The immensity of God is something that is truly worth marveling; that is, if it were something that we could place within our field of vision. But, in our minds, even thinking about the true incomprehensibility of God, we are stretched beyond our ability and capacity to the point of complete submission to his infinity and holiness. At first, thinking of anything that bares these attributes, is – admittedly – intimidating. But in article one of the Belgic Confession we are reminded that, “We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that there is a single and simple spiritual being, whom we call God -- eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good”.
As reformed Christians we believe this. We do not diminish God in order to make him more tolerable to outsiders, nor do we diminish him, to make him obedient to our demands; we rejoice in the infinite, incomprehensible nature of God because we know that because of his nature, we have great comfort and from this comfort comes joy, and that joy springs into praise, worship and glorifying our great God.
God’s unchanging nature is what allows us to have this amazing comfort and it is his inability to change that guarantees that he will always be infinite, the most-wise and good, just, loving, and forgiving God that he says he is in the scriptures. However this isn’t something that we attribute our confidence and joy to very often. God’s unchanging nature can seem more philosophical or abstract to us most of the time. We think of God’s mercy and forgiveness, and atonement for sins, but what would any of these amount to if God were able to change?
For better or worse: When we think of change, we know that the nature of change is always to change for the better or for worse. If God were to change for the better, that would mean that he was not the ultimate and best being when we began trusting him. And, if he can change for the better, what assurance do we have that he is truly the best being in existence and isn’t trumped by another, better god? A change for the worse would imply that he could become evil to one degree or another and not have all goodness within himself (Psalm 119:68). If God were able to change (for better or worse) then we would never know when the changing would stop. We would never know if one day we might be under a wholly good or wholly evil God in control of everything.
Abandoning the plan of salvation: Our salvation, in the atoning work of Christ, is our surety (John 6:37-39, Isaiah 42:1) and the only truth that we can reliably hope in, and it is God’s inability to change that secures for us that hope. We would, potentially, believe in vain if God were not unchangeable. If God were changing, then the promises of the forgiveness of sins, or eternal life, may no longer be promised. We may wake up one day to find that God has changed his mind, then we would no longer be pardoned and absolved of our sins, with the earnest of the Holy Spirit, and an inheritance in heaven. We would be guilty of our sins again, without a payment to fulfill God's justice except for his wrath to be poured out on us. We would be a people to be pitied. That is a horrific scene. But we can rejoice that we trust in the holy triune God who is utterly unable to change!
Our faith, our entire life, and this entire universe are established by our holy and perfect triune God who never changes or is ever unfaithful. God is greater than our minds will ever be able to comprehend (Romans 11:33), but this should not push us away from God or force us to make him something he is not. Because God is unchanging, we are fixed in his love, guaranteed preservation, and assured that Christ reigns now as our high priest, prophet, and king!
Let us respond, as Paul does, after thinking of the immensity of God and his deep and unsearchable riches: “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)