What would you think about someone who promised you could be a partaker of the divine nature? Fringe group? New ager?
Yet, in 2 Peter 1:3-4, this appears: “His divine power has granted us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, through which He has granted us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you should become partakers of the divine nature.”
What could that possibly mean? Well, it must mean something, or God would not have inspired it to be in Scripture. The Bible is clear; there is only one God and that God does not change or share His glory with anyone else. We are not absorbed into deity. We will not become divine in the sense that God is divine, but the Bible promises throughout that God will conform us to His character and will. We will become like Him. We will fully receive His Spirit. We will fully share in the Sonship of Jesus (John 1:12; Romans 8:9-21) as we are transformed into the same image. God has granted Christians to be conformed to His Son (Romans 8:29).
The Devil tempted Eve with the promise that she would become like God as a rival God, and he accused God of not being good and stingy in His gifts.
God uses the Devil’s wicked act to allow the Church (the new Eve) to become partakers of the divine nature in a better sense. The Devil freely rebelled against God and without in anyway being forced by God, but God used that unforced free will to accomplish exactly what He planned from all eternity (see Acts 4:27-28).
We might paraphrase Hilary of Arles (401-449): The Son of God became the Son of Adam so that I, a son of Adam, might in him become a Son of God.
This week at Bryan, we heard Brian Noble of Peacemakers. He said, “You will spend more time in eternity with that Christian (you are frustrated with now) but with none of the baggage of the fall.”
I had never thought of that before. I suppose it’s because I’ve never really realized the magnitude of God’s promises.
One day, we will love the way God loves. We will speak the truth as God speaks the truth. God will create in us a pure heart, the heart of Jesus. Spurgeon said, “Yes, the same blood which flows in the head flows in the hand.” God will make us the body of Christ.
We will never plumb the depths of that truth, but how might it transform us if we did?