Participating in Christ’s Divine Nature
2 Peter 1:3-8 states, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NIV).
As I read these words in my devotional time this morning, two words immediately stuck out in my mind – ineffective and unproductive. Are there two other words that create in you such feelings of avoidance? Ouch! Who wants to be known as ineffective and unproductive in anything? Yet during different seasons of life, I’d guess that nearly all of us feel as if we could wear these labels. “Hi, my name is …ineffective…” This would be bad enough if applied to us at our “jobs,” but Peter takes it even further. He directs these two adjectives toward “your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Wow! Is my knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ being used by me ineffectively or unproductively? That’s a far cry from “well done good and faithful servant.”
In my interactions with Light University Online students, whether they are studying Biblical Counseling or Life Coaching, I see students “tearing off” those same labels every day. They understand the prescription that Peter administers for the diseases of ineffectiveness and un-productivity and are doing something about it. They have had enough of the status quo Christian life. They have recognized that the knowledge of their Lord Jesus Christ cannot be compartmentalized into some sacred Sunday activity, but instead should pervade into their “secular” world of career. All becomes sacred. As Stephen cried out to the Pharisees, “…the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’” (Acts 7:49-50 NIV) So they are taking their faith and stepping into the online classroom, where they add knowledge from the in-depth lectures, build self-control and perseverance as they balance study, writing, and class discussions with their already busy lives, and grow in godliness and brotherly love through their interactions with God’s truth and their fellow students each week in discussion groups. To what end? Love. This love is the capstone. It propels them out of the online classroom and into the streets to use this growth for its glorious purpose, to love others through Christ. It motivates them to love others by skillfully and mercifully counseling them through pain and grief, or by exhibiting godly wisdom as they coach someone through the life change of a divorce. Their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is not something that lies dormant, undeveloped, and inward focused. They are truly participating in Christ’s divine nature, as Peter writes.
Could there be anything more effective and productive to do with your life than this?
About The Author
Ben Jones is on Online Learning Professional who has facilitated courses in multiple programs of study across leading institutions throughout the US. Ben holds a Master of Divinity degree from Liberty Theological Seminary and has additional post graduate work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Ben enjoys practicing theology through biblical counseling and has a passion to see people experience healing through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.