Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Malachi 3:6 I the Lord do not change.
One day, it occurred to me that these Verses tell us a lot about who God is and who He is not. The one main element in life that is certain is that everything changes and nothing remains the same. God, on the other hand, never changes. He remains the same throughout eternity, and so who He is and what He says can be trusted as a foundation of truth.
If God never changes and He is truth, the fact that the spirit of God that dwells within me as a result of my faith in Jesus Christ is also unchangeable, and is the same Spirit that dwelt with the people in the Old Testament as much as with the people in the New Testament.
Let me explain.
Many times, people will say the Old Testament is only a history lesson and has little to no bearing on those of us who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as prescribed in the New Testament. Yet, we know that even the Apostle Paul told his audience:
2 Timothy 3 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
When the Apostle Paul wrote this, the New Testament was neither yet canonized nor even in existence as we know it until at least the Second Century. So, when the Apostle Paul was writing that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful,” he was referring to the Scriptures they had at the time, which was the Old Testament or the Hebrew Scriptures. Now, obviously the New Testament would be eventually incorporated into this statement, but at the time, the Hebrew Scriptures were all they had. So, if God does not change, those Scriptures were important to guide them and to make their understanding of God known. So, today when famous preachers say, “we can unhitch ourselves from the Old Testament” they are telling us not to associate with the Scriptures we are told are God-breathed and useful.
That is my first observation. My second observation is that the same Spirit that dwelt in the Old Testament is the same Spirit that dwells in the New Testament … they are one. That same Spirit is the Spirit that now dwells in every believer in Jesus Christ. And, because God never changes, we can say that the Spirit of the whole Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament, dwells within me. Why is this important? Because if that statement is true, then the work that was done in Israel by all the Prophets and leaders of God’s people is the same Spirit of the New Testament where we see miracles, healings, and gifts in operation. All Spirit guidance, all Spirit miracles, and all Spirit intercession … this is the same Spirit that is within believers in Jesus Christ today. The same Spirit that guided Moses, the same Spirit that was with David in conquering his enemies, and the same Spirit that spoke to the prophets is still the same Spirit we encounter in faith today. This is why when people say, “the Old Testament is about the law, but that’s over because we are now in Grace” is an inaccurate way to approach the Bible. Yes, the law is important to the Old Testament, but it is not exclusively law because, remember, the law was given to us to know and to follow, and it was one of the ways at that time that God could be known and experienced. The Spirit of God delivered that information to Moses, and it was a part of His plan in bringing the Messiah into reality.
My point today is that we have to stop limiting God’s Spirit to only the New Testament. We must see His unchanging nature active and alive in the Old Testament where He destroyed enemies, protected His people for generations, protected against the lions in Daniel’s day, and against the tyranny of the pharaohs of slavery in Egypt. All of the stories in the Bible were God-breathed and God-centered to prove a point … He is God and He never changes. He is the same in the lion’s den with Daniel as He is with you today in your lion’s den. He is the God who was with David when he faced Goliath, and He is the same God who is with you as you face your Goliaths. You can take every story, every example in the Bible as an example of God’s action on behalf of His people as a continuance for your life and mine today. If God doesn’t change, then why can’t we? What has changed with God? Nothing … it is our shortcomings in our understanding that has changed. We have stopped believing that the God of the Old Testament is the same God as the New Testament, and that is a critical mistake.
As I have repeatedly said, “the Bible is His story from Genesis to Revelation … it does not change.”
Take it to heart today, it will broaden how you see and understand the God we serve.
Nothing really changes without God.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler