One of the marvels of the Bible is the whole story of Jesus becoming one of us. Even though he shared equality with God, he willingly gave up that privilege to become a man and even as a man he humbled himself to become a servant, a servant who would pay the highest price for us by going to the cross. In Hebrews 2:14-15 it says, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Jesus retained his deity while living among us as a man, but he took on the fullness of humanity and felt our pains, fears, weariness and hurts. As a result, he can sympathize with our weakness and be a faithful and merciful high priest in service to God. Because he suffered, he is able to help those who are suffering or being tempted.
But there is another side to this whole point that is amazing. In 2 Peter 1;3-4 God had Peter to share this truth with us: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world caused by evil desires.” It’s phenomenal just to think of the divine power giving us all that we need for living a godly life in this world. Far too often we allow our desires or wants in life to cloud our grasp of the reality of God’s provisions for us. Notice he gives those through our knowledge of him, who called us to glory and goodness. The more I know the Lord in my life the more secure I am in facing the cares and struggles of life. God has a calling for us all. It isn’t just some work he wants us to accomplish. He calls us to glory and goodness. Too often, it seems to me, our feeling of God’s call centers totally on our actions. We have some mission we are being called to. Wouldn’t it be great if we could feel God’s call to be good and to share in his glory as his child?
It’s through that goodness and glory that he has given us his great and precious promises in this life. If you read through this whole chapter you would quickly see tons of great promises God has given to us as his children. I suspect all of them, including being fruitful, never falling and an abundant entrance into his eternal kingdom is in view. But closer than these is the promise, that through his promises we can participate in his divine nature.
The truth is there are tons of ways one might consider what is involved in this divine nature that we can be participants in. But, I suspect Peter is more focused than that. It seems far more likely that the divine nature he is discussing is the graces that we are challenged to make every effort to add to our faith in Jesus. God’s nature or Jesus nature is one of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. That divine nature isn’t just something poured down on us from above when we turn from the ways of sin and corruption. It is what we are motivated to keep on supplying in our life by remembering his tremendous promises to us.
His point isn’t that we should get as much faith as needed then to work on goodness until we have it accomplished, then to seek knowledge. It is that we are constantly adding or supplying these things in our life for God. As we develop these traits we are participating in the divine nature, becoming more like Jesus all the time and developing godliness. If we begin to struggle with our growth in these aspects of God’s nature, we need to remember his promises that should forever move us to become more like him. God had Jesus to take on our nature. Now he encourages us to take on his nature so we can be more like him all the time and share his glory and presence constantly.