[Papercut Press] 2000-11-21 - Union With Christ

Part 8 - What Actually Happened? The Moment I Trusted Christ

2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

We come to the eighth thing that happens the moment we trusted Christ for salvation.

  1. I became a partaker of the Divine Nature (2 Peter 1:4)

    There are several ways we could dive into this topic of being partakers of the divine nature. It is a theological subject in its nature, but hopefully we can find some practical aspects within it. One way to look into being partakers of the divine nature is to look at it from the perspective of our union with Christ.

    The first aspect of our union with Christ is that we are untied to Him as He assumes a position as our representative in a covenant relation with us. (1 Corinthians 15:22, Romans 5:12-21) Christ fulfills our obligations to God's law, and as our representative stands in our place before God offering His life for ours in His sacrifice.

    But we need to dwell on the second aspect of union with Christ to understand its relation to salvation and our participation in the divine nature. And while the first aspect of union with Christ is logical, and clear, this second aspect of union with Christ is a mystical, spiritual union in its nature and character. It is a difficult topic because our understanding and experience of this is somewhat future.

    The nature of this union with Christ is that it revives us, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and transforms our souls into the likeness of glorification. As stated above, our full experience of this is future, but this vital union with Christ also sustains us even now. It effects our entire person, even our bodies, as in 1 Corinthians 6:15, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? … " See also 1 Corinthians 6:19.

    Union with Christ is also a spiritual union. 1 John 3:24, "And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." See also, 1 Corinthians 6:17, 12:13, and 1 John 4:13. It is precisely in this union where we have the blessing of the indwelling of the Spirit of God, and through the Spirit, it is Christ who dwells in us. Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me."

    So what are the implications of union with Christ and participation in the divine nature?

    1. We have rights, as sons and daughters of God that can be called "Covenant" rights, for Christ has entered into covenant with us.
    2. We have fellowship with Christ and the Spirit that is not only experiential, but also intimate.

    In all our experience: work, pains, temptations, joys, victories, and in all our being, we are partakers of the divine nature. This is so true that the goofy question, WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?), is a little less goofy, and rises to a depth that deserves pondering for even the most seasoned Christian.

    Lastly, as a result of our union with Christ we participate in the fellowship of the saints. This is probably the easiest aspect to understand and grasp. We have fellowship in the Spirit, because we all partake of the same Spirit. This should lead us to a healthy respect and care for our fellow saints. There is also an unbroken, but again mystical fellowship between Christians in heaven and on earth, as in Ephesians 3:14,15, "For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and one earth derives its name." One day our fellowship will be perfected for we are one body in Christ. John 17:22

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] brutefact@hotmail.com