THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 1-10-10
LESSON TITLE: “EXCEEDINGLY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES: PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE”
“I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good,” Oh, what glorious words the Psalmist proclaimed here as one who loved and cherished His God! Isn’t it wonderful to come together this morning for the very same purpose, “to praise Him,” our God, “for His name is good?” Thank you for joining us today for this time of Worship to our Creator.
I am glad you are with us this morning and thank God you have made the right decision to give this time to your God. I look forward to our time spent together today as we sing praises to the Almighty and as we study from His matchless Word! This morning, I know we will all be edified through our time spent together. So let’s all do our part to make this time profitable before God!
At this time, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Now it is time to join in our songs of praise for the morning. Let me first ask, “How much do you love Jesus?” Hopefully this song will help us all to express how much we care. So, won’t you participate with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “My Jesus I Love Thee?”
(SONG # 1)
A beautiful song which we sing says, “Were part of the family, that’s been born again, part of the family, whose love knows no end, for Jesus has saved us and made us His own, were part of the family that’s on its way home.” Isn’t if great to be in the family of God? To have a Father like we do who loves us and cares so much. To have a king, brother and friend in Jesus Christ, who is also referred to as the husband of His Bride, the church? And you guessed it, as His followers we are the church and thus those who are under this loving savior. And then in the family we have each other, our fellow brethren. Can you imagine how lonely life and death would be without our earthly brethren?
I also love the chorus of the song mentioned above, as it goes on to say, “And sometimes we laugh together, sometimes we cry, sometimes we share together, heartaches and sighs, sometimes we dream together, of how it will be, when we all get to heaven, God’s Family.” Are you in this most precious of all families? The family of God!
Now think for a moment why one would want to be a part of such a family. Well, besides the obvious, consider with me the “Exceedingly Great and Precious Promises,” from our God. Our Creator has given us every reason and incentive to obey His Will. For those who are faithful are not only promised rewards today, but forever more.
With these things in mind, this morning we will begin a new series of study entitled, “Exceedingly Great and Precious Promises.” Our specific lesson of the day will be, “Partakers Of The Divine Nature.”
To lead us in these thoughts we are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us again. As most of you know, brother Jerry is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri, here in Springfield. We are excited to have brother Sullins with us and we look forward to him leading us in God’s word in just a few minutes.
But for now, let’s join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Nothing But The Blood.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I want to thank you for tuning in to “The Living Word” broadcast this morning and we are very thankful to have your presence in our audience and grateful to have the opportunity to come into your home for another study from God’s Holy Word. We’re aware of the fact that many people are shut in and are unable to go out on Sundays and to worship their God and we certainly are happy for this opportunity to provide you a way to study God’s Word and be admonished and be encouraged by His Word.
This begins a series of studies that we are discussing the precious promises of God.
Now I would like to start this series off by discussing the Divine Nature that is mentioned in 2 Peter chapter 1verses 1-4. Let us all read together these short passages. Peter says or scripture says, “Simon Peter a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the resurrection of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of our God and of Jesus our Lord as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue.” And then the verse under consideration for this morning, “By which have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the Divine Nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Throughout our lives we have probably thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to be like Jesus?” And we seek to be like Him because we are encouraged in the Word to be like Him, but more than that. There wasn’t a greater person that has ever lived on the face of this earth than Jesus Christ the Son of God. And all of us look for that perfect role model. Well Jesus indeed is that role model that we all seek to be like. We also not only want to be like Jesus, but we would like to partake of His Divine Nature not only in this life but certainly in the life to come. Now what is wonderful about all of this is that we have been given an opportunity to be partakers of that Divine Nature.
Again we see in verse 4 of 2 Peter chapter 1, “By which have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the Divine Nature.” So God has given us those great and precious promises that make it possible for us to not only enjoy being like and having the Divine Nature of Jesus and God the Father on this earth, but also being able to enjoy those precious promises as they will be fulfilled in that day when Jesus comes again.
God has made possible our salvation. In 1 Peter chapter 1 verses 18-19 there the scripture says that we are not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold and all of those ways that the Gentiles lived and the way that people lived according to traditions of men. We’re not redeemed by those things. But it says in verse 19, “But with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.” We are purchased by the blood of Christ as it stated in Acts 20 verse 28. So God has made it possible and He has promised that He will redeem us with the blood of Christ.
He has revealed that plan to us and no doubt we see that that is true as we read in verse 3 of 2 Peter chapter 1 where it says, “As His Divine Power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” So He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness! We lack nothing to know what we need to do to obey the gospel, to be a partaker of that Divine Nature. So we can be saved and “God is not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance,” is also found in this great book or great letter of 2 Peter chapter 3 verse 9.
Well what does it take to be a partaker of the Divine Nature? We might ought to consider that because many people might be asking themselves that question because wouldn’t it be great to be like God and to enjoy those promises or at least to know of those promises and that if we obey then we know we will have those promises not only fulfilled in our life in this existence, but in the life to come?
So how do we become partakers of those? Well the scripture says here in 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 4, right at the end of that verse it says, “Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” So in order for us to be a part of that Divine Nature, we have to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Now John mentioned this in 1 John chapter 2 verses 15-17 where he said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but of the world.” It goes on to say that, “He who does those things,” or “who entertains of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, these things are of the world and they will pass away, but he who does the Will of God will abide forever.” Will live forever!
Well now there is one of those great and precious promises. So what does that mean? Well it means simply this. There is no way that we can be partakers of the Divine Nature if we are still involving ourselves in those things of the world that have corrupted us. Now that seems logical to me. How could we claim to be a partaker of the Divine Nature, in that the Divine Nature is one that does not lie, if we continue to lie? How can we claim to be a partaker of the Divine Nature since we know the Divine Nature would not in any sense consider the lust of the flesh? Jesus didn’t. He lived sinless before all mankind. He didn’t entertain or have anything to do or fulfill His desires in the lust of the flesh because that is sin.
And so how can we claim if we are out committing adultery and doing other things, how could we claim to be a part of that Divine Nature? Those things must be put away! The soul must be purified. The scripture tells us how the soul can be purified. Does it involve knowledge? Well certainly it does! Because we have to know what God’s Will is for us.
I also call your attention to 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 20 where it says, and again the same thought is given here as we just stated about escaping the things of this world. The apostle Peter said in 2 Peter chapter 2 verse 20, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they are again entangled in them and overcome. The latter end is worse than the beginning.” So if someone has escaped the corruption of this world wanting to be a part and having the Divine Nature of God, it is possible for them to forsake that goal that they have put in their lives to be partakers of the Divine Nature and put on the old man again, the old man of sin. But the important thing is the way we escape it is through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And what a great knowledge it is to know that God loved us so much as we have already said that He gave His Son that we who believe and obey His Will would have an opportunity to have a part of the Divine Nature. It’s great to know that! And with that comes these wonderful, great and precious promises.
Well Peter goes on to say in 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 22 that, “It is necessary for a man to be saved and it is possible for a man to have his soul purified.” There Peter said, “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the Truth in the sincere love of the Spirit, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently.” Now the first part of that verse is this. “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the Truth. We must obey the Truth!
There’s a plan! Jesus had a plan. He was a man who had a plan for our salvation and He taught us how we can purify our souls. That is to be saved! Did He not? We, all of us who are Christians, believe that Jesus had a plan. We just don’t agree sometimes on the plan. Well let’s hear what Jesus had to say. What was His plan? He said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John chapter 8 verse 24) So we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He said, “Confess Me before men and I will confess you before My Father who is in Heaven.” That is stated in Matthew 10:32. He said that we must repent. “Except you repent, you will perish.” (Luke 13) Now most Christian people would say, “Well that’s great. That’s exactly what I believe. We’ve got to do all of those things and accept by faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He will save us.” Well that’s not all of the plan, my friend! For Jesus Himself said in Mark 16 verse 16 when He gave the Great Commission, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Before He made that statement, He told His disciples to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” So it is baptism that puts us into Christ. It certainly does as is stated in the scripture. We are buried in the likeness of His death that we shall also be raised in the likeness of His resurrection which is stated there in Romans 6 verses 3 and 4. “Therefore we are buried by baptism into His death.” So the statement is made. In fact even Peter said in 1 Peter 3:21, “The like figure were unto even baptism does also now save us.”
Now is there any way on earth that we can become a recipient of those great and precious promises and is there any way that we can be those who are saved unless we have obeyed the gospel? Certainly we cannot in anyway expect to partake of the Divine Nature unless we have obeyed the gospel. So one who obeys God’s Truth is born again. This is the birth that Jesus spoke of to Nicodemus in John chapter 3. “Except you be born of the water and the Spirit you cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” (John chapter 3 verse 5)
Now as we look at being partakers of that Divine Nature, let us look just for a few moments as to how do we know we are actually partakers of that Divine Nature? How can we tell that we have partaken of that Divine Nature? Well it is simply this. Our attitude has a lot to do with it. What is your attitude toward doing what God asked you to do and what God wants you to do. “Not everyone that says unto Me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the Will of My Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) So we must do the Will of our Father who is in Heaven.
And so as we seek to partake of the Divine Nature as is stated here in 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 4, how is it manifested in our lives? How do we see that we are doing this? How can we tell that we are actually demonstrating this in our lives? Well I believe we go right back to 2 Peter again where he said beginning in verse 5, “For this very reason, give all diligence,” that is make every effort, “to add to your faith virtue, virtue knowledge,” and it goes on to say, “to knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness love, for if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, but he who lacks these things is shortsighted even to blindness and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his old sins.” And so when someone looks at my life… By the way we do observe one another’s lives. If they see I am adding these Christian virtues to my life, then they say, “That man must be trying to follow Christ. That person is really striving to be a part of the Divine Nature and is demonstrating it in his life.”
Well what about your diligence in keeping saved? Peter also said in 2 Peter 1 verse 10, “Therefore brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling an election sure for if you do these things you shall never fail.” So there is something that we have to do to be showing the Divine Nature is within us.
When we strive to keep from sinning and abstaining from those fleshly lusts which wore against the soul which is also found in God’s Holy Word in 1 Peter chapter 2 verse 11. When we have a deep and abiding respect for the Word of God, well certainly that would show that we are wanting those great and precious promises to such a degree that we are going to respect God’s Word and we’re going to do what we can to put His Word in use in our lives. When we have a great delight in the fact that a person is God’s child, that is we understand we are the people of God and that the way we behave ourselves and the way we present ourselves to the world is so important, then people can say, “That man or that lady is truly a Christian and they’re striving to respect God and to do His Will and they want to be like God in their lives because it’s demonstrated.”
Now when we recognize the importance of wearing the name Christian and what it should mean to us which means basically a follower of Christ, then that means we seek to be a part of that nature that Christ had while He was upon the face of this earth. What a wonderful thing it is for us to strive to be like Christ in every way that we can as the apostle Paul said, “Be imitators of me as I am also of Jesus Christ.” And when we determine in our hearts and our lives that we want to do everything we can to be prepared for that time when Jesus comes again then surely we are observing in our lives and demonstrating in our lives that preparedness and we are partakers of that Divine Nature.
So I call your attention again to the scripture, “As His Divine Power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue by which have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the Divine Nature.”
Now I hope that as we have looked at these scriptures today that it will cause us to want to do everything in our lives to be more like Jesus, to commit our lives and our hearts to demonstrating that so that others may see how we are and how we love Him and how we want to do His Will. May God bless you?
(SONG # 3 - “Peace, Perfect Peace!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Isn’t it great to know that we have hope in this life and in the life to come, because of the precious promises of God? Are you living today, so that your hopes of tomorrow will come to pass as God has Willed?