‘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 in the world caused by evil desires’ 2Peter 1.4
During my youth certain people made much of the words, ‘partakers of the divine nature’ to describe the quality of our being in the Christian life. But they were ‘way-off’ in their application of the text. They had themselves believe that one became like God as a legalist who applied the Ten Commandments to themselves with Jesus’ help. The implication, though never stated, was that God was a Giant Law-Monger.
The notion that the Mosaic law was a description of God’s character was and is fairly common throughout the Christian church – even though Jesus Christ was and is the Real and the One expression of God. This reductionism has had the effect of normalising religiosity as an ideology, a belief system or an intellectualised project when the reality is better than this. The Kingdom of God is the person of Jesus Christ.
Christ in you is both the hope and the reality of your personal glory and the glory of the human race. Christ your life is who you are and His fellowship in the trinity is your fellowship. You are part of the being of God and in fellowship with God. ‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV. Christ has appeared and come in our flesh. At Pentecost Christ appeared to incarnate Himself by the Spirit in all who believe. He is in you now. By fellowshipping with Him in your life and in your being you change from a false self in Adam’s mold to your real self as an expression of Jesus.
NO POVERTY MENTALITY
Let’s be clear. All that is – the entire existence - is not to be reduced to the law. All that is – the logos - the fabric of the universe and ourselves is not reduced to anything. IT’S NOT REDUCED. It finds its glorious fulfilment in the Christ of God. This is the alpha and omega of existence – the ‘before all things’ that is Jesus Christ and the trinity. The fact is that you are a participant in the divine nature. You are woven into God and God is woven into you. Richard Rohr observes that..
“Many of the fathers of the church believed in an actual ontological, metaphysical, objective union between humanity and God, which alone would allow Jesus to take us “back with him” into the life of the Trinity (John 17:23–24, 14:3, 12:26). This was how real “participation” was for many in the early church. It changed people and offered them their deepest identity and form (“trans-formation”). We had thought our form was merely human, but Jesus came to tell us that our actual form is human-divine, just as he is. He was not much interested in proclaiming himself the exclusive or exclusionary son of God, but he went out of his way to communicate an inclusive sonship and daughterhood to the crowds. Paul uses words like “adopted” (Galatians 4:5) and “coheirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) to make the same point.” (1)
Fellowship in the trinity is yours because you are a person. God is not some place else, some ‘sacred’ time that excludes ordinary time. God is in you and with you. There is no separation since Christ Jesus came in the flesh. He is in you now and God in His fullness dwells in you.
Brought to view here is the ultimate identity of each of us and of all who believe or do not believe. We participate by believing. When we agree with God that we belong and that we share with Jesus both fellowship and nature with the trinity we are encouraged and equipped with spirit and life to be who we are: The sons and daughters of God.
We participate in the divine nature when we agree with what God believes about our ‘belonging’ in the divine nature. We are in Jesus and we and our Father are one.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self . SPCK. Kindle Edition.