New Year, Same God Bible Study Notes
By Deacon Ron Wise
Mankind is constantly changing. Like the seasons, our mood changes, our character changes, our appearance changes, etc... Everything that has been created is constantly changing. But God, who is the Creator, does not change. He is consistent, He is unchanging.
What does it mean that God is unchanging?
When it is said that God is unchanging, it means that He cannot change. God was the same when He created the earth as He is today. He will always be exactly the same, in all His perfections and glory, for all eternity. There is no action that can be imposed upon God that will cause Him to change. God expresses different emotions as He interacts with His creation. But He will always respond to everything according to His unchanging character. God is unchanging in His being, perfection, purposes, and promises. God can never get better and He can never get worse. His perfect being is incapable of changing, if-so, it would imply imperfection.
It is a new year, but we serve the same God!!
The Same: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Everything under the sun is constantly changing. Ever since the beginning of time, the world has been aging. It has been decaying back to the substance of which it was created, dust. The eternal God is not subject to change. For in God, “there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17b).
“Of old You founded the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
God is not like man. Man is finite, God is infinite. Man is temporal, God is eternal. While every person who has ever existed began existing at some point in time, there was never a moment where God was not. Man cannot say that because we are not eternal. There was never a moment nor will there ever be a moment where the eternal God has not been the same. God is unchanging. New year, same God!!
The Unchanging Nature of God
The Bible teaches that there are some things that God cannot do.
• God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; Numbers 23:19).
• God cannot change His mind (Numbers 23:19).
• God cannot sin or do wrong (Deuteronomy 32:4).
• God cannot change (Malachi 3:6).
When it is said that God is unchanging, it doesn’t mean that God can change but doesn’t. It means that God cannot change. He will always be the same. The revelation that we have in the Word of God is sufficient for knowing Him in the past, present, and future. Today and forever.
For God says of Himself,
“For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”
This is difficult for us to grasp as finite humans. We are surrounded by change. We ourselves are constantly changing. However, God’s characteristics and divine nature will never change. It is not as if God will stop acting in kindness and patience, Or that God will become more loving and merciful. He can’t. He is forever perfect in every way. To change, in even the smallest degree, would cause Him to be an imperfect God.
Have you ever had to remind God of His promises as it relates to you or a loved one?
God’s Unchanging Ways
It is not enough to say that God’s character is unchanging. We also must confess that His ways are unchanging.
When God made the promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” So having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.
•How would you feel if God treated you the way we treated people?
•How would you feel if God changed His mind when we disappointed Him?
Read Hebrews 6:13-20
God has promised to send the Savior into the world since the fall of mankind. He has purposed to save a people for Himself from every tribe, tongue, peoples, and nations (Revelation 5:9). Everything that God has done and is doing, will accomplish His will and purpose. It is unchangeable.
God cannot change His mind. He has made up His mind to do this great thing.
• To establish a nation through Abraham.
• To send the Savior.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
In conclusion, we finite beings cannot know the character of God nor the ways of God apart from His Word. In the Holy Bible, God has said who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing in the world. All of it is true because the unchanging God cannot lie or change His ways.
God has sent His word into the world through His people, and to all who believe in Him through His Son. We as Christians must communicate to the world that God is unchanging in His nature and His ways.
New year, same God!!
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About the Author
Ron is the CFO of Wise Choice Ministries Inc., which he founded with his wife Shana in 2016. He was ordained as a Deacon in 2014 under Bishop Izell Kirkpatrick. Ron worked in the medical field for 10 years for the State of Michigan until 2011 when he sustained a spinal cord injury that left him disabled. His book, From Tragedy to Triumph, was written by Ron to share his life-changing experience after his car accident. He is married to Shana Wise and they have four children, Chris, DeVon, Imani, and Justin.
You can find Ron Wise on Facebook and Instagram.
You can purchase his book From Tragedy to Triumph at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725862093.