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The Significance of Humility in the Christian Life
http://www.socdigest.org/articles/03sep05.html ^ | By Bryan Stiles

Posted on 12/09/2011 7:55:28 PM PST by rzman21

"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matt. 23:12) Humility is a door, among many others in the great labyrinth, which leads us to our divinization, so that we may become little Christs. Without overcoming ourselves, accepting our faults, submitting everything to the Lord…such a door could not be opened, therefore becoming a tiring obstacle in our wake. Our world, our America is a culture of egotism and the importance of self. It is a temptation that wants us to feel on top of the world, infallible and glorifiable - even though our sinful nature speaks the contrary. Our minds become distorted and our eyes misty, clouding the way to the path of Christ. I have seen too often people seek self-satisfaction in whatever they think and do or lie to maintain their pompous egotism. Such worldliness deprives us of what is the most important; such love for our earthly bodies and persona stray us away from the Good Lord.

Consulting the wisdom of Staretz* (Qashisho) Silouan of Mt Athos, we find he speaks on humility.

"Understand me. It is so simple. People who do not know God, or who go against Him, are to be pitied: the heart sorrows for them and the eye weeps....where there is pride there cannot be grace, and if we lose grace we also lose both love of God and assurance in prayer. The soul is then tormented by evil thoughts and does not understand that he must humble himself and love his enemies, for there is no other way to please God." (Material from Wisdom From Mount Athos: The Writings of Staretz Silouan 1866-1838, by Archimandrite Sophrony) ** Let us dwell on this wisdom, step by step: “People who do not know God, or who go against Him, are to be pitied: the heart sorrows for them and the eye weeps…where there is pride there cannot be grace…” Wherefore do we get off telling ourselves that we are TRULY good? “No one is good, except God alone”, said the Divine Lord. Pride is the toxin of the soul. The holy Fathers advise us to keep the heart pure from all impulses, feelings and fantasies of self, whatever they may be. But what do we do? We always fall back into the temptation of self-confidence. This self-confidence is a hazardous aspect in our earthly life. What we need to do is recognize that we are weak, wholly incapable of resisting the lure of the dominion of Satan. The less we rely on our delusional self-strength, and take on the reliance upon our Lord, the more we are able to stand.

“…and if we lose grace we also lose both love of God and assurance in prayer.” To lose such is a tragedy for a soul. We need complete reliance upon the Lord, for if we make the Lord, and not our own egotism, our protection, we will be ensured that the devil himself will not succeed in his temptation:

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a] And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91) Even if we fall on this journey, which is quite possible given our nature, one must not be rueful over that fact we failed; that surely demonstrates one is pining over the fact that they failed to meet their own selves. That would then prove to us that only our self-reliance has been hurt. So that we may NOT lose the love He has bestowed upon His Church, the focus of work should be that we are sinners and that we need to put all our trust in God. He who does what the Lord has advised us to do, thanks God for rescuing him from sinking any lower into the self-cult of arrogance.

“The soul is then tormented by evil thoughts and does not understand that he must humble himself and love his enemies, for there is no other way to please God.” What other way can we please God than by following the character of His Son?

“7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8)

The Eternal and Divine Son of God took the form of Man, subscribing Himself to a most humble form. He endured extreme humility for the sake of the world, by suffering, being mocked, and dying for the sins of mankind. What can we, Creation, do to live out our New Hope in the Ressurection? Pray God to forgive us and not again to allow us to be reckless, unwary, disobedient, and independent. Pray for grace and mercy and love that He who is All-Compassionate may help us abstain from falling back on our darker half.

I implore all who read this to not be tempted into taking what may seem the easy road, which encompasses accepting the temptation of Satan and the glorification of self. Pride, arrogance, haughtiness, and self-importance are all gems of the conceited man, which solicit what may seem an easy, comfortable life. Yet, what more is richer than glorifying others and the Lord? What more is satisfying than denying ourselves and taking up our cross? It sure beats what the other choice offers and the end result therein.

As the Nativity of Our Most Blessed Yoldath-Aloho (Theotokos) comes into view, let us pray that we may not follow the way of Adam, when he placed the blame upon Eve and the devil. Let us all accept the faults of ourselves and the mistakes that we have made and continue to make, so that each of us may never repeat the situation of Adam – for who wants to be outside the gates of Paradise?


TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Orthodox Christian
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/09/2011 7:55:31 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21

Thank goodness I’m the most humble person in the universe.


2 posted on 12/09/2011 7:57:16 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard
I was going to say I pride myself on being the most humble. But in my humbleness I let you post it first.
3 posted on 12/09/2011 8:01:23 PM PST by BipolarBob (Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world and she walks into mine.)
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To: BipolarBob
I was going to say I pride myself on being the most humble. But in my humbleness I let you post it first.

