God doesn’t change, but I did
Posted on April 25, 2013
Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This is a great verse that is often misused when describing the nature of God. I have heard it argued, this verse means the way God dealt with humanity in the old covenant is still valid because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And that while we are not longer under that covenant, you cannot throw out all the old testament as irrelevant as God has not changed.
It is a true statement that God has not changed from old covenant to new covenant. However, there is a major change that has taken place from old covenant to new covenant. Namely, us! It’s is absolutely true that God has not changed, but we have! God doesn’t deal with us as He did under the old covenant, because we are new creations in Christ! The old is gone, the new has come (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)!
Let’s read Romans 6:5-11, “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for ALL; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch that? The death he died, he died TO sin, ONCE FOR ALL!
Wow! The cross changed everything, not because the act changed God, but in Christ, God changed man! The reason people can even accept God’s forgiveness and acceptance is because on the cross He accepted all of mankind! This doesn’t mean everyone believes that, or trusts Him, or will experience heaven. It simply means all barriers have been removed from relationship with God and only unbelief can keep a person from enjoying and accepting this good news!
Think of it this way. Our ‘yes’ to God is possible because He already said yes to us. Our ‘no’ to God is ultimately based on our decision to believe a lie, and not based on the truth. So, God doesn’t interact with us as He did in the old covenant, not because He is different, but because we are different! We no longer live towards God, but from our union with him (See Romans 6:5). This changes everything and is the most amazing news the world could ever hear!