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The Connected Life

The Connected Life

Words of Faith 2-28-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Peter 1:3-4

    [3] His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. [4] 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.

 

        The believers in the time Peter wrote were scattered about.  Many were experiencing terrible persecution while others were dealing with the constant temptation to go back to the old way of life.  In the midst of all that, Peter gave believers a powerful reassurance.  There is a connection.  There is a power beyond us.  There is hope in the midst of such difficulty.

        Early in Christian history, Peter made it clear that faith in Jesus is not just a set of logical precepts.  We actually participate in the divine nature of Jesus.  Because of this, we have available everything needed for life and godliness.  This comes through a personal knowledge of Him, the one who called us by His glory and goodness.  The Lord has given us great and precious promises so that we can escape the corruption that is in the world, and that arises from evil desires.

        Okay.  But we must also be careful here.  Some have suggested that this passage means that a Christian is given an entirely new nature, basically incapable of sinning.  After all, God's "nature" is obviously a sinless one. If we have His nature, then it stands to reason that we cannot sin!  But if we look closely, we will see that Peter did not say that we have a divine nature; he said that we participate in the divine nature. In other words, there is some sense in which Christians experience a quality or qualities that God has. Still, there are certainly many qualities of God that we do not share!

        So just what are these shared qualities? 

        Peter may have had in mind God's immortality arguing that Christians "escape the corruption in the world."  Things will be better in the sweet by and by.  Christians, by their union with Christ, are assured that their bodies will be raised and that they will live forever in these incorruptible bodies.  This is all true.

        But another possibility is that by participating in the divine nature, Christians share in God's own holy character. "Escaping the corruption in the world" refers, then, to the need and power for Christians to separate themselves from the moral corruption that is so much a part of our fallen world.  We need to grow in holiness, and Christ is our connection.

        Peter was probably talking about both, but the vital issue at the time was for believers to be growing in holiness.  Peter was clear that our Lord has given us many great and precious promises so that we might grow in holiness.  Peter does not say that we possess "the divine nature" in its totality and are therefore sinless. Still, we can grow in that direction.

        "Participating in the divine nature" is, then, a great and precious privilege.  Through our union with Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we share in something of God's own holy nature, separated from the corrupt world around us. And it is precisely "for that reason" that we are called on to progress in holiness and godliness. The very fact that Peter goes on to encourage us to make such progress shows that participating in the divine nature does not bring us into a state of sinlessness or even into a situation in which we can lay back and simply enjoy our new status.

      As believers, we are to take full advantage of the divine power and promise of God which makes it possible to participate in the divine nature and thus overcome the corruption caused by evil desires.  Based on this promised power, Peter challenged Christians to practice the characteristics of the divine nature so that they would experience the assurance of eternal rewards.

        Holiness is not a matter of living up to a standard; it is simply that we cannot survive unless we are connected to the Standard.

       So. Here is a question for self.  Am I living a "connected life?" Am I participating in the divine nature of God, or am I trying to slug it out in my flesh?  Am I receiving the power of God's promises and the assurance of His nature so that I grow more like Him each day?  Am I less a part of the corruption of the world today then I was yesterday?  Okay, that was more than one question.  But they are all good ones.

 

       Father God, I want to participate in Your divine nature so that I can walk today more like You than ever before.  I claim the promises.  Free me from the corruption of this world so full of evil desires.  By Your power, cause me to walk in increasing victory.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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