One of my favorite passages is 2 Peter 1:3-4. I say favorite. But it is more of a “love to hate” passage. I love it because it is good. I hate it because it removes excuses. It says we can be participants in the diving nature.
Parents are “participants in the divine” as God entrusts children to us, and in essence entrusts the future of the next generation in the hands of parents.
Pastors are “participants in the divine” as God has given them to the church according to Ephesians 4, until God’s people are fully fitted together to reflect the image of Christ.
Individual believers together “participate in the divine” as Christ is reconciling the world to God, and then he has given to us the ministry of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5. We are ambassadors for Christ.
The fact that God would entrust divine, eternal things in human vessels of clay, broken, breaking, imperfect, is a truly amazing thing.
But what is communicated in one of my favorite verses, 2 Peter 1:3-4 is more than these participations in the divine
2 Peter 1:3 Says “his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.”
Not SOME things, but EVERYthing. It is that simple greek word, pas = every, all, the whole, the universe, every kind, everything – we need.
So, we get up in the morning and we face a challenge and we say “Lord, I can’t …” and he says “no child, you can. I have given you everything you need for this life, and to walk with me in godliness.”
1) v3 “Through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” – Oh this isn’t simple Biblical knowledge, seminary training, no. This is experiential. This is Salvation Knowledge, this is experiential knowledge because we know him as Savior. It is because one day, one night, one afternoon, he called you by name and you responded. It is because he foreknew you as his, and predestined you to be conformed to his image. Then he called you. And called, you heard, believed, and by faith entered his grace and are justified, being sanctified, and will be glorified. That is salvation knowledge. And that day, he gave you everything you need for life and godliness. It is in the person of the Holy Spirit, given to all believers that you have all you need. It is DIVINE power. Power divine that was exerted on the dead body of Christ to raised him from the dead. Ephesians 1:13-14 … when you heard, and believed, you were given the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing all that is to come
How do we participate?
2) v4 “through these (v3 glory and goodness) he has given us his very great and precious promises – Because of God’s reputation (glory) and his Majestic acts (goodness) he gave us his Word. Every day that we fail to treasure, consume, and live according to his Word, we are failing to take advantage of the opportunity and destiny to participate in the divine.
3) What is it to Participate? – 4 so that through them you may participate in the divine nature … does this mean I become divine? No … It says participate. God alone is divine theios, interestingly the word means sulfur, brimstone, divine things, divine. But we can participate koinonos – partner, share, accomplice, friend, companion of … participate with the all consuming divine, nature physis – nature, natural condition of God. because God’s spirit lives in me, because i surrender to him, because I treasure his word and consume it like water to a thirsty man, food to a hungry man, air to a drowning man. I am able to become a companions to things that are not natural to me a sinner, but are natural to God. I become one who has love, patience, compassion, empathy, a hatred for sin, and a lover of good, not because of me, because that is unnatural, but it IS natural for God and I can participate in the divine.
4) So That – God gave me his Spirit, gave me his word, to be a companion of His. To surrender to a new nature and escape … the corruption … There is my natural nature … I am corrupt. The word means decay, destruction, depravity. Romans 7:14 says what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? v25 Thanks be to God – Through Jesus CHRIST OUR LORD. I cannot escape the corruption alone. But I can become a companion, a shareholder, an accomplice of God’s. The gift of Jesus in my salvation is the Holy Spirit in me, and Christ in me is the Hope of Glory’ the Hope of God’s reputation being lived out in my life and I look up and … I am going against my nature, and love; against my nature, and living holy; against my nature, and being compassionate, gracious, merciful, and patient. When I see those things manifest in my life, it is Christ in me. It is resurrection power at work bringing life to this dead body. He has then made that power available to all who believe, Ephesians 1:19, and 2:6 says he has raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in heavenly realms.
Hallelujah! We are companions of the divine!