Where, we have often asked, has it been in many of our modern churches, which have become worldly and insipid like salt that has lost its flavour? The moon is at full, and shining in more than ordinary silver brightness. Sin and provocation change us. And what say you of His love? Paul speaks of worlds and epochs, of which we now know nothing, that are all to be gathered together, and seen fulfilled in Christ. Sin will not overmaster you, nor guilt drive you to despair; for He whose blood first cleansed you will cleanse you still, and the ear into which you breathed your first penitence is listening still for your repentant prayer. For change there means progress, and the more the human embodiments of Christian truth disintegrate, the more distinctly does the solemn unique figure of Christ the same rise before us. It is blessed to think of being eternally young; but the thought that, while men are wrinkled, and bent, and scarred by disease, and toil, and suffering, and are subject to all manner of infirmities, there is One that is unchanged by time, and is for ever in the bloom of youth — this thought comes home with sweetness and comfort to every heart.2. Again the thought of the immutable One bears up out of the confusion of changing things. His sole purpose for going there was to find some Christians that He came here, not to stay, but to return. THIS OUGHT TO BE THE CARE OF THE GUIDES OF THE CHURCH; NAMELY, TO LEAVE SUCH AN EXAMPLE OF FAITH AND HOLINESS, AS THAT IT MAY BE THE DUTY OF THE CHURCH TO REMEMBER THEM, AND FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLE. There are times when no one can help us but Jesus. You will observe that it is not of a thing that is the same, nor even of a truth conceived to be the same, that our text speaks, BUT OF A PERSON WHO IS THE SAME. The text is a declaration of the immutability of Jesus Christ, and so takes for granted His divinity. Yesterday He took the little one up in arms laid his hands upon them, and blessed them. 1. Who so likely to deliver the faith and doctrine of Christ pure, as the primitive teachers of it, who received it from our Lord Himself; and were, by an extraordinary assistance of the Holy Spirit, secured from error and mistake in the delivery of it? The Unchanging One. We see in THE ECONOMY OF TIME four remarkable varieties. To-day, moved by His love, multitudes are acting and suffering as those only can work and endure who live, not unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again. dear good man, he is safe in Abraham's bosom. I ask you to think of THE RELATION BETWEEN THE UNCHANGING CHRIST AND THE DYING HELPERS. Then let us with all our heart confide in Him to-day. But when your heart is thus all unrest, need I ask, Has Christ's work changed? I have said, too, that Christ consoles. I ask you to think of THE RELATION BETWEEN THE UNCHANGING CHRIST AND THE DYING HELPERS. The Bible revealed Jehovah, the unchangeable; who, being once known, was for ever to be obeyed, because His commands were equitable and right, and from whom such as learned His will, and followed the path of obedience, had nothing to fear, but everything to hope. Let the fleeting proclaim to you the permanent; let the world with its revolutions lead you up to the thought of Him that is the same for ever. Yet here, where nothing is abiding but change — here where we "should imagine that we should get accustomed to change — we are always sighing for that which is the same to-day as yesterday, and which will be the same for ever. Our faith. Jn. HIS EARTHLY LIFE LEFT HIS LOVE UNCHANGED. Without revelation, without even the fixed data which science affords, men formed ideal images and called them God. Our text speaks of One who is even now unchanging. I ask you to think of THE RELATION BETWEEN THE UNCHANGING CHRIST AND THE DYING HELPERS. Subjectively, in His power the same; and that, (1)Yesterday, for He made the world;(2)To-day, for He governs the world;(3)For ever, for He shall judge the world.3. the time comes when the actor must leave the public stage; when the reins drop from the leader's grasp; and the orator's tongue falters; and the workman's stout arm grows feeble; and the fire of wit is quenched; and the man of genius turns into a drivelling idiot; and men of understanding, without any second birth, pass into a second childhood. 4. "All, times are sadly changed with him. His unchangeableness was also taught as opposed to any change of dynasties. Is it not because we are created to find rest and portion only in God? Indeed, there could be no providence without change; no providing and no rule would be possible if no new circumstances arose. The "for ever" of my text is not to be limited to this present life, but it runs on into the remotest future and boundless prospect of an eternal unfolding and reception of new beauties in the old earthly Christ. W. Beecher.The unchangeableness of God was taught originally as contrasted with the ever changing views entertained when poets, and mythists, and theologists of antiquity were accustomed to weave just such fancies as they pleased, and twine them about an imaginary God, changing to-day the imaginings of yesterday, as one twines every day fresh flowers about some statue. Still, too, He assures His disciples, "I will come again." "Did he remember me?" Jesus Christ, in all that constitutes His personality and in all that pertains to His character, is the same, and cannot change. But when your heart is thus all unrest, need I ask, Has Christ's work changed? In fact, He is not the same yesterday and to-day in the forms and aspects of His existence. It was of Himself, as thus endowed with "all power," that the Lord said, in charging His followers with their great commission: "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world." We may be troubled, but we cannot be daunted; surprised, but not unmanned. Jesus Christ is not only a Master, a Revealer, but He is also a Revelation. Let us give everything up to Him, ourselves and our all. Mackennal, D. D.)The immutability of GodH. THE WORDS "FOR EVER" FALL STRANGELY ON OUR EARS; THE SOLEMN FUTURE IS UNKNOWN AND UNIMAGINABLE. In His will, in His purposes, in His principles, in His affections, He is for ever the same. The applications of them vary, but the essential moral qualities themselves never change. 