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Monday, February 26th | Tapping into the Divine Nature

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2024 6:00 am

Monday, February 26th | Tapping into the Divine Nature

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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February 26, 2024 6:00 am

In this episode of the Clearview Today show, Dr. Shah talks about what it means that we have Christ in us and how we can by faith live the Christian life.


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Can We Recover the Original Text of the New Testament?

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Absolutely nothing less than five stars. We're going to leave a couple of links in the description so you can do just that. The verse of the day today comes from Philippians 2 verses 14 and 15. Do all things without complaining and disputing that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world. It's crazy because it's like Paul has met Christians before. Paul, do you have experience dealing with the people of God?

Have you met Christians? You want them to do stuff. You want them to serve. I'm all with you, but you want to do it without complaining, without rumbling?

Not the same Christians I know. It's funny because everybody complains, everybody gripes, everybody grumbles. It's natural, but I feel like the people who are the most blessed of all tend to gravitate towards it the most. It's always under the guise of, but I'm doing so much. I'm serving. I'm here.

Every time the church door is open, I'm here. It just doesn't make sense the way they do it. If they just did it my way, if they did it my way. Listen, if we lived our way, we would be lost and going to hell right now. Here's the thing to wrap your head around. Your time, your life, your energy, your resources, they're not really yours.

We can talk about how much we do and how much we work and how hard we work and how much we serve, but ultimately your time, your very life, belongs to God. That's right. You are giving him what is already his. That's right. Wrap your head around that a little bit. Also, I love that it says that you may become blameless and harmless. That's right.

If you serve, but you complain and you argue and you're bitter and you are backbiting and stuff like that, you're actually becoming harmful, not just to the people of God, but to the world around us that is looking to us to see what Christians ought to be like. We had somebody write in. Sure. We had somebody write in. We have people, typically, they write into the show.

Here lately, it's actually gone down a little bit. I don't know why y'all have stopped writing into the show because a lot of you guys were giving us some really, really great banter topics. We had someone write in, Katie P. from South Carolina. Katie P. wants to know, actually, this was for you.

Okay. She said, Ryan, what are your top three genie wishes? Ooh, genie wishes. You find a lamp, genie wishes, top three.

I'm assuming Aladdin rules apply. I can't wish for someone to come back from the dead. I can't wish for someone to fall in love with me. I can't wish for more wishes. Number one, I wish for the ability to risk-free teleport anywhere I want. Sure, yeah, yeah. Number two, I wish to be able to reach my hand in my pocket and always have exactly the amount of money that I need. Okay. And then number three, I wish for, I guess this really goes along with number two, but for my kids to be able to get into whatever school they want, to be able to have the career that they want and not have any hindrances to that. Okay, okay. Write in and let us know what your three genie wishes were. Good question, Katie. Thank you for writing that in.

Write in and let us know your three genie wishes, 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com. Stay tuned. We'll be back after this. You can check us out on Apple Music or on Spotify, anywhere digital music is consumed. We got a few singles out right now. We have an EP out as well. And right now, at this moment actually, we are working on our first ever full-length original album.

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Amen. Let's hop back into the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com, or if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028. That's right. We're here in the Clear View Today studio with Dr. Abbadan Shah, who is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. Dr. Shah, welcome back stateside. It's good to see you among us. Yes, good to be back. We had a great time in Egypt, but it's good to be home.

We had someone write into the show. They didn't know you were in Egypt, but I thought thematically it worked so well. I just wanted to ask it today. Let's say you're in Egypt, right? And you're exploring the Great Pyramids, right? You're going around, you're looking in the tombs, you fall down, magic lamp, right?

So you do what you do. You smuggle it out of there, take it back to your hotel room, rub the lamp. Aladdin style. Aladdin style.

What are your top three wishes? Oh, my goodness. This was from Harold B., by the way.

Longtime listener, Harold. Really? Yep, top three genie wishes.

Oh, my word. I figured with y'all just coming back, I've actually been sitting on this question for a little while. I'll have to think on that.

You want to maybe state at the end of the episode? Yes, I can think of it. You know, I would wish for infinite money in Mario. That's not even advantageous in the game.

