2 Peter 1:3-4. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 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 that is in the world because of sinful desire.
Partakers of the divine nature.
Is this how you see your life? Would you say that you have been partaking of the divine nature today? This week? Ever? New Testament scholar John Stott called this a “claim without equal in all the New Testament.” In fact, it’s such a big statement that we often either ignore it because it seems so out of reach, or we just plain get it wrong.
Peter did not invent the phrase partakers of the divine nature. It was a common phrase in Greek philosophy. It was believed that a person could become divine through the acquisition of special knowledge (another word Peter borrows here). By gaining all this secret knowledge (the logos), a person could eventually become one with the divine.
Sadly, some see Peter simply smooshing Christianity and pagan thought together here in 2 Peter. But that’s not happening at all. Rather, Peter is using his culture’s language to show us the present reality of our union with Christ. Partakers of the divine nature is not Peter’s ending point as it was for the gnostic Greeks. Partaking of the divine nature is his starting point. Our relationship with, or knowledge of, Jesus has already transformed us. It has already given us everything we need for life and godliness. It has already brought us into Jesus’ own glory and excellence. It has already granted to us every promise in Christ. It has already made us partakers of the divine nature. It has already rescued us from the corruption of sin and mortality.
All of this is already ours in Christ! Right now. Knowing him. Sharing him. Being alive in him. Christian, achieving the divine nature is not our goal, sharing the divine nature is our present reality. Do you believe this?
So let me ask you some practical questions to see how well you are partaking in the divine nature.
Is Jesus enough for you? Or do you need more than Christ?
Is his divine power enough? Or are you looking for strength in your own self-discipline, or self-anesthetizing?
Is knowing Jesus enough? Or are you searching for a greater truth beyond Christ’s own death and resurrection – everything from theology, or worldly philosophies, or “deeper” bible studies?
Is sharing the glory of Jesus by way of his sacrificial cross enough? Or are you still seeking praise, honor, and glory from your own accomplishments, performance, or potential?
Is receiving the moral excellency of Jesus by his shared perfect righteousness enough? Or are you still striving to prove your own goodness?
Is trusting in the precious and very great promises of Jesus’ return and ultimate salvation enough? Or are you placing your hope in short term solutions and temporary pleasures?
Is your escape from the world’s corruption through the gracious New Covenant promises of forgiven sins and new desires all you need? Or do you need more penance, more begging, more self-loathing, more dedication, and more just good old fashioned trying harder (we’ll talk about that tomorrow)?
Do you really believe that you have already been given everything you need for life and godliness today, and every day? Or are you still waiting on God to give you more than Jesus’ life? Are you still waiting for God to do more than the cross? More than the resurrection? More than “to live is Christ?”
Are you partaking of the divine nature? What do you think this means?
You in Christ
How does union with Christ give us everything we need for life and godliness?
Christ in you
How might you plan to share in the divine nature today? What would it look like?
Playlist: Sharing In Christ.
Click Here to this playlist on Spotify!
To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here