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Bible verses about Partakers of Divine Nature
(From Forerunner Commentary)

John 3:6

What, then, is the new birth? It is not the removal of anything from the sinner, nor the changing of anything within or without the sinner's body. It is, instead, the communication of a precious gift to the sinner. It is forgiveness and the imparting of the new nature. When we were born from our mothers, we received from our parents their nature, what Paul calls the "carnal" or "fleshly" nature. When one is born again, he receives from God His nature, as II Peter 1:4 relates, ". . . by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature."

As early as Genesis 1, the Bible shows that a fundamental law of nature is that every living thing brings forth its own kind. What is produced by a vegetable is vegetable; what is born of animal is animal. What is born of sinful man and woman is a sinful child, which Paul designates in Romans 8:8 as being "in the flesh." It cannot be anything else. We may educate and cultivate it all we please, but human nature remains "in the flesh." It may be refined flesh, beautiful flesh, or religious flesh, but it is still "in the flesh."

On the other hand, what is born or brought forth by the impartation of God's Spirit is spirit. To use Paul's term, such a person is "in the Spirit" (Romans 8:9). The child always partakes of the nature of its parents. What is born of man is carnal and sinful; what is born of God is spiritual.

Being born again is the creation of a new man in Christ Jesus. It is the birth of a new spiritual man within the physical. The new birth is the imparting of the mind, the nature, of Jesus Christ. Paul explains in I Corinthians 2:9-16:

But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Every born-again person is automatically and instantaneously a child of God, a member of the Family of God, and being part of that Family, he becomes a citizen of the Kingdom of God. In every case in which God commands or exhorts His children, He does so as to an adult who is fully capable of carrying out what He says. A command may be said to one young in the faith, even one called a "babe" due to his spiritual immaturity, but he is not a spiritual fetus. He is physically an adult with a great deal of experience from which he can draw for decision making, along with his growing knowledge of God.

There is no gestation period, just as there was no gestation period when God created Adam and Eve as the culmination of the physical creation. In Genesis 2:7, God breathed into Adam the breath (ruach, a type of the Holy Spirit) of life, and he immediately became a living soul, not a fetus in a womb. Paul calls us "a new creation" (II Corinthians 5:17). However, the spiritual creation is not fully complete, in the same way as the development of a newly born human child is incomplete. Much growth remains to be done.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Born Again or Begotten? (Part Two)


 

Romans 8:14

God gives His Spirit to those that He calls and leads to repentance, and they become His children. They become partakers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). They are led into truth for the purposes of spiritual obedience—good works and preparation for His Kingdom. Soon, they begin showing His characteristics.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Christian and the World (Part 2)


 

2 Peter 1:4

Christians are called of God. We are separated from the rest of mankind, redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ, and cleansed from sin's corruption. Then we are made partakers of the divine nature—all to make us acceptable for the performance of our duties as priests. We have no excuse for drawing back: We have a perfect and eternal High Priest and we have been cleansed and are part of the same Divine Family that He is. Do we not want to draw close to our "Dad"—which is what it amounts to—and do what He says?

Now the priesthood no longer stands before God on behalf of just Israel; now it draws near to God in behalf of all humanity. The purpose of the priesthood is essentially the same as under the Old Covenant, but its labor has been elevated to a spiritual level. We no longer have to burn bulls, goats, sheep, and turtledoves on a burning fire at the door of the Temple. We are the temple! And, in a secondary way, we—like Jesus Christ who went before us—are also the sacrifice that is put on the altar (see Romans 12:1).

John W. Ritenbaugh
New Covenant Priesthood (Part 1)


 

 




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