Even in the game, that doesn't help you. That reminds me of the movie Bruce Almighty. It's not genie, not genie wishes, but, you know, Bruce, the character Jim Carrey plays, Bruce, he gets God's powers and becomes kind of that genie figure where he's just granting yes to people's prayers. He pulls it up on the email and he's like, respond all, and it says yes.

At first he was a little bit hesitant, but then it's like, you know what, I don't have time for this. Yes, yes, yes, yes, of course. The part where the woman walks into frame, she says, I lost 19 pounds on the Krispy Kreme diet.

I'm like, yeah, I don't think that's how it's supposed to work. Here's my first wish, that I don't have to worry about sugar, I can eat whatever I want. There you go. There you go. Maybe throughout the show we can think of the second wish. That would be a good wish. That's awesome.

That's a good one. But God doesn't work that way. God isn't a genie up in the sky granting wishes. He's not a soda machine where you input a prayer and out pops whatever you want.

It's not a vending machine. But sometimes we kind of pray like we believe that. Right. And Christian life is meant to be lived in the power of God. But you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be God.

That's right. You'll never have God's power. Well, depending on how you phrase it, you'll never be God. You'll never be God. Or you can say that you can never have God's power in the sense that you are now God. No, not going to happen. You're never going to be in a Bruce Almighty situation.

As he quickly learned, he was not cut out for it. In 2 Peter 1 says, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature. Sounds like Peter is saying that you will take part, you will become part of it, or you will have a part of the divine nature. Like you'll become God.

In a sense, not quite equal to the big guy, but he will have something of that. I guess the big question is, is that what he meant? Yeah. What does that mean, partakers of the divine nature? That is a phrase that we don't throw around very much. We talk about saved by grace, and Jesus is the lamb of God, and all those kind of church-ese, Christian-ese buzzwords. Right.

God good, I'm a worm. Yeah, exactly. But partakers of the divine nature, that's not one that comes up a lot. Well, we talked about it yesterday, asking those questions like, are you living by the power of your own desires? Are you letting other people have that power in your life and kind of manipulate or direct your life for you?

And ultimately lead you in the wrong direction. Right. It says in verse 4, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises. Exceedingly great comes from the Greek word megista, which is like a superlative of megas.

So, what does that mean? In ancient times, megista was a description of the gods. Okay, so a better translation would be, by which have been given to us precious and divine promises. Not just like a promise from Joe Chill down the street. Right, not just exceedingly great and precious, but precious and divine promises.

The word megista has a deeper meaning, divine. I got you. So, I guess the question really is, what do we do with that? How does that work? I mean, we know what the purpose is. The purpose is that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature.

So, how does that work out? Yeah, because if we're partakers of the divine nature, does that mean that we now possess a divine nature? Is it in my nature? Like some god in some way, like a demigod? Or angelic in some way? Or have the same powers and attributes as god?

What does that mean? Some people do take it that way, right? That they can speak things. I mean, I know where people, they believe like if I speak it in God's name, it will happen 100% because I have that power. Right, I don't know if they're taking this passage as their basis for that, we don't know for sure, but they do say that. In some of these circles, a lot of name it and claim it. I just speak it and believe it, and that's not good. Am I right, David?

I mean, anything you can add to that? Yeah, there's a lot of that belief and a lot of that idea of if I have this, I guess, god-like power, and a lot of the passages that I think are drawn from are like the power of life and death is in the tongue, or speaking things, you know, as if they exist. And there's just a lot of belief, even locally, of that kind of nature where it's like, if I speak this, if I say I'm not sick, I don't have to take medicine because I'm just not sick.

I believe it. Is it because God is going to bless it or because God has given the power to you? Yeah, I'm infused with some sort of ability.

Yes, it's a very deep subject, okay? In some sense, what they're saying is, I have been elevated to the level of God. Not that I've become a god in and of myself, but I have the same power that Jesus did. I am equal to him. My heart sank a little bit when you said that.

My stomach kind of twisted. It's definitely fair to say that that belief system does have an element of, I am above the average human being. The lost, the unsaved, those who don't have Jesus' power, they're still valuable as God's creation, but I am, in a way, elevated above them. Even above other Christians who are not aware of this or do not have the faith enough for this. Now, we'll dive into this passage in 2 Peter, but just to let you know, this kind of theology finds, I guess, joy, or maybe joy is too much of emotional... Like, finds significance or...

