IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GODHEAD
This brings us to the matter of deification—God’s intention to make the believers God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead. Athanasius referred to deification when at the council of Nicea in A.D. 325 he said, "He [Christ] was made man that we might be made God." Although the term deification is familiar to many theologians and Christian teachers, during the past sixteen centuries only a small number have dared to teach regarding the deification of the believers in Christ.
I have not been influenced by any teaching about deification, but I have learned from my study of the Bible that God does intend to make the believers God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead. For instance, 1 John 3:2 says, "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been manifested what we will be. We know that if He is manifested, we will be like Him because we will see Him even as He is." This verse clearly reveals that we will be like God.
God makes us like Him by imparting His life and nature into us. Second Peter 1:4 says that we have become "partakers of the divine nature." John 1:12-13 says that we were born, regenerated, by God with His life. As God’s children we are "baby gods," having God’s life and nature but not His Godhead. The Godhead is unique; He is the only One who should be worshipped.
We have been born of God and today, having God’s life and nature, we are partially like Him. One day, when He comes, we will be wholly and entirely like Him.
It was wonderful for David to be a man according to God’s heart, but it was not sufficient. God wants those who can say, "I am not just a person according to God’s heart. I am God in life and in nature but not in His Godhead." On the one hand, the New Testament reveals that the Godhead is unique and that only God, who alone has the Godhead, should be worshipped. On the other hand, the New Testament reveals that we, the believers in Christ, have God’s life and nature and that we are becoming God in life and in nature but will never have His Godhead.
THE SEED OF DAVID
BEING BOTH DIVINE AND HUMAN
David had the heart to build a house for God, but God indicated to David that this was neither what he needed nor what God needed. God told David that He would build One to be David’s seed and that this seed would be called God’s Son. This seed would be both divine and human. Hebrews 1:5 indicates that this refers to Christ as God’s firstborn Son. Furthermore, as we have seen, Romans 1:3-4, which corresponds to 2 Samuel 7:12-14a, tells us that in resurrection the seed of David was designated the Son of God. In their intrinsic significance, 2 Samuel 7:12-14a and Romans 1:3-4 reveal to us a human and divine person.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 25, by Witness Lee)