Jan Paron, PhD|November 14, 2017
God’s nature does not change due to His immutability: “I am the Lord, I change not (Mal 3:6a KJV; e.g., Num 23:19; Isa 46: 9-11; Jas 1:13). His nature remains unchanged across the dispensations of time grounding itself in the same redemptive purpose with humanity. Thus, the very attributes in God’s titles expressed in the Old Testament manifested themselves in the substance of Jesus Christ in the New (Exod 3:14-15; John 8:56-59).
The forthcoming essays discuss God’s immutable purpose in the revealed redemptive Jehovah titles in the Incarnate Jesus, as well as overview the progressive revelation of the Name Jehovah. Each will examine the Lord’s revealed redemptive purposes, unchangeable throughout the covenants. They seek to accomplish three goals: (1) explain the doctrine of God’s immutability; (2) exegete the attributes of the seven Jehovah redemptive titles in light of their fulfilled revelation in the person of Jesus Christ; and (3) interpret how the Gospels illustrated the progressive unfolding of God’s immutable nature by means of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah.
Revelation denotes an uncovering (Vine, Unger & White, 1996). God progressively uncovers His identity through His Word. For a comprehensive understanding of God’s immutable nature, one finds a portrait of His fullness in the single biblical story from the eyewitness accounts the inspired Gospel authors wrote.
The key to grasping the progressive manifestation of God’s immutable nature in the Incarnate Jesus comes with examining the compound, redemptive titles of Jehovah in tandem with innertextual and intertextual messianic analyses of Old Testament text and canonized Gospels. To understand the titles’ entirety requires more than relying on the reader’s perspective in front of the text. One also must delve into aspects from the biblical author’s world behind the text and analyze the literary elements of Scripture within the text (Tate, 1997; Paron, 2013). Further, each distinct Gospel emphasis shapes God’s immutable nature into a complete biblical portrait of a covenantal God in His expressed image (character) in the person (substance) of Jesus Christ. The Gospel’s purpose, interpreted events, messianic sayings, covenantal fulfillment, linear prophetic fulfillment, and New Covenant establishment put the paintbrush in the reader’s hand.
Overview: Progressive Revelation of the Name Jehovah
The name Jehovah in combination with titles, uncovers His immutable, redemptive nature ultimately made visible in Jesus with the Church and then the nation of Israel at the fullness of time when the Church Age ends. In historical Old Testament order (Bullinger, 2007), Scripture shows seven titles expressing His redemptive nature:
- Jehovah-jireh (LORD that provides: Gen 22:14; cf. John 1:29; Heb 11:17-19)
- Jehovah-rapha (LORD that heals: Exod 15:26; cf.; Jas 5:14)
- Jehovah-nissi (LORD my banner, victory: Exod 17:15; cf. 1 Cor 15:57)
- Jehovah-shalom (LORD is peace: Judg 6:24; cf. John 14:27)
- Jehovah-tsidkenu (LORD our righteousness: Jer 23:6; cf. 1 Cor 1:30)
- Jehovah-shammah (LORD is there, the Ever Present One: Ezek 48:35; cf. Matt 28:30)
- Jehovah-raah (LORD my shepherd; Ps 23:1; cf. John 10:11)
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare posed the question, “What’s in a name?” explaining it does not typify one’s feelings or intent (Insel, 2010). Conversely, a name in the Bible does define a person’s character and nature. Thus, to understand the redemptive nature of Jesus all names reflected in the redemptive titles of Jehovah illustrate the fulfillment, identity, and purpose of God’s salvation plan for humanity in Jesus. Jehovah of the Old Testament shows continuity of His redemptive nature revealed in the incarnated God in Jesus. With the titles Jehovah-jireh, rapha, nissi, shalom, and raah, Jehovah expressed Himself as Jesus to the end of earthly matters. As Jehovah-tsidkenu and shammah, He identified Himself in His final Kingdom reigning in righteousness (Isa 32:1). Thus, Jesus fulfilled the totality of the seven redemptive titles of Jehovah with the I AM: “and all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (49:26), therefore, immutable.
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