Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-9
Memory Verse: "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3).
When we are born again by the Holy Spirit He, the Holy Spirit, begins to work in us the character of God. No, more than that! He plants in our spirits 'the divine nature' of God. We share in His divine nature. (2 Peter 1:3-4).
What is God's nature? It is His righteousness, His holiness, His patience and comfort and strength. His nature is glorious and believers reflect it in the way they live (2 Cor 3:17-18).
How do we participate in these many aspects of God's nature. Our fallen nature is exchanged for His nature. Under the Spirit's direction and control, our fallen nature is reconstituted. Our nature takes on again the original image of God which was muddied and spoiled by sin. So Paul could say to the believers at Corinth, "you are new creations in Christ" (2 Cor 5:17).
Our journey through life gives God time and space to remake us "in His perfect image."
David said, "He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters," (Psalm 23:2-3). We feast on Him; we drink deeply of His divine nature and we take on the characteristics of our Father in heaven.
Those who drink alcoholic beverages take on the nature of the beverages they drink. Those who drink of the Spirit, take on the nature or fruit of the Holy Spirit “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control." (Gal 5:22-23).
Because our nature is changed to be like God's nature, Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers, saying, "Here am I, and the children God has given Me." (Heb 2:11-13). The writer also said, "Both the One who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family" God's family. Holiness is the hallmark of God's family.
The Holy Spirit by His very presence and nature works holiness of life in the believer. If a man or woman does not have the Spirit, he or she is not a Christian (Rom 8:9). By the power of the indwelling Spirit, believers can live holy lives, according to the Scriptures.
From the beginning, God demanded holiness. Holiness equals righteousness. God said men of faith were righteous (Gen 15:6). They lived holy lives and they "walked with God." (Gen 6:9). He demanded holiness in the days of Moses (Ex 19:6). And He demands holiness of life for all who would enter His Kingdom.
When God created Adam and Eve in His image and likeness, I believe He clothed them with His glory and holiness (Eph 4:24). When they rebelled and broke God's command, that glory fell away and they saw themselves naked, and they were ashamed (Gen 3:7).
God cannot walk and talk with sinners, so He put Adam and Eve out of the garden. Only in Christ can we gain the holiness we lost and have God's likeness fully restored in our lives.
The Risen Christ told the apostle John, "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may go through the gates into the (Holy) city. Outside are those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood." (Rev 22:15; 21:8). Because nothing impure will ever enter it (heaven), nor will anyone who is shameful or deceitful. (Rev 21:27).
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your great salvation. By faith, I have the righteousness I lost because of sin. It Is Your free gift to me. By faith I am washed and made clean. I ask that Your Spirit work out to the fullest extent Your own character in my life. Amen