2021 – The Others
2 Peter 1
Partakers of the Divine Nature
We finished another of the “Other” books… Jude. It was fun being sweet pickles. But now it is time to tackle another “other” book in the New Testament which I have not preached… 2 Peter. It does have chapters; three. So, it will take a little longer than Jude… a couple months. I am feeling the progress. I can’t hang up my metaphors until I preach all the books in the New Testament. I’m getting closer.
I am feeling a bit like Peter in 2 Peter…
2 Peter 1:12-15 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able, at any time, to recall these things.
That is an amazing way to think. Knowing you are one day going to put off your body, in death, make every effort to leave behind something that the ones you love can recall. As long as you are alive, you should stir Others to remember the truths that you hold dear! That’s what I am doing… reminding you to stay established in the truth of God’s Word!
Let’s get to 2 Peter…
2 Peter is an odd book…
--It appears to be written by Peter. We just read a paragraph that sounds very much like it was Peter’s last will and testament. I think it was. But it appears from the style of the different kinds of Greek, and a later date, to have been finished by one of Peter’s disciples. It is like a lot of books which are started by one author but not finished until after the author’s death. It is kind of like the “Diary of Anne Frank”. Her diary was recovered after her death. It was later translated and printed by her family. That may have been what happened to 2 Peter. A disciple collected Peter’s writings after he was killed by Nero around 65 AD. This disciple edited his letter to send throughout the Roman Empire.
--2 Peter most likely used Jude. The material in Jude is used in 2 Peter chapter 2. One of the things Peter wants those to whom he is writing is the same point as Jude… Don’t let the sweet pickles be spoiled by perverting God’s grace.
--It is the only book in the New Testament to refer to another New Testament writer by name. Peter says Paul is hard to understand. I agree.
--2 Peter appears to be one of the first Christian attempts at “mass communication.” It would be the first “track”. You remember tracks. It is like a blog.
--It is one of the most eloquently written letters in the New Testament… Quote from BW3…
“To moderns like ourselves, on first glance the style of 2 Peter will mostly seem to be an example of a person overcome with the exuberance of his own verbosity, loving rare words, the coining of terms, solemn and sonorous and grandiloquent language and phrasing… There are some twenty-six metaphors in play in 2 Peter. In addition, we have a barrage of tropes: hyperbole, metonymy, synecdoche, and onomatopoeia… All of them remind us that this document was meant chiefly to be heard, not silently read. It is an oral document.”
--Ben Witherington III
2 Peter is an odd letter. Summarizing: written by Peter, the apostle, finished by unknown disciple, sometime after Peter’s death, an eloquent message to a wide-ranging audience of Christians.
This morning we are going to work through the first four verses. I think we are in for a treat. We are going to discover… “partakers of the divine nature”. Wow, this can change how we think about our lives as Christians.
2 Peter 1:1-4 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 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.
Let’s break down these verses into the components that point to what it means to be “partakers of the divine nature”. I liked our sweet pickles metaphor for Jude. Let’s pick another metaphor… a banquet metaphor. “Partakers” is a fellowship; hospitality; invitation; to a feast… kind of word. We are invited to be partakers of the divine Banquet!
Wow. I’m hungry already.
Seating at the Banquet Table: Faith of Equal Standing
In Bible times, where people were seated at the banquet table was important. How close you were to the host; who you sat beside; how far down the pecking order you were; all plugged into your honor. Remember what Jesus said…
Luke 14:10-11 “But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Here is the good news, sitting at the banquet of the divine nature places ordinary believers in places of honor. There is equal privilege; equal sitting with the apostles!
2 Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing (sitting) with ours by the justice of our God and Savior Jesus Christ!
In Christ, at his banquet table, there is no partiality or ranking of Christians, becauseall are equal in God’s justice. God has justly bestowed this faith equally on apostle and ordinary believer, alike; showing no partiality. There is no slave or free sitting at the table. There is no Jew or Other place-cards. There is no male nor female pecking order! All sit equally at the banquet table of the divine nature! All in Christ have an equal standing or sitting at the Table!
I want to participate in this banquet… But I’m still hungry.
