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Here are some observations from the Sermon The Immutability of God (vol. 1, sermon 1).  The sermon begins with a problem: how is one to explain the fact that God’s essence does not change. This is a profoundly difficult abstraction, and can easily become a thousand page book of philosophy. So how does Spurgeon preach on this subject without being either abstruse or banal:

Here is how he made the doctrine concrete:

He begins with a doctrine which is necessarily abstract: God’s divine nature — his essence — is unchangeable. The divine nature is pure abstraction for us: we have no experience of anything like this (other than God’s self-revelation).  Therefore to make it concrete and comprehensible, Spurgeon uses two moves. First, he proves the point by a series of concrete examples from a contrast: God is not like the creation — nor us.

First, he states the doctrine and proposes the problem, “We cannot tell you what the Godhead is”:

I shall offer some exposition of my text, by first saying, that God is Jehovah, and he changes not in his essence. We cannot tell you what Godhead is. We do not know what substance that is which we call God. It is an existence, it is a being; but what that is we know not. However, whatever it is, we call it his essence, and that essence never changes. 

Then he gives a series of examples from the physical creation. He sets up a series of changing things: the world in its seasons; even the sun which shines on the world:

The substance of mortal things is ever changing. The mountains with their snow-white crowns, doff their old diadems in summer, in rivers trickling down their sides, while the storm cloud gives them another coronation; the ocean, with its mighty floods, loses its water when the sunbeams kiss the waves, and snatch them in mists to heaven; even the sun himself requires fresh fuel from the hand of the Infinite Almighty, to replenish his everburning furnace. 

Then he brings the proposition more to a point: Humanity changes, I change, my body changes:

All creatures change. Man, especially as to his body, is always undergoing revolution. Very probably there is not a single particle in my body which was in it a few years ago. This frame has been worn away by activity, its atoms have been removed by friction, fresh particles of matter have in the mean time constantly accrued to my body, and so it has been replenished- but its substance is altered. 

He then makes a return to the original imagery of nature. This creates a logical A – B – A’ flow, like a simple piece of music:

The fabric of which this world is made is ever passing away; like a stream of water, drops are running away and others are following after, keeping the river still full, but always changing in its elements. 

He then uses anthropomorphism to describe God, but saying that God is not like man:

But God is perpetually the same. He is not composed of any substance or material, but is spirit-pure, essential, and ethereal spirit-and therefore he is immutable. He remains everlastingly the same. There are no furrows on his eternal brow. No age hath palsied him- no years have marked him with the mementoes of their flight- he sees ages pass, but with him it is ever now. He is the great I AM-the Great Unchangeable. Mark you, his essence did not undergo a change when it became united with the manhood. When Christ in past years did gird himself with mortal clay the essence of his divinity was not changed; flesh did not become God, nor did God become flesh by a real actual change of nature the two were united in hypostatical union, but the Godhead was still the same. It was the same when he was a babe in the manger, as it was when he stretched the curtains of heaven- it was the same God that hung upon the cross, and whose blood flowed down in a purple river, the self-same God that holds the world upon his everlasting shoulders, and bears in his hands the keys of death and hell. He never has been changed in his essence, not even by his incarnation- he remains everlastingly, eternally, the one unchanging God, the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither the shadow of a change.

Now let us consider some the rhetorical and logical moves he makes in the second half of this paragraph:

Contrast:

He creates a logical contrast between the mutable human flesh and immutable divine nature. First, he asserts and “clears” the doctrine:

He is the great I AM-the Great Unchangeable. Mark you, his essence did not undergo a change when it became united with the manhood. 

He then restates and clarifies the doctrine:

When Christ in past years did gird himself with mortal clay the essence of his divinity was not changed; flesh did not become God, nor did God become flesh by a real actual change of nature the two were united in hypostatical union, but the Godhead was still the same. 

He then underscores that doctrinal position with a series of rhetorical contrasts. Note that the rhetorical form of contrasts and similarity — the same God despite the incarnation — serves to underscore the logical assertion. The rhetoric is not mere decoration but is used to make the point clearer:

It was the same when he was a babe in the manger, 

 as it was when he stretched the curtains of heaven- 

it was the same God that hung upon the cross, 

  and whose blood flowed down in a purple river, 

the self-same God that holds the world upon his everlasting shoulders, 

  and bears in his hands the keys of death and hell. 

Tell them what you’r going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you’ve told them. This is a form used remarkably by Thomas Brooks (who was apparently Spurgeon’s favorite Puritan):

He never has been changed in his essence, not even by his incarnation- he remains everlastingly, eternally, the one unchanging God, the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither the shadow of a change.