Remain At Rest In Your
Unchanging Lord And Savior!
By Pastor Ence Ragos
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 6 So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good
for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” ESV
In the first part, we’ve discussed Malachi 3:6 as God’s own declaration of His unchanging nature and character. Amazing as those statements were, the New Testament all the more gives us a beautiful, personal, picture of God Himself, in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Our text reminds us that our Lord “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Considering this in context, the letter to the Hebrews speaks of the superiority of Christ over all acclaimed personalities and characters of the Old Testament. He is far superior to Moses, to the kings, the prophets and the priests; even to the angels who carried out God’s work and purposes.
Christ’s person, His perfect humanity and deity are clearly affirmed in this letter. He was introduced in about 20 titles, like High Priest, Intercessor, Author and Perfecter, Faithful, Shepherd and many others. He was the perfect sacrifice for us by His death on the cross, our sufficient payment and atonement for our sins. Let us remind ourselves then that:
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE UNCHANGING UNSHAKEABLE REALITY! OUR CONSIDERATION OF HIM - HIS CHARACTER, ETERNITY, IMMUTABILITY, ALL-SUFFICIENCY AND POWER, GIVES GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT FOR US BELIEVERS. HE IS OUR STRONG SUPPORT UNDER ALL THE DIFFICULTIES AND CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR LIVES!
There are two important things I would like to emphasize:
CHRIST’S IMMUTABILITY - How is He always the same?
CHRIST’S ACTIVITY - How Christ governs all the days (yesterday, today and forever) of our lives?
Then in the last part, we will look at the implications of these truths: HOW ARE OUR LIVES STRENGTHENED AS WE TRUST IN HIS UNCHANGING CHARACTER?
So, we look at our first point,
1. CHRIST’S IMMUTABILITY - “Jesus Christ is the same…”
How is He always the same? As we ponder our answer to this question, it should be firmly established in our hearts that this doctrine is consistent with all that was spoken about in the Old Testament concerning God. Clearly, Christ is indeed the fulfillment of all that God is, as He has revealed Himself to His people. From the time that God introduced Himself to Moses as the “I AM”, we find that these words have been plainly stated by our Lord Jesus. So, how is Jesus the same?
a. He Himself is Our God!
God spoken to His people in various occasions. He wanted his people to understand that He is the only true God and the people’s idols are all vain. He said, "This is what the Lord says — Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God (Isaiah 44:6).
The apostle John states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory…full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14). The truth of Christ’s deity was very clearly established as the foundation for all who would believe and acknowledge Him in their lives. We can connect these words to the writer of Hebrews, who said,“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
The author clearly refers to the Son of God, as "God”. More accurately, God said, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8). He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end" (Hebrews 1:10-11). And then he draws out the implication in verse 12: but "YOU ARE THE SAME, and your years will not come to an end."
Not only that Christ revealed God’s nature and character, but that His glory and majesty in all of His creation is truly manifest since He fulfilled God’s will through His humiliation and death on the cross! Paul said of Him:
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11).
Christ is truly deserving of all the exaltation and praise because of all that He had to go through on behalf of his people. We can be encouraged that He is still at work today in drawing people to Him.
b. He is our Unchanging Savior.
The name, "Jesus” means Savior. This name was given for a specific purpose, "for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Christ came as a sacrifice for sins. Redemption was made possible because the holy God sent His Son to deliver them from the penalty, power and eventually from the presence of sin. God is truly serious eradicating sin and unless man repents, God’s wrath and displeasure remains in him. We are also reminded that:
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Christians who are recipients of God’s grace and salvation are called to live consistently and without reproach as they wait in earnest expectation: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
In Christ, we affirm that He gave us His precious Word and His precious gospel in all its purity. His gospel stands for ever as the living expression of Himself. The apostle Paul said, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).He also gave the solemn warning, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:8-9).
Only Christ has the power to save and change lives through the gospel. He has not left us to figure out by ourselves how we can be reconciled to God! He is the Author of Salvation and in the same way, He is the Perfecter of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2).
c. He Remains Our Enduring Master
We may be tempted to think that because of the difficulties we experience in this life, we have been left to ourselves by the Lord. But didn’t the Lord told His disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation…take courage, I have overcome the world!” Before His impending death on the cross, Simon Peter declared of Jesus, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." For which, Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matt 16:16-18).
Moments of trials are opportunities for us to respond faithfully to the Lord and not turn our backs on Him. Christ addressing the people and declaring Himself to be the Bread of Life, brought many to leave: “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." (John 6:66-70).
It is one thing to affirm our unswerving loyalty to the Lord when all is going smoothly with us. But will we maintain the same in the face of adversities? We can trust that, He is unchanging in His compassion and comfort for those who look to Him:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).
This is where the immutability of Christ allows us to recognize, the help that comes from His hand. As the Hebrew writer outs it:
“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:23-25).
People of God can delight in the reality of the Lord’s undiminished grace and sufficiency. He is eternal in His love and He remains good and faithful to His own. Paul declared:
“For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim 2:10-13).
d. He Is Our Faithful Friend
The situation to which the writer was addressing involve some measure of difficulties and trials on the part of the believers. The immediate context shows an admonishment for them to focus on building their character and be freed from the love of money. Perhaps, there were those among them who were in the verge of discouragement, discontentment and deprivation. Whatever these things might be, he wanted them to see Christ as the one who is always with them, and will help them in every need.
The writer assured them,“…He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
As we face many difficulties, He will make sure that all these things will bring about his purposes in our lives: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16).
Let us ponder the unchanging reality of Christ. He is eternally the same! Let us not grow weary in giving Him all the honor and the praise He deserves!