Sharing God’s Holiness: Sword and Fire

Sharing God’s Holiness: Sword and Fire

Sharing God’s Holiness: Sword and Fire.

“Because of His glory and goodness, He has given us great and precious promises, so that through them you may escape from the world’s corruption due to disordered passions and human desires, and may become partakers of the divine nature, participants in His nature, sharing in the divine life of God.” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

God’s discipline is always good for us, He corrects us throughout our lives for our own good, so that we may share in His holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10).

SHARING GOD’S HOLINESS: Being set apart from sin and its consequences; Growing in those aspects of divine nature that God shares with believers; Being partners with Christ in His divinity because of His partnership with us in humanity; Cultivating divine characteristics because of intimate fellowship with God; God’s image being restored in us because of our union with Him; The result of participating in the life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Acquiring God’s spiritual DNA.

Partakers of God’s Divine Nature. This is a great mystery of the Faith… when we join with Jesus, we share in His holiness. We become partakers of His divine nature. Does that make us Gods? Are we changed into His essence? Does sharing with Jesus’ holiness make us worthy of worship? The quick  answer is no. There will always be a profound distinction between man and God. We do not become God, we do not become divine. Humans cannot take on the nature of God, but we can acquire Godlikeness. This is indeed a mystery. We participate in God’s holiness. We become intimate partners with God in a unique fellowship. We share in His divine  nature, without becoming God. We become God-like.

The Sword and the Fire. The Orthodox Church tries to describe this mystery by way of the sword in the fire. The steel sword is thrust into a hot fire until the sword takes on a red glow. The sword never becomes fire, but it picks up properties of the fire. The sword partakes of the fire. The sword participates in the life of the fire. The sword shares in the hotness of the fire until it demonstrates some characteristics of the fire. But the fire remains the fire, and the sword remains the sword. God’s divine nature penetrates and affects the believer, but the believer doesn’t become God.

Restoring God’s Image. Through God’s grace we become more like Him. Because of our union with Him, we participate in His holiness. Before sin, God’s image in us directed our human destiny. But that image, that holiness, was marred and tainted. As we partake in the divine nature, God’s image in us is renewed. Our original destiny re-emerges. Communion with God results in the renewal of God’s image in us. As the Orthodox Church puts it, “We become by grace what God is by nature.” God’s divine energy transforms us into people who share in His holiness. The divine likeness is restored in a heavenly process. “We are being transformed into His very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transformation comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Through our intimate union with God, we partake in His divine nature, and we participate in the process of re-creating God’s image and likeness in us. We share in His holiness.

The Father’s Genes. When we are given birth into God’s family, we share His spiritual DNA. God has shared His nature with us. We have become children of the Lord, God’s true sons and daughters. We now share family characteristics, and holiness becomes a family tradition. God the Father has imparted His spiritual genetic framework to us, placing us in His gene pool. We now partake in His divine nature by being born again through the Spirit in union with our brother Jesus. “Jesus the Holy One makes us holy. And as sons and daughters, we now belong to the same Father, so Jesus is not ashamed or embarrassed to introduce us as His brothers and sisters!” (Hebrews 2:11).

“As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, ‘I am holy; you be holy.'” (1 Peter 1:14-16). 

Christ is our holiness.” (1 Corinthians 1:30).