Appetizer Course: Grace and Peace from Knowledge
2 Peter 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Knowledge of God; knowledge of Jesus, leads to our grace and peace being multiplied. The more we know God; the more we understand who God is; the more we connect to Jesus, as our Lord; the more we share it his grace… in his peace. This is an amazingly tasty appetizer.
--I want to learn to be more gracious. Well, learn more about the grace of God.
--I want to live in peace. Well, study the peace of Christ that passes all understanding.
-- I want to learn to cut others slack… then realize how much slack God has cut me.
--We learn to be a peaceful congregation, when we probe living in peace with Christ.
“Yes, that’s what I would like to order. I want a bowl of sweet-grace topped with glazed-peace for my appetizer.”
I’m liking the banquet metaphor… it’s delicious!
Main Course: Glorified Life
NLT 2 Peter 1:3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life.
When we think about God’s divine power, we normally think of God creating the universe; scattering stars across the galaxies. Or, we ponder the wonders of life on earth. Have I mentioned, lately, there are 350,000 identified species of beetles? Divine power in creation. Our main course is prepared by the same power that created the cosmos.
This divine power is serving, at the banquet table, a godly life. His power is giving us a life… like his. His power gives us everything we need to live like Jesus. Wow. I want to be Jesus in my life.
--I want to have the courage of compassion to hug a leper.
--I want to offer the same grace Jesus did to woman caught in adultery… “neither do I condemn you”.
--I want to be the one who washes the feet of Judas… a God-like humility.
--I want to speak words like Jesus did on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Father… Forgive…
That is what we eat at the banquet of divine nature. This is the meat.
But that is not all of the main course. Side dish…
ESV 2 Peter 1:3…through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence!
On our plate, beside our God-like life, is excellent glory!
We are called to join in the glory of God. I watched a lot of the Olympics over the past couple of weeks. Each time an athlete stood on the podium with a gold metal around their neck crying through the national anthem, there was glory. But that glory is nothing compared to his own excellent glory.
--Hugging a leper is a glory-filled experience.
--Speaking grace to a suffering person… is a glory raising attitude.
--The humility of washing the feet of a Judas… is the song of glory.
--Forgiving your enemy… is a Gold Medal performance.
The main course is… Living a God-like Life along with… a dish of excellent glory. I’m stuffed.
But I did leave a little room for dessert.
Desert Course: Precious Promises
NLT 2 Peter 1:4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises.
That same mighty power which created the universe AND changed my life also carries the promises of God. Look quickly at three promises we will discovery over the next several weeks...
2 Peter 1:11 For in this way, there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal (age-lasting) kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
--We are promised to be in the age lasting kingdom.
2 Peter 2:9 Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
--There is rescue and rightness!
2 Peter 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
--There is a renewing of earth where we will dwell!
That is quite the triple-flavored dessert. We live in a kingdom where God rescues us from trials, making all things right while we look forward the new earth!
Let’s wrap up our banquet of the divine nature.
Partakers of Divine Nature:
2 Peter 1:4 …so that through them (the banquet) you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
We have been invited to leave the hunger of the world to take a seat at the banquet table of his divine nature. This is a graphic picture… The hungry of the world scrapping around for something to eat in the corruption of the world… some meaning, some purpose, some glory. But there is a gate, it’s open, into the LORD’s banquet table! There is an open invitation to sit at the table of his nature.
The Greek word for partakers is koi-nō-noy… a sharer of God’s qualities. A connection was established between our life and God's Life. And through that connection our life is sanctified to be his.
Put our verses back together again to understand what sharing with God’s character means…
We share in…
--God’s love for all
--God’s grace for the others
--God’s peace within
--God’s excellent glory
--God’s unchangeable promises
--Escape from contamination by… stepping into His banquet!
NTW 2 Peter 1:1-4 Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus the Messiah, to those who have obtained a share of faith equal to ours in the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus the Messiah: may grace and peace be multiplied to you, in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. God has bestowed upon us, through his divine power, everything that we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue. The result is that he has given us, through these things, his precious and wonderful promises; and the purpose of all this is so that you may run away from the corruption of lust that is in the world, and may become partakers of the divine nature.
2 Peter is an odd letter. But I like it. I want to be a partaker of the divine glory!
You are invited to dine at his banquet table… If you are hungry… join us.
August 15, 2021
Los Alamos Church of Christ
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