Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Partakers of the Divine Nature

We've all heard lots of teaching about 2 Peter 2:3-4, most of it good—there's really no bad way to translate this passage. Read if for yourself:
'Grace and peace by 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 [to] His own glory and excellence. For by [through which] 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.'
In fact, there's so much here that it's hard to know where to start!
Grace, or charis [Gr] means good will, lovingkindness, favor. We usually hear it taught as 'unmerited favor,' meaning that, before we are reborn into the family of God, it is unmerited.
After, of course, we are One Spirit with the Lord, the Body of Christ. And He deserves everything.
Peace, or eirene [Gr] means many things. From a personal nature, these are the most relevant...security, safety, prosperity, felicity.
Remember—Peter was a Hebrew, which meant that the word 'peace' to him meant shalom [Heb]. As we've seen in earlier articles, shalom means the following:
  • completeness
  • soundness
  • welfare
  • peace
  • safety
  • health
  • prosperity
  • quiet
  • tranquillity
  • contentment
  • friendship of human relationships with God, especially in covenant relationship
  • peace (from war)
It is unlikely that Peter thought in Greek. When he said 'peace' he was thinking in Hebrew, no matter how many languages his writings were translated from/into. 
Plethuno [Gr], meaning to increase, or multiply.
So far, this is pretty wonderful! God's good will, lovingkindness and favor, and His shalom peace—completeness, soundness in every area of life—increasing in our lives!
How do we access all of this wonderfulness? In the [true] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!
Read on...
His Divine Power
'Seeing that HIS Divine power...
Let's stop here for a minute. Power, or dunamis [Gr], means miracle-working power, strength, ability, even the the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth, or power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts. This is BIG power, the power of God Himself! Colossians 1:11 says that we've been strengthened with ALL very miracle-working power! 
And this Divine power '...has granted [past tense] to us everything pertaining to life and godliness...'
Everything, or pas [Gr], meaning each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.
Life—zoe [Gr]—the life of God, or the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.
How has this marvelous wonder been granted to us? '...through the true knowledge of Him who called us by [to] His own glory and excellence.'
These wonders have already been granted to us, and we access them through the knowledge of Him Who called us to His own glory and excellence! We're called to glory, and not just any glory...His OWN glory!
Sounds great...what exactly is the glory of God?
The Greek word is doxa, which means a lot of things...
  • opinion, judgment, view
  • opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
  • in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
  • splendour, brightness, of the moon, sun, stars; magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
  • majesty
  • a thing belonging to God
  • the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
  • a thing belonging to Christ
  • the kingly majesty of the Messiah
  • the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ
  • the majesty of the angels as apparent in their exterior brightness
  • a most glorious condition, most exalted state, of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
  • the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour's return from heaven
And of course, all of the things that glory means are too wonderful for us to comprehend with our minds. These things must be perceived with our reborn spirits, which are one with the Lord. Called to glory...
But wait, we haven't even gotten to the good part yet!
Precious and Magnificent Promises
'For by [literally through which...which what? Through these
His own glory and excellence, or virtue] He has granted to us His PRECIOUS and MAGNIFICENT PROMISES so that by them [the promises] you may become partakers of the Divine nature...' [2 Peter 1:4]
He has granted us, THROUGH HIS OWN GLORY AND EXCELLENCE, precious and magnificent promises, by which we become partakers of the Divine nature.
PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE! Yes, you read it correctly, right from the scripture. Through the wonderful promises He has already granted us, we become partakers of the Divine nature.
Called to His glory—His Divine power has granted us a way to partake of His Divine nature—through the knowledge of Him and through His Divine promises.
What promises? Pick one...they're all magnificent and precious, and they all belong to us! 2 Corinthians 1:20 tells us 'For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the GLORY of God through us.' And, good news for us...there are no curses attached to these promises, as there were in the Old Covenant. Jesus bore all of the curse of the law for us! [see Galatians 3]
[A small digression...Amen is a great word. Transliterated directly from the Hebrew into Greek, it probably had no real Greek meaning of it's own until it was used in the New Testament. Paul, in this instance, was a Hebrew speaker and scholar, and would have surely thought 'Amen' in the Hebrew sense, which means 'so be it.' So be it...it is done.]
It's True...
Yes, we're partakers of the Divine nature—not a sin nature, barely excused from hell, but one Spirit with the Lord! We died with Christ and were made alive with Him: He is the only Spirit in these earthen vessels, and He has come with the through the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. [John 14:16-24]
Get over all the old false doctrines that explain how worthless we are. We were purchased, redeemed, with a great price, recreated in the very image and nature of God.
See it, confess it. It's who you are in Christ.