The Unchangeable Character of His Purpose

This Fall was the start of my second year at Covenant Seminary. Thinking back to my first year, I consider my time at Covenant Seminary a unique privilege. I have wonderful professors committed to not merely providing me with information but committed to helping me know Jesus more intimately. I also have forged deep friendships. I have met men and women who have been a true means of God’s grace in my life.

Most importantly, I’ve had the weighty opportunity to spend time in the intense study of God in his word. For all of this, I am eternally grateful. I am also humbled and thankful for all the support I have received from you. During my years in GRC and even now as I am miles away, I continue to feel your Christ-like kindness and love.

If you were to walk into my room in my on-campus house, you would see my desk cluttered with stacks of books and some journal articles. On my folding chair in one of the corners of the room, you will also find another stack of books, 15 to be precise. Next, to my closet I have a 5 level bookshelf that is filled with Old Testament and New Testament commentaries and more books. As you would imagine my weeks have been filled with reading books, articles, memorizing Greek and Hebrew paradigms, parsing verbs, memorizing new vocabulary, trying to understand theological concepts way above my intellectual capacity, and writing exegetical papers. During the past few weeks before coming home for the holidays, I spent anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a day at the library. Having the opportunity to be immersed in the most rigorous study of the Greek, Hebrew, and theology has indeed been a unique experience. However, there is a less unique aspect of being in seminary.

Just like any other person I am in desperate need of drinking from the gospel fountain daily. During my first year in seminary, I have seen with more clarity the inconsistent nature of my love for God. At different times I have pushed God to the margins of my life, because I’ve been too busy with schoolwork. Prayer and Bible reading, outside of classroom assignments, have been inconsistent. Often, God received the leftovers of my time and energy. However, by God’s grace, it has been during these moments of faltering and failure that I have been granted to see more of the beauty of God’s consistent character.

A few weeks ago, I was wrestling with this strange juxtaposition: How can I spend days and weeks learning about the doctrine of God, His covenant, the nature of salvation, faith, and sin, yet still experience dullness of heart? I felt pretty discouraged and hopeless. Then I came across Hebrew 6:17-18 which says, “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, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” As I contemplated the inconsistent nature of my love for God and felt the accusations of the enemy, God reminded me of His unchanging character. God’s purposes in our redemption are unchangeable. Though you and I may falter, fail, and at times be deeply inconsistent in our love, God’s love remains the same. Hebrews 6:17-18 was written to dispel all hopelessness from our hearts and to shut down every accusation from the enemy. It reminds us that God has lovingly taken an oath to bring us to himself. It was written to remind us that in Him we find someone whose commitment is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I pray that this new year we may know more deeply the never-changing constancy of God’s love for us.

Juan Vasquez is a member of GRC and a former Deacon.  He is currently living in St. Louis while attending seminary.