An exposition of Hebrews 6:13-20 – God’s Impassability & the Man behind the second curtain, by Bill Rhetts
This is an exposition of Hebrews 6:13-20.
• Vs 13-18 will be ‘God’s Infallible Purpose in Christ’ & the doctrine of Impassability
• Vs 19-20 will be ‘Christ, as the Anchor of our soul & salvation & the Man behind the second curtain
In vs 17 he said “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,”
Gods promises stand solid and secure. But He went beyond His infallible promise, God gave an oath to His promise. Again, how much more of a reason why we can trust in the Lord according to His infallible Word.
God promised His people a Savior, Jesus came and Jesus saves. Jesus gave salvation to His church, reconciling us to His Father, and He’s coming back. God gave and made His ‘covenant of grace’ with Jesus Christ, and we (His church) can take that to the bank.
Let’s zoom-in on this word “unchangeable.” Some of your translations might say immutable, or the immutability of God. This is the Greek word ametathetos, it was used only twice in the Scriptures, here in verse 17 and 18. It means that God is unchangeable, immutable, unalterable, not transposed, not to be transferred nor fixed; and He does not change His position.
I adhere to the doctrine of the ‘The Impassibility of God.’ A Biblical orthodox Christianity teaches that God is impassible. That God is unmovable, unchangeable, not subject to emotions, nor involuntary passions. That God possesses and demonstrates an unchanging nature of his purpose.
Chapter 2, Paragraph 1 of our confession states,
“The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of Himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, and withal most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.”
Herman Bavinck said in his must-read Reformed Dogmatics,
“Those who predicate any change whatsoever of God, whether with respect to his essence, knowledge, or will, diminish all his attributes: independence, simplicity, eternity, omniscience, and omnipotence. This robs God of his divine nature, and religion of its firm foundation and assured comfort.”
Church, because of the Impassibility of God, His Word, promises, oaths and/or covenants can be absolutely trusted.
Over the years it’s been my observation that those who believe in the doctrine of ‘The Impassibility of God’ lives their lives accordingly. And those who do not, do not live their lives accordingly. Our view of God has great consequences, and a low view of God can become blasphemous.
In the next verse we will see this word unchangeable or immutable again.