Sharing In God’s Character
Everything you need to live a successful Christian life is already yours. God wants us to share in His own nature.The Holy Spirit in us allows us to share and show God's image.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right today? It’s your good friend, Bob Cook, and that inquiry is more than form. I do care how you are, and those of you who I know personally, I think of you and pray for you. My heart goes out to some of you who are going through rough circumstances even now, but God knows and we belong to him and we’re in His hands.
Our Lord Jesus said, “No man is able to take them out of my hand. My Father who gave them me is greater than all, and no man is able to take them out of His hand.” And so you’re held in almighty hands today and the promise is underneath are the everlasting arms. So you can rest in your God and go on confident and triumphant. You don’t have to get through the day or the night somehow. You can go through triumphantly. The promise is now, thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ and maketh manifest by us the perfume of His knowledge in every place. If you’re under pressure today, remember God is making perfume out of you. Bless your heart and I hope that as the moments and the hours go by, you, my beloved friend, will be conscious of His touch, His precious touch upon your life.
You and I have been looking at II Peter Chapter 1 and we’re just into verse 4 of that first chapter, “Whereby are given.” Now, that’s a second “given.” The first is “His divine power has given all things that pertain into life and godliness.” Everything you need to live a successful Christian life is already yours because Jesus died and rose again.
Now, there’s something else that’s been given. He says, “Given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.” Then the giving part stops with verse 5 by the way. He says, “Beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith.” You and I do some addition. God gives the basics. You and I do the addition by faith. We’d get to that after a while. Come back to end of verse 4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these promises, you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Now, there is a connection then between the Word of God and my character. A psalmist said, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Paul the apostle spoke of the washing of water by the Word. Jesus our Lord said, “You’re clean through the Word that I have spoken unto you.” The indwelling Word of God, that makes a difference. The only way to modify character is by application of God’s inherent, eternal Word, the Bible. You don’t modify character by force. Brainwashing has failed and we have seen the results of it. You don’t modify character by torture. You don’t modify it by education. Some of the smartest people in the world are in prison. You don’t modify character by sublimation because you get tired trying and give up and become your old sinful self again. You don’t modify character by anything other than the application of the Word of God to your daily life. “Thy words were found and I did eat them,” said Jeremiah, “and Thy word was unto to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” That’s the Savior’s dictum on it.
All right. Do you have that basic idea then in mind? The promises of God are connected with the beneficial change in my character. Whereby are given unto us great and precious promises; that by these promises, you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. That’s our word “desire,” all the different desires that take control of your life.
Now, look at that word “partaker.” It’s interesting because there are so many different words that are translated partaker — to become a joint owner, holding along with someone, having in common, having something in common. That’s the word that’s used here in II Peter Chapter 1 — a joint holder, owning something with another in joint tenancy, to have in common, to hold with, to suffer with, to have a part with, all of that. There’s numbers of verses that are translated partaker.
Now, the one that is used here is related to a very familiar word that you and I often use, the word “koinonia” which means fellowship. “Our fellowship is with the Father and with His son Jesus Christ,” John says in I John. Now, that’s the same root that’s used here; that by these promises, you might be partakers. What does that mean? Fellowship means sharing in common, sharing the same life, the same purpose, the same desires, the same life. Partakers — koinonia. See?
Can you take that in? Can you just start to chew it over in your own heart and mind? What is it that God wants of me? You say, “Well, He wants me to be good.” Yes, He does. He wants me to be holy. Yes, He does. “Be holy for I am holy,” said the Lord. He wants me to be full of trust. Yes, that’s true. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee. What does God want of me? He wants me to be loving and kind. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you. Yes, that’s true. What does God really want? All of these things we’ve mentioned in the last few seconds are simply facets of the one great jewel of truth, and that is He wants you to share His very nature.
Now, go back to the story of creation. God created Adam and Eve, the Bible says in the image of God. In the image of God, created He them. There was then a likeness of some sort, a relationship between the created beings and their Holy Creator. They needed no clothing such as we know because the glory of God was the very shining covering of all of their life. Then sin came in, and all of a sudden they were ashamed and they ran away from the presence of God, hid from Him. People have been doing that ever since through the centuries and the millennia that have followed, running from God, afraid of Him. Why? The glory was gone.
Now however marred, that likeness is still there. There’s still what the liberals call “a spark of the divine.” There is still that God-shaped vacuum in your heart that longs for fellowship with the God whom you have lost. And what fulfills all that, why the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross as the payer of your penalty for sin. God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That word for — the little Greek word “huper,” “up over,” instead of He died in our place. It’s what we call the substitutionary death of Christ for us on the cross. And He rose again from the dead the third day and He ascended into heaven and today, He is at the right hand of God, interceding for those that come unto God by Him, we read in the book of Hebrews. He ever liveth to make intercession for them that come unto God by Him.
And so God is in the business of restoring that lost glory. He says, “By these promises, you might be partakers.” That is the word “sharers,” sharers, related I told you the common word that we often use in another connection, “koinonia.” This is “koinonoi” that you have here, the noun.
So what God is after is to give me the experience once again of sharing in His very nature. Now, what does that — how does that happen? Well, it happens by the application of the Word of God to a life that has been entered by the Holy Spirit. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His,” Paul says in Romans 8. When you’re saved, is when you open your heart to Christ as Lord and He becomes your Savior. By faith, the Holy Spirit of God enters into you. He dwells within you and it is your privilege to open every room in your heart house to Him so that He may fill your life. And then the Holy Spirit takes these promises from the Word of God and applies them to you so that you get to share in the very heart and holiness and character of the God who redeemed you, partakers of the divine nature. That’s deep stuff, isn’t it?
But how wonderful it is that God has planned this sublime heavenly plan for you and for me who deserve nothing but judgment in hell. He wants to restore the likeness. He wants to restore the glory. Paul said, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image to be just like Him, from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” So there is that sharing and that changing of our lives to conform to the profile of the divine nature.
Well, when I read this, I thought, well now, how do we profile the nature of God? And you look into your theology book, God is a spirit, eternal, omniscient, unchangeable in His being, wisdom, goodness, justice and truth, so on. You have the definitions of God but you don’t have a real profile of who He is. And then I began to think of what the Holy Spirit does and immediately, my mind went over to Galatians 5. The fruit of the Spirit, the result of the Holy Spirit, who is the third person under God, had gone, the Spirit dwelling in you by faith in Jesus. The result of His dwelling in you is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and there you have a profile, not everything to be sure.
Go over to Isaiah and you have another description of the Spirit of the Lord. As Isaiah said, “He is upon me.” But there you have a profile in Galatians 5 of the very nature of God.
Time will run out before we can talk about that, but I want to come back to it the next time we get together. You can share in the very nature of God because of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, applying God’s Word to your heart.
Holy Father, in Jesus’ name, we pray that the indwelling Holy Spirit may apply God’s Word to our lives today for Your honor. In Jesus’ 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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