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II

Theosis
 scriptural foundations

Theosis (Greek for "becoming divine", Deification; to become gods by grace) leads to reconciliation and union with God achieved through a relationship or synergy between God and humanity. Union with God is not based on fusion (in a physical sense) but on free will. Since God created us with free will and all that is created by God is good, we have the potential to experience this union in all aspects of life (I.E. work, school, friendships, relationships, conversations, human interactions, prayers etc.).

Theosis should not be understood as a philosophical theory but is grounded in scripture, tradition and the writings of the early Christian writers.  Here we will look at the various sciptures that indicate the origin of the concept of the doctrine of Theosis
 

 

SCRIPTURES
The following scripture passages summarizes Theosis:
 

 

 

But all men have been subjected to death and defeat even though we are all the children of the most high God. The reason is obvious.  Given the freedom of will to choose, Adam the first man, the son of God choose to disobey God and as a result brought in ego based self centered life pattern which will only bring suffering for the whole creation.  In his mercy the Most High decreed and blessed Adamic race sleep until mankind can be redeemed from this choice and be brought back to life and then eternally.  This process of redemption is the path of theosis - getting back as sons of God

Psalm 82:6 states, “I said, ‘You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.’” 

The context of the passage shows God (Heb. אְֶלֹהִים) taking his stand amid those who were rulers (Heb. (Heb. אְֶלֹהִים) ) in His congregation.  God is upset with the conduct of these individuals due to their injustice and partiality in either mistreating the innocent and vindicating the wicked (vv. 2-3). As a result they will die inspite of having the status of gods.   

Irenaeus taught that Psalm 82:6 though quoted from the Old Testament referring to the people of Israel - the evil judges of Israel - is by allegory and typology applicable to the Church who are the representation of the Son of God within the Elohim. Father, Son ,and the Holy Spirit speaks to the Church that until they have reached perfection and the full adoption, they will die like Adam.  Athanasius also follow the same argument.  This is typical of any Old Testament reference which are used by the Early Fathers.  Many scholars hence use this to disregard this quotation as sufficient for the Theosis doctrine. But then this is not the only verse on which the doctrine stands.  It certainly supports the idea.

 

One such definite statement from the New Testament is the genealogy of Jesus in the gospel of Luke.

Adam, son of God

Luke 3:23-38 goes in this stages Jesus, Son of David, Son of Abraham, Son of Adam, Son of God”
This addition was not really called for unless Luke really wanted to emphansize that Jesus was the Son of God as one in trinity was in genealogy the son of Adam who was the son of God to begin with.  Thus Paul calls Jesus the Second Adam.

Here there is no other interpretation possible - Adam was the son of God, unless Luke made a blunder.  If this is true, all mankind form children of God.

 

“Neverthless God decreed that all the children of Adam and Adam should die. What most people do not realize was that, it was the love of God that led God to confer death on mankind.  I have dealt with this in my book “Love that will not let me go”

(http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/love/index.htm) (https://www.createspace.com/650044)

 


 

Again in John 10 we see Jesus applying the same passage Psalms 82 within the New Testament context applying it to the people who are called by God.

 

The incarnation was the initiative of the Father to bring in this theosis process into mankind. Theosis, hence is the redemption of Adamic race - which gives all the rights and privileges with which Adam was created by God with His own breath. He put the Spirit of God - a part of God’s life giving energy within Adam’s flesh

.God took the form of man to teach the way back to the tree of life, which essentially was laying down his own life in love for one’s brethren. This is what Jesus is saying.
This is a direct quote from David: 

 

Psalm 82.6: I said, "You are gods"; you are all sons of the most high.
Peter reflects on the same theme:         

2 Peter 1:3–4: God’s “divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” through the knowledge of God, who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these things, He has given us His great promises so that we “may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

 

 

 

 

The promise is that: We can be partakers of the divine nature .i.e. we can be sons of God - in the image of the Son of God - we can be gods.  There is a reason for using the lower letter g instead of G. The early fathers had a deep understanding that the creator God is not of the same essence in their existence as the created man.  We do not have the essence of the Trinity of God but we are united together with God in his

 

 

 

energies - as we are the highest form within the creation sharing some dimensions together. The shared dimension was the emanations or energies from the One United Holy Trinity.  That is short of being God.


 

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God’s Temple

1 Corinthians 3:16: We are reminded that we are God’s “temple” and that
6:17 
“he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him”—union with God.

 


This process thus begins when the spirit of God comes into our hearts. In the Old Testament Period, the Spirit of the Lord came and went off for the Prophets who were given the visions.  However after the Pentecost, the Spirit of the Lord is available to all who believe in the Son of God.

 

There is an echo of the creation of Adam.  God formed the body of man out of the dust of the ground and then breathed into him, thereby placing his breath - the Spirit of God - into it.  Adam became a living soul.  Thus Adam was intended to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

 Acts 2:1-4  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

A re-enactment of the creation of Adam took place at the time of Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit came upon the Chrisians gathered together. And the sons of God were reborn. It is the same status that Jesus promises to his believers.  True it is a rebirth into a new state. There was a re-breathing of the spirit to produce a rebirth in the new creation man.

 

II Cor. 5:17 ''If any man be in Christ he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.''

Galatians 6:15 says ''In Christ we are... a new creature.''

Ephesians 4:24 says we are to ''Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.''

  

 

This probably gives the first steps in the process of Theosis

1.  Believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead as the gurantee of my resurrection and becoming part of the Son

2.  Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.

Is not believing in Jesus sufficient for Salvation?
No. It must be following with the necessary actions of which declaration and witnessing to all around is a major part.

For one, it will show clearly that the Spirit of God is in the believer:

1 Cor.12.3 No one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says

"Jesus be cursed!"

and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.

 

1 John 4.15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

 

Thus faith alone is not sufficient.  True faith will be followed by corresponding actions - this indeed is the basis of the process of Theosis.

 

James 2: 17-18 So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

 

Thus true faith will indeed show in deeds and transform a believer into the likeness of the Son - this is the theosis in action


Galatians 2:20: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

Philippians 1:21: “For me, to live is Christ.”

Colossians 3:3: We have “died” and our lives are “hidden with Christ in God”—total participation in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23: May God “sanctify you completely”—complete conformity to the image and likeness of God.

2 Thessalonians 2:14: We were called by God “for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Romans 12:1–2: We are to present our bodies as a “living sacrifice,” doing so as part of our spiritual worship. And we are to “be transformed” by the renewing of our minds into the likeness of God.


1 John 4:17: “Because as He is, so are we in this world”—the possibility of deification, total participation in Christ this side of eternity.

John 17:22: In His high priestly prayer, Jesus says that He has given us the glory that the Father gave Him. The glory of Jesus is the glory he has within the Trinity as God.  It is this glory that Jesus promises to his believers.

Revelation 21:7: At the beginning of the eschaton, Christ says of each of us, “I will be his God and he shall be My son.”

1 John 3:2: “We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

Philippians 3:21: Christ will “transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.”

 

Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew,
He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,
that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.


The offer os conforming to the imge of His Son - the Divinity of one of the Trinity itself - is for many brethren.  It is open to all mankind.

God is our Father,
Jesus is the Son of God

Jesus is our brother.

We will be like Him - we will be like God?
 

2 Cor 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

We reflect the glory of the Son of God

We are being transformed into the image of the Son of God

Indeed this conformation is with intensifyin glory - the glory of the Son of God, to whom we will be united as wife to form one flesh.  Does the glory include some divinity at least?

John 17:20-26 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and (God) have loved them as You (God) have loved Me.  "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.  And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

 

The picture of man presented here is not a flesh with a Spirit within it; but the portion of the Spirit which was part of God given independence and live in a fleshly or material tent.  We are spirit beings with a body of flesh.  Since man is given freedom, if the spirit is isolated from the Infinite Holy Spirit it leads to death.  When reconnected to the Infinite Holy Spirit, the spirit of man renews itself and form part of God.  This body which is material then becomes the part of the body of God itself.  This concept is basic in the teachings of the Apostle.  Hence the Church is describes as the bride of Christ which unites itself with the Son of God.  Is the Church then part of Godhead? Obviously.

Son of God joins bodily with his wife Church and becomes one flesh: The Marriage of the Lamb

Ephesians 5:22-33. A major analogy is that of the body. Just as husband and wife are to be "one flesh,"[Eph. 5:31] this analogy for the writer describes the relationship of Christ and ekklēsia.[Eph. 5:32] Husbands were exhorted to love their wives "just as Christ loved the ekklēsia and gave himself for it.[Eph. 5:25] When Christ nourishes and cherishes the ekklēsia, he nourishes and cherishes his own flesh. Just as the husband, when he loves his wife is loving his own flesh.[Eph. 5:28] Members of the ekklēsia are "members of his own body" because it is written in Genesis 2:4 "and the two shall become one flesh". In [Eph. 5:31] Paul quotes the Genesis passage as what has been called a "divine postscript". 

In writing to the Church of Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11 Paul writes to the Corinthians warning them of false teachers who would teach of another Christ and confessing his worry that they will believe someone who teaches a false christ; other than Christ Jesus of Nazareth whom they preached; and referred to the Church in Corinth as being espoused to Christ. "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”  .[2 Cor. 11:2-4] Thus Paul indicates that the situation is similar to the Adam Eve in the garden of Eden

In the writing to the Church in Rome,Paul writes, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God" .[Romans 7] Here, Paul seems to suggest that the Church is to be married to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was raised from the dead.

The portion in Revelation 19:7-10 describing the marriage scene in which the Bridegroom makes His Bride His wife, is worthy of full consideration. A woman, of course, only becomes a wife on the completion of her marriage to the man to whom she has been engaged or espoused. In this age of Grace, the church is the affianced Bride of Christ. At the marriage of the Lamb, she becomes His wedded wife (Ephesians 5:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 11:2).

What it means in terms of trinity is that the believers form part of the family of Jesus.  Do we become a god alongside of the Son.  Not necessarily in terms of the essence but in terms of power, position and authority yes.  This is similar to the adoption concept.  Here it is presented as marriage which is deeper than adoption.
 

Thus Church today is the bride of the Son of God.  The communion table is still the proposal of the bridegroom to the mankind - an invitation to join with him and the body of Christ.

 

Even those who do not understand what theosis is all about, we can see the Bible calls the Church as the body of Christ. That in itself is simply a statement of theosis. Church will one day become the wife of the lamb. Marriage of the Lamb will come.  That picture is described all through the Bible.

“Let us rejoice and be overjoyed . . . because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived.”

—REVELATION 19:7.

The bride is brought to her Bridegroom, the Messianic King.
He has prepared and cleansed her “by means of the word.”
She is “holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26, 27)
His bride is dressed appropriately.   
Revelation 19:8.“It has been granted to her to be clothed with bright, clean, fine linen—for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones.”
Gen 2: 24: For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Are all these simply allegories?

Is there any meaning in the words Body of Christ, Bride of Christ, Marriage of Christ etc.?  
Are we being fooled?  
Are they just parables for something which means we will be given immortality someday sometime?
What does new birth and new creation and spirit living in us and Christ in us means?  
Is it just to remind us to be obedient to the slave master’s orders?

This explains the teaching of the early fathers: “God became Man, so that man can become god.” So that they can become one flesh. They will have at least those material dimensions plus the spirit within as common dimensions to join.
Probably it will be easier for some people if I translate it as “Son of God became man, so that men can become sons of God.” or should we say ‘Daughter in law of God’ ?

 

Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

If one is filled with "all the fullness of God" does not that suggest that they will be also God as part of the Family of God?

Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together .

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:18  'I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty."  

Finally have a look at Jesus’ prayer:

This clearly is a request to accept the wife of the Son of God, within the family of the Triune God ,as one of family. The only way this can be done is to make the Church, the Son, The Father and The Ruach as one each encompassing all the others.
Father is in the Son and Son is in the Father - they are just one

Church is in the Father and the Son. Notice that the Father and Son is not in the Church.  They don’t form a oneness with the Trinity, but they are inside the Divine realm.  Church does not form another God to make a oneness as then it would be like the figure on the left.
The Spirit is already within the Church making it One Organism. That does not make one in essence.  

