Partaking of the Divine NatureBy Chad Wagner on Sunday, May 29, 2011.
Partaking of the Divine Nature (2 Peter 1:1-11) I. This study should accomplish the following: 1. Learn how to know Jesus more intimately. 2. Learn what it means to partake of the divine nature and how to do it. 3. Learn how to gain the assurance of eternal life. II. The importance of the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. 1. Grace and peace are multiplied unto us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2Pe 1:2). A. Knowing God brings us peace (Job 22:21). B. The knowledge of God comes through diligently studying the word of God (Pro 2:1-6). C. In order to acquire the peace that comes through the knowledge of God, which comes through God’s word, we must believe it (Rom 15:13) and be doers of it (Jam 1:22 c/w Jam 2:17). 2. If we want to be fruit-bearing in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, we must do the things that Peter exhorts us to do in (2Pe 1:5-8) which include: Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, and Charity. 3. If the afore mentioned characteristics are in us and abound we will be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Pe 1:8). A. Our understanding and wisdom is dependent on our keeping of God’s commandments (Psa 111:10; Deu 4:5-6). B. If our thoughts (knowledge) will be established, it is by committing our works unto the Lord (Pro 16:3). Thought - 1. a. The action or process of thinking; mental action or activity in general, esp. that of the intellect; exercise of the mental faculty; formation and arrangement of ideas in the mind. Establish – v. 1. To render stable or firm. †a. To strengthen by material support (obs.). †b. To ratify, confirm, validate (obs.). c. To confirm, settle (what is weak or wavering); to restore (health) permanently; to give calmness or steadiness to (the mind). †d. catachr. To calm (anger), to settle (doubts). C. In order to know the truth about Jesus, we must do what God tells us to do (Joh 7:17; Joh 14:21; Psa 119:100; Pro 28:5). D. Growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is not an option, but a commandment (2Pe 3:18). 4. God has given us great and precious promises, by which we can be partakers of the divine nature (2Pe 1:4). A. One of these great and precious promises is “if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2Pe 1:10-11). B. Therefore by doing these things, we can claim the promise and thereby be partakers of the divine nature. Partaker - 1. One who takes a part or share, a partner, participator, sharer. (Now viewed as agent-noun from partake v.: = one who partakes.) Divine - 1. Of or pertaining to God or a god. Nature - 1. a. The essential qualities or properties of a thing; the inherent and inseparable combination of properties essentially pertaining to anything and giving it its fundamental character. C. When a person is a partaker of the divine nature of God, he is taking part and sharing in the essential qualities and characteristics of God. D. Consider how all the things listed in v. 5-7 are essential qualities and characteristics of Jesus Christ: i. Jesus was a man of faith (Joh 8:29 c/w Heb 11:6). Faith - I. Belief, trust, confidence. 1. a. Confidence, reliance, trust (in the ability, goodness, etc., of a person; in the efficacy or worth of a thing; or in the truth of a statement or doctrine). a. Jesus had faith in God while lived and as He went to the cross (Mat 27:43). Trust – v. 1. a. intr. To have faith or confidence; to place reliance; to confide. b. Jesus had faith in God even after God forsook Him, that we would not leave His soul in hell, nor suffer Him to see corruption (Mat 27:45-46 c/w Luk 23:46). Commend – v. 1. To give in trust or charge, deliver to one's care or keeping; to commit, entrust: c. It is by the faith of Christ that we are justified (Gal 2:16) and made righteous (Rom 3:22; Phi 3:9). ii. Jesus was a virtuous man in both senses of the word. Virtue - 1. a. The power or operative influence inherent in a supernatural or divine being. 2. a. Conformity of life and conduct with the principles of morality; voluntary observance of the recognized moral laws or standards of right conduct; abstention on moral grounds from any form of wrong-doing or vice. a. Jesus possessed virtue (the power inherent in a divine being) (Luk 6:19). b. In the second sense, Jesus was the most virtuous man that ever walked the earth (Heb 4:15; 1Pe 2:21-23). iii. Jesus is full of knowledge (Col 2:3). Knowledge - I. Senses related to knowledge v. and early uses of know v. 1. a. Acknowledgement, confession. b. Acknowledgement or recognition of the position or claims (of any one). II. Senses derived from the verb know, in its later uses. * The fact or condition of knowing. 