Sermon #1661 Micellaneous Sermons
Title: “Partakers of the Divine Nature”
Delighting in the Obvious
Text: 2 Peter 1:1-11
Date: Sunday Morning November 18, 2006
Tape # Z-14a
Reading: 2 Peter 1:1-21
2 Peter 1:1-21
1. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3. 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:
4. 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.
5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
13. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
14. Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me.
15. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
16. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
We have come here to worship our God, praying that the Lord God may, by his Spirit, speak to us from his Word and show us the glories of our great Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. To that end, I ask you ever to pray for your pastor, “that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”
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.
· 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 bore the cross that our enmity might be slain, and our sins put away.
· He loved us that we might love God.
· He was rich and 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 with all the fullness of God.
· 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 exalted to the highest glory.
· He was made a curse for us that we might be 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, a ransom for us, a propitiation for our sins, a 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 they 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 princes with 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 Rife.
· 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 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 near 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 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 the Holy Spirit tells us in 1 Peter 1:4, and that is my subject “Partakers of the Divine Nature.” Last week I listened to a message by Bro. Gary Shepard on this text. In his introduction, Bro. Shepard said, “Rather than debating the mysterious, we ought to delight in the obvious.” I could not agree more. I have been studying, meditating on, and rolling around in this passage all week, and simply have to try to preach it. 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 Spirit, “made partakers of the divine nature.” Today, I want us to look at them in the context in which they are found. I have no hope of expounding my text. It is indescribably beyond the reach of my mind; but not beyond the reach of my heart! Rather than attempting to expound these wondrous words, “partakers of the divine nature,” if God the Holy Spirit will enable me, I want to simply lead you in delighting in the obvious, as Bro. Shepard put t.
I will not repeat the things Bro. Shepard preached. If you want to hear his message, I will be happy to make a copy for you. But I want you to see, and see clearly, that everything 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.
We will begin in verse 1.
(2 Peter 1:1) “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
In the very opening words of this Epistle, Peter tells us that his inspired letter is addressed to God’s elect, to people who have been saved by the grace of God. The things he speaks of here are true of all who are born again by God the Holy Spirit.
That does not mean that I am not talking to you who are yet without Christ. On the contrary. As I describe the great privileges of grace that belong to all believers, it is my prayer that you may be persuaded by the almighty, irresistible grace and power of God the Holy Spirit to trust my Savior. How I pray that before you leave here today you “might be made partakers of the divine nature.”
Peter describes himself as “a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ.”
· What a great privilege!
· What a high honor!
· What a great calling!
· What an awesome responsibility!
He here speaks of God’s saints as people who “have obtained like precious faith with us.” The faith of God’s elect is one. It is always the same. “There is one Lord and one faith.” The faith we possess is that which we have obtained by the gift and operation of God’s grace. It is not something we muster from within. It is not the work of our will. Faith in Christ is the gift of God. It is God the Holy Spirit who has convinced us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, revealing Christ in us. It is the Spirit of God who graciously causes us to trust Christ.
And all who have obtained this blessed gift of grace fully agree with Peter that the faith God has given us is “precious faith,” more precious than perishing gold!
· It brings us into a living union with our precious Savior. “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.”
· It gives us his great and precious salvation.
· It brings us into possession of all the precious promises of God. “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them” (Ps. 139:17).
· It sets us among “the precious sons of Zion” (Lam. 4:2).
· It brings us precious righteousness by his precious blood, giving us precious peace and a precious hope, and all the precious things of heaven and earth.
We have obtained this precious faith “through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Faith has been freely bestowed upon us and wrought in us through the merits and mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ who alone is our God, our righteousness, and our Savior. What a glorious object of faith Christ is! What a glorious righteousness we have in and with him by the gift of his grace!
(Psalms 40:9-10) “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. (10) I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.”
(Psalms 71:16) “I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.”
Grace and Peace
Now, look at verse 2.
(2 Peter 1:2) “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”
This is more than an affectionate wish. This is God the Holy Spirit’s assurance that grace and peace shall be constantly multiplied to all who have obtained this precious faith through the righteousness of Christ. Throughout the days of our lives our gracious God will continually cause us to have larger, fuller discoveries of his grace. And the more fully we are aware of his infinite grace, the more we shall enjoy his peace.
How are grace and peace multiplied to us? “Through the knowledge of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Everything in the kingdom of God is connected with the knowledge of Christ. Four times, in the first eight verses of this chapter, Peter shows this (vv. 2, 3, 5, 8).