Thank you. I'm humbled.

4 posted on 12/09/2011 8:14:04 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: rzman21

Humility is a form of Truth.


5 posted on 12/09/2011 8:14:04 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG ...do you usually mock the truth?)
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To: Domestic Church

Pride was the sin of Adam.


6 posted on 12/09/2011 8:14:35 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21
The Significance of Humility in the Christian Life
The Virtues [Ecumenical]
Moral Conscience [Ecumenical]

Teaching the Virtues (includes The Lessons of 9/11)
WHAT ARE THE MARYLIKE STANDARDS? (Modesty)
Morality of the Passions [Ecumenical]
Sources of Morality [Ecumenical]
When attending Mass becomes an occasion of sin [Lack of modesty]
Vatican Cardinal Burke: In today’s society ‘morality has ceased to exist’
Heaven and the love of neighbour [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Virtue of Prudence [Michael Voris video]
Back-to-School Virtues: Three qualities that help your child succeed in class and in life
How to Make All Our Conversations Virtuous [Ecumenical]

Advent -- A Season of Hope
Modesty En Vogue [Another one of the virtues]"
Prudence: Mother of All Virtues
The Virtue of Confidence
Is Courage a Masculine Virtue?
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure – Part One
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure — Part Two
Morality is Habit-Forming: The Cardinal Virtues
The Cross Exemplifies Every Virtue [St. Thomas Aquinas]
Living the Virtue of Humility

7 posted on 12/09/2011 8:16:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Lancey Howard
Thank you. I'm humbled.

Yeah, but I'm about a thousand times more humble than you. (Really the figure is closer to 1500 but I'm being conservative AND humble).

8 posted on 12/09/2011 8:17:32 PM PST by BipolarBob (Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world and she walks into mine.)
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To: Lancey Howard; BipolarBob

I am humbled at the thought of your humility.


9 posted on 12/09/2011 8:37:17 PM PST by taterjay
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To: rzman21

Jokes aside, good article.


10 posted on 12/09/2011 8:40:22 PM PST by taterjay
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To: All

A Rabbi, a Hindu, and a lawyer are in a car. They run out of gas and are forced to stop at a farmer’s house. The farmer says that there are only two extra beds, so one person will have to sleep in the barn.

The Hindu says,’ ‘I’m humble, I will sleep in the barn.’’ So, he goes out to the barn. In a few minutes, the farmer hears a knock on the door. It’s the Hindu and he says,’ ‘There is a cow in the barn. It’s against my beliefs to sleep with a cow.’’

So, the Rabbi says,’ ‘I’m humble, I’ll sleep in the barn.’’ A few minutes later, the farmer hears another knock on the door and it’s the Rabbi. He says that it is against his beliefs to sleep where there is a pig and there is a pig in the barn.

So, the lawyer is forced to sleep in the barn. A few minutes later, there is a knock on the door. It’s the pig and the cow...


11 posted on 12/09/2011 8:40:45 PM PST by BipolarBob (Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world and she walks into mine.)
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To: rzman21; taterjay

yes. It is a good article. Thanks for posting.


12 posted on 12/09/2011 8:42:28 PM PST by BipolarBob (Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world and she walks into mine.)
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To: rzman21
Humility is a door, among many others in the great labyrinth, which leads us to our divinization, so that we may become little Christs.

We will never be a Christ, little or otherwise. There is only one Christ and that is Jesus The LORD. The idea that we become a Christ is a false doctrine. We must strive to be Christ like but we will never, never be a Christ.

Satan told Eve that she would become as God and he is still telling the same lie today. Thinking that we shall be as God is pride. The first thing one must do to be humble is realize the unfathomable vast difference there is between us and All Mighty God in every way. We are merely the created. He is the Creator. Our words, nor our thoughts can begin to comprehend His perfection or His power.

13 posted on 12/09/2011 8:45:27 PM PST by Bellflower (Judas Iscariot, first democrat, robber, held the money bag, claimed to care for poor: John 12:4-6)
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To: rzman21

i have to smile. i’m reminded of the founder of string theory who said that his theory will eventually prove out to be correct because (paraphrasing) it was so obvious to him from the beginning that it had to be right.


14 posted on 12/09/2011 8:46:42 PM PST by dadfly
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To: Bellflower

So I take it that you prefer pride and arrogance.


15 posted on 12/09/2011 8:48:06 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21
Without overcoming ourselves, accepting our faults,

Accepting our faults??? We abhor our faults, sins. We repent in sackcloth and ashes. Our "faults" are the reason Jesus who is/was without fault died the horrific death on the cross for us, paying the price for our sins with His own precious and perfect life. Yes, we do admit our faults and trust that, as The Bible says, Jesus died to take our sins away. We certainly do not accept them.

