Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Real Change You Can Believe In

It has been said that the only thing constant in life is change. Nothing stays the same, except for the fact that everything keeps changing. For the Christian, the truth is much more comforting.

Finishing the topic we began last week, here is what Scripture has to say about God and change.

The one thing in life I need to stay the same is God—and He never changes.

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19).

Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all 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. 102:25-27).

“For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob” (Mal. 3:6).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation [change] or shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17).

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and into eternity” (Heb. 13:8, literal translation).

The unchanging God is the one who makes it possible for us to experience true and lasting change.

And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me” (Jer. 32:40).

 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezek. 36:26-27).

And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life’” (Acts 11:18).

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).

We most clearly see God’s constancy and our hope for change in one place—the cross of Christ. We are forever loved by the unchanging God through the substitutionary sacrifice of His only begotten Son. To use John Wesley’s paraphrase of Malachi 3:6, God says, “I have an unchangeable hatred to sin: and my long suffering also changeth not.” How can this be? How can God continually hate sin and yet continually show mercy to sinners? Because “God set [Christ Jesus] forth as a propitiation by His blood . . . that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:25-26). 

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