Sunday, October 26, 2014

Not just for eternity

3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4

Sometimes it is easy to forget that "eternal life" is not just for eternity. Here in Peter's second letter, he makes a profound statement about the nature of our life here on this earth: we "share in the divine nature". If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Literally, there is divinity inside of you. Through the mystery of salvation, we have been invited into the triune nature of God. 

It boggles my mind to think that we "share" in God's divine nature. What does that mean, really? This does not make us God, obviously, for there is only one God. Isaiah 43:10 makes that abundantly clear. So what is Peter saying here? 

The Greek word being translated here is koinonos (Strongs 2844). It means one who shares in or partners with someone in something. The ESV translates this as "partakers of the divine nature." Peter used this same word in 1 Peter 5:1 to describe himself as "a participant in the glory about to be revealed." I believe what Peter is talking about is the fellowship and relationship we now have with God through the Holy Spirit by the blood of Jesus Christ. We know God because He invited us to share in Himself.

As a child, I really hated the process of being chosen for teams on the playground. I was always one of the last few picked. As anyone else who experienced the same will tell you, it felt more like they were stuck with me rather than being invited to join their team. Some unwritten rule of 8-year old society told the choosers that they had to pick everyone that wanted to play. That's likely the only reason I was ever invited to play. It was a horrible feeling.

God not only invited you into fellowship with Himself, He also paid a price we can never fully understand to extend that invitation. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, know that you are valuable to God because of the precious blood of Jesus that was shed to establish fellowship with you.

But as I alluded to at the beginning, this doesn't just result in "eternal" life the way most of us think of eternity, that is, after we die. This section of verse 3-4 tells us that through this partaking of divinity, we have "everything required for life and godliness" so that we can escape "the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires." That's here and now. You have eternal life right now. That is an amazing thought.

As you go through this week and face all the consequences of a world filled with "evil desires", I encourage you to remember that you have everything required for life and godliness, right here, right now. That doesn't mean that you will never fall. However, it does mean that we are no longer slaves to sin. As Romans 8:1-2 says, we have been set free from sin and death. What a "very great and precious promise!"

This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.
John 17:3

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