Significance or, yeah, I would say significance in passages where you would say, what? Is that really what they think? Like, Jesus went to hell. That's what they will say. He went to hell to pay the punishment for our sins. So he was being punished for those three days.

That's what they'll say. Right. It was not just on the cross that Jesus died for our sins, but that he also went down to the deepest part of hell to pay the penalty for our sins.

Is there a creed that says that? Because I remember reading, as a kid, I distinctly remember reading that. He descended into hell.

He descended into hell, yes. I think it's a misunderstanding. I think it's not correct.

Right. But here's the thing. Why do these groups, these people who have this kind of a theology, the name it and claim it theology, why would they like this idea of Jesus going to hell?

If you think about it, it's because in sending Jesus to hell, he is no longer as divine as we think he is or as the Bible says he is. In fact, he becomes more human-like. There's some humiliation there. But here's the twisted plot. In seeing him be more human-like, I find myself more equal to him.

Wow. So Christ's humiliation elevates my sense of self. It elevates my view of who I am. I can't get to as high as he is. So we're going to bring him down a little bit, I mean considerably a lot. And then when I compare myself to him, I feel like, hey, so we're about the same level. Yeah, so that in my dark moments, in my moments where I feel bad about myself, I can remember that, you know what, Christ was humiliating.

Christ was tortured. That would be great if they went down that road. But it's not that. That's not the road they go down on. I got you.

I don't think it would be great because I don't think biblically, theologically, you can support the descending into hell thing. Right, right. It's shield anyways. But I think they do that so they can say that if he is there and I am there, then I have what he has. So it's not about bringing comfort. It's about elevating myself.

Self to the level of being as powerful as he is. Wow. Yeah, I'm kind of with you, Jon. That made my stomach kind of twist up a little bit. Makes me feel kind of rotten.

Yeah. Especially that it's coming from other Christians. Some of them, they will say things like Jesus was dragged up and down the corridors of hell by Satan and punished so we could be forgiven or whatever. But then underlying that whole garbage theology is the idea that so now I can call things as, what do they say? Call things that are not as if they are. Call things that are not as if they are. I think that's the power of subtext, isn't it?

Because if you ever call them out on it, they can say, I never said any of that. I don't believe that. It's just the underlying theme of what you believe.

And some do come out and say they do believe that. Really? Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. I mean, that's why we believe that he went to hell and he suffered. And that's why, hey, he's my brother. Now, yes, Jesus in a sense is my brother, representatively saying, speaking, but no, he is not on my level, never will be. He's the king. Yeah. Yeah.

Now, he is on my level in a different sort of way, and I want to talk about that in the next 10, 15 minutes that we have on this show. So let's break apart 2 Peter 1.4. Start looking at each of these words, starting with the word partakers. It comes from the word koinonia or koinonos, which means sharer.

All right? Sharer, companion, partner. A lot of controversy over that term, but we'll look at that in a few moments. Divine comes from theos, which means, of course, divine, nothing special there.

Nature comes from phusis, which means nature, condition, or kind. So now the big question is, what does it mean that we have received precious and divine promises that have made us partakers, i.e., or meaning sharers, companions, partners of the divine nature? What does it mean that we are partakers? Well, I think we can safely rule out that it means that we become God.

We can cross that out. Yeah, I don't believe that for a single moment. Neither does it mean that we have some kind of this mystical union with God. Now, you may not have heard that or you may have heard that, but it comes from the Eastern churches.

It comes from the Orthodox churches who hold to a doctrine known as theosis or deification. Where, like, we become divine when we get saved? Yes.

Okay. Now, there's a subtle distinction between the two, theosis and deification, but anyways, for our purpose, what it means is that our salvation and redemption mean our deification. So we are made God-like. Right. Like we're one with God? Yes, yes.

In other words, it means being as much as possible like and in union with God. Like he's the host and we're the, I hate to say parasite, but we're, because of who he is, we get to be like him because we're attached to him? Yeah, but it's not just that we, see, a host will always be a host, a parasite will be a parasite, but they don't become one. Okay, okay, okay.