2. Yesterday lies consecrated in memory; to-morrow, radiant in hope; but to-day is poverty-stricken and prose. And for ever will Jesus Christ be our Redeemer. Suddenly he saw three men apparently waiting for alms and help. In the preceding verse we were reminded of the death of Christian ministers and elders; but the great Head of the Church ever liveth and is ever the same. The same principle that formed His plan of human government in the economy of time, will form a plan altogether different in that" of eternity. "Of His kingdom there shall be no end." Nor is there any change in the great moral attributes which form the basis of the Divine character — justice, and truth, and love. 2. And may we not believe this to be the prayer of angels too? He has said that they shall never hunger and shall never thirst, they shall never die, they shall do great works, they shall not abide in darkness, they shall have peace, they shall join Christ in His glory. Read verse in New International Version Before all worlds He planned our salvation; He entered into covenant with His Father to undertake it. Youth will wander and explore; but manhood asks a home wherein to dwell. ", 2. Nor is there any change in the essential purposes of God's moral government. And for ever will Jesus Christ be our Redeemer. Will He fulfil these words? God's changeful providence comes into all our lives, and parts dear ones, making their places empty that Christ Himself may fill the empty places, and, striking away other props, though the tendrils that twine round them bleed with the wrench, in order that the plant may no longer trail along the ground, but twine itself round the Cross and climb to the Christ upon the throne. Blessed are they who, in a world of passing phenomena, penetrate to the still centre of rest, and looking over all the vacillations of the things that can be shaken, can turn to the Christ and say, Thou who movest all things art Thyself unmoved; Thou who changest all things, Thyself changest not. "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." I apply these words as a New Year's motto, in two or three different directions, and ask you to consider, first, THE UNCHANGING CHRIST IN HIS RELATION TO OUR CHANGEFUL LIVES. The Divine in Jesus Christ is ever the same, His power in heaven, in earth, and in hell — His knowledge — all that hath been, all that is, and all that will be — His wisdom for device and design, for ruling and over-ruling, for ordering all beings and things — His presence in all places — His spotless purity, and undeviating righteousness — His unbounded love — are all "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." I am not going to attempt to explain the Mystery. It is remarkable that, when He pronounced these words, not one of them was written down. This sobriety is the most striking proof of His immutability. No; "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever," there is nothing He ever did, in saving, blessing, sanctifying, that He cannot do again. Alas that association so blessed should have had an end.II. You would be sorry to see him now. Our life continues the same in many vicissitudes, so long as the persons we have to do with are unchanged. Eighteen centuries ago it was said of Him that "He manifested forth His glory." Lastly, look at these words in their application to THE RELATION BETWEEN THE UNCHANGING CHRIST AND THE ETERNAL LOVE OF HEAVEN. Part of his great work was perfectly and splendidly accomplished while he was upon earth. is the astonished rejoinder of his companion. thou art God. This dissuades our confidence in worldly things because they are inconstant. That language can only have reference to a Divine Being, and it can only he with regard to His Divine qualities that Jesus Christ can be said to be immutable. God is immutable in the fundamental elements of His being.4. The longing for rest, the desire for what is stable and unchanging — THIS IS OUR DEEPEST WANT; IT STRENGTHENS IN US AS WE GROW OLDER, WISER, BETTER MEN. )The unchanging ChristA. unchanging One, let me change from day to day, until I gain Thine image and reach Thy presence!" Some such change may be suggested in 1 Corinthians 15:24, 28. It has pleased God, says the prophet, that Eternal Empire should rest on His shoulders. We may be troubled, but we cannot be daunted; surprised, but not unmanned. (Matthew 28:18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power Let us give everything up to Him, ourselves and our all. "And our old neighbour, who lived next door?" "And did you see such a one?" To those Christians who would read the words translated "for ever" in their original form, "unto the ages," they would have a further suggestion. Yesterday the hair of the husband was black as a raven — to-day it is white as wool. We want to feel that though there are endless variations in goodness and justice, and endless degrees of these things in the Divine mind, yet there is nothing there that traverses justice or good, or that changes these qualities, making that which is evil and unjust in this age just and good in the next age. His purpose is also to use us in the salvation of others. He came to suffer as a substitute. LET ME SPEAK TO YOU