5. a. The fact of knowing a thing, state, etc., or (in general sense) a person; acquaintance; familiarity gained by experience. a. It was by Jesus’ knowledge that He justified His people (Isa 53:11). b. Jesus knew all men and what was in man (Joh 2:24-25). iv. Jesus was the model of temperance. Temperance - 1. The practice or habit of restraining oneself in provocation, passion, desire, etc.; rational self-restraint. (One of the four cardinal virtues.) a. Self-restraint and moderation in action of any kind, in the expression of opinion, etc.; suppression of any tendency to passionate action; in early use, esp. self-control, restraint, or forbearance, when provoked to anger or impatience. b. Self-restraint in the indulgence of any natural affection or appetency; moderation in the pursuit of a gratification, in the exercise of a feeling, or in the use of anything; in early use often = chastity. Appetency - 1. strictly, The state of longing for, desiring, craving; appetite, passion. a. Jesus was temperate under the most extreme emotional circumstances (1Pe 2:21-23 c/w Isa 53:7). b. Jesus was temperate under the most intense physical circumstances (Mat 4:1-4). v. Jesus was patient in all circumstances. Patience - 1. a. The suffering or enduring (of pain, trouble, or evil) with calmness and composure; the quality or capacity of so suffering or enduring. b. Forbearance, longsuffering, longanimity under provocation of any kind; esp. forbearance or bearing with others, their faults, limitations, etc. c. The calm abiding of the issue of time, processes, etc.; quiet and self-possessed waiting for something; ‘the quality of expecting long without rage or discontent’ a. Jesus suffered and endured pain, trouble, and evil with calmness and composure (Luk 23:9-12; Luk 23:33-37). b. Jesus bore long with His faithless and perverse disciples (Mat 17:14-21; Mat 16:5-12). vi. Jesus is the model of godliness. Godliness - 1. The quality of being godly; devout observance of the law of God; piety. Godly - 1. Of or pertaining to God; coming from God; divine; spiritual. a. Jesus was godly because He is God (Joh 1:1 c/w Joh 1:14 c/w 1Ti 3:16; 1Jo 5:20; Rom 9:5). b. Jesus also acted godly and devoutly and sinlessly observed the law of God until He had fulfilled it (Mat 5:17-18 c/w Act 13:29; 1Pe 1:19). vii. Jesus was kind. Brotherly - 1. Of or pertaining to a brother; also, characteristic of a brother, fraternal, kind, affectionate. b. Common in brotherly kindness, love Kindness - 1. Kinship; near relationship; natural affection arising from this. 4. The quality or habit of being kind; kind nature or disposition, or the exhibition of this in action or conduct. Kind - 6. Of persons, their actions, etc.: Affectionate, loving, fond; on intimate terms. a. Jesus showed us the apex of kindness when He saved us from our sins (Tit 3:4-7). b. God will show us His kindness for all eternity through Christ Jesus (Eph 2:7) viii. Jesus is the standard of charity which is Christian love and Christ-like conduct. Charity - 1. Christian love: †a. God's love to man. (By early writers often identified with the Holy Spirit.) b. Man's love of God and his neighbour, commanded as the fulfilling of the Law, Matt. xxii. 37, 39. a. No man has ever shown greater love than did our Lord Jesus Christ toward us (Joh 15:13; Joh 13:1; Rom 5:8; Rom 8:35-39). E. Since all the things listed above are the characteristics of Jesus Christ, when we do those things and exhibit Christ’s qualities and character traits (His nature), we are then partaking (taking a part, sharing, and participating) of the divine nature of God. 5. By doing these things, we will not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Pe 1:8). A. What better way is there to know someone than to imitate them and strive to act like them? B. Paul desired more than anything to know Christ, to know His sufferings, and to be conformable to His death (Phi 3:10). Conformable - 1. According in form or character to (a standard or pattern); similar, resembling, like. 6. We are to give diligence to make our calling and election sure by doing these things (2Pe 1:10). A. Our election and calling can be known not only by our faith, but by following (acting like) the Lord (1Th 1:4-6). Follow v. - 1. a. To go or come after (a person or other object in motion); to move behind in the same direction. i. Faith is evidence of our eternal life (Joh 5:24; 1Jo 5:1). ii. But faith without works is dead (Jam 2:20). B. If we do these things, we will never fall and an abundant entrance into heaven will be ministered unto us (2Pe 1:10-11). i. God has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29). Conform v. 1. trans. To form, shape, or fashion according to some pattern, model, or instruction; to make of the same form or character, to make like. ii. The sons of God will be like Christ when He appears (1Jo 3:2). a. At the resurrection we will be changed (1Co 15:51-52) and that will be the final and everlasting proof that we are the sons of God. b. Every man that has that hope should purify himself, just like Jesus who is pure (1Jo 3:3). c. When our lives are characterized by the qualities listed in 2Pe 1:5-7, we are purifying ourselves like Jesus and we are being like Him which is an evident token that we are the sons of God. iii. When we do these things and exhibit the characteristics of Christ, we are showing that we are already conformed to the image of Christ in this life, which is a most excellent evidence of our calling and election and of our place in heaven one day. iv. Our goal should be to look and act so much like Jesus, that at the second coming God will have very little work to do to make us be conformed to the image of Christ.