2 Peter 1, Psalm 142


My seminary education culminated when at a graduation ceremony I walked on a stage to receive a diploma certifying receipt of a “Masters of Divinity”. While working towards this diploma I would regularly tell people I was “mastering the divinie.” If I were not being transparently ridiculous, it would have been sacrilegious. God is alone divine, and there is no mastering the Master of all things. Peter says something peculiar and hotly contested about divinity in our passage. Due to the actualization of the promises of God we are now able to “participate in the divine nature”. (2 Peter 4:4) What does it mean to participate in the divine nature? It means many things. First, Christ is in us through the Holy Spirit and now In Jesus we are seated at the right hand of God like Paul has already taught us. But to be a participant in the divine nature seems to imply that while remaining distinct from God, our being found in Christ makes some alteration of who we are in essence. As temples of the Holy Spirit, we are no longer ruled by sin's power, nor are we incapable of having genuine fellowship with God. We do not become divine, but our natures are altered by the divine as we are made into new images of God, through Christ. Though Peter is using different language than Paul, and this verse has been used to blur the lines between Creator and creation, we can appreciate how beautifully these words convey God's transformation in our lives. Because of this great renewal, we are to, “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. (2 Peter 2:5-7) Our radical change by the power of Christ is the impetus for us to walk in the goodness God expects for all that have been mastered by the divine.