The Lord God is very thoughtful toward His believers. He binds them to Himself by His covenant. It is for this reason we know His love toward us is unending. He makes a covenant to show how immaculate His love is toward us. Regardless of what happens He does not disavow it. When He saved us in Christ, it is by the covenant of Christ’s blood. He gave it knowing its unchangeableness and its power. Thus, He further makes promises and not one of them fails. We still reap grace to eternity due to His steadfast covenant with us. He said, “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6).
He did not change by that which He first determined to Himself concerning them. We know we have all sinned and continue to sin owing to various vulnerabilities of the flesh. We even commit the same sin multiple times. Yet, we are not consumed by His anger, but see Him working with us. It is because of His covenant and promises to us. If He were a man, He would change, and we too would not be impressed with Him. On the contrary, He is a God who can keep His Word. He makes a covenant with us knowing the extreme nature of our weaknesses and so, to be gentle with us. Once He decides to save us He never annuls it. This is the confidence we have concerning Him for eternity and He too proves it by His unchangeableness toward us. Many are offended by the idea of everlasting salvation, i.e. a salvation that can never be cancelled. If it is works based, there is every possibility for its invalidation. On the contrary, it is covenant based owing to God’s unchanging thought. If He did not change when He made a covenant with Jacob so that they are not consumed, so is His unchangeableness toward us, who are saved by the covenant of Christ’s blood. If He begins to count our sins, not one of us will stand. But in order that His mercy is victorious over sin He does not count them, and for this reason He makes a covenant with us.
So, when He says He does not change, it means He knew that which He was doing concerning us. He made a covenant with the intent to keep us till the end. He has determined in Himself to do whatever it takes to keep us for Him. If none of it were true, we would have been or will be consumed (annihilated) at some point on account of our transgressions. This leads to the point that when He says He does not change, He has already cancelled every sin we will commit. So, His salvation to us by the covenant of Christ’s blood is unchangeable. In a scenario where works have no place for salvation and that salvation is everlasting God has worked it out for us. The parable of the prodigal son is vital to understanding it. “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound’” (Luke 15:27). When the youngest left the house taking his inheritance with him, he indeed disobeyed his father. The father let him go on his way. What transpired afterwards taught him a brutal lesson. The father left him to the world for it. Similarly, our heavenly Father deals with continual disobedience or any form of stubbornness. The key here is receiving him back safe and sound. Through discipline God brings us to Him safe and sound. If the Lord changes, we will be consumed.
There is only one explanation for God’s unchanging salvation to us in Christ. “And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God’” (Acts 8:37). In fact, it is all God wanted from us. To believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God is sufficient. For it implies we have no other person or god on earth or in heaven; that Jesus is the Savior of our soul by virtue of His death on the cross, i.e. He paid our sin debt in full; that He is able to keep us into eternity by the power of His resurrection. Nevertheless, all this has to come from the heart to which the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit bear witness. Because the three bear witness to belief from the heart, righteousness is credited to us transforming us into a new creation. This righteousness is God’s covenant of Christ’s blood to us that indicates freedom from sin and is forever. As He promised to keep us free from sin, He will do all it takes to keep us from it, even if it means bringing us back to Him safe and sound.
God will go the distance so that His unchangeableness toward us is steadfast. The life of the prodigal son resembled a sinking ship. “But striking a reef where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern began to be broken up by the force of the waves” (Acts 27:41). When it was nearing destruction, he realized that which he could still have. It was his father’s goodness that made him look toward life. Similarly, by God’s doing righteousness which is a covenant of Christ’s blood to us works at the right time so that we are never lost. God waits for that time. It is the sense behind the father in the parable to receive his son safe and sound. Just as the centurion took note of Paul’s word and instructed all in the ship to reach the shore as they see fit, even so we take note of the work of righteousness in us and return to the Father. The Father does not leave us until we return to Him.
The Father lets the disobedient go his or her way so that righteousness, the covenant of Christ’s blood, prevails. Sin should ultimately be trounced and the disobedient must realize that it is useless and extremely harmful. This realization brings about a craving for God that turns a person back to Him. “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10). Unless a person has the covenant of Christ’s blood godly sorrow does not appear; for he or she cannot understand the will and desire of God toward them. God too will not have a reason to wait on them. The phrase ‘according to the will of God’ is significant. It means God lets the consequences of disobedience take over to the point that a person is deprived of help. At that point His righteousness works causing genuine sorrow in them. But if salvation is works based, it is detrimental and salvation is never salvation. Since salvation is by the covenant of Christ’s blood that implies grace, Paul said the following. “Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:20).
It all shows how important it is for us to walk in the truth. The primary significance is to understand God’s covenant to us by grace. The apostle said, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). Walking in the truth on a consistent basis gives us insight into God’s willingness to keep us to eternity. Each truth concerning Him and life opens the door to understanding the profundity of His grace. As we walk in the truth, we come to know the many ways by which sin encounters us. Nevertheless, realizing sin and walking away from it is one aspect while not being able to escape it is another. In both cases the covenant by Christ’s blood actively works in us, except in the latter it first waits for the truth to be realized.