by Roland W. Keith
To discuss the divine nature of God it is best to first define what we mean by the word nature in this context. According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary nature is “the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing.” In other words, it is the essence of the person— what makes him, him or her, her.
According to the Bible God is love (John 3:16), He is righteous (John 17:25; Acts 3:14; Romans 1:17), He is just (Luke 18:7-8), and He is forgiving (Ephesians 4:32). All of these attributes of God, among others, we find in man also, but only because God made us in His image. However, where man often falls short in exercising these qualities God’s actions always perfectly reflect His nature. It is because of the fallen condition of man that we often fail to recognize these Godly qualities for what they are, and perhaps more accurately, why we resist them.
According to John: “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:11-12). When God manifested Himself as a man, one of perfect character, those literally trained in the word of God failed to discern Who He was. In fact, many claimed He had a demon (John 8:48-49, 52; 10:20-21), and sought to kill Him (Matthew 26:4). Yet, for those who did believe in Him a great honor was in store, as Paul wrote: “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise (Galatians 3:26-29; see also I John 3:1-3).
For those who trust in God comes the privilege of being seen as righteous in the sight of God, as innocent on the day of judgment, through the blood of His Son. Even so, for those who reject God His judgment will come down upon them in all its holy wrath (II Peter 2:4-6).
In order for man to be seen as righteous Jesus lowered Himself from His exalted position, taking on the form of man to pay the debt of sin all men have incurred (Hebrews 2:9-10). It is through His actions and sacrifice that all who will come to Him and confess His name (Romans 10:9), will be saved. We will, in fact, be allowed to share in His divine nature.
We were ransomed with the blood of Christ, and those of us who conduct ourselves in the fear of God and are obedient to the truth, and who model ourselves, as best we can, after the divine nature will be given a place in His eternal kingdom (I Peter 1:17-23). In his second letter Peter wrote, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (II Peter 1:3-4).
When one believes that Jesus is the Christ and suffered on the cross for us how can that person not determine to live according to the will of God (I Peter 4:1-2)? As Paul told Timothy we should be willing to suffer as a good soldier for the cause of Christ, not only to honor God, but also, on a personal level, to receive the promises He has made to those who obey Him (II Timothy 2:3-7). Since sending His Son to earth two thousand years ago God has exercised great patience toward mankind (II Peter 3:8-9), but He will not always strive with man (Genesis 6:3). Each of us has an appointed day to die and thereafter to face judgment (II Corinthians 5:10).
For those of us who study the word of God with open hearts we discover the prophecies concerning these things to be well-confirmed. Undeniably so. Reaching all the way back to Old Testament times we find God’s word to be the attested truth, born out over many centuries by many proofs and the eyewitness accounts of some forty men (II Peter 1:19-21). The Old Testament accounts led us to Jesus and His gospel, which leads us to God’s grace, to faith, and to salvation as set forth in the New Testament (I Peter 2:22-23).
It is in the gospel and the other inspired scriptures that we learn of God’s plan to redeem us through His Son. It is an amazing story of redemptive love and grace wherein mankind is touched by the divine and allowed henceforth to dwell within His light as members of His body.
Please join me next week as we continue our study of the divine nature of God and how each of us can experience and share in it.
Hi! I'm Roland. I began writing after retiring from the Navy in 2015. I believe that we each should strive to learn from one another, by sharing our thoughts and ideas. As a writer my goal is to help other seekers of truth to find and grow in Christ.