(2 Peter 1:2-3) “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (3) 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:”
(2 Peter 1:5) “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”
(2 Peter 1:8) “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And every enlargement of the knowledge of Christ brings multiplied grace and peace. Then, in verse 9, he tells us, “But he that lacketh these things is blind.”
In the third verse we discover the source and cause of that blessed, saving knowledge we have of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a knowledge that is attained by disciplined study, learning, or human exercise of any kind. No, no! This blessed, saving, increasing knowledge of Christ is bestowed upon chosen, redeemed sinners by the omnipotent power and grace of God the Holy Spirit in effectual grace and calling.
(2 Peter 1:3) “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.”
Notice the opening words of verse 3. “According as.” The faith we possess, the grace and peace we experience in Christ, the knowledge we have of Christ, all are “according as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” What is included in this unspeakable gift of God? What is not included? The divine power of God the Holy Spirit, giving us life and faith in Christ by the omnipotent call of his grace in regeneration has “given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness!” What a vast, vast, incomprehensible, all-comprehensive gift!
· The call spoken of here is not the call that you hear from the preacher; but the irresistible call of God the Holy Spirit that gives life to the dead (Ezek. 16, 33, Lazarus Zacchaeus).
· God the Holy Spirit has called us to glory in the world to come.
· And he has called us to virtue while we live in this world. We who once without virtue, incapable of doing right, have been called to a life of virtue, a life of doing right, of doing righteousness by the Spirit of God. Before anyone cries, “Heresy! Damning heresy! That’s works!” read what the Book says (1 John 3:7-10).
(1 John 3:7-10) “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
Perhaps you ask, “Bro. Don, How can any of us be said to do righteousness? Sin is mixed with all we do.” You are right. Sin is mixed with all we do. In fact, we cannot do anything but sin. But God, by the wondrous work of his grace has put a new nature in us, a new man, created in righteousness and true holiness, that cannot sin, a new man that can do nothing but righteousness (1 John 3:9). This is what we see in verse 4.
(2 Peter 1:4) “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.”
Read the Scriptures carefully. The first four verses of this chapter are one sentence, all dealing with one thing. In these four verses, in this 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 Spirit. 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. Let me show you (Tit. 1:1-3; 1 Pet. 1:18-21; Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:25-26; 37:12-14).
(Titus 1:1-3) “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; (2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (3) But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.”
(1 Peter 1:18-21) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”
(Jeremiah 31:31-34) “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
(Ezekiel 36:25-26) “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. (26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
(Ezekiel 37:12-14) “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. (13) And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, (14) And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.”
Peter is telling us that 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 an puts a new spirit in us, when he makes us new creatures in Christ, when the sinner is 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. Wow! That’s grace! Until this great work of grace is wrought in us we cannot claim, or even know, anything of God’s mercy, love and grace, though all was given to us in Christ before the world began, when he “made us accepted in the Beloved!”
The Divine Nature
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.
I cannot think of a poorer way to study Scripture than by doing what is commonly called “word studies,” studies in which you find a word, look up its meaning, and try to interpret every passage where the word is used in the same way. 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 use; but it must not be limited to such. Let’s look at a few other passages in which this same word is used in a much broader way (2 Cor. 1:5-7; Phil. 1:7; Heb. 2:14-15).
· In 2 Corinthians 1, we are told that we are partakers both of the sufferings of Christ and of the consolation that comes to chosen sinners by the knowledge of redemption (2 Cor. 1:5-7).
(2 Corinthians 1:5-7) “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (6) And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. (7) And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.”
The word “partakers” here means two connected, but different things. We are partakers of the sufferings of Christ as we suffer in fellowship, or partnership with him. But we are partakers of the consolation flowing from those things in the sense that we actually possess the consolation, the comfort of redemption by Christ.
· In Philippians 1:7 Paul assured the believers at Philippi that they were partakers with him of the grace of God. There the word “partakers” clearly means “possessors.”
(Philippians 1:6-7) “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (7) Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.” Marginal translation “Partakers with me of grace.”
· In Hebrews 2:14 the word is again used to speak not merely of fellowship, or partnership, but of actual possession. Just as we actually possess flesh and blood, our blessed Savior took part of the same. “The Word was made flesh!”
