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Exceeding Promises / Partakers of His Divine Nature
(child thread of FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith series begun by RandyP )
kjv@2Peter:1:4 @ Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,...
We are going to be getting in to the consideration of the massive corruption of this world that we are all plagued by shortly; the things in particular now that we are Christians that have been corrupting our better intentions and decisions and establishments etc... To best understand this ugly matter we really need to have a familiarity with the Divine Nature that is supposed to be partaken of in Christ; promised to have been made available. Without the contrast of light and dark it is hard to explain further where we are at in the transition one to the other as participating "like precious" believers.
Note: There is an overwhelming amount of scripture needing to be provided here, so where appropriate key foundations have been broken off into digestible pieces. It will become more and more important to keep coming back to these foundations and explore each morsel's greater depth and individual context as they will become the fuel that ignites true spiritual productivity. These pieces then can be used as element specific study/meditation tools.
1. Precious Promises
Quoted resource: strongs 'G5093'
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Quoted resource: torrey 'Promise'
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Note: The more practical aspects of "partaking" of this divine nature will be studied in the second part of this foundational series ApplicationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith. Please take this time to become familiar with this precise divine nature before attempting to partake of it. For now, let it suffice to acquaint ourselves with the topic of abiding in Christ (see: Chapter study kjv@John:15 or sl[kjv@John:15] ).
3. Divine Nature
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As Peter's choice of words is mostly unique to the epistles, I would like to expand the context out to the broader similitudes:
Quoted resource: torrey 'Holiness of God'
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Doctrinal Context: Covenant
(see: Topical study TorreyCovenant or slidy:TorreyCovenant )
Quoted resource: torrey 'Covenant,'
There are two conceivable natures that can be partaken of by any of us at any time, that which is manufactured by self, that which is the direct and substantial produce of God. Throughout the Old Testament men have been proven over and over to have operated from the nature that he himself is quite able and willing to manufacture; this being evident even (or shall we say especially) in their religious endeavors. If one thing can be emphatically stated about man from the Covenant of the Law it would be that man (all men) are utterly incapable of manufacturing even the slightest resemblance of fulfilling the intents of said Law. This is despite his good intention and moral conscience, despite his zeal and obsessive effort. This despite an inbred preference for wanting to earn his justification with God based upon good deeds and works rather than a pure reliance upon God's merciful grace. This manufactured lack of partaking is not just an Old Testament thing either. Thankfully we have the examples in the New Testament of men and women such as Peter to look to observe what is better intended.
In order to be able to partake of such a divine nature as suggested, avoiding any self generated guesswork or possible human corruption, one must be able to discern the dividing line between what he himself is manufacturing and what the truer divine source is actually projecting. What better way to know the nature of what is being divinely projected first and foremost than by the covenant promises made emphatically and unconditionally by the divine source from the very beginning on through to their complete fulfillment in Christ Jesus the author and finisher of spiritually regenerated "like precious" faith. If to partake of His divine nature then to partake of all of the nature that the covenant promises project about who He is and what for us He is meant to be.
- VirtuousFaith - Is there in us the faith and courage to see things as we likely have not seen them before, not as we would rather manufacture, but as Father Son and Spirit would mercifully project? Is there the confident belief and trust in God's Word, HIS covenant promises exceeding and great, substantial enough to produce valiant actions derived from HIS resource rather than our own? Is there the vigorous and manly compulsion to know our LORD by what He has promised Himself to be even if that is to mean us thinking much less of ourselves in order to be the more driven by Him?
- KnowledgeableVirtue - Is there the courage to know better where the dividing line of human self and divine nature lay? To know that this is the particular path is the way for me to go today for it is not the path (without His promises) I would have myself manufactured? Is this thing I am about to do being done because of what I know about myself or because of what I confidently know about my blessed Savior Jesus? What is it that I know about my Savior and how do I go about knowing more than I presently do about Him?
- TemperateKnowledge - What is the best thing to know this Jesus by? by what you think Him to be? what you want Him to be? or by what He in sincere and longstanding relationship with me has revealed Himself to be starting with His covenant promises? Has He promised that by partaking of His divine nature that we will be as gods, knowing good and evil? or that He will be our God and we His people?
- PatientTemperance - In the performance of HIS covenant promises God has been both extremely temperate and extremely patient. Now that the lion's share of the promise has been fulfilled God remains temperate and patient for us to get on board with the saving and sanctifying aspects of what has already been and what remains to be performed. Can we be just as patient and temperate with the all important processes at work by Him as He has been and continues to be with us? To partake of His divine nature is to also partake of His divine patience!
- GodlyPatience - There is a form of godliness it is said that denies the power thereof. Judging by our frequent nature of being beset by so much, I gather it is this godliness the majority of us Christians. It surely is not by God's divine nature that our supposed godly nature has become so powerless (especially against all that still besets us), it is by our frequent lack of partaking in His. Shall we be patient with this powerless form of godliness any longer? Shall we rather become all the more powerfully patient in His?
- BrotherlyGodliness - Is our kindness for others in likeness to the kindness shown us by God (God Likeness)? Is it a projection of our developing immersive relationship with HIM or else our rush to get our own answers and doings done?
- AgapeBrotherliness - Is our rush toward our own answers and doings worth putting (for the time being perhaps) aside to get someone else closer to theirs? If not, why not? Could God be steering the attainment of our answers toward the personal sacrifice involved in helping others to obtain theirs?
Given the tendencies of the carnal mind, "exceeding great and precious promises" are going to be taken an entirely different direction than spiritually intended. The modern thought for Christians is to cherry pick scriptural promises to personally "claim" over their personal finances or health or career successes or entanglements etc... There are lists of such promises compiled for every desired outcome conceivable. Note that is not the current practice to suffer the process of transformation of our financial habits, only to be somehow extracted immediately from the consequences of such continuing habits; it is a seeking of deliverance from consequences not deliverance from substantive and habitual cause. Such a consideration makes the meaning of promise neither great nor precious nor even effectual, only self serving.
Rather, the concept of promise is first and foremost the promise of there being one Jesus the Christ provided to all righteous means and ends by the Holy Father, fully established, fully confirmed, fully anointed to be such. This consideration is of a singular and massive promise both exceeding great and precious by which all sub-promises following are inherent and due to His nature becoming more and more an influence upon and therefore part of us. The promise instead is that we would be by grace mercifully be given opportunity to "partake of His/Christ's divine nature", which is to mean under direct influence and the transformation of His character and will. There are many that would be willing to claim any number of His promises, but few that would place themselves under the tremendous life transformations of His sincerest acquaintance.
It is this acquaintance and partaking that is sought by those of the "like precious" faith. It is this which becomes their abiding productivity towards spiritual abundance.
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