Packer: Naught Changeth Thee

“God does not change. Let us draw out this thought.

1. God’s life does not change. He is “from everlasting” (Ps.93:2), “an everlasting King” (Jer. 10:10), “incorruptible” (Rom. 1:23), “who only hath immortality” (1 Tim. 6:16). “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God” (Ps. 90:2). Earth and heaven, says the psalmist, “shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Ps. 102:26 f.). “‘I am the first,’ says God. ‘I am also the last’” (Isa. 48:12).

Created things have a beginning and an ending, but not so their Creator. The answer to the child’s question, “who made God?,” is simply that God did not need to be made, for He was always there. He exists for ever; and He is always the same. He does not grow older. His life does not wax or wane. He does not gain new powers, nor lose those that He once had. He does not mature or develop. He does not get stronger, or weaker, or wiser, as time goes by. “He cannot change for the better,” wrote A. W. Pink, “for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.” The first and fundamental difference between the Creator and His creatures is that they are mutable and their nature admits of change, whereas God is immutable and can never cease to be what He is.

As the hymn puts it,

“We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish-but nought changeth Thee.”

-J. I. Packer, Knowing God.

Fundamentalism and the Word of God

“The honest way to commend God’s revealed truth to an unbelieving generation is not to disguise it as a word of man, and to act as if we could never be sure of it, but had to keep censoring and amending it at the behest of the latest scholarship, and dared not believe it further than historical agnosticism gives us leave; but to preach it in a way which shows the world that we believe it wholeheartedly, and to cry to God to accompany our witness with His Spirit, so that we too may preach ‘in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’

“The apologetic strategy that would attract converts by the flattery of accommodating the gospel to the ‘wisdom’ of sinful man was condemned by Paul nineteen centuries ago, and that past hundred years have provided a fresh demonstration of its bankruptcy.

“The world may call its compromises ‘progressive’ and ‘enlightened’ (those are its names for all forms of thought that pander to its conceit); those who produce them will doubtless, by a natural piece of wishful thinking, call them ‘bold’ and ‘courageous,’ and perhaps ‘realistic’ and ‘wholesome,’ but the Bible condemns them as sterile aberrations. And the Church cannot hope to recover its power till it resolves to turn its back on them.”

J.I. Packer, Fundamentalism and the Word of God, 168.