TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Intermediate Edition

II. Spiritual Attributes

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Chapter 18  Part II

Spiritual Attributes

The spiritual attributes that God bestows on his people far exceed anything that this world can offer. Attributes or blessings such as love, hope, joy, peace and wisdom are longed for by most people, and sought after in many ways. But it is only from God that they can be gained in their highest form.

Love, Faith and Hope

God and Jesus Christ give their people love and faith . . .

Peace to the brothers and sisters [believers], and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.   Ephesians 6:23  NET

. . . God teaches his people to love

God has taught you to love each other.   1 Thessalonians 4:9  GW

God gives his people hope by what he has done through Christ

[Peter, to believers:] Because of his [God’s] great mercy he has given us a new birth to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah, from the dead 4and to an inheritance kept in heaven for you that can’t be destroyed, corrupted, or changed.   1 Peter 1:3-4  ISV

Through Jesus Christ’s resurrection, God has brought believers into an “ever-living hope” (v. 3). This encompasses the hope of their own resurrection and an everlasting inheritance in heaven (v. 4).

God’s promises give his people hope

[The writer, to believers:] To those who were to receive what he promised, God wanted to make it very clear that he would never change his purpose; so he added his vow to the promise. 18There are these two things, then, that cannot change and about which God cannot lie. So we who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us.   Hebrews 6:17-18  GNT

This indicates that “the hope placed before us” (v. 18) by God is based on his promise that is referred to and his confirmation of it with an oath – the “two things… that cannot change” (v. 18).

Peace

The OT speaks of God giving inner peace (including being at ease) and outer peace (the absence of war and adversity). In addition to peace with God, the NT speaks of God (and Jesus Christ) giving an inner, spiritual peace – even amidst adversity.

God gives his people peace . . .

the Lord blesses his people with peace.   Psalms 29:11b  NCV™

. . . Jesus Christ gives his people peace

[Jesus, to his disciples:] Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.   John 14:27  NET

[Jesus, to his disciples:] I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.   John 16:33  NET

Because Jesus Christ has overcome the world, in him believers have peace amidst the trouble that the world causes them.

It is a great peace

The Lord gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm.   Isaiah 26:3  CEV

[Paul, to believers:] Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:6-7  NET

Joy

God and Jesus Christ give joy to their people

[Paul, to believers:] Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Romans 15:13  NET

[Jesus, to his disciples:] I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.   John 15:11  NET

It is an enduring joy

[Jesus, to his disciples:] So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.   John 16:22  NET

The joy is present even in trouble

They [churches in Macedonia] have been severely tested by the troubles they went through; but their joy was so great that they were extremely generous in their giving, even though they are very poor.   2 Corinthians 8:2  GNT

Wisdom and Knowledge

God gives his people wisdom and knowledge

But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.   James 1:5  NET

He [Jesus] answered them, “You have been given knowledge about the secrets of the kingdom of heaven …   Matthew 13:11a  ISV

God’s people are given spiritual sight

[Paul, to believers:] I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him, 18since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened – so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength.   Ephesians 1:17-19  NET

[A psalmist, to God:] Open my eyes so I can truly see the marvelous things in your law!   Psalms 119:18  NET

God opens his people’s eyes to spiritual truth.

Pray for persecuted Christians