16 posted on 12/09/2011 8:51:15 PM PST by Bellflower (Judas Iscariot, first democrat, robber, held the money bag, claimed to care for poor: John 12:4-6)
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To: rzman21

Oh, don’t say that. Errors can be made with very good intentions.

And certainly if Athanasius says, “He became man so that we might become gods,” (which I believe), we have some ‘splainin’ to do about how that is NOT just anew version of what the snake said.

Personally, I believe that humility is part of the economy of the Trinity. The Son is perfectly humble to the Father, and our Lord uses the wonderful image of the unselfconsciously humble son who does what he sees his father doing, to describe his place in the Trinity.

In Christ, vivified by his spirit, the liberating grace of humility becomes a possibility for us. May it come soon. May HE come soon.


17 posted on 12/09/2011 8:59:29 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Jesus, I trust in you.)
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To: rzman21
So I take it that you prefer pride and arrogance.

No, I accept my place under Jesus, who is the one and only Christ. Only He, The Perfect Lamb of God, is worthy to be called Christ. Non of us shall ever be a Christ except Him.

There are whole schools of false doctrine out there whose adherents believe not that they are under Christ but rather that they themselves have become as Christ, a Christ in their own right. They believe that power then issues from them as a god. They believe that they themselves are the source of this power rather than believing and understanding that there is only one power and that is God Almighty.

This is a very, very aberrant belief system out of the pit of hell. You would be surprised if you knew how many people are deluded into believing that they shall become a god but in their minds the god that they shall become or think that they are has a capital g.

18 posted on 12/09/2011 9:07:48 PM PST by Bellflower (Judas Iscariot, first democrat, robber, held the money bag, claimed to care for poor: John 12:4-6)
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To: Bellflower

I have been the whipping boy more than once in various trials and have paid dearly for things I didn’t do and been humiliated and repudiated in situations where all I could do about it was grin and bear it. Was I “crucified”? Not literally, but figuratively, yes. So, it was a lot more humiliating than I was comfortable with and yes, I complained to God that I wasn’t a god and didn’t want to pay the price for someone else’s sin. But I had to anyway.


19 posted on 12/09/2011 9:08:13 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: taterjay
What is his humidity?
20 posted on 12/09/2011 9:12:50 PM PST by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: Bellflower

Do you believe in infused grace or imputed grace?

I think you misunderstand the author’s language.


21 posted on 12/09/2011 9:19:25 PM PST by rzman21
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To: yldstrk

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4

The author is talking about imitating Christ’s virtues and becoming an earthly icon of his grace. He’s not talking in a New Age fashion.


22 posted on 12/09/2011 9:21:26 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21

I don’t understand what you are getting at. I don’t cotton to any New Age nonsense.

What I am referring to in my situation has to do with being vilified due to my stance on a drug addled minister at the church I belonged to and losing a relationship to an attack by a conspiracy of those fueled by Satan.

Agonizing. Did this torture help my relationship with God? Yes, I had nowhere to turn except God and no relief from any human source.


23 posted on 12/09/2011 9:28:30 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Bellflower

Here’s an Orthodox explanation of the doctrine of Theosis.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frag_salv.aspx

Justification vs. Theosis?
In SBP Jones sets theosis over and against themes of justification by faith, atonement, etc., insisting that they are mutually incompatible. The first point that could be made is that nowhere in early Christian history (East or West) do we find anyone arguing against the teaching of theosis. Secondly, the notion that redemption should be rigidly interpreted in one particular way is itself foreign to early Christian thought: “The seven ecumenical councils avoided defining salvation through any [one model] alone. No universal Christian consensus demands that one view of salvation includes or excludes all others” [41]. J.N.D. Kelly further explains: “Scholars have often despaired of discovering any single unifying thought in the Patristic teaching about the redemption. These various theories, however, despite appearances, should not be regarded as in fact mutually incompatible. They were all of them attempts to elucidate the same great truth from different angles; their superficial divergences are often due to the different Biblical images from which they started, and there is no logical reason why, carefully stated, they should not be regarded as complimentary” [42]. And this is precisely what we find in Orthodoxy: “While insisting in this way upon the unity of Christ’s saving economy, the Orthodox Church has never formally endorsed any particular theory of atonement. The Greek Fathers, following the New Testament, employ a rich variety of images to describe what the Savior has done for us. These models are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, each needs to be balanced by the others. Five models stand out in particular: teacher, sacrifice, ransom, victory and participation” [43].

