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Stability Control

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

(Hebrews 13:8)

Electronic stability control, or ESC, is an advanced form of automotive technology that assists the driver in keeping or regaining control over the vehicle by automatically braking individual wheels. Some estimates suggest that this safety technology reduces fatal accidents by as much as fifty-six percent.

As wonderfully helpful as such technology is, it is not foolproof. I discovered this truth as one of the ESC sensors on our van malfunctioned and began automatically and repeatedly braking while I was driving down the road. Thankfully, this happened as I was already on the way to the mechanic’s shop and driving only on the 30-mph roads in town, and not while I was driving 65 mph on the interstate with my family earlier that day.

There is a different and much better type of stability control that is 100% effective and fail safe. When all the challenges and changes of this life would threaten to wreck us, God’s Word reminds us that Jesus never changes. In this Gospel truth, we find life’s stability control.

Everything about Jesus is unchanging. The power of His might is unchanging. His knowledge and wisdom are unchanging. His stamina to care for His people is unchanging. And dear sinner, His love for lost souls is also unchanging.

How foreign such things are to us sinners for whom so many things change. Our bodies grow old and quit working properly. Marriage relationships become strained, or even break down in divorce. Cherished loved ones die and are with us no more.

Yes, sad to say, mankind’s sin has brought many bad changes into this world, but because of Jesus, not all change in life is bad. Without the change in us of the Holy Spirit using the Gospel in Word and sacrament to create saving faith, every one of us would be skidding out of control headlong into the depths of hell.

How unstable we all are in the course of our day-to-day living. Our lives are highlighted with constant and repeated failures. We tell ourselves that we’re going to be more disciplined and do better next time—at our job, with our parenting, in our prayer life. We try to make the change, only to fail yet again. As we repeat this cycle of failure and guilt, we’re left wondering, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do better?” The problem is that we’re sinners.

Unlike us, Jesus didn’t have to change, because He was, is, and always will be holy and sinless. Jesus experienced all of your temptations, but remained without sin. You receive all of His perfect, changeless righteousness through faith. Jesus paid all the debt for your sins, and because He is unchanging, so too is your redemption.

Just as Jesus, the Word made flesh, is unchanging, so too is His inspired, inerrant Word in the Bible. In contrast, we sinners change our words all the time. Our stories change as we try to cover up sins. Our promises are broken. But in the Word of Jesus there is an eternally unchanging “Yes” and “Amen.” By the grace of God the forgiveness which your unchanging Savior won for you also never changes!

In the midst of all of life’s changes, what a blessed comfort to know that Jesus your Savior never changes, and neither does His love for you.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see.

O Thou, who changest not, abide with me!

(TLH 552:2)

Chad Seybt is pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming.