Theosis: Partaking of the Divine nature
May 19, 2019
Partaking of the Divine nature
With Bishop Ronald K. Powell
To be a partaker of the divine nature means that the characteristics of God’s nature become my own – through His creating work in me!
God’s nature, or divine nature, is perfectly pure and it cannot be tempted by evil.
We are promised that we can be partakers of the divine nature by fleeing the corruption in the world that comes through our lusts.
As we gradually overcome our sinful human nature it is replaced by divine nature – God shares His own nature with us.
As our natural reactions to the situations we meet in life are overcome, the works of the flesh, such as envy, pride, malice, and greed, are replaced by the fruit of the Spirit.
In other words, reacting with love, humility, goodness, joy, etc. becomes our very nature. This is what it means that we can partake of divine nature. This is the process of sanctification.
2 Peter 1:2–4
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the 3corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Corinthians 2:17
17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
1 John 3:2–3
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is 2a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Love Fulfills the Law
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
It isn’t something that I do in my own strength, this refers to a person who is attempting to put to death their sinful desires without help from God; not sinning by sheer strength of will.
Some people may manage this to some degree, but ultimately it is impossible to … It is a creating work that God does in me; a miracle! Then it really becomes noticeable that my actions, motives, and purpose in life become divine – they are far above what is “normal” for people.
The result of God working this miracle in me – through my obedience to the faith, and the power of the Holy Spirit – is that God’s thoughts, which are so much higher than my thoughts, as the heavens are high above the earth – become my thoughts!
Closing & Prayer
The fact that God can accomplish such an amazing feat in me as a normal, natural human being, one who is thoroughly ingrained with the tendency to sin, is so amazing that I will praise, honor, and glorify Him for all eternity for what He has saved me from. Then my life, the new creation, will truly bring honor and glory to God. This is the living hope that I have, what I fight for, what I live for, and what my eyes are firmly fixed on.