As we finish our study in 2 Peter, let’s read one more time through this passage.
2 Peter 1:3-9
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 in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Our human default is corruption and brokenness. The modern church preaches often about our broken nature. But most people are aware of their failings and feel a longing that there must be more. In the church to combat the corruption and brokenness, we have tried to legislate behavior. If that was what worked, then Jesus would have worked with Caesar not fisher men.
- In what ways have you seen the church try to regulate or legislate behavior?
- How have you seen this not work?
- Think back when you were a teenager… were there ever any rules about behavior that did not really change the way you were or the way you thought?
The truth is that it was never about behavior. It was always about the heart. When we are connected to the living God, we are transformed from human nature to divine nature.God made us divine. However, we are not God but we look a lot like God when we engage to Jesus.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
- When you hear the phrase divine nature, what comes up for you?
- Do you believe you have a divine nature?
- Why or why not?
2 Peter 1:4
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.
Every day we are participating in the divine nature. How we participate is our choice. Imagine you are participating as if it were a game. Some of you play it as the disappointed critic. Some of you play to win. Some of you watch from the sidelines. How we participate determines how we live in the here and now.
- How are you participating?
- Is the way you are participating dictated by your feelings?
Peter takes us through faith supplemented because it is our faith that changes how we participate in life and with the divine nature. It overcomes anything we are thinking or feeling. Faith trumps feelings.
- Where in your life have you seen faith trump your feelings?
Let’s go to Hebrews 11:1-3 to the quintessential passage on what faith is.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Faith makes things tangible. It allows us to take the temporary to the eternal. It gives us confidence and evidence. When we don’t have faith, we tend to hinder ourselves from what could be possible. Life dramatically opens up when we put our faith in God. The question ultimately is what are we putting our faith in? The Sunday school answer is Jesus. Most of us even as follower of Jesus do not do this because we have trusted the character of God. It’s through his promises that we can trust God.
The problem is there are promises that God has given that you may not even know yet. So this week and maybe the next month, why not learn his promises and test them out. The link below is a list of God’s promises. Learn them and put them to the test. Join the conversation about growing in our faith through God’s promises online with us on Facebook.