Where would this place be other than the realm of he Whole Divinity.

 

But it goes far beyond that.

When the whole material creation is redeemed and the creation itself can partake of the divinity

 

Romans 8:19-21Amplified Bible (AMP) For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

The very concept leads us directly to the idea of Theosis when one day Jesus will come and take his bride with him and will marry him and  Christ and the Church will be united as one body in his and her real body. They shall be One body. The redeemed creation will become the body of the Son of God - Jesus who already possess the flesh which has overcome the decay and death law of the Second Law of Thermodynamics - which we call the resurrected glorified body.  This is what we share with him. We do partake in the redemptive process of the whole creation.

 

Based on Rom 8:18-23: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

 

 

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves”

This is redemption.

The body Jesus wore while on earth was the human body which he still wears as a living person within the Trinity.  The whole creation will be so redeemed and will partake of the divinity as it was in the beginning.  The whole cosmos will form the body of God.


https://www.createspace.com/3989816

http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/cosmos/index.htm

In the book Cosmos: the body of God I have suggested that the whole Infinite God may be considered as the original whose image mankind is.  All the various dimensions and beings are the various organs of the God’s body. Creation with all the beings and non-beings are all parts of His body with varying functions.  Mankind may be one of the prime parts of God. The fall of man is one of the malfunction and God will heal mankind which will cause total healing of the whole body.  From the scriptures this is the picture we have.  We cannot seperate God from His creation.  Once the creation took place, whether organic or inorganic creation, they are all part of God with their own function and purpose.

John  17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

 . 22 -23 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

This talks evidently of a monism wherein God and creations are united into one organism.  This happens when all creation is also redeemed.  Just as an organism contains many parts there will be gradations there will be variations and differences within the body. Paul talks about it when he talks about the Church.

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Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

The body is a unit, though it is comprised of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and we were all given one Spirit to drink.…For the body does not consist of one part, but of many….

Christ and his church form one body, as Head and members. Christians become members of this body by baptism. The outward rite is of Divine institution; it is a sign of the new birth, and is called therefore the washing of regeneration, Titus 3:5. But it is by the Spirit, only by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, that we are made members of Christ's body. And by communion with Christ at the Lord's supper, we are strengthened, not by drinking the wine, but by drinking into one Spirit. Each member has its form, place, and use. The meanest makes a part of the body. There must be a distinction of members in the body. So Christ's members have different powers and different places. We should do the duties of our own place, and not murmur, or quarrel with others. All the members of the body are useful and necessary to each other. Nor is there a member of the body of Christ, but may and ought to be useful to fellow-members. As in the natural body of man, the members should be closely united by the strongest bonds of love; the good of the whole should be the object of all. All Christians are dependent one upon another; each is to expect and receive help from the rest. Let us then have more of the spirit of union in our religion.

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If the church is within Christ and the Christ within the Church the gifts and powers are given to enhanced by the union of the members. It is the oneness of the church or the members of the church that can do wonders not necessarily by the individuals.

Matt. 18: 19-20 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

 

Mark 17:20 Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
It is important to understand that faith here refers to the faith in God, not faith in faith.  Otherwise we will be falling into the trap of the Positive Confession New Age who says  "Believe it in your heart; say it with your mouth. That is the principle of faith. You can have what you say" (Charismatic Chaos, pp. 281, 285).

 

Mark 11: 22-25 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” 
This is only the power of the believer who has faith as small as a mustard seed.  The divine power goes much higher.

Again after the resurrection Jesus sending his apostles says in the great commission:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

These are only signs. If the divine power is given to each believer individually as above right from now and here, how much more will that power when all mankind join together as church and then joins with the Son of God in union!!  We are told this will bring the whole cosmos into its original freedom from the bondage it is in now.  The whole creation is eagerly waiting for the appearance of the sons of God.

This is theosis.