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August 21, 2016

"PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE"

TEXT: 2 Peter 1: 1-4
READING:
 John 3: 1-21

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SUBJ: The miraculous work of regeneration and the manner in which it is manifested to and in believers as being of divine origin and manifesting Christ in us.

AIM: That we might cultivate both the knowledge and experience of an identity completely foreign that of this present world.

INTR: It is incumbent upon us that we oft repeat the words of our Lord to Nicodemus, “ye must be born again,” and that we take note of the necessity for it in the various ways it is proven to exist and to honor the Lord. See 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1:2-3
1. So it is that we note here and in other of Peter’s writing his alluding to that character that is so produced in us as having the image of Christ clearly marked thereon.
2. And, that we realize that no work of men apart from regeneration is ever accepted with God and that indeed the very persons of men are rejected apart from this mysterious operation of the Spirit.
3. We approach such a passage as this for fear that, like other essential topics this one should be taken for granted and that we become dulled to this precious truth and experience.

THESIS: Regeneration, the New Birth, is indispensable and essential to all that is acceptable to the Lord and so repentance, faith and all that pertains to the life with God comes as a result of it and so we must be born again.

I. The Writer and those addressed (vv. 1-2)
1. It is important that the credibility of witnesses be established and Peter is careful to establish his as a matter of service to those addressed including us.
2. It is of interest to note that this last writing of Peter contains some insights to his thinking here.
1) He uses both his given name and that given him by our Lord as he remembered some early experiences in which he personally grew in the knowledge of his Lord.
2) Like Paul, he does not hesitate to use the term servant (literally slave) as he saw himself as the possession of Christ
3) Furthermore, he acknowledges the appointment and commissioning as an Apostle and would, no doubt, accredit the grace of God in it all – no apology here.
3. It is of no little importance that he describes the faith as to:
1) Its value – precious
2) Its source – The righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ
i. The righteousness of God with regard to His holiness and the requirement of it enforced on men and
ii. Of Jesus Christ our Lord who obeyed unto death the will of the Father in satisfying the sin debt of all who come unto God by Him.
3) Common faith – “like precious faith…”
i. The once delivered faith of Jude and
ii. The same that was the possession of Peter and the other Apostles.
4. To them who have obtained (the word implies by lot or in other words that it came to them as a result of something outside of them). The emphasis here is that they did not self-generate!

II. The comforting revelation (vv. 3-4)
1. For all that is required of believers, His power has provided all
1) This is more than the common provisions that fall to the just and the unjust
2) It is rather was is needed to fully participate in the risen life and the godliness it contains
2. Of particular importance here is the manner in which it is realized:
1) It is through the knowledge of Him as set forth in the Gospel
i. It is impossible to properly serve One whose person we do not know and
ii. Whose work of salvation we do not understand.
2) It would seem to be further implied that we would understand a personal communication of calling unto glory (that is to glorify Him) and virtue (wherein the nature is displayed).
3. The effect of which is “great and precious promises.”
1) Consider: For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Corinthians 1:20.
2) That these and that associated with “glory and virtue” assure a wondrous future both near and far.
4. Partakers of the not just a standing but of a new life that is infinitely distinct from this world.
1) Consider: But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1 Corinthians 1:30 and witness that all these things are first seen in Christ and
2) That we then are made to experience and participate with Him in all these things.
5. It is on this foundation that true character is built – see vv. 5-8