Continued from “Participating in the Divine Nature (Part 1)”
“…he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4).
The phrase “participating in the divine nature” can seem a little inaccessible. What does it mean, really? Paul provides some perspective in 1 Corinthians 10:16–“Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” Participation, in these verses, is likened to eating and drinking. Think about what happens when we eat or drink. We take something in and break it down. Once broken down, components of food, especially proteins, are used to rebuild the body. Old cells are replaced by the new ones we have eaten. The food becomes a permanent part of us. As the old saying goes, we are what we eat, quite literally!
Peter says it is through the great and precious promises of God that we participate in the divine nature. In a previous post, we saw God’s promises are not just blessings or things God gives us. Christ is the substance and reality of every promise (2 Cor. 1:20). God does not merely want us to believe Him for things; He wants us to take in and break down His promises in a way that allows us to feed on Christ, the bread of life (John 6:35). As we do this, the old in us is replaced by Christ, by the divine nature, just as old cells are replaced by new when we eat. The result of this is systemic, spiritual transformation. Peter’s second letter urges us to engage the process of transformation because this IS Christianity. False teachers, as Peter explains in later chapters, bring a message with no transformative power. By contrast, the gospel IS the power of God for spiritual metamorphosis (AKA “salvation”) (Rom. 1:16).