In fact, the entire cleavage of justification and sanctification into two different themes—the former said to occur instantly, and the latter being a life-long process—is of relatively recent origin in the history of the Church. It was only in the first era of the Reformation, as the eminent Protestant scholar Allister McGrath points out, that “A deliberate and systematic distinction is made between the concept of justification itself (understood as the extrinsic divine pronouncement of man’s new status) and the concept of sanctification or regeneration (understood as the intrinsic process by which God renews the justified sinner).” He goes on to explain that: “The significance of the Protestant distinction between iustificatio and regeneratio is that a fundamental discontinuity has been introduced into the western theological tradition where none had existed before…The Reformation understanding of the nature of justification – as opposed to its mode – must therefore be regarded as a genuine theological novum [44].

Interestingly enough, this unjustifiable cleavage has never been a part of Orthodoxy. After discussing the subject of theosis, Bishop Kallistos (Ware) explains: “By this time it will be abundantly clear that, when we Orthodox speak about salvation, we do not have in view any sharp differentiation between justification and sanctification. Indeed, Orthodox usually have little to say about justification as a distinct topic. I note, for example, that in my own book The Orthodox Church, written thirty years ago, the word ‘justification’ does not appear in the index, although this was not a deliberate omission. Orthodoxy links sanctification and justification together, just as St. Paul does in 1 Cor. 6:11: ‘You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.’ The references to justification in the opening chapters of Romans (for example 3:20, 24, 28), we understand in the light of Romans 6:4-10, which describe our radical incorporation through baptism into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. We Orthodox, then, ‘see justification’ and ‘sanctification’ as one divine action…one continuous process,’ to use the words of the Common Statement issued by the Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue in North America” [45].

Even St. Augustine, despite the proto-Protestant conception of him held by many within the Calvinist tradition, had this view [see Note-D]. McGrath notes that it is “the Augustinian understanding of justification as both event and process, embracing the beginning, continuation, and perfection of the Christian life, and thereby subsuming regeneration under justification [46]. More specifically, St. Augustine integrated theosis within his concept of justification, as Lampe explains: “Augustine makes much use of the idea of deification which he equates with sonship towards God. Justification implies deification, because by justifying men God makes them his sons; if we have been made sons of God (Jn. 1:12) we have also been made gods, not through a natural begetting but through the grace of adoption.” In Augustine’s one words, “God wishes to make you a god, not by nature like him whom he begat, but by his gift and adoption. For as he through humanity became partaker of your mortality, so through exaltation he makes you partaker of his immortality” (serm. 166.4) [47]. And similarly: “It is clear that He (i.e. God) calls men gods through their being deified by His grace and not born of His substance. For He justifies, who is just of Himself and not of another; and He deifies, who is God of Himself and not by participation in another. Now He who justifies, Himself deifies, because by justifying He makes sons of God. For to them gave He power to become the sons of God. If we are made sons of God, we are also made gods; but this is by grace of adoption, and not by generation (Ennar. In Ps. 49, 2)’ [48].

Perhaps one might expect that Martin Luther—who led the “justification by faith” battle cry in the sixteenth century—would have pointed out the apostate nature of theosis in the Fathers and in what he called “the Greek Church.” His writings indicate a familiarity—albeit a superficial one—with the Greek patristic tradition. Yet we find no such censures; in fact, theosis imagery is testified to in his very writings! This has been known for some time. As Marc Lienhard pointed out nearly twenty years ago: “One is not able to exclude entirely the idea that the theme of divinization was present to a certain extent in the mind of Luther. The contrary would have been astonishing when one remembers how familiar he was with the patristic writings” [49]. Indeed, “For Luther deification is the movement between the communicatio idiomatum and the beatum commercium. This leads straight into the heart of the concept of justification by faith. This faith has to be understood as taking part in the life of Christ and through Christ in the life of God. Luther designates this movement as deiformitas, in which the believer becomes identical ‘in shape’ with God justifying her or him in Christ. Herewith is underlined that deification and justification assume, amplify, and deepen each other” [50].

