It is easy to think that people like the apostle Peter had an advantage over us today because they saw Jesus. Talked with him. Walked with Him. And learned from him.
However, in this passage, Peter pens that we, too, can be “partakers of the divine nature.” Through the knowledge of Jesus Christ we can enjoy a special relationship with Him. Fellowship and partnership with the Divine is possible when we become Christians.
This text tells us how.
(1) We have the provisions
If we believe the Bible, God has given us all we need spiritually and religiously. We’ve been given “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” The little word “all” says a lot. There is nothing else. There is no future revelation. No direct operation of the Holy Spirit apart from the counsels of His Word. And no “signs” that lead us in another direction away from the apostle’s doctrine.
Truth is objective. It is based on what is real. Factual. And verifiable. Spiritually speaking it is given to us by God. It is according to “His divine power.” God did not leave us in the dark regarding His will for our lives. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostles, like Peter, received divine revelation. We don’t have to guess what is God’s Plan for us.
(2) We have the motivation.
“Great and precious promises” prompt us to accept God’s Word, embrace the faith and grow spiritually. Warren Wiersbe was right when he wrote, “These promises are great because they come from a great God and they lead to a great life. They are precious because their value is beyond calculation.”
What are we promised?
•To obtain forgiveness of sins.
•To become sons of God.
•To receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
•To have God present to hear and answer our prayers.
•To enjoy cleansing when we sin in the future.
•To know God will provide a way of escape from temptation.
•To belong to a spiritual family who will encourage us
•To live with hope of eternal life in heaven.
(3) We have the criteria for personal examination
Sometimes called the Christian graces, these 7 characteristics of a godly life can serve as a measure of our faith. Examine yourself to see in you are in the faith.
Virtue is moral excellence. It is the courage to set you apart from the filth and putridity of this world’s moral mess.
Knowledge is necessary to make practical applications and daily decisions of right and wrong.
Temperance is self-control or self-mastery. It literally means the ability to “get a grip on one’s self.” To bridle your passions. And prevail against your lusts.
Steadfastness or perseverance has been called “the queen of virtues.” It is the ability to endure when life is demanding and circumstances are difficult. It is the patience to prevail when the pressures and problems of life press in.
Godliness literally means “God-likeness.” It is piety. And speaks of a person who is right in his relationship with God and men.
Brotherly kindness is a love of the brethren that issues itself in a special affection and affinity for those who share in the same spiritual blessings. It is genuine. Unfeigned. And abiding.
Love is always the supreme virtue. It is the love of God in us demonstrated to saint and sinner alike. Even those who are enemies of our faith.
How do you measure up?
These virtues are not automatic once we become a Christian, but must be added by our own spiritual focus and effort.
(4) We must make the commitment
To be a partaker of the divine nature requires an individual, total and God-ward commitment. It is long term. It is not short-sighted. And it’s aggressive as we “give all diligence.
It’s like climbing a ladder one rung at a time. But the rewards are worth it when we reach the top. And God welcomes us home to our heavenly reward.
Have you tapped into the “divine nature”? Are you making progress? Are you reaching for the top?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman