The Divine Nature

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Daily Reformation, 2 Peter 1:2-10

From the Reformer

…the declaration comes from heaven saying: “True you are a holy man, a great and learned jurist, a conscientious regent, a worthy prince, an honorable citizen, and so on, but with all your authority and your upright character you are going to hell; your every act is offensive and condemned in God’s sight. If you would be saved you must become an altogether different man; your mind and heart must be changed.”

—Martin Luther, Sermons, “Enemies of the Cross of Christ”

Pulling It Together

We are meant to have a divine makeup—not merely this one of the flesh. Promises have been made so that we can have this better nature—that we may partake in “the kind of power that pertains to life and godliness.” (Luther’s Works, vol 30) Yet this better nature comes by a knowledge of the divine. The world has it in reverse. The world says: study and work and you may be great and find God. Jesus says, Here I am. Know me. The Church says: First meet Christ and then you may aspire to be like the One you have met. Yet, one cannot study and find God or deprive oneself and find her Maker. God has already revealed himself to us. Only the arrogant are so blind that they cannot see. The simplest child and the humblest of the mentally disabled perceive the truth. They simply and happily receive. The wise of this world think they can work to gain the One who has already freely given himself.

If you want to receive a new nature, be sure it is the One your Maker intended for you. Put on Christ (Rom 13:14, Gal 3:27) and thereby, set terms for a Christlike nature. This is the promise that many Christians are afraid to put to the test. Christians (by definition, those who are Christlike) can be like Jesus. They dismiss this with the claim that no one can be like God. Yet, we were created a little lower than than the heavenly beings and crowned…with glory and honor (Psa 8:5), and are made in God’s own image (Gen 1:26). Is it such a stretch to imagine that we are actually to be like Christ, “becom[ing] partakers in the divine nature”? How might this be accomplished? What steps would a Believer take to grow into the clothing she has put on? Verses five, six, and seven provide the answer.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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