“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
This verse teaches us that when we are in a relationship with God through the saving blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have a special kinship with Him and a new responsibility to act on what we know to be the truth.
In this message I want to discuss the following:
1. Believers have received his promises through redemption and HAVE the help we need to grow in His grace. v. 4a
2. Because of this redemption given freely to us we can “participate in the divine nature”. v. 4b
3. Believers are able and responsible to escape the “corruption of the world” v. 4c
Interesting words to examine are:
“great” – meaning “sublime, important, extra-ordinary” or in the words of the NAS translation “magnificent.”
“precious” - meaning “of great value or worth”.
Another way to say this is: “God has granted us the very great things he has promised.”
How does this apply to me personally as his child?:
- When troubled times come in my life I can look to my savior and expect Him to help me through those times.
- My God will always supply my need – even though I may not see how that need is being met at any particular moment.
- When I get confused in my life – God will remain steady and carry me through the forest to the clearing.
- When I meditate on Christ and his “glory and goodness” I will find my life to be more stable.
- I can always count on my Savior to see me through to the end.
How do believers “participate in the divine nature”?
This word Participation is the greek word koinonia which means “partner, sharer, companion”. In other words we become partners with God in the process of our own growth. This is a tremendous responsibility God has given us. We are called by God to take on this responsibility – this partnership. I think of Phil. 2:13-14 - “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” The “fear and trembling” part is the responsibility you take when God freely gives you salvation through the blood of His only Son. It is an awesome responsibility. Yet we are not left on our own! We see God working in us; we have a partnership with God! God is moving and working in ways beyond our comprehension. It is those times when we think we have no other resources to draw upon that our God fulfills his promise to provide strength for moment; courage in crisis and hope for the future! What a mighty God we serve!
How can I become a BETTER participant with God in my own growth and development?
- Listen to His voice as I come to Him in prayer. (not an audible voice, but the inner workings of the Spirit, as He challenges me to live a life worthy of my calling.
- By humbling myself before the Lord and stop trying to “perform” and rest in the fact that it is only by His power that I am able to overcome the trials and temptations before me.
- By not being a “hearer” only but a “doer” of God’s Word.
- By taking positive, concrete steps to stave off spiritual lethargy.
- By allowing God to use other believers in my life to point me in the right direction.
- By not making excuses for myself when I fail, but to move forward in humility, knowing that our forgiving Heavenly Father welcomes repentance and is waiting for us prodigals with open arms.
- By letting God develop my character by breaking me and molding me into his shape.
- By taking active steps to learn how to say “No” to sin and “Yes” to righteousness. This means putting feet to my prayers and standing firmly in His strength when it appears that I have none of my own.
In my next study I will work on the last part of this verse: “escaping the corruption of this world.”