Sermon # 95 Hebrews Notes
Title: Our Immutable Savior
Text: Hebrews 13:8
Subject: Christ’s Immutability
Date: Tuesday Evening –
Tape # X-25a
1. Let brotherly love continue.
2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
3. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
4. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
5. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
7. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
9. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
10. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
11. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
12. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
14. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
15. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
16. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
18. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
19. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22. And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
23. Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
24. Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all
the saints. They of
25. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Everything changes. Nothing remains the same. Sometimes the changes are delightful. Sometimes they are almost unbearable. But change is inevitable. What changes we have experienced!
· Changes in our Families.
· Changes in our Estates.
· Changes in our Health.
· Changes in our Hearts.
Winter turns to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, and fall to winter again. Everything changes. Nothing stays the same. In this world there is nothing solid, stable, and substantial. Everything we grasp is air. Everything we week is vanity. Everything we build upon is sand. Everything in this world that gives us joy, in time, will cause our hearts to break with grief! “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity!” That is not the cry of hopelessness and despair. That is just a statement of fact. “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity!”
Is there no solid rock upon which to stand? Is there no immovable anchor by which we can find stability? Is there no sure foundation upon which to build? Blessed be God there is one! “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
Proposition: The Lord Jesus Christ never changes!
If God will be pleased to grant me grace to do so, I want to talk to you for a few minutes about the immutability of our Lord Jesus Christ. The title of my message is Our Immutable Savior. He upon whom we have set our hearts, he who is the object of our faith, he who sits upon the throne of the universe, never changes. Our Lord Jesus Christ is immutable. He cannot change or be changed. He is always the same. What does this mean?
First, all that he was yesterday, he is today. All that he was in the yesterday of eternity past, he is today. Was he the object of his Father’s delight before ever the world was made (Pro. )? Then he is the Father’s delight today. Was he the Bearer and Dispenser of all the blessings of life and grace before the world began (Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:9)? Then he has all life and grace in himself today, to give it to whomsoever he will.
All that he was yesterday, in his life upon the earth, he is today. He was tender, kind, sympathetic and approachable then. And he is exactly the same now. He was the one in whom God was well pleased then. And he is the one, the only one, in whom God is well pleased now. He was made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption then. And he is made the same to us now.
All that he was in the yesterday of these 2000 years since he ascended to the throne of glory, he is today. Did he take dominion over the universe as King? He is still reigning today. Did he send down his Spirit upon his church? He is still sending down he Spirit today. Did he do mighty works yesterday? He is still doing mighty things today.
All that Christ ever has been to his people yesterday he is to his people today. All that Christ ever did for his people yesterday he does for his people today. And the only reason you and I ever look back to a yesterday that appears to be better than today is that we fail to trust Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. If we did not fail to trust him, today would be but a new revelation and a larger experience of the grace revealed and experienced yesterday! All that Christ was yesterday he is today.
Second, he is the same yesterday and today, and forever! All that he is and has been he will forever be; and all that he will be forever, he is at this moment. All that he is to your soul and mine, he will be forever. And all that he will forever be he is right now!
Try to grasp this.—All that Christ will be in the fullest revelation of his glory and grace in heaven, all the inconceivable closeness of love and communion, all the indescribable excellence of our union with Christ in heaven, all that Christ can in eternity be to me, he is to me and to all God’s elect right now! Amid all the changes that take place in this world and in our hearts, here is a message from God containing joy and strength which nothing can take away – “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
Third, “Today!” I love that word. Jesus Christ is immutable “today!” “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” I want you to know, trust, and love Christ today. Look not to yourself, your fickle feelings, or your unstable works. Trust him who changes not. Build upon this sure foundation, and you shall live forever: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
Look at the verse preceding our text. “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (v. 7). The apostle admonishes us to remember those men who have preached the gospel to us and to follow their examples of faith and faithfulness, keeping our hearts and minds fixed upon “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” If we would believe God, obey the gospel, and be faithful we must ever look to Christ (Heb. 12:1-3).
Now, read the verse following our text. “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them which have been occupied therein” (v. 9). The admonition here is to doctrinal steadfastness. If our hearts are established with grace, firmly fixed upon the doctrine of the grace of God, our hearts must be fixed upon the immutable Christ.
Do you see how everything is built upon, flows from, and points to Christ? Christ is the source of all, the foundation of all, the center of all, the object of all, and the end of all. In the life of a believer, in all true doctrine, in all true faith, in all the church of God, Christ is all. And he is immutable. He never changes!
