"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." -http://biblehub.com/2_peter/1-4.htm

My understanding is when the person of Christ became human, he assumed a human nature. Now we have this person of Christ with a human and divine nature. I think of it kind or like having a linux OS(Divine Nature) running a windows virtual OS (human nature).

Now I think this elevates our human nature to a nature that God has. But does this also mean that humans will get a divine nature at some point. Perhaps baptism, or death, or final judgment? I am interested particularly in Catholic theological theories/teachings/camps. So back to the computer analogy if we are all running windows, is there a chance we get to install linux at some point?

PS - can someone please tag this with divine-nature *human-nature* and beatific-vision... I do not have enough points.

  • Run out of a Virtual Linux OS or Divine Nature. Yes. good question. Mar 24, 2014 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


Humans can never become God because God alone is (1) inherently immortal (1 Tim. 1:17, 6:16) and (2) uncreated. God created all things (Eph. 3:9); therefore, anything created (which includes humans) is not God nor can it become God.

However, humans (specifically, Christians) can be "sharers in the divine nature" (θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως) when they receive the Holy Spirit, which is both the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son, and by means of the Holy Spirit, not only do the Father and Son dwell in the Christian (John 14:23), but the Christian is joined to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:17), who himself is God (John 1:1 cp. 1:14; Rev. 19:13, 22:13), and thus the Christian becomes "one spirit" with God Himself and shares in the divine nature, for God is spirit (John 4:24) in nature (φύσις).

I might also share Heinrich Meyer's remarks on 2 Pet. 1:4, wherein he writes,

As opposed to the mystic “deification,” it must be remarked, with the older interpreters, that the expression φύσις conveys the thought, not so much of the substantia, as rather of the qualitas.

And thus, the thought is not so much that we are deified and our nature is substantially metamorphosed from humanity into deity, but rather, that we share in God's substantial qualities, for example, holiness (Heb. 12:10). This, again, is by virtue of the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

  • Great resource! I was reading Heinrich and I think the quote you gave touches on the heart of the matter. So from what I can understand φύσις(nature) is divided between substance and qualities. So our human persons will receive the qualities of the divine nature without receiving the substance? So our person would still only contain one nature(human) but it would be...supercharged with divine qualities? I.E. Windows would now have the qualities of Linux but still be Windows? Is there a way to know what "older interpreters" Heinrich is referring to? I would like to read them.
    – MSKI
    Mar 24, 2014 at 14:21
  • Well, that's just his opinion. Because the Holy Spirit (who is God) indwells us; we share in God's actual nature. And, by sharing in His actual nature, we also share in the qualities (at least some of them) of His nature, which includes holiness. So, I think Meyer is only half-right, because he seems to dismiss the very nature entirely, and only focuses on the qualities of the nature. I think it's both. I definitely do not believe in the doctrine of theosis, whereby humans actually become God in nature.
    – user900
    Mar 24, 2014 at 18:26
  • @MSKI If your curious, google the distinction between Essence and Energies in regards to the (Eastern) Orthodox tradition. They believe that man may reach "theosis" not trough participating in the Essence(or nature) of God, but through participating in his Energies. I would be wary about stating that humans can participate or receive the qualities of the divine nature. I could be wrong, but I believe that Catholics didn't go along with the Essence vs Energies concept. Mar 25, 2014 at 4:52
  • @H3br3wHamm3r81 Theosis is that man becomes god by participating in the Energies of God, not by the participation in the Nature of God. The former is heretical and openly condemned by those who subscribe to theosis. Mar 25, 2014 at 4:53
  • 1
    @MSKI: We should note that the text never says we become anything. It merely says we are "sharers in the divine nature." Thus, the real question is "How are we sharers in the divine nature?" and certainly not "Do humans become God?" If God is spirit (in nature), and the Holy Spirit is indeed spirit, and God, don't we share/ participate in the divine nature when the Holy Spirit indwells us? See 2 Cor. 13:14: ἡ κοινωνία τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος.
    – user900
    Mar 26, 2014 at 3:10

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