In his commentary on Galatians 3:9, Luther unequivocally states that “The one who has faith is a completely divine man, a son of God, the inheritor of the universe. He is the victor over the world, sin, death, and the devil” [51]. It is in Luther’s Dictata super Psalterium that a group of Finnish scholars have focused much attention recently, finding within it strong deification imagery. Spearheading this new scholarship is Simo Peura’s groundbreaking Mehr als ein Mensch?, which traces the theme of deification in Luther between the time period 1513 – 1519. Taking a critical look at this effort, Beilfeldt [see Note-G] summarizes some of the findings in the Dictata. In the scholion on Psalm 117 (118):12, Luther writes concerning the Christian: “On account of faith in Christ who dwells in him, he is God, the son of God and infinite (est deus, dei filius et infinitus), for God already is in him.” And “In the commentary on Psalm 84 (85) Luther speaks of a ‘mystical incarnation of Christ’ in the ‘new people of faith’” and that “he uses an image strongly associated with deification. The righteousness of Christ looking down from heaven actually elevates believers by ‘making them heavenly’ (coelestus): ‘Therefore Christ came to the earth so that we might be elevated to heaven.’” In a final sample, Beinfeldt explains that “If Luther were interested in deification at all, it can hardly be imagined that he would miss the opportunity provided by verse 6 of Psalm 81 (82) (‘Dii estis, et filii Excelsi omnes’). In the interlinear gloss he distinguishes between ‘being gods’ and ‘being sons of God’: ‘I say to you who are good: You are gods because you are born of God from the Holy Spirit, not through nature: and you are all sons through the adoption of the most high God the Father.’ To be a god is thus to be born from the Holy Spirit, the spirit which makes one just before God. Luther adds in the marginal gloss that here the speaker ‘passes from the deceitful body to the true one;’ he moves from his own goodness to that of God’s. The imagery of the scholion is even stronger: ‘…you are of God and are not men…gods and sons of the most high are recalled by him to his own condition (statum).’ To be deified is to be called back from human sinfulness to God’s own state. Through the birth of the Holy Spirit in the believer, God adopts the person, and brings them up to his own state” [52].

Indeed, there have been recent fruitful discussions between Lutheran and Orthodox scholars on the subject of salvation (see Note-H) that reach the exact opposite of Jones’ conclusion in SBP that theosis is incompatible with justification. The Rt. Rev. Michael C.D. McDaniel testifies that “the Lutheran emphasis on justification in light of the Orthodox emphasis on deification has revealed that, while Lutherans speak of ‘faith’ and Orthodox speak of theosis, both understand the Christian’s hope as ‘belonging to God.’ The Lutheran concern to specify the means of salvation and the Orthodox concern for its meaning are two insights into the one unspeakably wonderful reality that God, by grace alone, for the sake of Christ alone, has forgiven our sins and given us everlasting salvation” [53]. Echoing these sentiments, Paul Hinlicky testifies that “As a Lutheran, I want to say that the Orthodox doctrine of theosis is simply true, that justification by faith theologically presupposes it in the same way that Paul the Apostle reasoned by analogy from the resurrection of the dead to the justification of the sinner.” He further explains that “The Lutheran doctrine of justification offers an Eastern answer to a Western question: Jesus Christ, in his person the divine Son of God, is our righteousness. He is the one who in obedience to his Father personally assumed the sin and death of humanity and triumphed over these enemies on behalf of helpless sinners, bestowing on then his own Spirit, so that, by the ecstasy of faith, they become liberated children of God in a renewed creation” [54]. Dialogue between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Russian Orthodox Church concluded that “the traditional Lutheran doctrine of justification contains the idea of the deification of man. Justification and deification are based on the real presence of Christ in the word of God, the sacraments and in worship” [55]. “When justification and sanctification are properly modulated,” Henry Edwards explains, “neither excluding justification by faith alone nor the fruits of that faith, a coherent message results which can be translated into the Orthodox term theosis…The Lutheran catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, its Apology, and the Formula of Concord all contain statements compatible with theosis” [56].

Essentially, Orthodoxy’s understanding of salvation fails Jones’ criterion of orthodoxy for the following reasons: (1) salvation is not exclusively explained in the juridical/forensic language inherent to Calvinism; (2) it is tacitly assumed that theosis can in no wise exist alongside such legal categories, and (3) the misunderstanding that Orthodox only understand salvation in terms of theosis. As for point (1), it is first worth pointing out that “a case cannot be made for the patristic provenance of the Protestant concepts of imputed righteousness or forensic justification” [57; see also Note-I]. Nevertheless, juridical language—although not used nearly as much as in Western traditions—can be found in Orthodox writers. Vladimir Lossky, for example, states that “The very idea of redemption assumes a plainly legal aspect: it is the atonement of the slave, the debt paid for those who remained in prison because they could not discharge it. Legal also is the theme of the mediator who reunited man to God through the cross” [58]. Conversely, participation imagery is not entirely foreign to Calvin, as Clendenin explains: “the West has a well-developed concept of the Pauline idea of union with Christ. In the opening pages of book 3 of his Institutes Calvin, for example, before he raises the issue of justification by faith, speaks of believers’ being engrafted into or bonded with Christ through the ‘secret energy of the Holy Spirit’” [59].

