A Change In Our Character
Whenever God shows up in our life that's when the Holy Spirit is in control. The Holy Spirit controlling our life produces the fruits of the Spirit.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right today? I trust so. Bless your heart. I’m fine. Thank you. Happy in the Lord. Glad to be alive. Glad to be able to open the Word of God and share it with you. This is the most precious privilege of all that a believer could have is opening God’s inherent, infallible, eternal word, the Bible, and sharing it with another human being. I’m grateful, and thank you for being there, my precious friend.
Well, we’ve been looking at II Peter Chapter 1. God’s divine power has — has, that is past tense, has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him. It’s already given but you become able to enjoy it when you get to know your Lord. The more you know the Lord, the more you’ll enjoy of His all things. All things — that’s a great phrase. Believe this now. All things are possible to him who believeth. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.
And here you have in this passage all things that pertain to life and godliness. Everything you will ever need to live a successful Christian life is already yours, not sometime but right now, and you enter into the enjoyment of it as you come to know your blessed Lord, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue. God calls you to glory. That’s something He gives you. He calls you to virtue. That’s something that you manifest and develop in your own life.
Now, we go on. He said, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these, that is these promises, portions of the Word of God applied to your life, ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” How do you keep your life clean? By applying the Word of God which makes you a partaker of the divine nature. That word “partaker” is akin to the word that’s translated “fellowship” in I John, “koinonia” — fellowship, sharing, sharing the very essence of life with another. Fellowship — that’s what he means partakers of the divine nature.
Now, how does this work? I guess that was about the place that we had reached the last time we got together. How does this work? That by these promises, you might be partakers of the divine nature. Well, I looked around for an idea of what do we mean when we say “the divine nature.” It’s impossible to package God. God is a spirit. No man has seen God at any time. God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. You can’t wrap God in a package. You can’t define Him as you would a scientific formula. What do you do about it? Well, I thought immediately then of the very familiar passage that many of you have memorized I’m sure years ago, the one that contains what we call the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22 and 23. Do you want to look at that with me for a moment?
The fruit of the Spirit said he, is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such, there is no law. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk. That means make our everyday lifestyle conform in the Spirit.
Well, the fruit of the Spirit, that is the result of the Holy Spirit living in you. Whatever God is, shows up in your life when the Holy Spirit of God is in control. That makes sense I guess, does it not? Whatever God is shows up in your life when He is in control. So the fruit of the Spirit is the results of God controlling your life. And if you want to talk about the divine nature, well, then you start with this list. The fruit of the Spirit, what is it? Love? Love? John 3:16. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Here in His love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love, versus I have quoted for you from I John as you recognized them.
God commendeth His love toward us, Romans 5:8. God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. What the old Methodists used to call prevenient grace, the work of God in your heart before you ever got saved, and the work of God in providing redemption before you ever came along, the work of God in planning for you to be His exhibit A throughout all eternity before there was any human race. Oh, the love of God. Oh, the love that sought me. Oh, the blood that bought me. Oh, the grace that brought me to the fold, wondrous grace that brought me back to His fold. Love.
Now, a profile of the divine nature. Now, he says, “By these, you might be partakers of the divine nature,” and we start then with the characteristic, the attribute of love. Agape, Calvary love, divine love. He said, “You will share that attribute when you apply the precious Word of God to your heart.”
Well, Paul says in II Corinthians 5:14, “The love of Christ constraineth us.” In another place, he said, “We beseech you by the love of the Spirit.” In the verse I quoted a moment ago, Romans 5:8, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “Experience works hope and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts,” Romans 5:5, “by the Holy Ghost who was given unto us.” And so actually, as you begin to apply God’s Word by faith to your heart, He begins to reveal His love to you and through you.
Now as everyone knows, there are certain human relationships that have no give to them, a hurt that’s so deep that you can never forget it, a slight that is so abrasive that it just causes a scar tissue in your soul, an antipathy that is so pronounced that no amount of talk or sublimation for that matter can change it. There are some human relationships that just don’t have any give to them. What do you do about it? Well, as Doctor Bill Bright said to me one day, I learned that you can take love for another person by faith, and he told how he stopped in his morning prayers and just stopped and talked to God and said, “God, by faith I take love for this person, by faith from the Lord Jesus Christ, instead of the resentment I’ve been feeling against.” Beautiful concept. You can have what Jesus is in your life. That’s the concept that you want to tie to. You can have — I use the word “can,” not “may.” You can have what Jesus is in your own life. “Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,” says Paul to the Corinthians. The profile of the divine nature, where do you start? Love.
Now, how does that work out? Strangely enough, the love of God begins with the searching of our own souls. You don’t get very far in this whole matter until you’ve allowed the faithful Holy Spirit to point out in you those areas where God loves you but wants you to start obeying Him. He’s a faithful Father. He’s not going to spoil His children. He scourgeth, it says. Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. It doesn’t mean that different ones of us are scourged more and chastened more than others. He gives us all what we have coming in terms of discipline, but what He wants is for you and for me to start obeying Him.
I recall my own boyhood. I got my share of spankings. I deserved all of them I think but one. There was one time I remember that I don’t think I deserved it ’cause I didn’t know what was going on, and I was what you would call an innocent bystander. But I got my share of spankings and I can remember that the spanking lasted until I was thoroughly sorry for my wrongdoing. My father seemed to know when the sound of my crying took on a different note and real, real repentance crept into the note of crying. I don’t know how he knew, do you? But anyway, when it was all over and he would take me up on his knee and he’d wipe away my tears with the heel of his big callused laboring man’s hand, he’d give me a close hug and he’d say, “I know. I know. And I love you.” And I’d look back to him and I’d say, “And I love you too, Pop.” You have to let God deal with you as a loving but faithful father inside of your own life before you can show much love either to Him or to people.
There’s something about disobedience that cuts off fellowship. You come home and find that Junior, let us say age 3, looks strangely like he’s trying to look like a little saint but he only ends up looking ridiculous or maybe a little bilious and you know something’s up. He doesn’t act right. What has happened? Well, maybe he knocked over a vase and broke it or maybe his softball went through a window or maybe he’s been in the cookie jar, or maybe some other crisis has occurred and he is trying somehow to get past it. Just human nature, yeah, we all tried it, didn’t we? Yeah. But what has it done? Momentarily, his attempt to get past this wrongdoing without suffering the consequences has cut off that easy flow of love between parent and child that would otherwise be there and there’s a strained relationship because he is trying somehow to get away with it. Now, every parent and grandparent can empathize with what I’ve just told you.
Now, God says, “If ye being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him?” So God is in the process of asking me to clean up my own act and get right with him. Then, he pours out upon me His love. His faithful Holy Spirit fills my life. Well, we’ll talk about this some more the next we get together.
Dear Father, today, we pray that our hearts might be cleansed by the power of the Lord Jesus and that our love may flood — Thy love may flood our souls. I ask in His name. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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