hand. They are both seen in all of His attributes. He is outside of time and ALL things are subject to Him. He sits on the throne in heaven and does what pleases Him. This means that we cannot usurp that authority and believe that we are the supreme being in our lives. God’s power and greatness make Him a God worthy to be praised and followed. We see glimpses of His supremacy in the creation of the world and the orchestration of the events of history for the good of the Saints and the glory of His name. Sin is at its core believing that we are more supreme than God and have greater wisdom and knowledge than He. (Rom 1:19-22) We glorify ourselves as supreme when we disregard God’s supremacy over our lives.
No Guilt in Life; No Fear in Death
The reason why we can take comfort in the sovereignty, supremacy, and immutability of God is because of His love for us seen primarily through His Son’s sacrifice but also through His indwelling Holy Spirit. He is a loving Father that cares for us and is more invested in our lives than we are. He is not a distant, capricious deity in the sky who is waiting to squash us or damn us to Hell, but rather He is a God who is intimately involved in every detail of our lives. He is a personal God who engages with us personally and has a plan for us that will bring us greater joy than we could ever muster up on our own.