PERSONALLY OF THE UNCHANGING SAVIOUR. They were accustomed to look on God's purpose in the universe as unfolding itself in a series of aeons or dispensations. Nor is there any change in the great moral attributes which form the basis of the Divine character — justice, and truth, and love. 1. Cutting.It is a beautiful moonlight night. must we ever be restless? while others have led to tragic consequences. Nothing in the history of the human imagination is so difficult as to create an ideal of perfection which will last. )The changelessness of ChristA. The applications of them vary, but the essential moral qualities themselves never change. "Your old neighbour? To-day, brethren, Jesus Christ is the same as when Peter and Johu rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name" — not counted worthy to wear some crown for His name, unless the crown be a crown of thorns, but " that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." And, lest we should be discouraged at the thought, we have the assurance that our association with Him may be real and close and beautiful (Matthew 12:49, 50). In common things we soon grow wearied of sameness, and the whole earthly system of things is founded on the principle of variety and change. The ideal of one race is not the ideal of another. To-day Jesus Christ is the same as when Paul said, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him until that day." To-day Jesus Christ is the same as when it was said, "We are all one in Christ Jesus." New friends, new spheres, new surroundings alter men marvellously. Hamilton, D. D.Earthly friends are apt to change, and if they do not change they die. There will be more familiarity than strangeness there, for " Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." Hamilton, D. D.)Experiences may change, but not ChristG. The same principle that inclines Him now to assemble us in material buildings, to cherish our devotion by exercises savouring of the frailty of our state, by the singing of psalms, and by the participation of sacraments, will incline Him hereafter to cherish it by means more noble, more sublime, better suited to the dignity of our origin and to the price Of our redemption. They were accustomed to look on God's purpose in the universe as unfolding itself in a series of aeons or dispensations. God saw the end from the beginning; He follows a plan eternally ordained, and the whole vast administration of creation is carried on in pursuance of certain great fixed ideas. But these mortal, formal changes, whatever they are, do not affect the substantial meaning of the text. What changes need we now fear? And His heart is the same — sympathetic, patient, generous, tender as a woman's, strong in its personal attachment, and filled with a love which surpasseth knowledge. You need not fear temptation, for His is an unchanging succour. And to-day many of you are found among those who wait for His appearing, and who love His appearing — and as the vision seems to tarry, and as the time appears to be delayed, often do you hear Him say, "I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." He has got other things to occupy his thoughts since you and he were wont to meet." In what department of this universe shall we find immobility? The Hebrews had been blessed with public instructors, who had spoken to them the word of God, and who believed and lived what they taught. Yet here, where nothing is abiding but change — here where we "should imagine that we should get accustomed to change — we are always sighing for that which is the same to-day as yesterday, and which will be the same for ever. Now, believer, apply the simple figure. Words had come to them from the heavens of old, obscurely referring to at least one other dispensation that had accomplished itself before man was created. He cannot deny Himself.II. And for ever will Jesus Christ be our Redeemer. So He is the same, (1)Yesterday to our fathers;(2)To-day to ourselves;(3)For ever to our children.(T. Cutting. He gave Himself to it in the beginning; undertook it when man fell; made ready for His advent during four thousand years; came in the fulness of time. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” ( Hebrews 13:8) . He was "with God," then with man, now with God again. Here are changes, grand, stupendous, unimaginable. There I see the Ideal Type of moral perfection. Behind all changes in nature we press to unchanging power and law, and feel that these can reside only in an unchanging God. Death, or separation, or mutual alienation and distrust put an end to their guidance. dear good man, he is safe in Abraham's bosom. Never tired, or put out, or variable. Mackennal, D. D.I. To-day Jesus Christ is the same as when He said, "I am the vine; ye are the branches." So, secondly, I apply these words in another direction. That is the substance of all Christ's teaching. His eye is the same — bright as a flame of fire, and strong enough to view all things, whether great or small. Proportion requires that intelligent creatures should be some time in a state of probation, and this is the nature of the present dispensation: but the same law of proportion requires also, that after intelligent creatures have been some time in a state of trial, and have answered the end of their being placed in such a state, there should be a state of retribution in an eternal economy. But when your heart is thus all unrest, need I ask, Has Christ's work changed? Lastly, look at these words in their application to THE RELATION BETWEEN THE UNCHANGING CHRIST AND THE ETERNAL LOVE OF HEAVEN. "He ever liveth to make intercession for us." It is none other than the Person of the Word." He is not King because He sets Himself up as such. In the sanctuaries of Thebes, of Delphi, and of Nineveh, the religious thought of millions of worshippers have been engraved on marble and on metal, in the desire to hand down to coming generations the names and the exploits of their gods. Jesus Christ is the same in His influence upon those who believe in Him. Yet here, where nothing is abiding but change — here where we "should imagine that we should get accustomed to change — we are always sighing for that which is the same to-day as yesterday, and which will be the same for ever. Behind all changes in nature we press to unchanging power and law, and feel that these can reside only in an unchanging God. You need not fear temptation, for His is an unchanging succour. must we ever be restless? No, no.