Review of Human Nature
God did not create mankind with a evil human nature; it is not passed down from parents to children
Rather God gave free moral agency – the freedom to choose
And mankind decided for itself what was right and wrong
What they failed to realize was how powerfully they were being influenced by Satan
Just as Adam and Eve were, mankind continues to be under the sway of the devil, believing his lies and in effect adopting his nature as their own
In other words human nature is replete with Satan’s nature
So, if we are not to be taking on Satan’s nature as our own, then the obvious question is what should we be doing instead…the answer is found in 2 Peter 1
Partakers of the Divine Nature
2 Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature
So not only do we resist the devil, but we put on the nature of God
We are to be partakers now and in the future
We are to show God that this is what we want
To live a life contrary to God’s way – what message are we sending Him
We do not live a sinful life and then say I’m ready to do the opposite…
We try to live a life that is exactly like the one Jesus Christ did.
One that is in perfect harmony with God and His ways
The Image of God
We are to become the image of Christ who is the image of God who is perfect (Matthew 5:48)
The express character
Hebrews 1:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image [charakter; exactly the same as] of His person [of God the Father in other words]
He has the same character of God and it is though it were engraved exactly and etched indelibly into Him…so that you could not tell the difference – in other words they are One in unity and harmony
This is our goal too.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING.” The last Adam [Jesus Christ] became a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first [for us], but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
This was God’s plan from before the very beginning;
This is why we are called to this way of life today
We have a purpose
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
This is our destiny – to follow this process until we are glorified as They are
We are to become the image of the Son who is the express image of the Father
We are to be conformed, because we are not this way already
We have human nature which is predominantly Satan’s nature
We must displace who and what we are
How is this achieved?
Christ in Us
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
No longer the old man or the carnal man and his ways
But when God looks down on us, He sees His Son in us
He sees us living and acting a specific way
Acting like Jesus Christ acted on Earth
Living by EVERY word of God – as Jesus Christ did.
Hebrews 8:6 calls them the better promises – those that are attached to the New Covenant
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
the state of man is lacking:
Because of the choice in the Garden of Eden and mankind’s subsequent choice since
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
We, being subject to human nature live a way contrary to God’s nature; contrary to His way; contrary to His law.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
There are two choices; two ways to be;
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
This is how we are able to understand God’s Word, Law and Way and have Christ in us – by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, [it] will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
We become Sons of God
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
If we accurately reflect God, the world will not see God in us, because they do not recognize God
So don’t be dismayed by that.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Not only in composition, but in character.
We are to be acting like Him now so that we show that we want this way of life forever.
We show that we want to be just like Him
This is what the next verse is saying:
1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
We are to remove sin from our lives and replace it with the righteous of God.
1 Peter 1:12 … [we] have purified [our] souls in obeying the truth
Now on the contrary we see what sin is
Defining Sin [showing the contrast to :3].
1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
1 John 3:6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
won’t continue sinning willfully as we have done in the past; they won’t practice sinning any more
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
This putting on the nature of God; the divine nature
What is righteousness? Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
Contrasting our options;
2 natures: Satan/human vs Godly
One that sins; one that practices righteousness
Our Actions are Because of our Beliefs
James understood this – actions beginning in the mind and manifesting later
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
James 1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
this is why it’s so important to put on the nature of God and his character and to live by his way and his rules:
if we do, then we begin to act like him.
eventually become exactly as he is.
1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1 John 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. [we are becoming one with God; we are becoming like Him; we are putting on His nature].
1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Walking in Faith
2 Peter 1:4 ….having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
Faith – God’s way of life
virtue – moral fiber of the way of God
knowledge – better understanding of God’s way; grow in knowledge of this way of life
self-control – living within the way; moderation/restraint within the bounds
perseverance – enduring and persisting in that way; self-control is not doing
godliness – acting the way of God would [divine nature]; growing in the grace of God; put it to use;
brotherly kindness – practicing that way; doing good especially to the household of God
love – completely encompasses the way of God
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. [human/Satan’s nature].
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
2 Peter 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
2 Peter 1:13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
A reminder from Peter
Strive for perfection (Hebrews 6)
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Hebrews 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.