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II. What is implied in our being “made partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” This implies two things.
1. That we become entirely emancipated froin the power of sin. No person, not thus emancipated, but still, in any degree, under the power of sin, could be said to have “ escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
2. It implies that we, to the full extent of our powers, be rendered partakers of the holiness and blessedness of God. This is the only sense in which any intelligent being can be a partaker of the divine nature. 66 But he, says
the our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” To be partakers of the divine holiness, and consequently of the divine blessedness, is of course the same thing as to be rendered partakers of the divine nature.
That we might thus escape the corruptions that are in the world, and be “made partakers of the divine nature,” is the declared object for which the "exceeding great and precious promises” were given. When we come to Christ by faith for a fulfilment of these promises, his power stands pledged to fulfil in us the glorious object for which they were given.
Suppose, reader, that you were introduced within the veil of eternity, and were permitted to look down into the gulf of death, until you should fully apprehend the infinite wretchedness of a lost spirit, as he wanders on through ceaseless ages, amid the gloom and despair of the eternal sepulchre : suppose you were then permitted to raise your vision to those infinite heights of purity and blessedness to which redeemed spirits in heaven will ascend, as eternity rolls on its endless years. While these depths of gloom and heights of bliss were distinctly before your mind, suppose Christ should pledge himself to you, that he would free you from all exposure to the former, and give you a sure title to the full possession of the latter. What an “exceeding great and precious promise" that would be! Such is the promise of Christ now
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” I am now
III. To show the manner in which we are to us e the promises, in order that we may obtain the good which they present to us. As the design of the promises is to free us from the “corruptions that are in the world," and render us“ partakers of the divine nature," they are addressed and adapted to every possible condition in which we may be placed, and as a remedy for every evil,
natural and moral, in which we may be involved. They descend to the sinner in the lowest depths of guilt and depravity, for the purpose of lifting him out of the “horrible pit and miry clay," and rendering him a partaker of the “divine nature.” They meet the Christian in a state of partial holiness, for the purpose of raising him to a state of “perfect love," and then of carrying him upward and onward, from glory to glory, through time and eternity. Now, to use the promises so as to become possessed of the blessings which they proffer to us, four things are necessary-1. That we know our need. 2. That we apprehend the particular promise of Christ, which was designed to meet that particular necessity. 3. That we repose full confidence in Christ's ability and faithfulness to fulfil the promise which he has spread before us. 4. That we cast our whole being upon him for the specific purpose of securing a fulfilment of the particular promise before us. For example, the sinner is brought to feel himself to be in a lost condition. Here he is met with the declaration of Christ, “I came to seek and to save that which was lost;” together with the promises, “Look to me and be ye saved.” 6. Whosoever cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." Let the sinner cast himself at once upon Christ, for the definite purpose of securing a fulfilment of those specific
promises. Are you in darkness, reader, go directly to Christ for the fulfilment of the promise, “I will lead the blind by a way which they know not.” Is your heart hard and unfeeling, go to Christ with the definite promise, “I will take the heart of stone out of your Aesh, and will give you a heart of flesh," and cast yourself upon his faithfulness for the fulfilment of that promise. Are your appetites, or your propensities, the " occasion of stumbling” to you ; carry these particular objects to Christ, and plead the definite promises, “If Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin,” and “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things have passed away ; behold, all things have become new." Do temptations beset you, go to Christ with the promise, “Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation make a way for your escape,
be able to bear it." Are you
about to enter into new and untried scenes or spheres of action, go to Christ with the specific promises, “Lo, I am with you always," and “My grace is sufficient for thee." Are you “hungering and thirsting after righteousness," this promise you may now plead with Christ," they shall be filled.” Does the water of life begin to flow in your heart, this promise now rises before you, “ Whosoever drinketh of the water that
I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” In short, whatever your condition or state of mind may be, remember that there you are addressed by your Saviour, with some specific promise, perfectly adapted to your peculiar case. Your life depends upon your casting yourself at once upon the faithfulness of Christ for a fulfilment of that promise. In so using the “exceeding great and precious promises,” you may with absolute certainty be rendered a “partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through
I. We will notice the great truth, of which we need to have a full and distinct apprehension, in order that all the promises may rise before our minds as living realities. It is the infinite love of God in the gift of Christ for our redemption. In Christ, “all the promises are yea and Amen." “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him, freely give us all things.” For the want of such an apprehension of the love of Christ, the promises