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Is God Perfect? Does God Make Mistakes?

Is God perfect and does he make mistakes?  This is the first question in TheStateofTheology.com research study.  Of all those who participated, 34% said that they did not believe he is perfect and that he makes mistakes.  That is huge.  1 in 3 professing Christians did not believe God is God.  This article will address the issue to help the 34% know God deeper and equip the 66% of professing Christians to better explain this lacking understanding in the church.

 To truly understand this issue, we must look at the nature and characteristics of God himself such as his eternal state, immutability, and holiness then we look at what scripture states about his will.

Eternal Nature

Psalm 33:4-5. 11, 21
For the word of the Lord is right,
and all His work is trustworthy.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the Lord’s unfailing love.

11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of His heart from generation to generation. 

21 For our hearts rejoice in Him
because we trust in His holy name.
Scripture absolutely states God IS right, trustworthy, and has unfailing love.  He is not sometimes right or most of the time trustworthy.  He does not some times fail in love.  He is absolutely right, trustworthy and has unfailing love forever.  His counsel is forever and holy.

Psalm 41:13
13 May Yahweh, the God of Israel, be praised
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen.
Because God is absolutely right, trustworthy, unfailing in love, and holy; he deserves all praise for all time. From everlasting to everlasting. For all eternity.  

Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were born,
before You gave birth to the earth and the world,
from eternity to eternity, You are God. 
God is so majestic and almighty; he eternally existed!  Also see 2 Timothy 1:9.

How can God, who is absolutely right, trustworthy, unfailing in love, holy and deserving of all praise for all time; make a mistake? Making mistakes means that which made the mistake, lacks something.  Either knowledge, power, or will.  Lacking something means incompleteness.   Psalm 147:5 his it where it is stated "Our Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite".  In creation, God didn't make a mistake either.  Everything he created was "very good" (Genesis 1:31).  Psalm 145:17 finally states this: "The Lord is righteous in all His ways and gracious in all His acts".  "All" here means, in every way at all times.  Because he is right always, and can no make mistakes, His will is perfect.  

Romans 12:2
"Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God." 
 Perfection is part of who God is.  It is at the essence of his being.  To say God is not perfect and makes mistakes is to say that he is not God.

Also read How Holy is God?  |  God Does ALL The Work

Jesus and Perfection

It is equally important to note that Jesus himself is perfect, did not make mistakes, and did not make faulty erroneous decisions (Hebrews 4:15).  Satan pulled out his big guns and tested Jesus with the very temptations we all WILL and DO fail with; but Jesus did not fail (Matthew 4:1-11).  Jesus is specifically and purposely described as the "Lamb without blemish or spot" (1 Peter 1:19).  Even the secular pagan sinner, Pilot, stated I find no guilt in this man.(Luke 23:4).  If Jesus is perfect and Jesus is God; therefore God is perfect.

Also read Jesus Is God  |  The "Jesus didn't say it" Reasoning  |  The Triune God of Christianity

Immutability

Another essential and key characteristic that proves God's perfection and inability to make mistakes is his immutability. This means God is unchanging in his character, will, and promises.  Why would God need to change his mind or will if he can just make the absolute best and greatest decision in the first place?  The idea of God needing to change his mind or make poor decisions is applying a flawed characteristic on a perfect God.  God's Will is perfect, therefore he has absolutely no need to change his mind and no possibility for him to make a mistake. Scripture affirms this:

In Malachi 3:6 God absolutely and explicitly states: "I the Lord do not change."  If that wasn't explicit enough, he states in Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?"  If he made mistakes and changed his mind because of imperfect decisions than he would not keep and fulfill his initial promises either.   If those were not clear as day, Isaiah 46:9-11 states "10 I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will. 11 I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it".  His Will and Plan WILL take place exactly how he wills it to.  No surprises, mistakes, or changes; the end from the beginning.  

Also read Finding God's Will  |  Once Saved, Always Saved  |  The Joy of TRUTH

But Doesn't Scripture State That God Has Changed His Mind?

Exodus 32:12-14 describes God "relenting" after Moses pleads for his people.   But notice Moses is pointing out prior promises God had made (Exodus 32:13).  Was God about to break his promises? Did Moses stop God from being unfaithful?  Of course not.  For God to be perfect, faithful, and immutable, he must also keep his promises.  That means God was going to do exactly what Moses was pleading for in the first place.  Even before Moses was born, God knew He would relent concerning what Moses was pleading against. 

1 Samuel 15:11 and Genesis 6:5-7 we see God 'regretting' something.  Right off the bat it is easy to assume the regret is due to a mistake.  This is false.  The word 'regret' in this context is a deep compassionate grief that requires corrective action.  That unmerited favor and continued existence despite of continued increasing sin is Grace (Romans 5:20b).  Grace is the perfect required corrective action (Genesis 6:8).   

From a fleshly and worldly limited perspective it is easy to come to the uneducated position of God making mistakes, being imperfect, and changing his mind while breaking promises.  This is a natural inclination to belittle God to make man feel more righteous or closer to a godly level.  Man is imperfect, changes their mind, breaks promises, and is unfaithful; God is God, man is not.

Also read What is 'Doctrine' and does it matter?  |  God's adaptive and fluid Plan?  |  Correctly Interpret and Understand The Bible

Summery

Correctly understanding God for who he is reflects what we believe about him.  For God to be God, he must be perfect, eternal, and holy.  If God could change from being perfect to imperfect, or holy to unholy, than he can not be perfect or holy.  Thus; immutable is a necessary characteristic of who God is.  Because God IS immutable, he does not make mistakes and his perfection renders changing vain.


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