“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 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 in the world caused by evil desires.” - 2 Peter 1:3-4
Adam became a “living nephesh” when God breathed life into him (Genesis 2:7). In Hebrew, the word nephesh has to do with this living, breathing “bundle of desires” that includes our wants, needs, longings, and fears. These desires are not inherently wrong (as that is how we are made), but when they run wild unchecked and uncontrolled it leads to corruption. Genesis 6:1-8 speaks to the connection between desire and the corruption that quickly filled the earth. The Ten Commandments prohibits “covetousness” or the desire of what someone else has (Exodus 20:1-17), and James 3:16 speaks about “every evil practice” stemming from selfish ambition.
So what does Peter mean when he speaks about escaping corruption in the world through participating in the divine nature? Through the power of Christ (vs. 2-3), we have received the promise of Christ's coming (vs. 16). As such, when Christ returns, we will see him as he is because we will be like him (I John 3:2-3), and we will have an incorruptible nature (I Corinthians 15:50-54) and participate in a God-like nature-eternal and incorruptible.
Since the corruption of this world is passing away and destined for destruction, Peter encourages us to look ahead to the Christ's return and not become embroiled in the corruptible nature that erodes our faith and prompts us to wander away from Christ, even give up our faith. May our lives today the reality that in the future we will participate in a God-like nature for all eternity.