1 Corinthians 2:11
As Peter wrote, we have become partakers of God’s divine nature through His precious and magnificent promises (2 Peter 1:4). Now, we are His children, and as His children, we have the right to become ‘like God’, in the degree that He makes available.
Paul makes it clear that we are growing. We do not begin in perfect faith, but we grow in faith, and mature, both individually and corporately, until we reach maturity. This implies change, and this implies growth. It is enough to be like Him.
[U]ntil we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5 NIV
It is the heart of a good father to want so see their child learn wisdom. It is the heart of our Father that we do as well.
The great questions I had growing as a Christian were, how exactly were supposed to live, and why do Christian men do evil when 2 Corinthians 5:17 says it is no longer the nature of a true believer to want to.
As I’ve considered this, I have come to understand that this is indeed what Jesus intended to bring.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Something fundamentally changes when you accept Christ. Something profound and New takes place, that cannot have any part with the old (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Now for many, this is unrealized in this life, unless they are taught. A Christian might live their whole life, and never realize what all Christ has bought for them. But, as Jesus said, when a man believes, he is born again of a spiritual seed (John 3:3-5), and the old things are “passed away”.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
There were three feasts in the Old Covenant during which every adult male was required to make the trip to Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 16:16). In all, there were seven feasts, each pointing to different aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry, but three were particularly required. No matter where any man lived in that day, they were required to travel to the city God had chosen, Jerusalem.
Man was created to rule. He was made a judge.
Yet, he was also made as a servant, to serve and to worship and adore.
Man has been created in a unique position in all of creation. Surely, the psalmist spoke well when he said, What is man that thou are mindful of Him? (Psalm 8:4).
This creation, this creature, was fashioned from clay, yet is destined to judge the world.
This figure, as the scripture says, is placed a little lower than Elohim, often translated as “angels” but also used of God Himself, and yet, man, who will judge the angels, will be judged by God Himself. Some to everlasting salvation, and some to everlasting contempt.
This man, who was created to do something, was given a place and purpose to fulfill and way to serve in the Earth, yet he was eternally designed for connection with another.
In the Old Testament, we see men and women judging on the Earth, not through kingship, but by God’s providing. We see that God desired to govern His nation through a judge, and not a human king. We see that when Israel needed something, He raised up what they cried out for, and delivered them. Yet, He was always their head.
1 Corinthians 6:13 (portion)
Our bodies were made for the Lord. Consider the parable of the yeast in Matthew 13:33. The kingdom is likened to measure of yeast which a woman hid in a large quantity dough until the whole lump was leavened. That little bit of something worked its way through the entire lump, changed it, and transformed it into something better. What happens when the Holy Spirit comes into us? Let us look a moment at some examples.
All of my desire is in this one thing, to see His Face (Psalm 27:4). If we truly have this hope in ourselves, we will purify ourselves (1 John 3:3).
The New Testament is replete with examples that underscore the fact that the God of the Old Testament hasn’t changed His desire for purity and holiness as a lifestyle for those who are of His house.
Hebrews 12:14 says without holiness no one will see Him. 2 Corinthians 7:1 indicates that we should do it out of reverence. It was because of His reverence that Jesus was heard of His Father when He prayed (Hebrews 5:7). Ephesians 5:6 indicates strongly, lest we give way to being deceived with empty words, that God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient. Even Jesus Himself, in Matthew 5:48, commanded us to be perfect, even as the Father is perfect.
It is almost a wrong label to call the Kingdom superlative. It is Beyond that. John the Baptist was the superlative of human attainment. A life of solitude, of extreme separateness and consecration to the Lord was his. Jesus gave the man this testimony, and the comparison to the Kingdom.
Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
John was a man, a prophet, of the Old Covenant, under the law and order of Moses. He signified the demarcation point between Old an New Covenants. As the Law came through Moses, and Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ, the exchange between the two marked the transition from the age of the Old Testament and the coming of the Messianic Age.
The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
By faith alone we stand, against the storms and the dregs, no matter what the devil unleashes, because of Christ alone, I live.
There is a saying that goes like this. Faith is faith when God has you out on a limb, sawing off that limb, and the tree falls. And the limb, severed, remains aloft, with you on it. A Faith walk is not described as walking across a gap where you see no bridge, it is walking off a cliff when you don’t see the other side.