1. Our Lord Jesus Christ is immutable in his Person.
2. Our dear Savior is immutable in all his covenant offices and relationships.
3. The doctrine of Christ is immutable.
4. The Son of God is immutable in the operations of his grace.
5. Our great Savior is immutable in his position, possessions, and power.
6. The Lord Jesus Christ is immutable to me.
7. This immutable Christ shall be the eternal glory, reward, and joy of our inheritance in heaven.
I. The Lord Jesus Christ is immutable in his Person.
He is God. He never has changed and never can change in the essence of his Person, because he is perfect. Perfection cannot change. It is true, when he came into this world, the Son of God assumed our nature; but he did not change at all. He took our human nature into union with his Divine nature; but nothing about his Person changed (Mal. 3:6). Though he died as our Substitute upon the cursed tree, his Person never changed. Our Master is forever the same. Nothing changes him.
A. His attributes never change.
B. His purpose of grace never changes.
C. His great love never changes.
Christ’s Person never changes. What he was before the world began he is now. What he is now, he shall forever be. And what he shall forever be he now is and always was.
(Lamentations 3:22) "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not."
(Malachi 3:6) "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
(Romans 11:29) "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
II. Our dear Savior is immutable in all his covenant offices and relationships.
Our God is very accommodating to our weakness. In order to communicate to us, he condescends to use human language. He describes himself to us in human terms in his Word. But whenever you read anything that implies change or limitation about God, it must not be taken literally. This must especially be understood of the covenant offices and relationships of Christ toward his elect. What Christ is to us and for us, he always was and forever shall be.
He is a Prophet who shall be heard, a Priest who makes satisfaction, and a King who rules from everlasting to everlasting. Jesus Christ is the eternal Husband of his church, a Husband who “hateth putting away.” The Lord Jesus is an eternal Brother, born in time for adversity, but set up from everlasting. He is an eternal “Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
He was from everlasting the Friend of sinners, and still is! He is just as ready today to pardon sinners, as he was when he forgave the woman taken in adultery. He is just as anxious to comfort his afflicted ones, as he was when he came to Bethany to comfort Martha and Mary. He is just as willing to meet the needs of his people today, as he was when he washed his disciples’ feet. All that Christ ever was, he always was, and is at this moment.
A. Christ is the eternal Surety of an eternal covenant (Heb. 7:22).
B. Christ is the eternal Lamb who obtained eternal redemption (Rev. 13:8; Heb. 9:12; Rom. 8:28-34).
C. Christ is an eternal Advocate who makes eternal intercession (1 John 2:1-2).
D. Christ is an eternal Savior who gives his people an eternal salvation (2 Tim. 1:9-10; Heb. 5:9).
We rejoice to know that all these things were revealed in time, accomplished in time, and applied in time. Our joy is in the experience of grace. But the pillar of our faith does not rest upon anything in time. We rest our souls upon the sure foundation of an eternal, immutable Savior.
Illustration: The Reading Of The Will (Heb. 9:16-17).
(Hebrews 9:16-17) "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. (17) For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth."
· The will was drawn up in the covenant.
· The will was put into force by the blood of Christ.
· The will is executed by divine power.
· The will is read in the conscience of every believing sinner by the Spirit of God!
III. The doctrine of Christ is immutable.
Certainly Paul had this in mind when he wrote, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” I know that he meant for us to understand that our Savior’s immutability includes the immutability of his doctrine because in the next verse he tells us that it is the message of Christ that establishes our hearts with grace and prevents us from being “carried about with divers and strange doctrines.”
The gospel we preach is the everlasting gospel of peace. It is not “new light”, or a “new age theology”. It is the old, old gospel of pure grace, free grace, sovereign grace in Jesus Christ. Truth never changes. You can mark this down, in the matter of doctrine anything that is reported to be “new and improved”, is false and damning. We walk right only when we walk in the old paths (Jer. 6:16).
We hold the truth. We do not develop truth. We proclaim the truth. We do not shape it. We have, I trust, advanced in the truth over the years. But we dare not add one jot or tittle to the truth. The doctrine of God’s church in the 1st century is the doctrine of God’s church in the 21st century. The doctrine of the Apostles is our doctrine. The doctrine of grace, which God’s servants of old preached, is the doctrine of grace that we preach. Their cry is our cry…
· “The Bible alone!”
· “Grace alone!”
· “Faith alone!”
· “Christ Alone!”
Many like to call us “old Calvinists”, and talk about our message being “outdated”, out of sinc with the times. Our message may be out of sinc with the times, but it is not out of sinc with God. That which men deride as “Calvinism” is nothing but the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ and him crucified. It is the doctrine taught by Christ himself. All the doctrine that I preach to you as that which is essential to the gospel, Christ himself preached. These things are immutable truths of God. They do not change!
· The Sovereignty Of God (Matt. 20:15; John 5:21; 6:63).
· Total Depravity (Matt. 15:19).
