Sunday, September 26, 2010

What does partaking of the divine nature mean

D.R. asks:

I've been studying this verse and would like the opinion of others. Specifically, what does it mean to be partakers of the divine nature?

"For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
" 2Peter1:4

In this passage, Peter uses "divine nature" in the context of increased Godliness that goes on in our hearts like a seed that bears fruit. That is why we see in the previous verse that the grace and peace a believer receives when he receives the gospel is to be abounding in us. And so we see in the following verses that saving faith is just the beginning---having added to it holiness (i.e. less and less sin) and righteousness (more and more love) (1:5-7).

Peter, John and James all describe this growth as a flourishing of God's seed in us (a.k.a. His word), with the Holy Spirit mostly in the white spaces. And since this growth can only occur in blood washed hearts, the epistles, each in their own way, agree that:

divine nature = Word + Spirit + Blood

or as Paul calls it in 2 Cor. 4:7 "this treasure in earthen vessels."

For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 2Cor. 4:7-8

All three ingredients of the divine nature are given to us in and through Christ---the flourishing being the fruit of Christlikeness.


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