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Partakers of the Divine Nature

By Diane Barstow
2nd Peter 1:1-4

“Simon Peter a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

Grace and peace (God’s very best gifts) can only be multiplied to you within the confines of the true and complete knowledge of God as revealed through Jesus Christ (“He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things buy the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Heb 1:3)

Seeing that - where does everything we need to live a victorious Christian life come from? It is good to be reminded that grace and peace, everything comes as a gift from the Lord.

His Divine - (mentioned twice) meaning of the one true God, in accordance to His nature - supernatural, omnipotent, immutable, just…Power strength, power, ability, moral power and excellence of soul.

Granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness… Granted means given, everything means, all things needful, any and every thing you need of for spiritual life and godly behavior. For life and godliness - Spiritual life must exist first before there can be true godliness. Jon Courson explains it this way, when your child is born, everything that is needed for living is present. All that is required is growth - time and maturity. He has given you everything you need to be a victorious, mature Christian now, but grasping these truths, claiming and believing these promises, developing fruit - this all takes time. All you need is already yours, the more you read your Bible, obey it, rely on the Spirit, the more you realize all the everything!

Through the true knowledge - Full, complete, precise, correct knowledge is the first step to life. It is not by godliness that we obtain life, but through life, godliness. Godliness is a result of His Life growing in me! Of God - especially the knowledge of His holy will and of the blessing which He has and constantly bestows on men through Christ.

By His own- (divine, holy, peculiar)
Glory - characterizes His power
and excellence - characterizes His moral excellence

For by these - His own glory and excellence. His glory making the promises to be precious (exceeding great), and His moral excellence making them magnificent (precious)

He has granted to us¬ again this is a gift of grace

Precious promises are the object of precious faith

Magnificent - exceeding great, the greatest. Megestos (Gk) a superlative, used only once in Scripture here, of the highest kind, quality, or order, surpassing all else or others, supreme!

Promises -Only Peter uses this word in the entire bible, it means a self-committal, by assurance of conferring some good. Even the very act of God making us promises is a gift of grace (“For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes: wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through Him.” 2 Cor 1:20) Everywhere you see a promise, replace who, whoever, he with your name, all these promises are will do and so be it in Christ. You are in Christ, so they are yes and amen for you!

That by them - these promises are the objects of faith, and even now have a sanctifying effect on the believer., assimilating you to God, still more so, when they shall be completely fulfilled. (“For I am confident of this very things, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6)

You might become partakers - participants (NIV), partner or sharer in any thing

Of the divine nature - the sum of innate properties and powers by which one person differs from another, distinctive native peculiarities, natural characteristics, the holiness distinctive of the divine nature! Only divine power can enable us to participate in divine nature. This is exactly what sanctification means, imparting to us the purifying presence of the Holy Spirit. To become partakers of the divine nature (participate in His life) is to not be conformed to this world, but to be conformed to the image of His Son, (“I urge you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom 12:1-2)

Having escaped (fled from, a matter of choice)the corruption that is in the world by lust. Corruption has it’s seat in the heart (“The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick, who can understand it?“ Jer 17:9), (“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.“ 1 John 2:16)

Corruption - internal moral decay, as opposed to pollution that is being soiled from the outside. This was the danger that Peter was writing about. He dealt with trials and persecution from without in first Peter. Second Peter was a dire warning against corruption from within the church by false teachers, fakers whose intentions were to destroy the people of God. Peter wanted them to be safe and secure from deception by grasping the concept of sanctification thru being conformed into the image of Christ, partaking in the divine nature by applying ‘precious and magnificent’ promises, these are the everything that we need for life and godliness.

Whew, now that was a lot of context in which to draw out my focus this morning - what are some of these promises, and how we participate in the divine nature by ingesting them! There are soooo many, I could go on for days, so I have chosen just 4 to examine.

