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The Signs of the Times, vol. 13

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    September 22, 1887

    “Partakers of the Divine Nature” The Signs of the Times 13, 37, p. 583.

    A SHORT time ago the question was asked the Interior:SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.1

    “Is it orthodox, in a Presbyterian sense, to teach for sound doctrine that as Christ took upon himself human nature, so we shall at last take upon us the divine nature?”SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.2

    The Interior gave the answer, “There is no warrant in Scripture for such an assertion.” Now whether the Interior made its answer upon the broad sense of the question, or upon the particular point involved in the terms “as” and “so,” of course we cannot say. But be that as it may, there certainly is in Scripture ample warrant for the statement that we shall “at last” be partakers of the divine nature. For Peter says directly, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” 2 Peter 1:4.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.3

    John says: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2. As he is, he is assuredly divine, and if we shall be like him as he is, it cannot be otherwise than that we shall be partakers of the divine nature. Paul says on this point: “We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20, 21. His glorious body is most certainly divine; and when our bodies shall be changed and fashioned like unto his glorious body, then we shall be partakers of the divine nature.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.4

    This too is precisely that to which Peter referred in the verse quoted above. For in his first letter, chapter 5:1, he uses the same word “partaker” saying, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.” And Paul says of this glory: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16-18. And again, we shall be “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. And Jesus said, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:43. Now how all this can be, and yet we not “take upon us the divine nature,” is more than any man can make to appear. And how the Interior cay say that “there is no warrant in the Scripture for such an assertion,” is more than we can understand.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.5

    There is another consideration that proves clearly that we shall “be partakers of the divine nature.” Immortality is an attribute of Divinity. It inheres solely in Him. For thus it is written: “Not unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever.” 1 Timothy 1:17. And again, speaking of the “appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” it is written: “Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality.” 1 Timothy 6:15, 16. Yet, although he only hath immortality, he has promised to give of it to all who will obey him; for Christ has brought it to light through the gospel. And to all who seek for it through him it will be given, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:52, 53. Therefore as immortality is a property solely of the divine nature, when we shall have put on immortality, and so shall have been made like unto the glorious Son of God, we shall then have taken upon us the divine nature, we shall then, with all the redeemed, be “partakers of the glory that shall be revealed,” and “partakers of the divine nature” of the glorious One who reveals it. Thanks be unto God for the unspeakable gift of his exceeding great and precious promises. J.SITI September 22, 1887, page 583.6