HOME WRITE TO ME... REFERENCES

Neil's Website | Ajit's Website

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

THEOSIS

 

 

Rom 8:14-17   For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. when we cry, "Abba! Father!"  It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,  provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

I myself have said, 'You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High."

John 17: 21-22  That they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you.  That they also may be in us, that they may be one ; even as we are one.   

2 Peter 1:3  YOU MAY BECOME PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE [and] escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion.

I John 3:2  My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.

C.S. Lewis

 

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. . . “
 C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory

“(God) said that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him-for we can prevent Him if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for”. —C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 174-5

“God said to this hairless monkey, "get on with it, become a god." —C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

“. . . the Spirit and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory." Rom. 8:15-17

“They (those who love him) are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers.” — Rom 8:29

“By Christ, God) hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world." (II Peter 1:4)

"For whom (God) forknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

"We all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, are transformed into the same image from glory into glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:18)

"We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." (I Corinthians 13:12)

"It hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that, whe he shall appear, we shall be like to Him because we shall see Him as He is." (I John 3:2)

 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit.”  2 Cor. 3:17-18

.”..if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.” Gal. 4:7

 

Gregory of Nazianzen

(c 330-391)

"God brings the dead to life as partakers of fire or light. But whether even all shall hereafter partake of God, let it be elsewhere discussed

Saint, Gregory Nazianzen,
330–390AD

Cappadocian theologian, Doctor of the Church, one of the Four Fathers of the Greek Church. He is sometimes called Gregory Theologus. He studied widely in his youth and was from his student days a friend of St. Basil the Great. Basil appointed the unwilling Gregory to a bishopric, and Gregory succeeded him as principal leader of the conciliatory party in the church struggle against Arianism. In 379, Gregory was chosen bishop of Constantinople. By his preaching he wrought a great revival of orthodoxy there. 

The Risen Christ "still pleads even now as Man for my salvation, for He continues to wear the Body which He assumed, until He makes me God by the power of His Incarnation”

St. Augustine

354-430 AD

By 396 he had become bishop of Hippo

“He has called men gods that are deified of His Grace,
not born of His Substance
.

St. Basil the Great

Greek  bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia after A.D. 370 and a vigorous opponent of Arianism.

“Souls wherein the Spirit dwells, illuminated by the Spirit, themselves become spiritual, and send forth their grace to others. Hence comes . . . abiding in God, the being made like to God, and, highest of all, the being made God.” —St. Basil the Great, On the Spirit.

 St. Irenaeus (A.D. 125-202)

 was born around the year A.D. 125, a native of Asia Minor.  While very young, St. Irenaeus became the pupil of  St. Polycarp in Smyrna.  St. Polycarp is one of the Apostolic Fathers, having been a pupil of the Apostle St. John.  St. Irenaeus became a priest of the Church of Lyons during the prosecution of Marcus Aurelius. In A.D. 177, Irenaeus was sent to Rome.  St. Irenaeus returned to Lyons to occupy the vacant bishopric, by which time the persecutions had ceased. Almost all of writings of St. Irenaeus were directed against Gnosticism.

 

“The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: (2 Pet 1:4) “For this is why the Word became man, [1265, 1391] and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” (St. Irenaeus, Adversus haereses. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1.939)

St. Athanasius

PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA,
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
the great champion of orthodoxy during the Arian crisis of the 4th century.

“For the Son of God became man so that we might BECOME GOD.”  (St. Athanasius, De inc., 54, 3: PG 25, 192B)

[God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine [460] nature [...] For this reason, THOSE IN WHOM THE SPIRIT DWELLS ARE DIVINIZED.

(St. Athanasius, Ep. Serap. 1, 24: PG 26.585 & 588)

St. Thomas Aquinas

1225–1274.
Italian Dominican friar, theologian, and philosopher. The most influential thinker of the medieval period,

“The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might MAKE MEN GODS.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57: 1-4).

Paulos Mar Gregorios

"The main tenet of the Orthodox faith is the belief that salvation is by being united with Christ who is Isvara incarnate. By being united with Him, we are to grow into God's image by becoming more and more god-like in character, in love, in goodness and in wisdom. This process of transformation is called theosis or divinization."

When we unite ourselves unto Christ we become "transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).
"And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man"
(I Corinthians
15:49).

 

Christ as "the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation" (Col 1:15),

"every man" to become "mature in Christ" (Col 1:28),

"have come to fullness of life in Him" (Col. 2:10).

"to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13),

to acquire "the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16), the heart of Christ (cf. Eph 3:17)

 

After Darwin, people came to realize that God has not finished the creation of the world. He is still creating.  Tilhard DeChardin, the great anthropologist, believed that the destiny of man is to rise toward spiritual perfection until at last he is united with God.

 

Bishop Maximos Aghiorgiussis writes, "The fathers make a distinction between the image of God in man, and his likeness to God; image is the potential given to man, through which he can obtain the life of theosis (communion with God). Likeness with God is the actualization of this potential; it is becoming more and more what one already is: becoming more and more God's image, more and more God-like. The distinction between image and likeness is, in other words, the distinction between being and becoming."

 

Theosis in no way means that human beings "become God" in a pantheistic sense.   This is a twisting of the concept of theosis.


God is by nature unknowable in His essence. He becomes knowable through His energies, which are the ways by which He, in His grace, has opened Himself to us. "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (John 1:18). Although not capable of knowing God in His essence, we are capable of knowing Him through His energies, since He is present in each of His energies.

St. Basil

 

 "We know our God from His energies, but we do not claim that we can draw near to His essence, for His energies come down to us, but His essence remains unapproachable.“

“Man's knowledge of God can be only of His energies, not of His essence.”

 

M.M.Thomas

Humanization
"We are not human beings;

we are human becomings"

Becoming is a process. 

Rom 12:1  I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2Co 3:17-18   Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

 

 

Eph. 5:31-32. . the two will become one body. . . This mystery applies to Christ and the Church.

 

 

 

Eph 4:14-15  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.

(Eph 2:11-14)  Wherefore remember, that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh,  who are called Uncircumcision  by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.   But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ.   For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eph 2:18  for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father.

Eph 2:19  So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,

 

 

Eph 2:20  being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets

Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone;

 

Eph 2:21  in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;

 

 

 

Eph 2:22  in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.