Knowing God – Chapter 7 Quotes

Chapter 7 of Knowing God is entitled “God Unchanging,” and is about the immutability of God (i.e. the fact that God does not change). This is part of what makes the Bible such an incredibly relevant book for us today. We don’t have to make Christianity relevant by modernizing it in some way. The Word of God is inherently relevant to us today because the God who inspired the Scriptures and who became incarnate in Christ is the same God who reigns over the universe and comes to us today; he hasn’t changed.

We do change: our opinions, tastes, beliefs, and behaviors can change radically over a lifetime, or even day to day. But there is a sense in which we haven’t changed, and this relates also to the relevance of the Scriptures to us today. We haven’t changed in our capacity for sin. Abel murdered his brother. Sarah was afraid, so she lied. The wandering Israelites were guilty of immorality and idolatry. David committed adultery and then tried to cover it up. The nations of Israel and Judah mixed the truths about God with the beliefs of the pagans around them. The Pharisees were hypocrites. The New Testament churches had divisions and ethical problems. Because God is the same today as he was then, and because our basic problem (sin) hasn’t changed despite our technological advances, the Word of God speaks to us today just as it did 2000 years ago.

Here are some quotes from Chapter 7:

‘He cannot change for the better,’ wrote A.W. Pink, ‘for he is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.’

When we read our Bibles, therefore, we need to remember that God still stands to all the promises, and demands, and statements of purpose, and words of warning, that are there addressed to New Testament believers. These are not relics of a bygone age, but an eternally valid revelation of the mind of God towards His people in all generations, so long as this world lasts.

Still He hates the sins of His people, and uses all kinds of inward and outward pains and griefs to wean their hearts from compromise and disobedience. Still He seeks the fellowship of His people, and sends them both sorrows and joys in order to detach their love from other things and attach it to Himself.

Repenting means revising one’s judgment and changing one’s plan of action. God never does this; He never needs to, for His plans are made on the basis of a complete knowledge and control which extend to all things past, present, and future, so that there can be no sudden emergencies or unlooked-for developments to take Him by surprise.

What He does in time, He planned from eternity. And all that He planned in eternity He carries out in time. And all that He has in His word commtted Himself to do will infallibly be done.

If our God is the same as the God of New Testament believers, how can we justify ourselves in resting content with an experience of communion with Him, and a level of Christian conduct, that falls so far below theirs? If God is the same, this is not an issue that any one of us can evade.

Grace and Peace

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