2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1:2-4 (NASB)
Is it possible to know whether we are genuine partakers of the divine nature and not simply religious converts? Let us look at the Apostle Peter’s understanding of this. If anyone would understand that our own efforts to please God are a total waste of time, Peter would be the man….
He declared to our Lord on the night of His arrest that he would rather die with Him than desert Him. However, we all know that Peter not only deserted our Lord that night, he denied Him three times. From that failure and his later restoration by our Lord after He was resurrected, we know that we cannot please God with our own efforts. Any work that we do that is outside of His Grace is just works of the flesh and totally worthless.
Peter was restored to fellowship and service by our Lord. That should be an encouragement to us all. Who hasn’t failed and stumbled horribly? How do we feel when we do that? It should break our hearts and also drive home the point that we cannot walk before the face of God in our own strength. If we try, we will be constantly fighting a losing battle with our flesh, which is still enslaved to this lost and dying world. The only solution is to become Spirit-led. It is through becoming Spirit-led that the evidence of our new nature becomes apparent and the assurance that we have escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire becomes enhanced. (See 2 Peter 1:3-4 at the top of this post) Let us look at Peter’s counsel on what we will do if we are enslaved to the Spirit of God rather than to our own flesh.