REAL LIFE EXPOSITORY STUDY DEVOTIONAL – The Christian Life and Character: “…God desires us to live godly lives, He has given us those essential qualities peculiar to Him so that we in turn could please Him…”

Day 2: Life by His divine power.

‘‘According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.’’ 2 Pet. 1:3

Additional reading:  John 2:11; Gal. 1:6; 1 Thess. 2:12; 1 Pet.1:5; 2 Pet. 1:5

I did say yesterday that we are God’s type having His intrinsic (basic features) or essential qualities (character), that in short, man was created with God’s character, basic features or essential qualities. I summarised by saying that man is God’s direct specie possessing His character. I will go a step further today to illustrate the truth that man was created possessing God’s intrinsic qualities or character.

In his second letter to the church, Apostle Peter wrote saying: ‘‘According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.’’ This verse of scripture seems to tell us that there is something unique and especially divine in every Christian.

According as his divine [theios: godlike(neuter as noun, divinity):- divine, godhead] power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called [kaleo: to ‘call’’ (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise):-  bid, call, (forth), …] us to glory and virtue [arête: properly manliness (valor), excellent (intrinsic or attributed):- praise, virtue].’’

By this verse we can say that God by His divine power has given us all we need to live a godly life. That He Himself has invited us to share His glory and essential qualities (virtue). The implication is very simple: because God desires us to live godly lives, He has given us those essential qualities peculiar to Him so that we in turn could please Him through our godly lifestyle despite daily temptations or human and spiritual challenges.

‘‘God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and integrity.’’ (God’s Word). ‘‘We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learnt that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness.’’ (CEV). ‘‘God’s divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share his glory and goodness.’’ (GNB).

Let me put it this other way: by God’s divine power (enablement or ability) we have all we need to live a life holy and acceptable by God. This was made possible through the knowledge of the one, i.e. at the point we accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. At the point of our salvation, Jesus personally invited us all to share in His glory and qualities. Just as we were created with God’s divine character (i.e. in His image and likeness), but lost it to sin when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the lost godly virtue was restored through Jesus Christ, thus, we can once again manifest His divine attributes restored to us through our knowledge of Jesus Christ…just as it was from the beginning.

The next verse explains why God gave us this ability to live a godly life: ‘‘God made great and marvellous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.’’ (CEV). Except we live a godly life on earth, we may not inherit God’s coming eternal Kingdom. As you well know, one condition for being a partaker for the second coming of Jesus Christ is righteousness and holiness for no sinner shall inherit His Kingdom or see His face. Interestingly, these are some of His promises — the second coming of Jesus Christ and God’s eternal Kingdom. To ensure that we partake of His future Kingdom, God through His Son shared with us His glory and His essential qualities (integrity—full nature). He did this deliberately so that we could overcome our sinful desires and corrupt influences of this world. He shared His nature with us just to see us through to His Kingdom.

Meditation: God actually shared His divine nature with me to get me into His Kingdom!

Prayer: What else should I say but thank You LORD. Thank You for sharing Your nature with me. Thank You LORD for Your unconditional and unexplainable love.

Question: (1) How well has this study helped you understand God’s redemptive plan for man? (2) In what ways has this study challenged your perspective of Christian life?

 

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REAL LIFE EXPOSITORY STUDY DEVOTIONAL – Christian Life and Character: “…Man is God’s direct specie possessing His character…”

Day 1: Created in God’s character.

‘‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’’ Gen. 1:26

Additional reading: Psa. 8:6; 100:3; Ecc.7:29; Eph.4:24; Jas.3:9

It will be extremely impossible or improper to do a study of this nature without first of all going to the very beginning to understand the nature of God from creation in whose character we were also created in.

 

Having created all that He intended to, God called a general assembly of the Godhead for a very important discussion and an eternity long decision. In that general assembly, God tabled a proposal (suggestion) before the Son and the Holy Spirit. God said: ‘‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’’ You must note that all through the days of creation when He put in place all that He wanted, God spoke all that He created into being. But when it came to man, God called for an assembly! To me, this is very important. God called for an assembly to take a decision concerning man, why did He not call for an assembly to take a decision to put earth and all that is therein in place? It only goes to show the place of man in God’s plan for creation. God’s proposal or suggestion at this heavenly assembly was definitely accepted by all.

Now, check this out: ‘‘Let us make [asah; a primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows): -accomplish, advance, appoint, become, bring forth, do, dress, ready dressed, fashion, finish, fit, prepare etc] man [adam; ruddy, i.e. a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.): – another, hypocrite, common sort, low, man, mean man, man of low degree, person.] in our image [tselem; from an unusual root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence a representative figure, especially an idol: – image, vain shew], after our likeness [demut; resemblance; concretely model, shape; adverbially like: – fashion, like, likeness, like as, manner, similitude]: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’’

 All humans are fashioned in resemblance to God; we are modelled after God, i.e. in His fashion, shape and manner. In every way, we are exactly as God is. However, man (Adam) is of a lower degree in nature to God. So, man who is created as God is, is simply lower in degree to God the Creator.

Why did God the Creator fashion man of lower degree in His image? Apart from the intimate relationship God sought  to have with man, He fashioned man in His image so that man of lower degree will have dominion, i.e. reign, have rule over all other creations of His. God needed someone to tend to the works of His hands while He bordered Himself with issues of greater importance. He needed someone to be in charge of the earth, and the most appropriate person was man of lower degree, and so He put man in charge –– to rule over it. As the earth is man’s responsibility, so are the heavens God’s responsibilities. As man is of a lower degree to God, so is the earth of a lower degree to the heavens.

This will help you; God spoke: ‘‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of the Earth.’’ (AMP)

The Amplified Version says: ‘‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature…’’ What does nature mean? According to Microsoft Encarta Dictionaries, nature is a type or sort of thing. It is also the intrinsic or essential qualities of somebody or something. Therefore, we are God’s type having His intrinsic (basic features) or essential qualities (character). In short, man was created with God’s character, basic features or essential qualities. ‘‘Let is make mankind in our image, to be like us…’’ (ISV). ‘‘And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us…’’ (GNB). Man is God’s direct specie possessing His character.

Meditation: How nice to know that I was created with God’s character!

Prayer: I pray You LORD to help me reflect Your character in every way and everywhere.

Question: In what areas of my life do I reflect God’s character?

 

Enemies Die by Fire?

This is a common prayer among some Pentecostal gatherings…all my enemies die by fire…Holy Ghost fire consume all my enemies.

But in Luke 9:51-56, we see an event, which is instructive: Jesus had sent His disciples to go ahead of Him to make preparation for His coming. But on getting to a Samaritan village, He was not received. In anger, James and John asked the Lord to permit them call down fire from heaven to consume the people…enemies so to speak.

Hear what Jesus said, “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”

This should be instructive to all of us, especially those who ignorantly out of zeal abuse their authority in Christ

The Son of Man indeed did not come to destroy lives but to save. So I wander if the Holy Ghost will release His power for the destruction of souls, which Jesus came to save

Like Jesus, we are called to save lives by the preaching of the Gospel in love.

May we walk in the footsteps of our Master.