Tag: grace and peace

Partakers of the Divine Nature!

Scripture reading for October 19th: 2nd Peter 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 1: 2-7 “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption of this world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement you faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”

Knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through faith in the Gospel brings to us spiritual understanding of God’s amazing transformation in our hearts and the amazing inheritance that He has provided for us. We are instantly transformed into God’s children and given the Holy Spirit to help us understand how to grow and walk in holiness. We are given God’s Word, full of precious promises that are true and give us vision of our purpose here and our future glory in the kingdom. They require focus and effort on our part to apply daily. Through them we actually can partake of God’s nature and find pleasure and fulfilment in the grace and peace that are ours as God’s children. Our transformation to maturity is progressive as well as instantaneous at conversion. Like a child growing up, we add to our faith the virtue of application of God’s promises and allow His nature to show itself through us in the fruits of His Spirit. As our faith produces works, God’s grace and peace is secure and we will never fall! Amen!

2nd Peter 1:8 “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for giving me all things that I need for living a godly daily life. Your Word and Holy Spirit guide me daily to grow in my faith and add to my virtues and knowledge the fruits of Your divine nature. Help me to love my brothers and sisters and make me fruitful and effective to Your glory and honor. I desire a richly provided entrance into Your eternal kingdom.

2nd Peter 2:10-11 “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

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Kept Strong to the End!

Scripture reading for July 7th:  1st Corinthians 1

The Apostle Paul had founded the Corinthian church through about 18 months of ministry there on his second missionary journey.  This is recorded in Acts 18:1-17.  While in Ephesus on his third missionary journey, Paul received word concerning problems within the church family and a visit from some in the church.  This letter was in response to the questions and addressed the problems.  It speaks to us today about the issues that can arise when the church reaches lost people in a worldly culture.

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (1st Corinthians 1:2-3)  The Church belongs to God!  It is composed of those set apart through faith in Jesus Christ and who call Jesus Christ their Lord!  The calling of all believers is to holiness and a life worthy of those belonging to Christ.  Paul established these truths as he opened his letter.

Paul thanked God for this group of believers and the gifts that they had received from the Lord Jesus.  They were waiting in expectation of Christ’s return, a healthy state for each believer and church!  Paul promised them, “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”  (1st Corinthians 1:8-9)

Paul encouraged this congregation even before addressing the problems!  Have you tried encouragement and thankfulness towards those you have issues with?   God is faithful and will keep us strong to the end!

 

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Divisions in the Church

Scripture reading for August 4th: 1st Corinthians 1:1-17

Corinth was a modern commercial center of Paul’s day.  It was a city with many different people and cultures and full of paganism and idolatry.  Paul had planted the church there in that culture on his second missionary journey recorded in Acts 18.  He warned them of coming troubles when he left them in Acts 20:29-31.  This letter was an attempt to deal with problems that arose and keep the church moving forward.

Paul opens his letter with a greeting and thanksgiving for the church in Corinth.  The greeting helps them center on Paul’s understanding of their calling.  “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours: Grace and Peace to you from our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Corinthians 1:2-3)  These believers were set apart to be holy by their Lord, Jesus Christ.  They were a part of a larger family consisting of all those who believe in Jesus.

These believers were precious to Paul because it was by his testimony and ministry that they were saved.  God had poured out on them the Holy Spirit and the gifts and given them the hope of eternal life.  They understood that Jesus was going to return and awaited Him.  However, there were problems that needed correction and the apostle Paul sought to address them quickly in this letter.

“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.  What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” (1st Corinthians 1:11-12)  This division was not from God, but was a result of their elevating men who served Christ.  They had favorite teachers and made serving Christ something that was dividing them instead of unifying them.

Today we have hundreds of denominations and many more sects that have split off of these.  We elevate certain teachers who have charisma and a message we like to hear.  Many in the church are divided from others who may not believe exactly like them.  We fail to live in the unity that Christ prayed for!  (John 17:21)   Check your own life today.  Are you living in unity with those who call Jesus Christ Lord?

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