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Partakers Of The Divine Nature

"The life of the true believer in Christ is a mystery. It is something that cannot be explained. It is the privilege of every believer in Christ to possess Christ’s nature, a nature far above that which man forfeited by transgression. He who sees the Son by faith and believes in Him is obedient to the commandments of God, and in this obedience he finds everlasting life."

Letter 6a, 1900,6

Question

What does it mean to partaker of the divine nature?

Quick Answer

"Some who have not been keeping the commandments of God will be led to feel that it is high time to take hold of the divine nature of Jesus Christ, in order that they may be overcomers." {Ms37-1908.32}

"In Christ it is our privilege to come to God and to lay hold of Him with living faith, and to say, “I believe in myself I can do nothing, but through the provision thou hast made, I believe that humanity can grasp divinity. I grasp it in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” Now that is the very work many neglect to do. What is at stake? Your souls." {Ms115-1909.35}

Partaking of the divine nature is a little understood concept that comes from 2 Peter 1:4—actually I've never heard a sermon that speaks to what I have found in studying on the subject in the writings of Mrs. White. Apparently we are invited to claim the divine nature of Christ for ourselves! What that means exactly is clouded with mystery—but so are many other things such as the "new birth," but regardless of the mystery it speaks to a presence and power in our lives that few of our members know about. It doesn't take much reflecting to also realize that the distorted understandings of partaking of the divine nature bring potential danger of "holy flesh" thinking. Let us be clear: Partaking of the divine nature DOES NOT mean that our flesh becomes holy and that we are no longer susceptible to temptation and failure! It does speak, however, of a supernatural power that is stored in Christ that can become ours and is to be grasped as the quotations above and follow attest.—Dan

Bible Answer

2 Peter 1:4 (KJV) 4 "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

Also

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name...."

1 Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."

“Philippians 2:12-13 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Ellen White’s Annotated Version of 2 Peter 1:4

Ellen White added the words to the verse as found in PCP 23.2.

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied [notice this expression; we shall refer to it again] unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things [nothing is withheld] that pertain unto life [eternal life] and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises” [mark carefully the language, because in the judgment every person who has ever had the privilege of hearing or reading these words will be held accountable for the way in which he has received them] whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” [partakers of divine power, divine grace, divine possibilities]. {PCP 23.2}

Inspired Answers

Was Enabling Our Partaking Of The Divine Nature Part Of Christ's Objective In Coming To Earth?

"Through our lives the despondent may receive an assurance that it is possible to be partakers of the divine nature, and by taking hold of this divinity, win the victory that all must win who shall enter in through the gates into the city. {Ms37-1908.15} ... He took upon Himself humanity, that He might perfect in His own life a humanity that we can lay hold of and be united with divinity. The divine nature is to be imparted to every true seeker after Jesus Christ. Divinity must be united with humanity. Thus humanity may be partakers of the divine nature, that men may be able to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. {Ms37-1908.16} …  God helping me, I am determined to be an overcomer. Through Christ, I shall obtain the victory. Then His joy will remain in me, and my joy be full. I will talk of His goodness; I will tell of His power. Through a dependence upon the divinity of Christ, I may overcome as He overcame. {Ms37-1908.19} May we, by living faith, grasp the hand of Infinite Power. This is our privilege; and if we take Christ at His word, He is honored and glorified. Then our joy will be full, and we shall not appear as a company of mourners. Happy are the people who have laid hold of the divine nature, and escaped the corruption that is in the world." {Ms37-1908.23} I hope ... some who have not been keeping the commandments of God will be led to feel that it is high time to take hold of the divine nature of Jesus Christ, in order that they may be overcomers." {Ms37-1908.32} 

"The union of the divine with the human is one of the most mysterious, as well as the most precious, truths of the plan of redemption. It is of this that Paul speaks when he says, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16. While it is impossible for finite minds fully to grasp this great truth, or to fathom its significance, we may learn from it lessons of vital importance to us in our struggles against temptation. Christ came to the world to bring divine power to humanity, to make man a partaker of the divine nature." { GCB February 25, 1895, Art. A, par. 7 }

"Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character." {DA 123.3}

"I am so thankful for the privilege of saying these words to you. I invite each one of you to take hold by living faith of the divinity of Christ. This is the gift that Christ came to the world to bestow. In Him humanity may take hold of divinity and share in the joy of the Lord." {Ms95-1908.38}

"Jesus Christ gave His own precious life. And what for? To make it possible that we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And when we consider that in order to do this, He clothed His divinity with humanity, that divinity might lay hold upon divinity, that humanity might be partaker with Christ and lay hold of divinity. That is how we can escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. And God want the truth to shine forth in unmistakable evidence to the world. They will know it. Certainly they will." {Ms191-1907.12}

We May Grasp Christ's Divinity By Faith.