· Unconditional Election (John 15:16; Matt. 22:14).
· Limited Atonement (John 10:11-15).
· Irresistible Grace (John 10:3-4; 6:63; 3:8).
· Perseverance Of The Saints (John 10:27-30).
Divine truth does not change. The doctrine of Christ does not change. The gospel does not change. The gospel Adam learned at the gates of Eden is the gospel I preach to you now.
A. There is only one way a just God can justify and forgive guilty sinners – Substitution (Rom. 3:24-26). Justice must be satisfied! Sin must be put away!
B. There is only one way for sinners to be made righteous in the sight of God – Substitution (Rom. 5:19). Righteousness must be imputed to you.
C. There is only one way for spiritually dead men and women to have eternal life – “Ye must be born again!” Salvation must be a work of grace alone.
D. There is only one way for sinners to receive God’s salvation – Faith in Christ!
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!”
IV. The Son of God is immutable in the operations of his grace.
His doctrine never changes. And his method of operation never changes. He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
Whenever God has a work to do among men, he always does four things. In the Bible and in history we see these four things. Whenever God is pleased to pour out his grace upon sinners, whenever God has a work to do among men…
A. He always raises up a man to use—Moses.
B. He always sends that man with a message – The Gospel.
C. He always inclines his people to pray (2 Sam. 7:27).
D. He always grants the power and grace of his Spirit to accomplish he purpose.
This is our Lord’s method of grace. “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The church of God needs three things, only three, to accomplish her work in this world –
1. God’s Man!
2. God’s Message!
3. God’s Power!
Everything else is a hindrance and liability.
V. Our great Savior is immutable in his position, possessions, and power (John 17:2).
(John 17:2) "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
(Philippians 2:9-11) "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
· He is on his throne!
· He possesses all things!
· He has all power!
We live in dark times, perhaps the darkest this world has ever seen. I cannot exaggerate the gravity of this hour. Never has error been more widespread and popularly received. In the “dark ages” papacy reigned by the sword over the bodies of men. In these darker ages free-willism reigns over the hearts of men. But there is no cause for despair. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. He has not abdicated his throne. He has not lost his spoils. He has not relinquished his power! He still holds all the resources of the universe, all the resources of God in his hand.
· Does the church need messengers? God has plenty!
· Do we need grace? God has plenty!
· Do we need power? God has plenty!
We have changed. The world has changed. But Christ has not changed. He is eternally the same.
VI. Let me interject a personal word. The Lord Jesus Christ is immutable to me.
For thirty-five years now, I have found him immutable. I have never known him to change. He abideth faithful. And all that he was to me when I first came to him, he is now and shall forever be (2 Sam. 23:5).
(2 Samuel 23:5) "Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow."
A. Christ is all my Wisdom.
B. Christ is all my Righteousness.
C. Christ is all my Sanctification.
D. Christ is all my Redemption.
E. Christ is all my Hope.
F. Christ is all my Desire (Psa. 73:25).
I trust nothing but Christ. I have nothing but Christ. I want nothing but Christ.
VII. This immutable Christ shall be the eternal glory, reward, and joy of our inheritance in heaven.
Soon we shall depart from this changing world and enter that world where change is unknown. And if we are in Christ, we shall forever be with Christ and find him to be “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” All that he has been, all that he is, he shall forever be.
Application: Now, I call upon you to come to Christ in simple faith. What he is to this sinner, he will be to you, if you trust him.
My brother, my sister, when all around you seems to crumble like dried flowers in your hand, when it seems to you that the very foundations of all things temporal crumble beneath your feet, look away to our great, immutable Savior, and be at peace.
I cannot think of a better way to conclude this message than with the words of the hymn you will find on page 75 in your hymnal. It was written by a preacher name Henry Lyte in 1847.
Lyte was inspired to write this hymn as he was dying of tuberculosis; he finished it the Sunday he gave his farewell sermon in the parish he served so many years. The next day, he left for Italy to regain his health. He didn’t make it, though—he died in Nice, France, three weeks after writing these words. Here is an excerpt from his farewell sermon:
O brethren, I stand here among you today, as alive from the dead, if I may hope to impress it upon you, and induce you to prepare for that solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely acquaintance with the death of Christ.
For more than a century, the bells of his church at All Saints in in Lower Brixham, Devonshire, have rung out “Abide with Me” daily. The hymn was sung at the wedding of King George VI of Britain, and at the wedding of his daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II.
Abide with me; fast
falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close
ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance
I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in
terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.
Thou on my head in
early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence
every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with
Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross
before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
 Misc. Sermon #835 Danville (AM 02/12/89)—Pikeville (02/21/89)
Hebrews Series #95 Danville (Tuesday 10/08/02)