Blog Entries

Sermon of the Week: No. 170, “The Immutability of Christ”

Phillip Ort October 22, 2018

“It is well that there is one person who is the same. It is well that there is one stable rock amidst the changing billows of this sea of life.”


For Charles Spurgeon the great truth of the immutability of Jesus Christ provided “useful, consoling, and practical lessons.” On the morning of January 3rd, 1858, Spurgeon acknowledged that some in the congregation would come “childless,” or as “widows,” or “fatherless” from fresh trials, still “weeping recent affliction.”


For some, “great changes” had recently taken place which “have made your hearts full of misery.” Indeed, “cups of sweetness” had been mingled with “drops of gall.”


Yet, the world was also subject to such change, indeed, at the time Spurgeon noted even “kingdoms have trembled in the balance.” Wars and rumors of wars had spread, and even the earth itself bore witness, having “doffed its green, and put on its somber garment of Autumn.”


Yet, there was one constant which did not change, the Lord Jesus Christ. Spurgeon likened the discovery of the stability of Christ to the “satisfaction that the mariner feels” when he at last places his foot on solid ground. For Spurgeon there was great satisfaction to be found in clinging to the rock of Christ “amidst all the changes of this troublous life.”


In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon commenced his “Explanation” of the immutability of Christ. He began by noting that Christ is “the same in his person.” While “We change perpetually” Christ stays the same.


Indeed, while “We are one day strong, and the next day weak,” Christ is always “for ever the same.” Christ is “pure, and never spotted,” “firm and never changing,” “everlastingly Omnipotent,” and “unchangeably Omniscient.” None of his attributes could  “pass away,” he alone always “abideth fast and firm.”


But Christ was also the same with “regard to his Father.” He was the Father’s “well-beloved Son before all worlds,” “in the stream of his baptism,” and especially “on the cross.” Even while absorbing and satisfying the infinite wrath of Holy God he was not less “the object of his Father’s infinite affection.”


Furthermore, Christ was also the same “to his people.” Indeed, when believers looked back “upon years of our troubles and trials” one would have to bear “humble witness” that Christ was “true to us” in all trials. In short, Christ “has never failed us once.”


But Christ was also the same “to sinners to-day as he was yesterday.” Here Spurgeon remembered the “trembling” and “little faith” with which he first looked to Christ, and knew that “if [Christ] didst receive me then, [Christ] will receive me now.” Thus, he exhorted sinners saying, “Oh! come try him! come and try him!” To the empty, he said, “Ye that are empty, Christ is as full to-day as ever.” Indeed, even more than 1800 years after the cross, the blood of Christ was sufficiently full of saving power, even for the worst of sinners.


In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon turned to combat a mortal foe, “Mr. Unbelief.” Indeed, he charged him sternly, saying, “Stop, Mr. Unbelief, I beg you to remember that Christ is not changed.” Indeed, Spurgeon insisted that emotions and dispositions are “no proof that Christ changes.” Rather, the believer’s shaky confidence and changing disposition was only “proof that you change.”


In the third section of his sermon, Spurgeon sought to draw two conclusions form his evidence. First, if Christ never changed, then he would always be the superior delight to be desired. Accordingly Spurgeon preached to himself, saying, “my soul, set not thine affections upon these changing things, but se thine heart upon him.”


Similarly, Spurgeon also exhorted his hearers to “endeavour to imitate him” by staying constant in faith. Indeed, he warned the congregation to “beware of being like a weather-cock” moved by the breeze. Rather, believers were to “Seek of God, that his law may be written on your hearts as if it were written in stone.” Finally, he encouraged them, saying, “Christian rejoice! Come what may thou art secure.”


Second and finally, Spurgeon warned that while the immutability of Christ was a joy to Christians, it was a terror to sinners, saying, “what a sad day for the ungodly!” In simple terms, “He will damn you if you believe not, depend on it.” Indeed, because Christ “has never broken a promise” he would “never break a threatening.” Rather than hope that Christ would change, the urgent need of sinners was to repent.


Why you should take up and read:


For Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the immutability of Christ was a precious doctrine full of encouragement for Christians, but terror for unrepentant sinners. Because “Christ’s person never changes” those who fled to Christ found safety while those who refused him found hell. For a meditation upon the implications of the immutability of Christ be encouraged to take up and read.


Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:

Phillip Ort serves at the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City where he is also pursuing a Master of Divinity degree.