It is a huge step in our lives when we finally submit to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and, realizing our need for salvation, repent, and ask Jesus to be Lord of our lives.
This is a life-changing event, in which we become new creatures in Christ, but it is not the end of our journey, it is just the beginning. As with any living thing we are expected to consume—The Word, grow—in The Spirit, and reproduce—witness and disciple. We are not just called to be saved, we are called to be like Christ Himself—to be divine.
In the next 7 blog posts, I will be sharing God’s step-by-step instructions in 2 Peter for accomplishing this, in my series entitled, How to Be Divine!
2 Peter 1:3-4:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Notice Peter doesn’t say WILL give us everything we need, but HAS given us everything we need. However, he also says we MAY participate in the divine nature. We have a choice? Who wouldn’t want to participate in the divine nature?
The NIV just doesn’t do this verse justice. They put it under the heading of, “Making One’s Calling and Election Sure.” If you believe on The Lord, Jesus Christ, your calling and election are sure. But what comes next?
We are told many times in scripture to live in The Spirit and not in the flesh, but how do we do that? What does it look like?
Here, Peter shows us in detail. I think a more appropriate heading for this scripture would be, “How To Walk In The Spirit,” or “How To Be Divine.”
So, from The King James, 2 Peter 1:2-7:
2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
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;
6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
In the NIV, verse 2 is not included with the rest, even though it begins the thought and sets the subject as our knowledge of God and His Son. It is important to know that the word translated as “knowledge” here is the Greek, “epignosis,” which means ultimate knowledge, or a thorough acquaintance with.
It is not something you can learn. It is a gift from God. In other words, The Holy Spirit. So, the more we get to know God, the more we will know grace and peace in our lives. How do we get to know God?
“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
And how do we come near to God? Get more involved in a church? It’s really easy to get so caught up in church work that we don’t have the time for God. In fact, sometimes “doing God’s work” even forces us to put our families on the back burner. We slide back into the thinking that it’s the doing that makes us close to God and pleases Him.
The truth is He created us to have relationship with Him. How can you have a relationship with someone you just say thanks to at the dinner table, and rattle off a list of requests to in bed, usually falling asleep mid-conversation?
“You will have no other gods before me,” wasn’t a suggestion. And He wasn’t just talking about gold statues, either. He wants to be #1 in our lives. Before our spouse, before our children, before our work. And yes, before our church.
He wants to spend quality time with us, and not only did He give us a direct line to Him in The Holy Spirit, He also gave us His auto-biography and our personal life handbook in The Bible.
But, you’ll notice there is a pre-requisite here in James. The priests in The Temple had to be cleansed before approaching the throne of God. The fact that we have been granted access to God through Christ, does not mean He wants to commune with us while we are ripe with sin.
In Isaiah 66:2, God says, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”
And Jesus, in Mark 11:55, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
And in The Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:4, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.”
Seriously, how can we deny others the grace that is so freely poured out to us? Once we put down the ratty old baggage we are carrying around, having a clean conscience, our arms are free to receive what The Lord has to give us.
In verse 3, Peter reminds us again that it is through this intimate acquaintance with God that we have been given everything we need to live Godly lives.
The actual text reads, “…through the knowledge of Him who called us to HIS OWN glory and goodness.”
No pressure, here, but again, He’s done the hard part for us.
And in verse 4, we see that it’s not by all our great deeds and sacrifice, but by HIS glory and goodness that we are given His exceeding great and precious promises. Not only the eternal life, new incorruptible body, and new Heaven and Earth, promised in the Old Testament, but all of the promises Jesus made when He walked with us.
These promises are the divine power that gives us all we need to escape the corruption of the world and take part in His divine nature as His children. But a gift isn’t much good until it is accepted, opened, and put to use. The great thing about this one is that Peter tells us just how to do that. He gives us the road map, and that is what I’ll talk about next time.
God’s grace and peace be yours,