The work of scholars within Evangelicalism and other Protestant traditions amply demonstrates the falsity of point (2). As Clark Pinnock correctly notes, “The key thing is that salvation involves transformation. It is not cheap grace, based on bare assent to propositions, or merely a change of status. Romans 5 with its doctrine of justification is followed by Romans 6 with its promise of union. It is not just a matter of balancing two ideas; it is a matter of never conceiving of the former without its goal in the latter. For the justified person is baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If there is no newness of life, if there is no union with Christ, if there is no coming out from under the dominion of sin, there is no salvation” [60]. Concerning (3), we saw the reluctance in Orthodoxy to formally endorse any one model or metaphor for our salvation – which of course would include theosis. In fact, in a reversal of (3), Orthodox Karmiris “warns about overemphasizing theosis,” as does Stanilaoe [61]. According to Clendenin, “We can say, then, that in addition to theosis Eastern theologians affirm any number of biblical metaphors for salvation, including juridical ones. They acknowledge that the work of Christ cannot be reduced to any single metaphor. Thus, while legal metaphors are truly Pauline and should be affirmed, they should not be allowed to dominate, but should be ‘relocated’ among the host of other biblical images” [62].

Thomas Torrance provides in conclusion an interesting Protestant perspective on the fundamental unity of Christ’s saving work and the appropriation of that work to us: “It becomes clear, therefore, that what we require to recover is an understanding of justification which really lets Christ occupy the centre, so that everything is interpreted by reference to who He was and is. After all, it was not the death of Jesus that constituted atonement, but Jesus Christ the Son of God offering Himself in sacrifice for us. Everything depends on who He was, for the significance of His acts in life and death depends on the nature of His Person. It was He who died for us, He who made atonement through His one self-offering in life and death. Hence we must allow the Person of Christ to determine for us the nature of His saving work, rather than the other way around. The detachment of atonement from incarnation is undoubtedly revealed by history to be one of the most harmful mistakes of Evangelical Churches. Nowhere is this better seen, perhaps, than in a theologian as good and great as James Denney who, in spite of the help offered by James Orr and H.R. Mackintosh, was unable to see the essential interconnection between atonement and incarnation, and so was, on his own frank admission, unable to make anything very much of St. Paul’s doctrine of union with Christ. This has certainly been one of the most persistent difficulties in Scottish theology. In Calvin’s Catechism we read: ‘Since the whole affiance of our salvation rests in the obedience which He has rendered to God, His Father, in order that it might be imputed to us as if it were ours, we must possess Him: for His blessings are not ours, unless He gives Himself to us first.’ It is only through union with Christ that we partake of His benefits, justification, sanctification, etc. That is why in the Institutes Calvin first offered an account of our regeneration in Christ before speaking of justification, in order to show that renewal through union with Christ belongs to the inner content of justification; justification is not merely a judicial or forensic event but the impartation to us of Christ’s own divine-human righteousness which we receive through union with Him. Apart from Christ’s incarnational union with us and or union with Christ on that ontological basis, justification degenerates into only an empty moral relation. That was also the distinctive teaching of the Scots Confession. But it was otherwise with the Westminster Confession, which reversed the order of things: we are first justified through a judicial act, then through an infusion of grace we live the sanctified life, and grow into union with Christ. The effects of this have been extremely damaging in the history of thought. Not only did it lead to the legalizing, or (as in James Denney’s case) a moralizing of the Gospel, but gave rise to an ‘evangelical’ approach to the saving work of Christ in which atonement was divorced from incarnation, substitution from representation, and the sacraments were detached from union with Christ; sooner or later within this approach where the ontological ground for the benefits of Christ had disappeared, justification became emptied of its objective content and began to be re-interpreted along subjective lines” [63].

Salvation Without the Cross?
Due to the acceptance of points (1-3) outlined above, in SBP it is put forth that Orthodoxy’s emphasis on union with Christ via theosis, “omits or minimizes a justifying Cross.” In fact, Jones goes so far as to say that “Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice, the hallmark of Christian faith, plays no central role.” Of course, we shall see in this section that the truth of the matter is otherwise—that “the cross [has] the very deepest expiatory significance [64]—that “man’s life in its totality, and indeed the life of the entire world and the whole of creation, finds its source and fulfillment, its content and purpose in the cross of Christ” [65]. Another reason that Jones is led to these conclusions is because theosis is often discussed within the context of the Incarnation. But this very same conception is found in the Fathers of the Church, as Panagiotes Chrestou notes: “According to Patristic thought, the Incarnation of the Divine Word granted theosis to mankind” [66]. This idea is found even in St. Augustine, as Bonner explains: “Augustine’s view of deification is conditioned by his understanding of what the Incarnation has done. By the union of the two natures of God and man in himself, Christ brought about an elevation of the humanity which he assumed, and by being made members of Christ, who was a partaker of our human nature, men may be made partakers of the divine nature (ep. 140.4, 10)” [67].

