By Bob Hoekstra
By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature . . . Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law . . . that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (2 Peter 1:4 and Galatians 3:13-14)
Here, we get at the heart of God's "exceedingly great and precious promises." By means of promise, the Lord has made it possible for us to share in His life: "that through these [God's promises] you may be partakers of the divine nature."
What a remarkable prospect this is - that man could participate in the divine nature. Yet, the promises of God make this available to man. Of course, this does not mean that man becomes divine (as many false religions and some aberrant theologies espouse). God alone is, and will ever be, divine. "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me" (Isaiah 46:9). Nonetheless, man can share in the life of God, even though he will never become "a god" himself. This is accomplished by Jesus Christ coming to dwell within the lives of those who believe in Him. The Lord Jesus died for us that He might give life to us. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life" (John 6:47). This life that Jesus wants to share with us is His own life. "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life' . . . Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life' " (John 11:25 and 14:6).
The Apostle Paul taught this great truth extensively. "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 1:1). He understood that his apostolic ministry was not only anchored in God's will, but it also depended upon the life that God promised. Thus, he confessed Christ as his very own life: "Christ who is our life" (Colossians 3:4). Paul was not the source of the daily Christian life that he lived. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). The Lord Jesus was Paul's life source.
This is what the promise of the Spirit is about. "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law . . . that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." At new birth, the Holy Spirit also comes to indwell those who believe. The Spirit reveals these truths to us through the word of God. Then, the Spirit pours forth the life of Christ through every humble, dependent child of God. "It is the Spirit who gives life" (John 6:63).
Lord Jesus, thank You for making Your life available to me. What a precious promise that is! Teach me to walk according to Your Spirit, that Your life might be expressed through my life day by day, Amen.