The unchanging word of God?
I have noticed that things are proclaimed as being part of the “unchanging word of God” in discussions that I have seen and been part of recently. Which is all good and well but with each of God’s new revelations of Godself things seem to change. In the old testament, it would appear that, God was cool with war, even ordained it. But in Jesus we have the King of Peace. A new revelation which says that God didn’t make us to be at war with one another, that in building God’s kingdom we should be building peace not waging war. Or take Philip and his meeting with the eunuch in Acts; Philip should have told the eunuch that he was unable to be baptised due to God’s unchanging word in Deuteronomy 23:1 but of course he doesn’t and the eunuch is baptised into “the assembly of the Lord”.
In Matthew 5 Jesus says ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” And when confronted with the woman accused of adultery he stops her stoning, even though it could have been claimed that God’s unchanging word meant that the locals had no choice but to put her to death (Deut 22:22 and Lev 20:10). In Leviticus God’s unchanging word says that certain foods must not be eaten but in God’s new revelation of Godself Jesus says “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” The bible records that “In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.”
It seems to me that there are two options here the first is that God’s word does change and as it does so God offers a new revelation of Godself, for instance through the person of Jesus or through the spirit. The second option is that God’s word is unchanging but it is a word that is often misunderstood, recorded wrongly and God works to set us straight with each new revelation of Godself. Either way we need to be listening for the way that God is currently working in revelation of Godself, through prayer and the spirit joining God in the way he is currently working and waiting for us to catch on and join him in it.
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