Participating in the divine nature

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 1:1-4

What an amazing truth  that we, mere human beings may participate in the divine nature! Yet a moment’s pause for thought reminds us that it is as it should be for we are made in God’s image. Yes, tragically, that image is marred by sin but what a joy, that God in his grace and mercy, has dealt with sin, in the Lord Jesus at the Cross so that we may indeed participate in the divine nature, that we may be ‘in Christ’.

As we have been considering over the past three days it is all of him. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness having called us by his glory and goodness. How we should thank God for that, for although we display some of his glory because we are his image bearers, we have no goodness of our own to make us acceptable to him. The initiative is all of him.

The big question  is are we living in the light of what he has done? Is it obvious to ourselves and others that the work of Christ is indeed enabling us to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires? It is in many ways a tall order for that corruption and our desires are very powerful influences upon us but they are no match for God’s divine power! Are we proving that in our daily lives? Do we find that we fall far short? Does our sense of failure sometimes drive us to despair. I guess the answers to those three questions are likely to be ‘sometimes’, ‘yes’ and ‘sometimes’. That is human experience.

How do we move forward? There are many ways for we are all different and God meets us and ministers to us in his manifold wisdom but the one that Peter highlights here is to focus on his very great and precious promises.

In older generations people had Promise Boxes from which they would take a card inscribed with one of these great and precious truths. That may seem a bit contrived to us and it tends to isolate the promises from their context and therefore leave them open to misinterpretation but we certainly should allow God’s promises, in their context, to inform and encourage our lives.

With them, and in Christ, we  will indeed be able to stand and having done all to stand. Ephesians 6.13

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