Monday, 5 January 2009

Something Divine!

The Bible says that when someone becomes a Christian, they become a participator in the divine nature.

But the question is: what is the divine nature?

It can't be an -ence like omnipotence (being all powerful) or omnipresence (being everywhere) or omniscience (knowing everything) because if that were so it would flatly contradict other texts in the Bible like this one!

So what does it mean?

The Bible reveals to us a God who is love. Love is by definition is relational. You can't love on your own. Love has to be directed to someone or something. It therefore makes total sense that the Bible also reveals a God who is, from eternity, a Trinity of persons: Father and Son in the unity of the Spirit, both in the New Testament and the Old:

So when a person is saved by believing and trusting in Jesus. They are caught up into this divine love. They are united to God the Father, through Jesus (God the Son) and they are united to both the Father and the Son through (God) the Holy Spirit.

Jesus says it like this.

To put it another way:

What I love about this diagram is that it is essentially a figure of 8 on its side. That is the mathematical symbol for infinity. What's more, an 8 has a cross at its centre!

Folks this is eternal life!


Sean Green said...

Hi buddy - please tell me that today wasn't an inset day and you haven't spent the entire time thinking up helpful diagrams, making them in powerpoint and then posting them your blog!

Its a great truth to contemplate - if not overwhelming

Richard Walker said...

Today was an INSET day, but I haven't spent the day contemplating it. We did some epipen training and behaviour management!

I have been ruminating on this post for a couple of weeks. I just wrote it today. My brother did the diagrams. He's a wizz with Adobe and turned them out in about 5mins!!


dave bish said...

I think this is really great - just been away for a week which included training on Athanasius who writes much on this angle in Against the Heathen and On the Incarnation. I'll reread my notes and comment further, but there is definietly something here - and it's pretty amazing.

Richard Walker said...

Thanks Dave,

Look forward to hearing from you further!

dave bish said...

You should have a look at Glen Scrivener on the Trinity with similar diagrams... Part 1 and Part 2

And get into Athanasius on Against the Heathens and On the Incarnation - heavy going but gloriously trinitarian...

"The Image of God, in whose image we were made, must come and remake mankind in his image and so remake fellowship with God" (Mike Reeves on Athanasius)

"Salvation, according to Athanasius, is not about being given a 'saved' status or a catalogue of blessings by a distant God; it is about entering the very communion of the Father and the Son...." (Reeves)

"We, apart from the Spirit, are strange and distant from God, and by the participation of the Spirit we are knit into the Godhead" (Athanasius, Against the Arians 3.24)

"Jesus, indeed, assumed humanity that we might become God" (Athanasius)

Richard Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Walker said...

That last quote - "Jesus, indeed, assumed humanity that we might become God" (Athanasius) sounds heretical in my ears somehow, yet when the divine nature is defined this way, it is true.

My concern is that this truth is shockingly awesome, like playing with fire, if misused, it could result in real and lasting damage.

But then Paul saw that danger when preaching grace to the church in Rome, that the hearers might misunderstand and use grace as a justification for continued sinning.

Likewise, participation in the divine nature, if misunderstood, could be used as a justification for overwheening pride and complacency.

If I am to be like Paul, that people might misunderstand, is not a reason to withhold this truth from them.

God help me not to be like those unstable men who foolishly twist these incredible truths to their own destruction!

dave bish said...

It's dangerous stuff, gospel. World-changing. Carefully stated, I don't see how we can really dare to say anything else. We get altogether caught up into the Trinity.

Richard Walker said...

Amen! ;-)

Kathryn Cotton said...

Rich, I get it!! It's an amazing truth - the diagram is a great visual way to meditate on the awesomeness of entering a relationship with the Godhead. How can anyone reject such an amazing offer from such a loving Lord?!