Real Christianity is not about trying to do things that are pleasing to God. It is not about ‘does’ and ‘don’ts.’ It’s far beyond that. Actually, trying to be a ‘do-gooder’ is ignoring Jesus, the Cross, and the entire New Testament. Real Christians, instead of doing good; die, are reborn, and then mature into partakers of the ‘divine nature,’ which puts them far beyond a simple do-gooder. These chosen individuals have been regenerated, transformed, and empowered with the divine nature of God by the Holy Spirit, and you will definitely recognize the difference if you ever encounter one. So, what is this transformation and how does it take place? ~ “That you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4.24).
The Nature of God
God has given us promises because He loves His children and desires to bless them the same way you would desire to bless your children. God can’t force us to receive the things He wants to give to us, so He has given them to us in the form of promises, hoping we will receive them. The promises of God are also given to reveal the nature of God to us. By His promises we see that God is a ‘Good God.’ His promises reveal to us the heart of God, that He cares deeply about His children and wants to bless them with health, love, wisdom and the abundance of all good things. But, God has another important motive in giving us His promises — He wants to simplify things for you and at the same time save your soul from hell. You see, in the New Testament, God has chosen to justify (to save and forgive) those who learn to live1 by faith.
Faith is the sole requirement of God in the New Testament, and He promises to bless those who live by faith with the abundance2 of all things now! This is the most significant change between the New Testament and the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul writes, ~ “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1.17). God has simplified things in the New Testament and made them better, because by faith we are able to do what was impossible for Old Testament people to do, who were limited to merely human ability. In the New Testament, the believer is ‘reborn by the Spirit of God,’ which enables him to have greater faith than Old Testament saints because faith in a product of the Holy Spirit. ~ “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak” (“Corinthians 4.13).
How Faith Grows
Faith gives us access to the promises of God and also to the power of God, so we can overcome sin and temptation and every other strategy of the devil. By faith you can receive the promises of God, and the same faith will transform you into becoming a partaker of the righteous of God, of God’s righteous nature. “Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference” (Romans 3.22). There are over 2,000 promises in the Bible, and all of them are accessible simply by meeting one condition, and that condition is that you receive the promise by faith. Faith is a product of the word of God. As one passes time daily in the word of God, faith begins to grow in the heart. The Apostle Paul wrote ~ “So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10.17).
Faith & Corresponding Actions
Faith comes by hearing the word of God and grows strong by putting the word of God into practice in one’s life. Let’s have a look at what the Bible says about faith in the book of James. ~ “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God” (James 2.20-23). The two things that have been mentioned today are evident in the above verses. Faith grows by mixing actions with what one believes out of the word of God, and God imputes ‘righteousness’ to those who practice living by faith in the promises of God.
In other words, two things are happening simultaneously through the promises of God recorded in the New Testament. While we receive the great and precious promises walking by faith, God is busy infusing into us the ‘divine nature,’ transforming us literally from the foundation of our nature (spirit) into the participants with Him of “the divine4 nature.” It’s time to stop ‘trying’ and start ‘being.’ It’s time to become a partaker of the divine nature through faith in the promises of God. It’s time to stop playing Christian and let God. It’s time to get real, to become a real Christian.
By [Jesus] which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption [that is] in the world through lust.
1. Galatians 3.11
2. 2Corinthians 9.8
3. Mark 9.23
4. 2Peter 1.4
5. 2Peter 1.4
© L. Jonathan Blais 2022 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.
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