How Well Do You Know God? (Part 6)
By Tommy Thornhill
In this series of lessons I am trying to help people who desire to do so, to get to know God better. It has been my observation through the years that Christians believe in God, but most have not exerted much effort to know His as well as they can.
Previous lessons have shown that it is more logical to believe that God exists and that He created all things. Accepting that fact, I then pointed out that the Creator God is THE ONLY TRUE GOD. There is no other. He is living, eternal, self-existent, all-powerful and all-knowing. He is beyond great, for He is MAJESTY and HOLY, worthy of all reverence and honor. Realizing this, we need to know that in order to please Him we must submit to His rule and authority in all things. His majesty is our invitation to praise and worship Him, because He is worthy of such praise Ps.48:1; 95:3, 6.
Because many people have not gotten better acquainted with God, they talk of Him in such a way that they make Him small like they are. When they call on Him for mercy and grace, His position of majesty and greatness is not taken into account. They treat Him simply as a person like them, from whom they can ask a big favor. They certainly don’t approach Him with the humility He deserves 1.Pet.5:5-6.
We have also learned that the LORD God is a JEALOUS God. It was pointed out that the jealousy of God is to be viewed in a good light. Jealousy is a part of His majestic holiness and righteousness. He opposes, rejects, and will ultimately punish anyone who refuses to accept His rule, and/or does anything that reflects badly on these attributes.
Another thing people need to know of God is His UNCHANGEABLENESS. It is amazing to me that people read the way God acted in Bible days, both in the OT and the NT, then think He doesn’t act the same way today. Many seem to think that human nature has changed and so has God. But I have news for people who think that way. It ain’t so. The LORD God today is the same God of times past. His character and His attributes remain the same. The psalmist David, living 1000 years before Christ, spoke of the heavens and the earth perishing, then wrote, “They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, all of them will grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But, You are the same, and Your years will have no end” Ps.102:26-27. God is unchangeable.
God’s life is unchangeable. He is eternal and, immortal. The following scriptures affirm this. “You are from everlasting” (eternal) Ps.93:2. “But, the LORD is the true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King” Jer.10:10. ”He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality” 1.Tim.6:15-16a Created things have a beginning and an end, but God has no beginning or end. He is, “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” Rev.1:8. He doesn’t grow older, weaker or wiser with age as we do. As someone said, “He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect.”
Since His life is unchangeable, that means His character is unchanged. Nothing can alter His character. He never loses knowledge or power. He never becomes less truthful, less just or less good. These things remain the same. God declared to Moses that He was the eternal “I AM” (YHWH, Jehovah) in Ex.3:14. He later declares to Moses what His name means. “The LORD, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” Ex.34:6. In fact, Jesus’ step brother, James, wrote “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” Jas.1:17.
If God is eternal, and His character is unchangeable, then His truth does not change. He is always truthful, and He means exactly what He says. The prophet Isaiah writes, “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” Isa.40:5-6; 1.Pet.1:25. See also Ps.119:89, 151-152 The unchangeableness of His truth indicates stability and reliability. This means that His purposes, promises, demands and warnings are also unchangeable and reliable. He is always consistent and never acts out of character.
God’s ways are unchangeable. He loves humankind. That is why He sent His Son into the world to save them, as we read in Jn.3:16. Yet, because of His holy character He can only save those who are willing to have their sins removed by the blood of His Son. We are told, “In truth, I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” Acts 10:34-35. At the same time, if He is going to be true to His impartial character, He must punish those who refuse to come to Him though obedience to His Son Heb.5:9. But, His unchangeable character is also merciful, seeking to lead them back to Him. Note. “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” The writer continues, “But in accordance with your hardness, and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” Rom.2:4-5.
As we think of the unchangeableness of God, remember that His only begotten Son has the same attributes as His Father. “Jesus, Christ, is the same yesterday, today and forever Heb.13:8.
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