Nature

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 11
The inherent qualities of a being manifested in the various characteristics which mark and display its existence: the aggregate of such qualities is what is termed its nature, and one class or order of being is thus distinguished from another. Men by nature are the children of wrath (Eph. 2:33Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:3)); whereas the Christian becomes morally partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:44Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)); of which love is the characteristic: he is made partaker of God’s holiness (Heb. 12:1010For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (Hebrews 12:10)). The work of God in the Christian which forms his nature thus finds its expression in him. The Creator can design and predicate the nature of a being before that being has an actual existence in fact; but we, as creatures, can discern the nature only from the existent being, and cannot therefore rightly speak of the nature save as characteristic of the being.
Nature is also a term descriptive of the vast system of created things around us, to each part of which the Creator has given not only its existence, but its use, its order, its increase, its decay—often called the “laws of nature”—the laws which govern each and which constitute its propriety. Thus nature teaches that a man should not have long hair (1 Cor. 11:1414Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? (1 Corinthians 11:14)); and a multitude of other things that are of God’s order in creation.