Bible study

Do You Participate in the Divine Nature?: Doxa and Arete


2 Peter 1-3 pic-monkey




“….Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:4


This scripture has always excited me. What a promise. What would it look like for me to participate in the divine nature?

My first thoughts go to the ability to heal people.

I haven’t healed anyone to my knowledge.

When I think of the “divine” nature I think of the gifts speaking in tongues and prophecy. Not sure if those are on my list of abilities. My participation of these is more sideline than first string.

But I know. I know. I know…that I’m different. I’m not the same that I was ten years ago or five or one.

A good friend who I’d not seen in several years said to me,

“You are different. You are confident, assured, stronger.”

As she said these words, I was reminded of the old Andy. Life has a way of growing you up. Almost 20 years as a military wife, raising one husband and three children and eight moves later will grow you up. Losing a mom and sister way too early will grow you up too.

My thoughts ran through the cob-webs of memories searching for the catalyst to my growth, but the search was futile. My heart already knew what my mind could not see. My heart knew that the confidence and strength was not gleaned from experience. Not all of it anyway. Because life can make you bitter or better–or a little of both.

No, my assurance is not from my experience. The change she saw is from nothing other than walking daily, often desperately in the trenches, sometimes on the mountaintops in the Presence of the One who promises to give us life.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge (epignosis) of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

Last Wednesday I wrote about epignosis. If you missed it or can’t remember, I hope you will read it again. Click on the word to go back to that post. That’s the fun thing about these word studies; as you learn the ancient words, you will begin finding them in your Bible reading. Let’s add to our knowledge:

glory= doxa


Arete means excellency, virtue, outstanding moral goodness, excellence of character; any salient character strength which is highly esteemed by others. It connotes such qualities as honesty, integrity, loyalty, courage, sense of honor, humility, modesty, and ethical propriety; it is that which gives a man his worth. (Key-Word NIV)

The definition above describes goodness as Peter (who penned 1 Peter 1:3,4) understood the word he was writing. He was promising that God has made a way for us to be like Christ and Jesus was and is Arete walking in flesh.

Honesty, integrity, loyalty, courage, sense of honor, humility…divine nature.

I’m looking forward to experiencing Doxa one day, but until then I’ll be content with growing in His goodness. It’s for all of us who know Him.

How have you changed for the better in the last 10 years?


Much grace,






  1. Jan Doke

    Yes, Andy, you are right. Walking faithfully in the trenches– and sometimes just STANDING( Eph.6:10-18) — is what brings about what your life now glows with! I’m so proud of you, and I also inspired by you! Thank you, Friend!

    1. Amen and Amen. To stand. Love you, my Jan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *