In 2 Peter 1:4 What does Peter mean by “partakers of the divine nature”?

It means being made partakers of his godliness, his character, his likeness, his virtues.

2 Peter 1:3-4, “According 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. Whereby 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.”

To understand the full context of the scripture we need to go to other scriptures.

Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

We are made partakers of his divine nature by being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, who is the image of the invisible God. That is the character of God was in Christ and the same character is in every true believer.

1 John 2:5,6, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

That is to say that the sign or evidence that the redemptive work has taken effect in us is his life, virtues and works projected through us. In other words Christianity is a projection of the life of Jesus Christ in his redeemed. This scripture is telling us being patakers of his likeness is projected in our walking like him. We will refer to some other scriptures:

1 John 4:17, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”

The above scripture of 1 John 4:17 is telling us being partakers of his divine nature is also being partaker of his likeness. When one is made a partaker of God’s divine nature, Christ lives and walks in you.

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
 

A person that is a partaker of God’s divine nature is God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus:

Ephesians 2:10,22, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. […] In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Being made partakers of his divine nature means also being partakers of the works of the Spirit:

John 3:6,8, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. […] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

John 14:10,12, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. […] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

A Christian without the gifts of the Holy Spirit is like a man that has a job to do but doesn’t have the tools. The spiritual tools of God are the gifts of the Spirit which He wants exercised in full by all of His children. He repeatedly demonstrated His will through the prophets, through Jesus Christ, and through early believers.  He has repeatedly promised such power to every believer.

In Luke 24:49, Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he told his disciples:

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

In the scriptures below, Paul the Apostle, is asking believers, if they have received the Holy Spirit, since they believed:

Acts 19:1-6, “…Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?  And they said unto him,  We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?  And they said, Unto John ‘s baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.”

and their reply was “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” and then Paul laid hands on them, so they would receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and the spiritual tools (the gifts of the Holy Spirit), to do God’s work.

There are 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

The partakers of his divine nature are a part of the good tree that bears good fruit:

Matthew 7:15-18,20,21, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. […] Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

The moment anything is born it has certain powers of its parents.  The offspring of a fish can swim and live in water; the bird can fly; and the dog can bark.  It would be a miracle for the dog to live in water or the fish to live and fly in the sky.  This would be contrary to nature.  It is likewise contrary to nature that men can be born of God spiritually and partake of His nature and live and act contrary to the nature of God.  The children of God should manifest a supernatural nature in life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and through faith in the name of Jesus Christ and His atonement. God has provided the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit for such manifestation of divine life in His children.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Sources: Bible Hermeneutics

Take Captive Every Thought

The Bible tells us to take every thought captive.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)

That means that we have a chance to do something about all thoughts that are not well-pleasing to God, before they enter our hearts and become a part of us!

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”  Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

The Potter & The Clay

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)

God is continually, molding and shaping us, so that we will be transformed into the image of the Son of God.

He uses many different methods to transform us. Some of the methods God used in my life are as follows:

1) My Vocation:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

I had to work to help support my family. My education consisted of a GED and some college. I worked in the corporate world, in Human Resources (Health & Welfare and Financial Benefits.) Because of the level of my education, I had to work twice as hard. At times, it really annoyed me, so I would repeat Colossians 3:23-24 over and over to myself, during working hours, until it became a part of me. God blessed me with raises and good reviews. To this day, I keep that scripture close to my heart.

2.)  My Co-workers, Friends and Family:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

3.) Suffering:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)

I was nineteen years old, when I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my Life. About six months later, my husband abandoned me. He said, “I don’t want any part of Christianity.” I was devastated! In my early 20’s, I became pregnant, which resulted in a Tubal Pregnancy, which caused me to hemorrhage. I had emergency surgery, just in time to save my life. A few months after surgery, I became ill and I had to have a Hysterectomy. Over the years, I’ve lost almost everything I owned, four times, except for a few personal items, the clothes in my closet and some furniture. When I was in my 40’s, I became very ill and was hospitalized three times. I could no longer work outside the home. I’ve cried many tears in my lifetime, but each painful situation was teaching me patience. God, comforted me, provided my needs and healed my emotional wounds. My suffering changed my heart of stone into a compassionate heart.

One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love Him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them. John Wesley

4.) Prayer

I was praying in the Spirit…

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26 (NIV)

and an indescribable “Grief” came over me. That experience has forever changed me.

5.) God’s presence in my life and His LOVE that’s wrapped around me.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.” Romans 8:37-39 (NIV

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I John 4:7-8 (NIV)

Paul wrote that being transformed into the image of the Son of God is a process, and it takes time and is a constant struggle over resisting sin. He wrote,

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV).

So we see that this is an ongoing process throughout our lives. We shouldn’t grow discouraged because it takes time–a lifetime, in fact–and we will never achieve a total transformation into holiness until He appears. Then we shall finally be like Him, or as John wrote,

“We know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 (NIV)

Paul’s words are an enormous encouragement to us:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

Please apply Paul’s words to those things which pertain to the glory of God and our peace and endurance through Christ unto the salvation of our souls.

Because narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14 (AKJV)

PRAYER

Father,

I want to win the race you have marked out for me. I am done with limping along. I will take the steps of faith necessary to strip away everything that has impeded my progress. Speak to me now as I quiet myself before you. With the help of your mighty hand, I will remove the obstacles in my path so I can run with strength, stamina and staying power. And make me a source of encouragement for others as we all follow Jesus together in this great marathon! With faith in You, I will win. Amen.

by Mark and Jill Herringshaw

“…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten