Divine Nature

Dear Brethren,

When God began the creation of mankind it was for the sole purpose that man would become like God is – be like God – in the family of God.  God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”  (Genesis 1:26-27)  Six thousand years later we find mankind in a miserable state of affairs.  From nations at war to broken homes – man is unable to live in peace and harmony.  Why, in spite of so many peace initiatives, is man so troubled on every front?  People insist that they are on the right side of an issue – even when there are two opposing factions.  “There is a generation [of people] who are pure in their own eyes, and yet they are not washed from their filthiness.”  (Proverbs 30:12)

There is a human proclivity to think that we are always right.  What is it about human beings that make us so sure we are correct?  What is it about us that makes it so difficult to be able to properly evaluate our true condition?  Are we so foolish as to shape our consciences in a way that profits us most?  Did God create mankind with a corrupt human nature?  The answer is, no, He did not.  Did God equip man with a nature that would naturally seek Godliness?  Again the answer is, no.  As we study the Scriptures, we find there are three broad categories of the human condition or nature through which a Christian progresses.

An infant has a neutral human nature – neither good nor evil.  Newly born babies begin life without prejudice.  Notice Jesus’ example:  “They brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Allow the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 18:15-16, Matthew 19:14)  Jesus would not have said,for of such is the kingdom of God,” if the young children had possessed an evil human nature.  Their innocent, entreatable, and gentle natures are indicative of the world tomorrow.

As a person grows older, the influences of Satan’s world begin to permeate and energize the environment in which they exist.  Man is defenseless to protect himself from the onslaught of evil.  Selfishness replaces the childlike virtues.  Human nature becomes wholly corrupted.  Jeremiah wrote:  “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps… The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  (Jeremiah 10:23, 17:9)  It is Satan’s very nature operating in, and deceiving the mind of every human on earth.  “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”  (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)

How did such a horrible state of affairs come to be?  When given the choice of eternal life or the capacity to choose right from wrong for themselves – Adam and Eve rejected God’s offer in favor of Satan’s appeal to become like God (Genesis 3:5).   Adam and Eve did not believe God – they believed Satan.  They chose to be like Satan and have his nature.  Human nature is Satan’s very nature operating in the mind of every human.  God removed Adam and Eve from the proximity of the Tree of Life – leaving all mankind no right of entry to it.

That sin of our parents – Adam and Eve – left mankind in dire need of a redeemer who would restore the way to the Tree of Life.  When first created, mankind did not possess a Godly nature.  This divine nature is the nature that man must acquire in order to be in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27).  No man can master his human nature and put on divine nature of his own volition.  God’s calling and selection is necessary – and human nature must be subdued.  Who and what we are, must change.  It is only when a Christian receives a token of God’s Spirit that his nature can begin to change toward Godliness.  And then, he must develop and grow spiritually.   Jesus came to this earth to make the way open to the Tree of Eternal Life.  “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  (2 Peter 1:4)


Sermon:  "Divine Nature"