For those people who have never met me, I am 5’11’’, weigh approximately 180 lbs., I have brown hair, blue eyes, and I am currently 38 years old. These are some of my attributes, characteristics that belong to me. These are not all my attributes, but they are helpful in understanding who I am.
Everything that exists has attributes. A rock is hard. Water is wet. And so on. God, who exists, also has attributes, or characteristics that belong to Him. As I just did by writing out a short description of myself, God likewise provides a description of himself in His Word. When we read the Bible we see a variety of attributes of God, some we share (kind of) and some we don’t (kind of). The reason I say “kind of” is because we are created in God’s Image, therefore, God created us to possess a likeness of some of His attributes.
The attributes we share are commonly called communicable. The attributes we don’t share are commonly called incommunicable. The incommunicable attributes that God reveals to us in the Psalm above are God’s unchangeableness and God’s eternity. These are two characteristics that are unique to God. Let’s briefly examine his unchangeableness.
As the year’s pass, I have less brown hair and more gray hair. Time has an affect on me, not just physically, but intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. For God, this is not so. Nothing affects him, either for the better or the worse. This is what makes Him sovereign. There is no force in existence that has power over Him. This is why we see God commonly described as a rock or a fortress; this description emphasis his immovableness. God’s unchanging nature can give Christians great comfort.
First, as Christians, we know that our Dad is bigger than all Dads. As it says in Isaiah 46:10, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” God’s purposes are guaranteed and God has revealed his purposes to us in the Bible. His purpose is to redeem a people to Himself through Christ, and we are told that in Psalm 16:11, “in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” When God resolves something, he always succeeds, and His success is for our good.
Second, not only can no one thwart God’s purposes, but He will not independently change his mind. When he sets his mind on something, His mind is set. He will not change the rules of the game, or say “just kidding”, or come up with a better plan. When God decrees, so it shall be. Once again this gives us great comfort for God’s words are full of wonderful promises to those who have faith in Christ. He promises to forgive and give eternal life to those who believe in His Son’s life, death, and resurrection. This promise is something that we can literally bet our life against. We do not have to live in fear that God will all the sudden stop loving us, but his love is not conditional, but unchanging.
This is one reason why God reveals His attributes to us; as we ponder the implications of His character and our relationship with Him, our hearts are filled with gratitude, joy, and praise. So as we approach Thanksgiving, think about who God is and what this means for you who follow Christ, and then you will truly be thankful.
This blog is a part of a series of blogs that are based upon Wayne Grudem’s book titled, Systematic Theology. Each week the title of the blog and the Scripture of the blog are taken from Grudem’s book. Readers are encouraged to read Grudem’s book along with these blogs.