Monday, August 7, 2017

2 Peter 1:4

I watched the movie about the life of Stephen Hawking: The Theory of Everything. Stephen Hawking was very clear about how his theory answered most of his questions about all that exists without there needing to be a God to create that existence. He privately admitted, the only question it failed to satisfy was why?

Hawking’s answers for life were found in the intellect. Problem: God is not hiding in the intellect, waiting to be found. God is a God of revelation, not discovery. To experience God requires the exercise of faith: Heb 11:6  And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Then, by faith, what isn’t obvious becomes clear and what isn’t seen becomes real.

Exercising faith requires letting go of a self-driven life and embracing a God-directed life.

In the world of trapeze performance, there are "flyers" and there are "catchers." If I let go, I’m grabbing something, anything, and hanging on to it for dear life! But the flyer is trained to resist that impulse.  If he tries to catch the catcher they’ll both come tumbling down. The principle is: The flyer is the one who let's go and the catcher is the one who catches. The flyer must never try to catch the catcher!

To exercise faith requires letting go of our grip on the world and trusting God.

2Pe 1:1-3  Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing [understanding] that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by to His own glory and excellence.

Peter starts his letter making faith the common denominator. The starting point with God is always faith. God gives us the ability to believe, then settles down onto us insight as to who He is and what He does.

He called us to His Glory and excellence.
                        Glory: who He is
                        Excellence: what He does
His reputation and the success of His reputation define the product of His work.

Glory and excellence are how Jesus explained God to us. Hebrews says, He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.

While on earth, Jesus gave a physical explanation of God. To us who follow today, He gives the ability to believe who He is, is who He was, and to know what He did back then has bearing on how we live today.

2Pe 1:4 For by these [who He is and what He does] He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises [given with guarantee attached], so that by them [promises] you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Promises: 2Co 1:20 For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes [He is the guarantor]; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God by us.
      Amen- our agreement with the promises being true.
Josh 21:45  Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.
Rom 4:21  and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

Promises are the lenses through which we see God. Through these lenses we see what God is accomplishing in us and know what to anticipate that He will accomplish in us.

Partakers: participants – The Divine Nature: God for us. God in us. God through us.
2Co 5:17  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Not refashioning us or reshaping us but making a new creation formed out of nothing. Ex Nihilo. God doesn’t just fix our old nature. He gives us a new nature.

The Old nature lives out of its own selfish desires.
The divine nature—the New nature lives out of a desire for God’s best.

I’m changing natures—the driving force to satisfy myself vs. the desire to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and body.

Francis Chan – p. 124.

Escaping Corruption – Turning away from who we no longer are and toward who we now have become.
Stop being a baby and be a man.
Not a baby. Am a man. Can be a man acting like a baby.

We are not who we were – the decaying life of the old nature in contrast to the abundant life Jesus promised within the new.

2Pe 2:18-19  For speaking out arrogant words of vanity, they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.

Overcome I am defeated, am overcome, am made inferior. Until we come to Jesus for salvation we can only live by the old nature. But also, after we come to Jesus we can revert back to the desires of the old life. The same result accompanies both: I am overcome.

How do we escape the corruption? By giving our lives to God and living based on His provisions for life and godliness while we rely on His promises being true.

     1. The success in our lives is not based on our faithfulness but on our confidence in God’s faithfulness.
     2, Even when we are unfaithful, He remains faithful.
     3, However, our responsibility to entrust our lives to the promises of God determines the effect of all God has accomplished fully working in our lives.
     4. By not adjusting our lives to God’s truth we will lose sight of why God saved us and the benefits of that salvation.
     5. When we allow the new nature room to consume us, we discover the vastness of the everything God has prepared for us.

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