“The Divine Nature Through Him” ( 2 Peter 1:4, KNOX ) by Carley Evans

What does it mean to “share the divine nature?” How is that possible? The author of Hebrews writes of Jesus calling us brothers. Paul writes of us becoming sons of God – and if sons, then heirs of all God possesses, including the divine nature. (No wonder Jesus warns against spiritual pride! No wonder Paul tells us not to be “puffed up!”)

Through him God has bestowed on us high and treasured promises; you are to share the divine nature, with the world’s corruption, the world’s passions, left behind.

The part that throws us is the truth that somehow – while we remain locked in these shells we call bodies – we are to leave behind “the world’s corruption, the world’s passions.” Just as having the divine nature seems wild to our imaginations, so does leaving behind “the world’s passions.”

For what is the world passionate? Money? Power? Fame? Sex?

Hard to deny that to some extent those are normal passions –

Maybe it’s really the world’s corruption of those normal desires that we are to leave behind. After all, everyone wants to have enough money on which to live; most people want power over their own lives; many desire to be recognized for their good efforts; and everyone needs some form of sexual fulfillment.

Each of these normal desires has been and is being corrupted by the world.

Peter writes we leave this corruption behind us when “through Him” – that is, through Jesus Christ – we become partakers of the divine nature. We are radically changed from the inside out, not from the outside in. No amount of soap and water is going to cleanse us from the world’s corruption. No amount of self-flagellation will accomplish this cleansing either. Rather, the indwelling Holy Spirit – God Himself – through His great promises will bring us out of the world and into His Kingdom.

For the Kingdom of God is at hand.

“Through His Divine Power” ( 2 Peter 1: 3, KJV ) by Carley Evans

English: Knowledge, mural by Robert Lewis Reid...

Notice the great, the precious promise — you can be a partaker of the divine nature! You can escape the corruption that is in the world! You can be called to glory and virtue! And this is accomplished through God’s divine power. He gives us knowledge of Him and also “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” To His gift of faith, we find added both virtue and knowledge. Give diligence, says Peter, to these three. He writes:

3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”

“Cleansed From The Past” (2 Peter 1: 4, HCSB) by Carley Evans

God’s “divine power” gives us everything, writes Peter, that we need in order to have life and holiness. God gives us everything through knowledge of Him — that is, through our relationship with Him–and calls us to Himself “by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1: 3) In turn His glory and goodness allow us to “share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.”

God calls us. He supplies us with His own divine power and allows us to share in His divine nature. Therefore, says Peter, we should “make every effort to confirm [our] calling and election” (2 Peter 1: 10) We should “make every effort to supplement [our] faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1: 7)

As we confirm our election by living these qualities, we find that we remember that we are “cleansed from [our] past sins” and that we are not “useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1: 9, 8)

Don’t be “blind and shortsighted.” (2 Peter 1: 9)

Remember that Jesus Christ dies for you, that He lives forever to intercede for you, that He calls you with His own goodness and glory, provides you His divine power and grants you a portion of His glory and nature.