While Jones will only consider the Cross as having salvific importance, this is a marked departure from early Christian understanding. “The Fathers,” as Stanilaoe explains, “do not make the death of Christ into a saving event independent of the resurrection and incarnation” [68]. St. Athanasius, for example, notes that “The Savior granted both benefits by the Incarnation: on the one hand, he abolished death from our midst and, on the other hand, he renewed us” [69]. However, “Both Athanasius and Gregory of Nyssa, while viewing man’s restoration as essentially the effect of the incarnation, were able to find a logical place for the Lord’s death conceived as a sacrifice” [70]. In the minds of the Fathers, “the emphasis on the incarnation was not intended to exclude the saving value of Christ’s death. The emphasis was simply the offshoot of the special interest which the theologians concerned had in the restoration in which, however conceived, the redemption culminates” [71]. And commenting on the Orthodox, Rakestraw similarly notes that “Orthodox churches also work more with the incarnation than with the crucifixion of Christ as the basis of man’s divinization. This is not to say that Christ’s atonement is minimized in the work of redemption, but that the intention of the Father in creating humanity in the first place, and of joining humanity to divinity in the incarnation, is so that human beings might assume Godlikeness, and be imagers of God in his divine life, character and actions” [72].

The soteriological dimension of the Incarnation, so far from confusing the fruits of the Cross or fostering neglect of it, rather deepens and illuminates its meaning, as Emilianos Timiadis explains: “Death would be impossible without presupposing the reality of the incarnation. All of the events of Christ’s earthly life are inseparable. The benefits of salvation are expounded in the life of our Savior taken as a whole. All of our sufferings were laid on him who could not suffer, and he destroyed them. ‘He destroyed death by death and all human weakness by his human actions.’ This is the way to understand the representative character of Christ’s death and sacrifice and the possibility of man’s salvation in Christ. Christ was born for us, lived on earth for us, died for us, and rose for us and for the confirmation of our resurrection. Christ’s death was due not to his weakness but to the fact that he died for man’s salvation. While Athanasius speaks of the incarnation and insists that ‘God became man that we might become gods,’ he says at the same time that ‘Christ offered the sacrifice on behalf of all, delivering his own shrine to death in of all, that he might set all free from the liability of the original transgression,’ and he speaks of Christ’s sacrifice offered for the redemption of our sins and for men’s deliverance from corruption. For Athanasius, Christ’s death retains a place of importance in the pan of salvation. Immortality came to men through death. Christ paid our debt for us. In Athanasius we meet with the synthesis of the two ideas of immortality or reconstitution of our nature and the idea of expiation of our death” [73].

“Of course,” notes Chrestou, “death is the summit of the work of economy because it marks the extreme point of the Incarnation. In this course, the death of the God-man (not an ordinary death, but a death on the cross which is the most miserable death for man) is the lowest point of God’s kenosis and is, consequently, the ultimate point of the Incarnation. It is precisely at this point that ‘economy was fulfilled’ or, in other words, that the salvific work done on man’s behalf was accomplished” [74]. In a similar vein, Fr. Georges Florovsky notes that: “The Incarnation is the quickening of man, as it were, the resurrection of human nature. But the climax of the Gospel is the Cross, the death of the Incarnate. Life has been revealed in full through death.” Elaborating further, he explains that “the climax of this life was its death. And the Lord plainly bore witness to the hour of death: ‘For this cause came I unto this hour’ [John 12:27]. The redeeming death is the ultimate purpose of the Incarnation” [75].

Orthodox soteriology, then, “with its characteristic breadth, includes the whole work of economy” [76]. It is the understanding of Orthodoxy, according to Bishop Kallistos, that “we are saved through the total work of Christ, not just by one particular event in his life. The cross is central, but it can only be understood in the light of what goes before – of Christ’s taking up into himself of our entire human nature at his birth – and likewise in the light of what comes afterwards, the resurrection, ascension and second coming. Any theology of salvation that concentrates narrowly on the cross, at the expense of the resurrection, is bound to seem unbalanced to Orthodoxy” [77]. It should be noted that some Evangelicals have a better sense of this unity [78]. So despite St. Paul’s determination “not to know anything…except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2), he also stated emphatically that “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Cor. 15:17).

In EH Jones writes that in Orthodoxy “discussions of substitutionary atonement and propitiation are virtually absent from their published explanations of salvation.” Of course, the reader is meant to interpret this statement as a virtual denial of these themes, but a more informed understanding would instead reveal that Orthodoxy possesses a much broader conception of salvation than that found in traditional Western Christian thought. Moreover, there is an imminently Biblical reason for this “virtual absence” (see Note-M). Jones should also consider that ransom language is used throughout the liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church. If, on the other hand, it is a catechism that he has in mind, Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow’s has this to say about the term propitiation: “An expression which is close in meaning to the present term [satisfaction], but which is more complete and is authentically Biblical, and gives a basis for the Orthodox understanding of the work of Redemption, is the word ‘propitiation’ (tr. from the Greek –ilasmos-), which we read about in the First Epistle of John: ‘Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins’” (1 John 4:10).

