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Grace Baptist Church of Danville
April 9, 2017
God, by the wondrous work of his grace, has made heaven-born souls “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), putting a new nature in us, a new man, “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24), that cannot sin, a new man that can do nothing but righteousness (1 John 3:9); and that new man is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Š I am scheduled to preach Saturday and Sunday for Sovereign Grace Church in Nixa, Missouri.
Sophia Peterson-12th Jayalita McCormack-14th Denise Ranier-15th
Nursery Duty This Week
Stephanie Wilkerson (AM) — Diane Campbell (PM) Tuesday: Ruth Wall
For Mercy, Lord, I Plead — Don Fortner
(Tune: #52 — Majestic Sweetness — CM)
1. O God, look on this sinner, poor,
Who bows before Your feet!
A beggar knocking at Your door,
For mercy, Lord, I plead.
2. By nature guilty, cursed, and dead,
Deserving wrath and hell;
But Christ, the sinner’s Surety, bled,
Made sin on Calv’ry’s hill!
3. Free mercy, Lord, mercy, I crave,
Mercy to meet my case.
O God, be merciful and save,
A wretch who needs Your grace!
But that which You’ve revealed:
I plead the blood of Calvary,
Christ’s blood for sinners spilled!
I am often asked, “Who should receive the Lord’s Supper?” The answer is in the question. It is the Lord’s Supper, not the church’s supper. If it were the church’s supper, only the members of the church serving it, or their invited guests are welcome. But since it is the Lord’s Supper, all who are in the Lord’s family are welcome.
“Partakers of the Divine Nature”
2 Peter 1:4
“Partakers of the divine nature.” — Those are bold words. But bold as they are, startling as they may sound, there they stand. — “Partakers of the divine nature!” Bold as Peter’s divinely inspired words are, shocking as they are to some, they only declare the teaching of the whole New Testament and the experience of every saved sinner. — Sinners saved by the grace of God, in the new birth, receive into their spirits a real communication of the life of God.
The Life of God
The new birth is nothing less than, as Henry Scrougal put it more than 400 years ago, “the life of God in the soul of man.” What else does our being “the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty” mean? What else does the new birth mean? What else do Christ’s frequent declarations that he dwells in us and we in him, as the branch in the vine and as the members in the body, mean? What else does “he that is joined to the Lord in one spirit” mean?
In some real sense the very purpose of God in sending his Son, the very purpose of God the Son becoming a man in the incarnation, is that we, poor, sinful, weak, limited, ignorant creatures as we are, may be lifted up into that solemn and awful elevation, and receive in our trembling and yet strengthened souls the life of God. This is the aim of the gospel, the end of all the promises of God. — “That ye may be partakers of the Divine nature!”
The New Birth
Read the Scriptures carefully. The first four verses of 2nd Peter 1 are one sentence, all dealing with one thing. In those four verses, in that one, magnificent sentence, Peter declares the wonder of the new birth, the glorious work of regeneration. The first word of verse 4 refers us back to the call of God the Holy Ghost. It is by the call of God the Holy Spirit that God bestows those great and precious promises of his grace, making us “partakers of the Divine nature.”
It is God the Holy Spirit who, by his regenerating grace giving life to spiritually dead sinners, discovers to us and reveals God’s eternal, electing love and Christ’s redemption of our souls by his precious blood. The promises of God which have resulted in us being born again are the promises of God declared in the gospel, the promises of the sure and everlasting covenant of grace (Titus 1:1-3; 1 Peter 1:18-21; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-26; 37:12-14).
When the Lord God raises a sinner from death to life by the power and grace of his Spirit, when he sprinkles our hearts with the clean water of his grace and puts a new spirit in us, when he makes us new creatures in Christ, when sinners are born again by his omnipotent grace, we are made “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” God made his covenant promises to us in Christ our Covenant Head before the world began, so that we might, at the appointed time of love, be made “partakers of the divine nature.”
What does this mean?
“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.” (2 Peter 1:4)
What does God the Holy Spirit intend for us to understand when he tells us that in the new birth he has made us “partakers of the divine nature?” Obviously, he does not mean that we have become God. He does not mean that we have become partakers of the divine essence. And he does not mean that we now possess the attributes of divinity. So, what do these words mean? Let the Scriptures answer.
The Word Used
The word that is here translated “partakers” is the word from which we get the word “fellowship.” It basically means “fellowshippers,” or “partners,” or “companions.” In fact, that is the way this word, in its many different forms, is most commonly used; but it must not be limited to that meaning. Here are just a few passages in which this same word is used in a much broader way: 2 Corinthians 1:5-7, Philippians 1:7, and Hebrews 2:14-15. As we are partakers (possessors) of the consolation of the gospel, so we are “partakers of the divine nature.” As we are partakers (possessors) together of the grace of God, so we are “partakers of the divine nature.” As our Lord Jesus Christ was made a partaker (possessor) of flesh and blood, so we are “partakers of the divine nature.”
This divine nature is the nature of Christ, the holiness of God. It is to have Christ himself imparted to us and formed in us by God the Holy Spirit in the new birth (Colossians 1:27). It is Christ in us, this divine nature of which we have been made partakers (possessors), that makes us fit for heaven (Colossians 1:14).
We are members of the body of Christ, “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” The same life that quickens the Head, quickens his body. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” We are married into Christ. He has betrothed us unto himself in righteousness and in faithfulness; and as the bride must be a partaker of the same nature as the husband, so Jesus Christ first became partaker of flesh and blood that he and his people might be one flesh. Then he makes his church partakers of the same spirit, that we may be one spirit; for “he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”
Oh, wondrous mystery! We look into it; but who can understand it? One with Jesus Christ our Lord, by eternal union one, married to him and married into him, so truly one with him that the branch is not more truly one with the vine than we are one with the Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer, and our God! Rejoice in this, children of God, you are “partakers of the divine nature!” That is precisely the teaching of 2 Peter 1:4, and the teaching of the entire volume of Holy Scripture (John 14:22-23; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:14-19; 4:21-24; Colossians 1:27; 1 John 4:4; Revelation 3:20). How sweet, how blessed, how glorious is that almighty violence of grace (Mark 3:27) that has put Christ in us!
The Grace Bulletin
April 9, 2017
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 576-3400 — E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service