In the midst of temptation, wandering sheep need the doctrine of God’s immutability. As doubts and fears assail, doubting sheep need a rock. And there is none in all the earth like our God—He never changes.
Everything changes. Nations rise and fall. Seasons come and go. Bank accounts ebb and flow. People change too. Children grow and mature. Politicians switch their views. Spouses break their vows. Pastors deny a faith once proclaimed. Our world and everything in it is constantly changing. Even you are not the same person you were just years ago. But God does not change. God cannot change. Theologians define this attribute as immutability, and this doctrine is good news for the church today.
Pastor, if you’re looking for advice on how to apply the doctrine of God in your preaching, James proves a reliable guide. The doctrine of God is practical for Christians today. In just a few short verses, James applies immutability as a warning for tempted Christians and a comfort for doubting Christians.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:16–17).
A Warning for Tempted Christians
After yielding to temptation, some Christians turn and point their finger at God. After the first sin, the first man shifted blame to God. We have all continued in this pattern. James reminds us that the true source of temptation comes from within, not from God (James 1:13–15). Our own sinful desires lure and entice us, then sin leads to death. With the consequences grave, Christians need to be reminded of God’s impeccable perfection in temptation. God cannot sin, nor does he tempt us to sin. God is unable to be tempted by sin–what good news!
But what if God could change? What if God were like us?