"What we want is the simplicity of true godliness, and when we get that we have an overcoming power to resist the devil. Humanity can grasp divinity and overcome the temptations that are in the world through lust. And now I leave these words with you, and I ask you to just give your heart to God. What more would He do for you? He died for every one of you that you might have eternal life in His kingdom if you accept Him and are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb." {Ms122-1909.34}

"In Christ it is our privilege to come to God and to lay hold of Him with living faith, and to say, “I believe in myself I can do nothing, but through the provision thou hast made, I believe that humanity can grasp divinity. I grasp it in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” Now that is the very work many neglect to do. What is at stake? Your souls." {Ms115-1909.35}

"Christ came from the heavenly courts to help and strengthen, to bring to you, in the form of humanity divinity, the divine Son of God. He came from the heavenly courts, that you might be a partaker of the divine nature having overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust, and you never can do it unless you take right hold of the divinity of Christ by prayer and then claim the promise." {Ms130-1909.22}

We Can Grasp Christ's Nature On Behalf Of Our Children

"He gave His life for humanity. And from the humanity in you, fathers, and the humanity in you, mothers, let us just grasp the divinity that is in Jesus Christ, so that you can express Him in your family in words, in tender words, in affectionate words. Thus you can have a power so that you can educate and train your children for the future life. How long? One that measures with the life of God. That life of heaven you can possess. I beg of you, for Christ’s sake, to consider not so much how you shall decorate your children with finery, or how much property you shall gain so as to exceed your neighbor, but what can you do that the humanity in your children, and in your own life, can grasp divinity in the life of Christ, and be overcomers day by day, and bind the children to Jesus. {Ms121-1909.27}... Your influence will tell for the glory of God. Parents, will you begin in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth—will you begin to have praying seasons in your house, and then with your neighbors’ children, and feel just as much interest that they shall be saved? They have souls. The humanity that is in you sanctified can grasp divinity, and there you can have power that your words will be applied to the hearts of the very ones that you ought to save. God help us. {Ms121-1909.28} ... We want souls converted, and we want every soul to place themselves in right relation to God in simplicity, that He can move upon the human heart, and that you will be aroused so that your humanity shall see its privilege to lay hold of the very reason Christ was given to our world. Lay hold of what? Divinity. Divinity in Christ by a living faith. You can present that divinity to the Father; you can plead for your children and the unconverted and your own souls, and you can overcome the corruption that is in the world through lust, because your humanity has laid hold with divinity. Therefore the divinity of Christ is for the conqueror. {Ms121-1909.32} ... The reward is already for us, and shall you make no great importance of that divinity that humanity can grasp? It is your only hope, and Christ preserved that divinity unsullied. Had He not, we should all perish, and you are to be co-laborers with Jesus Christ in this work of salvation. {Ms121-1909.34} God help us that we may understand what it means with divinity and humanity combined. We must have the divinity of Christ by a living faith and act it out in living power." {Ms121-1909.35}

How Does This Take Place On A Practical Basis?

"God is in earnest with us and claims all the power of our being. We need the great Physician to heal us. We need more of heaven and less of self. We must be partakers of the divine nature." {Ms40-1886.}

"Through the operation of the Spirit of God humanity may be connected with divinity. Jesus has promised to send the Comforter to lead us into all truth. “My Spirit,” saith Christ, “is competent to influence the world. Those who will accept the provisions of my grace may be partakers of my nature.” {Ms40a-1890.}

"As the repenting sinner lays hold of Christ as his personal Saviour, he is made a partaker of the divine nature." {Ms63-1897}

"He who is guided by clean, holy principles will be quick to discern the slightest taint of evil, because he keeps Christ before him as his pattern. His deep regret at the discovery of a wrong act means the prompt correction of every step wherein he has diverged from truth. It means a constant, earnest striving for higher and still higher attainments in the Christian life. It means helping others to climb heavenward. It means taking hold of Christ by loving faith, and resisting evil if need be unto blood, striving against sin." {Ms 82, 1900, par. 43}

"In the sixth chapter of John Christ speaks of the union that His followers are to have with Him. “I am the living Bread which came down from heaven,” He declares; “if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever: and the Bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ... Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” [Verses 51, 53, 54.] {Ms 146, 1903, par. 6}  The bond of union represented by eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood is the same as that represented by the figure of the vine and its branches. {Ms 146, 1903, par. 7}  Christ gave Himself for us. On Calvary’s cross He died for our sins, making it possible for fallen man to become children of God and to keep His commandments. By repenting of sin and uniting with Christ, we receive all the blessings that come through His sacrifice. Through faith in His merits and in the virtue of His atonement, we receive Him as a personal Saviour and become partakers of His nature. As we appropriate His words, we receive from them spiritual life and strength. This is union with Christ." {Ms 146, 1903, par. 8}

