Thursday, October 4, 2012

Missions in II Peter

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." II Peter 1:3-4 (emphasis mine)

A complete presentation of the gospel is much more than simply telling someone that Jesus died for sins. The apostle Peter writes something important in his second epistle that we should be sharing with lost people (to read the first post in this series, click here).

Peter says, " may become partakers of the divine nature." What in the world does this mean?

In light of multiple other places in the bible, it is clear that Peter does not mean that we take on divinity. Our partaking of the divine nature does not indicate that we somehow transform into the divine nature. God never changes who He is, and He does not share his divine essence. Upon salvation, we become new creations, but we don't turn into mini-gods of any kind.

To partake of something is to become directly and intimately involved with it. When we partake of the divine nature, it means we become intimately involved with God Himself. We share life with Him. He shares His glory with us for us to experience. Since we become new creations, our interests and desires become more and more like God's. We gradually become more like Him (not in divinity, but in holiness).

All of God's life is a divine life. As we abide in Him, we share in this divine life. This is a truth that we need to convey to lost folks. Much of life is pointless drudgery to those apart from Christ. Many are searching for something beyond the next fleeting worldly pleasure. We must tell them that God's plan is for His special people to share life with Him. The idea of partaking of the divine nature is attractive to at least some people.

I'm not suggesting that we stress this above other truths when we present the gospel. However, we should also not ignore it. It is an astounding thing that God allows us to partake of life with Him. Let's share this wondrous truth!

To read any post in this NT missions series, click here.

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