Love One Another

December 6, 2022

We will be transformed into spiritual angelic beings once we enter the eternal kingdom of Heaven. Not only should our physical body be transformed, but our character as well. Though it’s not easy, we should strive to achieve God’s divine nature and love one another.

The Divine Nature

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

God wants us to participate in His divine nature. Then, what does God’s divine nature look like?

2 Peter 1:5-6 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

God said to participate in His divine nature by adding to our faith which is the foundation. To return to the Kingdom of Heaven we must have the divine nature like the angels in Heaven. If anyone teaches that we can be saved without changing our character, they are incorrect.

2 Peter 1:8-9 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Nearsighted means you cannot look ahead, that is they cannot look into the future that is ahead, the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible teaches whoever does not put on these characteristics ends up forgetting that they are sinners from Heaven and live their lives as the righteous. God teaches us how to live as those who will definitely enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Peter 1:10-11 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Those who make every effort to participate in God’s divine nature will never stumble. Jesus Christ Himself expressed the importance of character for salvation.

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said we cannot enter heaven if our righteousness doesn’t surpass that of the Pharisees because our righteousness coming from faith determines entering Heaven or not. This is also why God asks us to develop our faith by adding up all righteous deeds.

Love One Another

To put it simply, when we love one another we can achieve God’s divine nature. Nowadays, the love of most has grown cold according to Jesus’ word (Matthew 24:12). People are losing respect for each other, and that’s why crime is increasing. People tend to think only for themselves and neglect those around them.

Ephesians 4:21-24 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

If we have been pursuing the world with selfish ambitions by putting others down, we must put off the old self and put on the new self. The new self is created to be like God in righteousness and holiness. It means we must strive to be righteous and holy like God. Let’s see the characteristics of the old self and the new self.

Ephesians 4:25-32 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Through this scripture, we can understand why the kingdom of Heaven is such a wonderful place. All the people in Heaven possess these qualities. Since God wants us to enter this place, He continues to teach us to develop the divine nature.

Ephesians 5:1-5 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

God asks us to walk in the way of love. What is the way of love? It is to love one another just as Christ has loved us. However, this can only be achieved if we put off our old selves and become  new selves in Christ. To become a new self, God teaches us how to think like Him.

Consider Others Better Than Yourselves

Romans 12:9-10 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Our love must be sincere. How can our love be sincere? When we honor others above ourselves.

Romans 12:10-21 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

As the family of believers, we shouldn’t merely know this but put it into practice. In family dynamic, siblings always take care of and protect each other above all else. Suppose there are 3 siblings in a family, and the youngest one is less talented and less social than his older siblings. Will the older siblings say to the youngest, “Why are you such a fool?” Never. On the contrary, they would make every effort to help their sibling and also defend their sibling from any bullying they might receive from outsiders. As members of God’s family, we should do the same.

To let us participate in the divine nature, God sometimes places us in unfavorable circumstances. Though we might think “If only our circumstances were favorable, everything would be much better, God is granting us the opportunity to put on the new self. At that moment, God is developing our nature into His divine nature.

When geese get tired, some stay behind to help strengthen the ones that are tired from flying. If there is love and unity even in the animal kingdom, how much more in the kingdom of God? We must be thankful in all situations even if we face troubles and hardships. We must respect, cherish, and love one another. When we participate in God’s divine nature, we can finally be transformed inwardly. Then, on the last day, God will also transform our physical bodies to be like His glorious body.