Right? That's a good point. So with this deosis or deification, with this minor distinction there, which it's not going to make it or break it to maintain those distinctions here, we become, the parasite becomes the host.

Okay, so like an assimilation kind of thing. So then why do we need any, like, distinction between us and God at that point? Why would I worship him?

They will say, why do you need a distinction? You are now one with him, isn't that the goal of humanity, isn't that the goal of the Christian life, to become one with him? I suppose, but then doesn't that negate the fact to worship him? I don't need to worship him. They will say, well, we still worship him.

Really? We still worship him, but the highest form of Christian growth is to become one with him. That's what God has made us, to be one with him. So one church father by the name of Irenaeus, who I deeply admire, deeply respect, he wrote in 200 AD, he said the word of God became man, that man might become divine. I'm sure you've heard that at some point. I think you preached on it not very long ago. Yeah, but I kind of disagreed with that.

Oh, yeah. So also, Athanasius, who was a great man of God, in stalwart when it comes to standing for biblical Christianity, but he also believed this thing about the word of God became man, that man might become divine. So I guess the question is, where do we become like God or one with God?

That's the big question, right? So let me go and clarify, we don't become like him in his essences, in his nature, which means God as God is. Right.

So being a partaker, I mean, I guess it does it literally mean we just get to take part, we get to, I don't know, I don't know how to think about it, and I don't know how to really word it. Again, don't misunderstand. I'm just describing what Eastern Orthodox churches believe.

Right, right. So they will say, hey, we're not going to become like him in our essence, but in our energies. The work of God. The work of God. Yeah, the work of God in our lives, and God in relation to the creation in us.

We'll become like him there, not in our essence. In our nature, we will still be human, but in our energies, we'll become more and more like God. And I guess it goes without saying that all this happens through the Holy Spirit. Yes, of course, they will give the Holy Spirit all the credit for that.

So that you can't really argue against it, because if you ever start poking through the logic, it's like, well, it's the Holy Spirit, it's not me, it's just happening to me. And they will say that both essence and energies are uncreated, but no one can understand or enter his essence, because they keep that distinction, while we can know his energies. And they will clarify this does not mean that we become God or God with a small g or some form of pantheism, because people have accused them of that, and I think they misunderstood them. Like God is everything and everyone and everyone and everything is God.

They'll say, no, we don't believe that. Now, here's the problem with this way of thinking. At first, it seems like, man, yeah, as long as you maintain the distinction, right? We're not going to become like him in his essence. Energies like him and his nature, I mean, in his attributes and all, okay, okay, yeah, I can go with that. Isn't that what we're supposed to be, become one with him?

There are several problems with that. Number one, it minimizes the doctrine of justification. Justification is the fact that Jesus took the penalty of God's wrath upon himself so we could be forgiven. And so this view that we have this union with God, it minimizes it because it's saying that. It minimizes the penalty of sin, the penal substitutionary view of atonement, because it's simply, why did Jesus die on the cross? Hey, to make you one with God.

I am saying, and many others with me are saying, no, Jesus died on the cross because you were supposed to be punished forever and ever. It takes it from the cross being necessary to the cross just being beneficial. Right.

Okay, okay, that makes sense. That's a good way to say that. It's like, hey, the cross wasn't really necessary, it was just something nice that he did. Yeah, it was good. Yeah, but it wasn't like I'd be lost and dead forever without it.

They will say, they will bring up a lot of interesting points about the cross, which I may not 100% disagree with, but it takes away the penalty aspect. It takes away the wrath of God being upon me. Got it, got it. It's not the wrath of God, guys. He just wants to make you one with him. It softens it. Yeah, so when Jesus died on the cross, yes, he did that as a sacrifice for our sins. I'm with you.

Yeah, it softens it. That's a good way to say it. The penalty, God's wrath, it's not that.

By his sacrifice, he has united us once and for all with God. It's like Mr. Rogers Christianity, if it just feels to you. Well, probably Mr. Rogers did not agree with this. No, I don't mean Mr. Rogers himself, I just mean that vibe of hello neighbor.

