His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness 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 and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 1:3-4
This verse talks about all that God has made available to us. Did you ever stop to think about this? Why has the Lord given us all of these great gifts?
“He loves me. He wants to bless me. He’s given me these promises.” ME, ME, ME!
That’s not the way it is. It’s not all about me. Listen to how this is written.
His divine power has given US everything WE need…through OUR knowledge of him who called US…he has given US his…promises, so that YOU (this is in the plural form) may participate in the divine nature…
This is about us as a body. When Peter says that we may participate in the divine nature; it literally says that we are fellowshippers in the divine nature.
What is the divine nature? It’s God’s way of doing things. Growth by germination. Planting, sprouting, growing, and bearing fruit. This can’t happen if I try to do it all on my own. I need the body of Christ. Only then can I escape the ruin that’s happening in the world.
God wants us to walk in a new nature. This only happens when I connect where God wants me in His Body. Only then will I experience the best He has for me.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The real question is; do we want to walk in the resurrection power of Christ? If so, there’s only one path to get there. I have to participate, fellowship, in sharing His suffering. This is the death process that my old man must go through.
It literally says that I have to take on the same form as His death. It doesn’t sound pleasant or convenient, but the result is worth it. The way Paul puts it, he wants to somehow – any way and at any cost – arrive at the resurrection power of the Lord.
But what will it take to accomplish this? Do you think that there’s any way to identify with Christ while ignoring His body on earth? Absolutely not! Fitting into the body of Christ plays a big role in conforming us to the image of Jesus.
Please realize that the suffering he’s talking about is not physical pain. It’s an internal discomfort to the flesh – our old sin nature. That’s why we need the church.
The growth doesn’t happen when the world revolves around me. But in the local church I need to think of the needs of others. I have to learn, by the Spirit, to be in unity with some people who are not like me. They might not think like me. There might even be some that I don’t like or, God forbid, that don’t like me.
It’s in the church that we grow together. We see things in us that need the work of the Holy Spirit to perfect. We learn about the grace of God operating in us. We find our giftings and callings.
Don’t take a light view of the fellowship we share. Without it we’ll never reach our greatest potential.
Question: How has fellowship with others changed your life for the better?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015