1. I have always loved you, and you are mine forever! (“The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness’” Jer 31:3). You are alive to me and we are restored! Returned to the great shepherd (“For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Pet 2:25)

2. I am pleased to pardon all your sins eternally - I give you My Son! I grant you righteous standing by faith in the substitution-ary death of My Son Jesus! (“Now here, then, we have received by precious faith the promise and pardon. Hark thee, my soul, all thy sins are forgiven thee. He who hath faith in Christ hath no sin to curse him, his sins are washed away, they have ceased to be; they have been carried on the scape-goat’s head into the wilderness; they are drowned in the Red Sea; they are blotted out; they are thrown behind God’s back; they are cast into the depths of the Sea. Here is a promise of perfect pardon is it not Spurgeon sermon #551) You are no longer found guilty under the law of sin and death, but stand innocent, not-guilty by reason of the superior law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin. He condemned sin in the flesh.“ Rom 8:2-3) You are free from the power of sin to control your thoughts and actions.

3. I will give you my very self without measure (or repentance) to enliven, guide, teach, empower, and comfort you - I give you my Spirit! (Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.“ Acts 2:33) (“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.‘” Acts 2:38-39) (“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7)

Without mea sure - (“If you then, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” Luke 11:13) (“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.” John 3:34) (“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.“ Rom 11:29)

Enliven - (“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.“ Rom 8:11)

Guide - “And when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth: for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16:13 “And your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

Teach - “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26

Empower - “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth.” Acts 1:8 Comfort - “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Conforter, that He may be with you forever.” John 14:16 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. “2 Cor 1:3. “I, even I, am He who comforts you, who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, and of the son of man who is made like grass? Isaiah 51: 12 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Rom 15:4

Regarding the Spirit - His very presence in your heart works change. He produces fruit for the picking and consumption. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22 Don’t these fruit resemble the nature and character of God, this is one way to partake of His nature.

4. Come to me and you will find grace to help! (“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things are we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help in time of need.“ Heb 4:15-16)


Communion
Go from these promises, to again lay our sins on the lamb, grasp the promises, partake of His divine nature, receive cleansing, and return worship for pardon!

Firstly, has He called you, and have you not yet responded? Let’s stop now and respond. Second, Has He forgiven all your sins? Yes, that one, and that one too? Has this forgiveness cleansed your conscience as well? (“For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?“ Heb 9:13-14)

Third, Do you lack power to choose God’s way rather than your natural way? Take this time now to reaffirm His ownership, purchased at such a great price, confess your sin and powerlessness and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit.

And lastly, do you need grace, do you need help? Do the trials waiting for you at home threaten to overwhelm you? Come now, as you participate in fellowship, receive again great pardon, surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit, and place yourself wholly at the throne of grace confidently expecting to receive mercy and grace to help! Let’s grasp these magnificent promises and claim them as our own as we receive the emblems of communion.


Pairings:
Divine power | divine nature
Life | godliness
Glory | excellence (virtue)
Precious | magnificent
Partake | escape
Life/divine nature | corruption
Corruption | pollution

You are different now from what flesh and blood can make you. Consider genetics plus modeled behavior make us like our parents. We are spiritually born as His child when we receive Christ. Then as my mind and will can grasp His truth and that affects my behavior.

Attributes: God is…
Spirit, infinite, eternal, immutable, self-sufficient, perfect, free, omnipotent, omniscient, just, truth, love, merciful, gracious, patient

Sacrificial system notes:
Leaning the hand upon the head of the animal was a symbol of the transference to the victim of the disposition animating the offeror in approaching the altar, and to devote it to the object which the sacrifice was intended to secure. It thus took the place of the offeror, and becoming the substitute, its further treatment and disposal were supposed to be fraught with benefit to him. The slaughtering of the animal, as a preliminary to its being offered upon the altar, pointed to the necessity of death in the case of the man inwardly alienated from God by sin, if he ever expected to attain to life in the enjoyment of loving fellowship with Him. Then once communion was reestablished by this sacrifice, man was required to keep himself unspotted so as to not reincur wrath. Of course, we fail, and must repeat ad nauseam, these temporary measures. God knew it would not suffice, but allowed these sacrifices to point to a far better, more perfect, permanent sacrifice sufficient for communion and trespass.

Types:
For communion: propitiatory - sin offering, trespass offerings The proprietary offerings were intended to lead to the worshipper’s being pardoned and being brought into communion with God.

Sin - a penalty or an offering for sin, a sacrifice of the Law. (general redemption, for the person of the offendor).

Trespass - only atoned for one special offense, representing ransom for a special wrong (specific redemption)

In communion: burnt offerings, peace offerings including thank offerings, votive offerings, and freewill offerings; meat and drink offerings.

The others were offered after being admitted to this state of grace.

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