Hello neighbor. Yeah, yeah. It's more like I'm over here just kind of going about my life like, yeah, Adam and Eve back there messed up and brought sin into this world and I'm under sin and God's over their head. Hey, hey, look, I sent my son to die for you. You know, this is how much I love you and I want to be with you and you want to be with me. Don't you want to be with me? Come be with me. And together we can be one and you will never be me, though.

But at the same time, I'll give you so much that you will feel like me. Wow. Wow.

And sounds good. All that to avoid saying, hey, I really needed the cross. Yeah, all that to avoid that I was standing like a worm under God's boot. Yeah.

And Jesus took my sin debt upon himself and suffered the penalty of God's wrath for me. Right. The wretched sinner that I am. Yeah. No, no, no, let's not talk about that wretched sinner. Wow.

You're just a helpless victim, that's all you are. Do you think it also goes back to what we were talking about yesterday on Friday about having to live the Christian life harder? Do you feel like it's like I can achieve deification? Yeah.

Like I can achieve that status. That's why many of them went into the monasteries and out in the desert because they were trying to be more godly. Like they were just going to rid themselves, purge themselves of all the morals.

Remove myself from the world. It makes me think of when we went in Greece to those monasteries that were way high up on those cliffs. Yeah. I mean, it is as far removed from humanity as you can be. That's what they're doing. It's literally on the top of this giant crag, this giant rock, and if there weren't some sort of apparatus, you could not get down.

It's hard to get Wi-Fi up there too. Yeah. That's crazy. They don't care about that. The whole goal is to be removed. Right, right. So that is for that purpose, to be one with God. Yeah.

And so all this I have a lot of problem with, okay, as you can imagine, as you can see in my tone. Well, you guys have heard me preach these messages. True. Because it also seeks to neutralize the distinction between us and God. No matter how much they talk about the energy and essence and stuff, it tries to neutralize that distinction. And by the way, the Bible doesn't say anything about this essence-energy distinction. Right.

That sounds like kind of healing crystals, like some multilevel marketing fraud. Yeah, yeah. So what is Peter saying? What is Peter actually saying that we are partakers in the divine nature? To become a partaker of the divine nature is not a mystical union. It is a historical event.

Wow. We got to get that straight. Not a mystical union. It's a historical event. We are true partakers of divine nature and not just some distinction between energy and essence.

How does something like that happen? Right. So you go back to the church council, which was held at Chalcedon from October the 8th to November the 1st, 8451. And this council caused a schism between the churches in the east and churches in the west. This is the great schism? Yeah.

This is the big one? Mm-hmm. Okay, okay. And a few years ago, I preached a series of messages titled True Esteem.

And in this, I cover some of this information. And it was fleshed out at this council that what was always believed, by the way, but wasn't voiced as clearly, which is this. That Jesus Christ has two natures. One is human, the other is divine. Human nature is exactly like us, but without sin. Divine nature is exactly like that of God, the Father. And the two natures come together in one person, but the property of each nature is preserved.

No two Jesuses out there. Right. Two natures coming together without mingling, without dissolving. And this is important for this passage to make sense.

So how does that work? Something else, the two natures in Christ do gain from each other. So from the divine nature, the human nature gained the worthiness to be worshiped. So we worship the Jesus of Nazareth. Right, the human.

Yeah, of course. We worship him. How can he be?

But because he is also divine. When we are to Jesus what Jesus is to his Father, then Jesus will be to us what his Father is to him. Beautiful. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, if it was helpful for you in understanding what it means for us to be partakers in the divine nature, write in and let us know 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com.

Don't forget you can partner with us financially on that same website. Scroll to the bottom, click that donate button and let us know what's coming from our Clear View Today Show family. Jon, what's coming up tomorrow? You ever played Minecraft? Once or twice.

With your kids? Yeah. Do they ever just take random furniture and put it in their house any old sort of way?

100%. Guess what? People do the exact same thing with their spiritual life. Every single time. They just take this one and they take that one and they mash it all together. And they look and they say, man, I do not have something that looks really good or feels very good.

And guess what? That's because you're furnishing it with all the wrong or mismatched stuff. Tomorrow we're going to talk about that a little bit and tell you how to furnish your spiritual home in a godly way. Make sure you guys don't miss it. Love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear View Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-26 08:08:57 / 2024-02-26 08:22:29 / 14

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