Has the God of the universe changed over time? Is God’s character subject to “evolving” the same way that you and I would develop over time? God’s character not changing is sometimes described as the immutability of God (defined by Dictionary.com as “not mutable; unchangeable; changeless”).

However, some struggle with this question. For example, they may see the Old Testament and the New Testament as depicting two very different Gods. They conclude, as a result, that God’s character must have changed (which plays in to a certain type of Scripture Weighting). So, there is a lot hinging on this question. If God’s character has changed over time, it opens the door to questioning the very authority of the Bible.

How Scripture answers "Does God’s character change?"

God doesn’t change2,5. His character and promises are constant1,6 as well as His word5. His unchanging nature is something Christians should cherish4. As in the case of Job3, it requires us to move toward Him (vs Him toward us) in how we think, reason, and rationalize events in our life, knowing that He is constant6 and His word is sure5.

Yes
<< Helpful? comment your thoughts >>
No

1

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

When God wanted to show the heirs of the promise unmistakable proof of the unchangeable nature of His plan, so He further guaranteed it with an oath.  Now with these two unchangable things, and the fact that it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to Him for refuge are amply encouraged to remain firm in the hope that we have before us.

The entire book of Hebrews is about “holding fast” and not losing faith or “falling away.” In this immediate context the writer is providing evidence/reasons why the Christian should remain faithful. The very next verse describes Him as a “sure and steadfast anchor.”

How does it apply here?

God’s purpose has an “unchangeable character.” While it doesn’t explicitly say that God Himself does not change, the inference is certainly there.

2

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
“I the Lord do not change,” therefore the children of Jacob are not consumed.

God speaks through Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament and last book in its historical timeline, written around 430BC. Notably, it is the last ‘voice of God’ until the first century and the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus the Christ.

How does it apply here?

A direct statement by God that he doesn’t change.

3

But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.

But he [God] does not changeable and no one can obstruct Him. He does whatever He desires.

Job is trying to reconcile his recent tragedies and misfortunes to himself while also defending charges of disobedience and “punishment from God” from his friends.

How does it apply here?

Certainly, some of what’s recorded by Job and his friends as “facts” and reality are later debunked by God in the book, but this statement by Job is not one of them.

4

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Closing to the letter of Hebrews, written to Jews that had believed and obeyed the gospel.  The writer has given several reasons why the New Covenant in Christ is better than the Old. The entire them of Hebrews could be summed up with the writer’s encouragement to “hold fast” – stated some FIVE times through the book (3:6, 3:14, 4:14, 6:18, 10:23).

How does it apply here?

Jesus, and by extension God, are constant and unchanging.

5

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.

Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights who doesn’t vary due to change.

James is speaking about the “perfect law of liberty” (vs 25) – God’s word – and being doers and not just hearers of it.  It’s God’s word that is the “good” and “perfect” gift in the context.

How does it apply here?

God, as the Father of lights in this reference, illustrates His unchanging nature.

6

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
God called Himself “I am who I am” to Moses and told him to tell the people of Israel that ‘”I am” has sent me to you.’
God is calling Moses – born a Hebrew but lived life as an Egyptian prince – to lead His people out of Egyptian bondage.
How does it apply here?

In referring to Himself as “I AM”, God introduces man to His timeless, eternal reality in which He was, is and will be forever.

Leave your comment below…

…and if you’re wondering more about what we’re doing and why, here are some links we hope can help explain it (and maybe even get you excited about contributing):

what do you think?

connect with us

related to 'Does God’s character change?'

lend your own study to the discussion

PUBLIC COMMENT POLICY: While your email is required, it will not be posted publically.
All comments are vetted for potential spam before being published, but will not be restricted otherwise.