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2 Peter 1:4
What a great, wonderful, glorious mystery the mystery of the Gospel is! “God was manifest in the flesh!” Our Lord Jesus Christ became one of us, lived, acted, obeyed, suffered, died, and rose again for us, his people, “according to the Scriptures.”
He came down to earth that we might go up to heaven. He suffered that we might reign. He became a servant that we might become kings and priests unto God. He died that we might live. He endured the death of the cross that our enmity might be slain and our sins put away. He loved us that we might love God. He who was rich became poor that we, who are poor, might be made rich. He descended into the grave that we might sit together with him in heavenly places. He emptied himself that we might be filled. He made himself of no reputation that we might be made honorable. He became a worm and no man that we, who are but sinful worms, might be made princes with God, and exalted to the highest glory. He was made a curse for us that we might receive the blessing of his salvation, all the blessings of the everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.
Though heir of all things, he was willingly despised of the people that we, who were justly condemned, might obtain an inheritance which is incorruptible,
undefiled, and fades not away. His death was the satisfaction of divine justice, the ransom for us, the propitiation for our sins, the sweet-smelling savor to God, that we, who were an offence to God, might be freed from sin. He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Though Lord of all, he took the form of a servant that we, who were the servants of sin, might be made servants of God. He drank the bitter cup of God’s indignation and fury that we might forever draw water from the wells of salvation. He hungered that we might eat the Bread of Life. He thirsted that we might drink of the river of the Water of Life. He was numbered with the transgressors that we might be numbered among his saints.
Though he is eternal, from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth was, yet he became a helpless infant that creatures of yesterday, sentenced to death, might live forever. He wore a crown of thorns that we might wear a crown of life. He wept tears of anguish that he might wipe all tears from our eyes. He bore the yoke of obedience unto death that we might bear the easy yoke of his grace. He poured out his soul unto death, laid three days in the heart of the earth, then burst the bars of death and arose to God that we, who through fear of death were all our lifetime subject to bondage, might obtain the victory over death, hell, and the grave and become partakers of his resurrection. He exhausted the penalty of the law that his redeemed might have access to God’s inexhaustible treasures of mercy, wisdom, faithfulness, truth, and grace in him.
Though a Son, he became a voluntary exile that we, who were afar off, might be brought nigh by his blood. His visage was so marred more than any man that his ransomed ones might be presented before God without spot, or blemish, or wrinkle, or any such thing. He was forsaken of God that we might never be forsaken. He was hung up naked before his insulting foes that all who believe on his name might wear a glorious wedding garment of spotless righteousness forever.
Wonderful mystery! “God was manifest in the flesh!” — But of all the wonders of this great mystery of the Gospel, none is more wondrous than this. — The Son of God took our nature that we “might be partakers of the Divine nature!”
That is what God the Holy Ghost tells us in 2 Peter 1:4. All who are born of God are, by the mighty operation of his grace in the new birth, made “partakers of the divine nature.” I have studied, meditated on, and rolled around in wonderful revelation of God for many years. I have quoted these words hundreds of times, asserting that all who are born of God are, by the regenerating grace and power of God the Holy Ghost, “made partakers of the Divine nature.” It is indescribably beyond the reach of my mind; but it is not beyond the reach of my heart.
That which is stated in this passage is so obvious that Peter tells us three times in this chapter that he is not telling us anything new, or anything not commonly known among God’s saints, but that he is simply putting us in remembrance (vv. 12, 13, 15) of things we know. — These are things that every saved sinner knows. All who are taught of God are born of God; and they all know these things by revelation and by experience. You may not yet know how to understand these things, or how to explain them to others; but, as you hear them, if you are born of God, you will see that these are things you have known all the days of your life as a believer.