(Hebrews 2:14-15) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
What, then, is the meaning of this phrase, “partakers of the divine nature”? This divine nature is the nature of Christ, and the holiness of God. It is to have Christ himself imparted to us and formed in us by the Holy Spirit (Col. 1:27). It is Christ in us, this divine nature of which we have been made partakers (possessors) that makes us fit for heaven. B. B. Caldwell wrote…
“Without it, heaven would be hell. If an unregenerated person should go to heaven without bring born again, without this divine nature, heaven would be a hell to him, and not only that, but he would make heaven a hell for everybody else. How do you think an ungodly person would feel in a holy heaven, in the presence of a holy God, and in the presence of holy angels with all of the saints and the angelic hosts singing ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts’? You see we must have a nature to befit us for heaven. This nature is given us in the new birth!”
We are members of the body of Christ, “members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” The same blood that flows in the head flows in the hand, and the same life that quickens Head, quickens his people; for, “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 spouse must, in the nature of things, 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; and 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, so truly one with him that the branch is not more truly one with the vine than we are a part of 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 our text and the teaching of the entire volume of Holy Scripture (John 14:22-23; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:14-19; 4:21-24; Col. 1:27; 1 John 4:4; Rev. 3:20).
(John 14:22-23) “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? (23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
(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.”
(Ephesians 3:14-19) “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (16) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
(Ephesians 4:21-24) “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (22) That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
(Colossians 1:27) “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
(1 John 4:4) “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
(Revelation 3:20) “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
How sweet, how blessed, how glorious is that almighty violence of grace that has put Christ in us! (Mark 3:27)
(Mark 3:27) “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”
After telling us what God has done for us in the new birth, making us “partakers of the divine nature,” Peter admonishes us to add to our faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and brotherly love, telling us that those who lack these things are blind, that their religion is nothing but lip service to God (vv. 5-9).
(2 Peter 1:5-9) “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
These things are the fruit of grace, not the cause of grace. We have already been told that by the gift of regeneration, making us “partakers of the divine nature,” God the Holy Spirit has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” And that which is God’s gift cannot be a matter of human merit. These additions to faith are things that flow from faith. In a word, those who trust Christ, all who believe, “shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (John 15:16).
(John 15:16) “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
An Abundant Entrance
Now, let me remind you and stir up your remembrance of one more obvious thing in which we ought to delight, as those who have been “made partakers of the divine nature” (vv. 10-11).
(2 Peter 1:10-11) “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
If you can prove your calling, you have proved your election, and your redemption too. Do you ask, “How can I know that I am called of God?” The Scripture gives us the answer to that question in unmistakable words (Heb. 11:1; 1 John 5:1, 11).
(Hebrews 11:1) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
(1 John 5:1) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
(1 John 5:11) “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Faith in Christ is the proof of God’s call, proof of the new birth, proof that we are “partakers of the divine nature.” Being born of God, having “Christ in you the hope of Glory,” being “partakers of the divine nature,” these two things are as glorious as they are obvious. May God the Holy Spirit give us grace ever to delight in them…
· “Ye shall never fall!” “We are kept by the power of God through faith,” kept in his grip!
· “So an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
“Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in Thy great day;
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
While through Thy blood absolved I am
From sin and fear, and guilt and shame.
Lord, I believe Thy precious blood,
Which, at the mercy seat of God,
Forever doth for sinners plead,
For me, e’en for my soul, was shed.
When from the dust of death I rise
To take my mansion in the skies,
Ev’n then shall this be all my plea,
Jesus hath lived, hath died, for me.
This spotless robe the same appears,
When ruined nature sinks in years;
No age can change its glorious hue,
The robe of Christ is ever new.
Jesus, be endless praise to Thee,
Whose boundless mercy hath for me
For me a full atonement made,
An everlasting ransom paid.
O let the dead now hear Thy voice;
Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress,
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness!”
What gives such confidence? What can give sinners like you and me an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Our works? Perish the thought! That which alone can and alone does give such assured confidence and will minister to us an abundant entrance in that day is…
· The righteousness of Christ performed for us, finished at Calvary, and imputed to us in free justification.
· The righteousness of Christ imparted to us in the new birth, sanctifying us in the blessed experience of grace in regeneration, by which we have been made “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped forever and completely the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
(Colossians 1:25-29) “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
(2 Peter 1:12) “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” You are “partakers of the divine nature.”
(2 Peter 3:17-18) "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."