“Partakers of the divine nature.” Is this possible? Of ourselves we can do no good thing. How, then, can we be partakers of the divine nature?—By coming to Christ just as we are, needy, helpless, dependent. He died to make it possible for us to be partakers of the divine nature. He took humanity upon himself that he might reach humanity. With the golden chain of his matchless love he has bound us to the throne of God. We are to have power to overcome as he overcame." {RH April 14, 1904, par. 2}

"The connection of the branch with the vine, Christ said to His disciples, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is grafted into the living vine, and fibre by fibre, vein by vein, it grows into the vine-stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul, dead in trespasses and sins, receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. The sinner unites his weakness to Christ’s strength, his emptiness to Christ’s fulness, his frailty to Christ’s enduring might. Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our humanity has touched Divinity. Thus, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is accepted in the Beloved." – {ST September 7, 1904, par. 3}

"How abundant is the gift to our world of the Holy Spirit! It is beyond the power of language to express the blessings it brings to God’s people. If received and appreciated, the Holy Spirit will make us holy, Christlike. Through its agency, we are united with Christ, partakers of the divine nature. The reception of the Holy Spirit in its fulness is the great need of the church today. Let us pray earnestly that it may soon be realized." {Lt178-1907.12}

"Christ in the heavenly courts laid aside His royal crown. He laid aside His royal robe. He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity by taking hold of Christ in obedience might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." {Ms192-1907.7}

"To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ is to receive Him as a personal Saviour, believing that He forgives our sins, and that we are complete in Him. It is by beholding His love, by dwelling upon it, by drinking it in, that we are to become partakers of His nature. What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. We must feed upon Him, receive Him into the heart, so that His life becomes our life. His love, His grace, must be assimilated." {DA 389.3}

Partaking Is Necessary For A Good Marriage

"The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes human love, refined and purified. By it human love is elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature, and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides. The warmth of true friendship and the love that binds the hearts of husband and wife is a foretaste of heaven." {Ms16-1899.26}

We Can Possess Christ's Divine Nature!

"Every individual soul should now be humbling himself before God, seeking pardon for his transgressions and sins, and accepting the justifying grace of Christ, the sanctifying of the soul by the operations of the Holy Spirit, the implanting of a new nature, and putting on the righteousness of Christ; thus the carnal nature is transformed, renewed in holiness after the image of Christ’s righteousness and true holiness." {Lt22-1892.}

“To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” [John 1:12.] We want to see the implanting of a new nature through the power of the grace of God. {Lt56-1894.}

"Truth, precious truth, is sanctifying in its influence. The sanctification of the soul by the operation of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in character, and the graces of Christ brought into active exercise in good works. Thus the character is transformed more and more perfectly after the image of Christ, in righteousness and true holiness." {Ms34-1894.}

"Truth, precious truth, is sanctifying in its influence. The sanctification of the soul by the operation of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in character, and the graces of Christ brought into active exercise in good works." {Ms52-1896.} [This is a repetition of the quote from 1894.]

"There must be the implanting of a new nature and the influence of grace through eating the Word of the Lord. Thus we shall be daily strengthened, and renewed more and more after the divine image of the life of Christ in humanity. That humanity was perfect. It was a life of completeness." {Ms31-1897.}

"Through the reception of Christ as our personal Saviour, the precious gems which that Word contains become to us threads of gold that bind us to Christ and to each other. ... When the leaven of truth is implanted in the heart, it absorbs to itself all the capabilities of mind and soul and strength. It implants in the human being a new nature, and the grace of Christ is more and more developed." {Ms82-1898.}

"The power of the whole heavenly host may be yours, that you may use it in drawing men to the well of salvation. The divine nature is imparted to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. He has promised us all power. And with all power we can overcome the adversary so that we may have an entrance into the city of God. The gates are thrown open, who will enter?" {Ms198-1898.}

"Is it not time you received the operation of the Holy Spirit? You must have the implanting of a new nature. The influences of grace are so much needed on your own heart and on your mind, whereby your heart is purified and daily strengthened and renewed in righteousness and true holiness." {Ms199-1899.}

"The life of the true believer in Christ is a mystery. It is something that cannot be explained. It is the privilege of every believer in Christ to possess Christ’s nature, a nature far above that which man forfeited by transgression. He who sees the Son by faith and believes in Him is obedient to the commandments of God, and in this obedience he finds everlasting life." {Lt6a-1900.6}

"He designs His blood-bought heritage to live lives filled with great possibilities and probabilities. Christ became poor that we might inherit eternal riches. Every man, through the merits of the blood of Christ, may become a new creature in Christ, possessing a new nature." {Lt160-1903.28}

"Not by outward display, not by worldly patronage is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God.” [John 1:12.] Here is the only power that can work for the uplifting of humanity. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and preaching of the Word of God." {Ms42-1905.18}

"He took upon Himself humanity, that He might perfect in His own life a humanity that we can lay hold of and be united with divinity. The divine nature is to be imparted to every true seeker after Jesus Christ." {Ms37-1908.16}

What Is The Result Of Receiving Christ's Divine Nature

"He who has become a partaker of the divine nature knows that his citizenship is above. He catches the inspiration from the Spirit of Christ. His soul is hid with Christ in God. Such a man Satan can no longer employ as his instrumentality to insinuate himself into the very sanctuary of God, to defile the temple of God. He gains victories at every step. He is filled with ennobling thoughts. He regards every human being as precious, because Christ has died for every soul." {PC 418.3}

"Jesus said, Be perfect as your Father is perfect. If you are the children of God you are partakers of His nature, and you cannot but be like Him. Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God’s children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest “in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.” Psalm 19:7 , margin. Through love “the righteousness of the law” will be “fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4." {MB 77.5}

"As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, and daily partaking of the divine nature, we co-operate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. God works and man works, that the sacred union may exist, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind may rest in peace and assurance in Jesus Christ." {Ms11-1899.12}

"God gave His only begotten Son to the human race, that man might become a partaker of the divine nature by accepting the remedy for sin and allowing the divine grace of Christ to work in his life. The power of divinity working in humanity can bring man into right relation with God. Fallen man, by laying hold of the divine power brought within his reach, can become one with God. Everlasting life is the blessing that Christ came to give to the world." {Lt38-1907.10}

"The apparently dry branch, by being connected with the living vine, becomes a part of it. Fiber by fiber, and vein by vein, it adheres to the vine till it derives its life and nourishment from the parent stock. The graft buds, blossoms, and produces fruit. The soul, dead in trespasses and sins, must experience a similar process in order to be reconciled to God and to become a partaker of Christ’s life and joy. As the graft receives life when united to the vine, so the sinner partakes of the divine nature when connected with Christ. Finite man is united with the infinite God. When thus united, the words of Christ abide in us, and we are not actuated by a spasmodic feeling, but by a living, abiding principle. The words of Christ must be meditated upon and cherished and enshrined in the heart. They should not be repeated, parrot-like, finding no place in the memory and having no influence over the heart and life." { 4T 354.3} 

"In Christ divinity and humanity were united, and the only way in which man may be an overcomer is through becoming a partaker of the divine nature.... Divinity and humanity are blended in him who has the spirit of Christ. The apostle Paul writes, “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest.” ... “We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” { SD 24.4}

"Christ is ready to do large things for us, to restore our natures by making us partakers of His divine nature. He waits to link our hearts with His heart of infinite love, in order that we may be fully reconciled to God." {Lt 26, 1895, par. 16}

 

Quotations On "Grasping" Or "Laying Hold" Of The Divine Nature

On this page you will find many many instances where Ellen White spoke of grasping or "laying hold" of the divine nature. These are listed in chronological order. There is accordingly some duplication with what appears on this page, however there are many that are not on this page. I might add that there are quotations on this page that are not present on the "grasping" page. The excerpts listed tend to be longer than those listed on this page. At the end of the page I also explore why she was no longer writing of "grasping" the divine nature after 1910. I am confident you will be blessed in reading through this lengthy page.

 

Sermons On Partaking Of The Divine Nature

Sermon On Abiding In Christ (And Partaking Of The Divine Nature)

"He took upon Himself humanity, that He might perfect in His own life a humanity that we can lay hold of and be united with divinity. The divine nature is to be imparted to every true seeker after Jesus Christ. Divinity must be united with humanity. Thus humanity may be partakers of the divine nature, that men may be able to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust." {2SAT 294.2}

Take Hold Of The Divine Nature

"There is a possibility of the believer in Christ obtaining an experience that will be wholly sufficient to place him in right relation to God. Every promise that is in God’s Book holds out to us the encouragement that we may be partakers of the divine nature. This is the possibility—to rely upon God, to believe his Word, to work his works; and this we can do when we lay hold of the divinity of Christ. This possibility is worth more to us than all the riches in the world. There is nothing on earth that can compare with it. As we lay hold of the power thus placed within our reach, we receive a hope so strong that we can rely wholly upon God’s promises; and laying hold of the possibilities there are in Christ, we become the sons and daughters of God." {RH January 14, 1909, par. 2}

Study Further

To study this topic further, search for quotations on the egwwritings.org site using all three of the following words: "humanity," "divinity" and "partakers." Then search for variations of these words, such as "partaker," "partaking," "grasping divinity," "union," and "divinity of Christ." Combine these words with "grasp," or "take hold." It will take time to find more quotes, but they are there for I have read many of them. You will be blessed in searching for them.

If you want to find key articles, search the word "partaking" and look for instances where multiple paragraphs have the word. That will provide a good clue that there are significant statements on "partaking."