Thursday, January 5, 2023
The more I study God’s Word, and the more I experience of earthly life, the more I understand that everything depends upon faith. The significance of the verse in Hebrews that says “Without faith it is impossible to please God” increases every day. Those who walk by sight, in human reason and understanding, are growing more and more miserable, while those who walk by faith in God’s promises are escaping the corruption of the world.
Unfortunately, for most of us, there are days when we feel captured by corruption. We get mauled by misery. We feel discouraged because we are discontent and filled with unfulfilled desires. We appear more dead than divine. How depressing!
We should not expect more from a sinful nature. The fact is everything in God’s magnificent creation follows its nature. Plant seeds of corn and you will get corn plants and corn cobs. Put a bull and a cow in a pen and you’ll get a calf. Put a tiger and a lamb in a pen and you’ll get a full tiger. Everything follows its nature.
When reason is added, mankind can alter nature. People can become imitators and deceivers, covering who they really are with behaviors that mislead the observer. But in essence they are only expressing their corrupt nature, which is captivated with self. Man cannot change the nature of anything. He cannot create a new nature.
But God can, and He does for everyone who has faith in His Son Jesus and in His promises.
2 Peter 1:4 “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
This is an incredible truth. Let me paraphrase the words of the apostle Peter:
** “God has called us to live according to His nature and not ours.”
** “His call is not because of our glory, but His.”
** “His call is not based on our goodness, but on His.”
** “Because of His glory and goodness, He has given us very great and precious promises.”
** “When by faith we believe His promises, we may participate in the divine nature of Jesus Christ.”
Of the 2000 promises in Scripture, here are my top five –
1. The unconditional forgiveness of my sin when I believe on Jesus Christ who died on the cross as my substitute and suffered the full wrath of God against sin. (1 John 1:9; Colossians 2:13-15)
2. The guaranteed gift of eternal life in God’s glorious presence in heaven and that He is coming soon to remove us from this world and take us there. (1 Peter 1:3; John 14:6)
3. The creation of a new nature in me – the nature of Jesus Christ – that allows me to escape the chains of corruption in this evil world. (2 Cor. 5:17; Colossians 1:27)
4. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit who empowers the nature of Jesus to live abundantly in and through me. (Titus 3:4-7)
5. The absolute acceptance of my life by God because of the new nature He has given me. He has qualified me to share His Son’s eternal inheritance. No longer do I need to strive to bring value to my life. No longer do I need to prove my worth or earn my acceptance with anyone. (Colossians 1:12-14)
Oh, how I pray that you understand this. You have not been given the responsibility to change your nature. You have not been given a new set of rules to try to obey. You have not been made accountable to a group of people to measure up to their standards. In Christ, you have been given the promise of a new divine nature. You have been given the faith to believe God’s promises. By faith you may believe it is true and then live like you believe it.
Peter’s statements agree completely with Paul’s, who wrote, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In Christ you are a new creation. All the old things have passed away, and all things have been made new. Stop living according to what is dead. You have a new nature. Follow it.