(G. As opposed to such a conception as this, the Bible teaches God to be one, from eternity to eternity, sovereign and immutable. "And did you see such a one?" Just think of it for a moment — an immutable Ideal! "Your old neighbour? If we would preserve that purity of faith and manners, which our religion requires, we should have frequent recourse to the primitive teachers and patterns of Christianity, and endeavour to bring our belief and lives to as near a conformity with theirs as is possible. unchanging One, let me change from day to day, until I gain Thine image and reach Thy presence!" Objectively. In like manner we observe a similar uniformity in the various laws prescribed to the Church. He can raise up and qualify men for every branch of Christian service: the heroes of the mission-field, the inventors and administrators of Church economy, the mighty preachers of all ages have been just what He made them. Let us give everything up to Him, ourselves and our all. He will not be unknown; He will be recognised who quickened, and guided, and sustained us, who was the steadfastness and identity of our passing earthly life. Here are changes, grand, stupendous, unimaginable. In either application the words of my text are full of hope and of joy. God's changeful providence comes into all our lives, and parts dear ones, making their places empty that Christ Himself may fill the empty places, and, striking away other props, though the tendrils that twine round them bleed with the wrench, in order that the plant may no longer trail along the ground, but twine itself round the Cross and climb to the Christ upon the throne. Paul speaks of worlds and epochs, of which we now know nothing, that are all to be gathered together, and seen fulfilled in Christ. Martin. Let us reason in regard to the Church in general, as we reason in regard to each private member of it. IN HIS PERSON. "Jesus Christ is the same to-day." More than eighteen centuries have passed away since they were uttered; but they have lost none of their clearness, or freshness, or force. The nature of things shows that the uncreated alone can be immutable. However, One there is who wears our nature, but is not liable to the variations of mortality. Find Top Church Sermons, Illustrations, and Preaching Slides on Hebrews 13:8-21. "Again a new commandment I write unto you," and every generation will find new impulse, new teaching, new shaping energies, social and individual, ecclesiastical, theological, intellectual, in the old Christ who was crucified for our offences and raised again for our justification, and remains "the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever."IV. "And yet many hearts thrill with a sacred joy on hearing the words, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." "Yes; but you would not know him, he is so greatly altered." And may we not believe this to be the prayer of angels too? He has made great promises to His disciples. 2. Now, believer, apply the simple figure. "Look up man! His wealth of tenderness and of sympathy is always the same. Follow for a moment THE SUGGESTIONS OF TRUE CONTEXT; remember those who exercised a blessed, loving, wise " rule " over you, who " spake to you the Word of God," pastors, parents, friends; those who first interpreted to you your soul's yearning and restlessness, and pointed you to Christ for rest; the true and trusty ones who warned you against your dangers, and helped you in your temptations, and solaced you in your griefs; who seemed to read your life, and could speak the very words you needed. Amidst the flux of things, the flow of events, the heart rests on one unchanging friend. So, further, we apply, in the third place, this thought to THE RELATION BETWEEN THE UNCHANGING CHRIST AND DECAYING INSTITUTIONS AND OPINIONS. Yesterday our fathers and our mothers were young, and hale, and strong — to-day they lean towards the earth like half-felled trees, or they lie prostrate as trees wholly cut down. But, further, they were men whose conversation was worthy of their profession. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.(J. 2. Maclaren, D. D.I. To-day, brethren, Jesus Christ is the same as when Peter and Johu rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name" — not counted worthy to wear some crown for His name, unless the crown be a crown of thorns, but " that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." To-day Jesus Christ is the same as when it was said, "We are all one in Christ Jesus." THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST – Vss. Subjectively, in His power the same; and that(1)Yesterday, for He made the world;(2)To-day, for He governs the world;(3)For ever, for He shall judge the world.3. "And our old neighbour, who lived next door?" And with the changes to which men are subject is associated mutation, which, like waves flowing over sand, affects the condition and appearance of all things. The teaching of our Lord, like his personality, continues and changes not. 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