In fact, references to justification, atonement and propitiation in contemporary Orthodox writings are far more numerous than Jones apparently realizes. Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Isaiah states unequivocally that “Christ remitted our sins. He paid for them, in other words, when He died on the Cross. Christ our lord redeemed us by paying for our sins with His blood and His death on the Cross. It was this act which abrogated the old covenant and put into effect the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:16-18). Christ our God made reparation for our sins by giving His very life” [79]. According to Anthony Coniaris, “Man will never know who he is until he meets Jesus at the Cross. It is here that man comes to realize his true identity: that he is loved by God, that he belongs to God, that he is worth to God as much as the blood of His only Son” [80]. Timiadis exclaims that “the fact of the redemption, that Christ gave ‘his life as ransom for many’ (Matt. 20:28), is at the center of the church’s faith” [81]. Fr. Georges Florovsky writes that “In the blood of Jesus is revealed the new and living way, the way into that eternal Sabbath, when God rests from His mighty deeds” [82]. And Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, states that: “For being God, he became man, and being man, he became a slave; and being a slave, he became dead and not only dead, but dead on a cross. From this deepest degradation of God flows the eternal exaltation of man. According to the scriptures, man’s sins and the sins of the whole world are forgiven and pardoned by the sacrifice of Christ, by the offering of His life-His body and His blood, which is ‘the blood of God’ (Acts 20:28)—upon the cross. This is the ‘redemption,’ the ‘ransom,’ the ‘expiation,’ the ‘propitiation’ spoken about in the scriptures which had to be made so that man could be ‘at one’ with God. Christ ‘paid the price’ which was necessary to be paid for the world to be pardoned and cleansed of all iniquities and sins (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23)” [83]. These are, of course, just a few samples; but they amply demonstrate the utter falsity of the claim that Orthodoxy “cannot permit New Covenant justification” (see Note-J). Nor are these examples of “lip service” as Jones charges, for these very ideas constitute the center of corporate worship in the life of the Orthodox Church, as we shall soon see.

Jones then connects his ideas to the participation of the faithful in the sacramental life of the Church, and makes the erroneous statement in SBP that “In Plotinus’s system, one can be redeemed/deified without any need of sacrificial atonement. Similarly, in the Eastern synthesis, the incarnation and sacraments could do the trick alone.” Of course, it is all too easy to demonstrate the falsity of this charge (see Note-K). “Without the cross of Christ,” as Stanilaoe explains, “salvation would never have been achieved” [84]. Fr. Thomas Hopko completely contradicts Jones’ claim when he says that: “Orthodox spiritual and sacramental life is a life not only under the cross, but within the cross. The supreme expression of God’s mercy and kindness and love for man is that He enables His people to share in the sufferings of Christ and to be co-crucified with Him for the life of the world” [85]. Moreover, participation in the sacraments avails us nothing except judgment and condemnation if we have not first embraced the Cross and take up our own, as Fr. Thomas stresses: “We invoke the Holy Spirit to come upon us and our gifts of bread and wine, and say this is the body broken, and the blood shed. But if we are not loving with the love that God has loved us, and our bodies are not broken and our blood is not spilled, we are not saved, nor will we be saved” [86]. No Orthodox Christian who knows his or her faith could ever assent to the efficacy of mere mechanical, ritualistic participation in Church life, without inner conversion.

One of the fundamental problems with Jones’ critique is that he expects Orthodoxy to practice and to expound Christianity using the same methodology and terminology of Protestantism. However, it must be understood that unlike the Western confessions – whether Roman Catholic or Protestant – one will not discover the essence of Orthodoxy in dogmatic works or systematic treatises, as Clendenin explains: “Except for the monumentally important work Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (De fide orthodoxa) by John of Damascus (675-754), almost no Eastern theologians have written what we in the West have come to know as systematic theologies. In Eastern theology we find nothing at all that would compare with Aquinas’s Summa theologica, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, or Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics” [87].

There may be some truth to Jones’ statement in SBP that “one searches in vain for serious Eastern explanations of justification, atonement, propitiation, etc;” however, this lies not in some supposed neglect of these themes, but for the very legitimate reasons given above. Simply put, Jones has not grasped the Patristic dictum “the rule of prayer and worship is the rule of faith and doctrine.” This has always been the Orthodox approach to the Faith, and this statement of St. Prosper of Aquitaine shows forth the falsity of Jones’ charge (SBP) that in Orthodoxy, “Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice, the hallmark of Christian faith, plays no central role.” Were he to examine the service books used by the Orthodox Church in celebrating its liturgical services throughout the year, Jones would find innumerable references to the saving Cross of Christ, and the benefits from it exalted and praised. He would also discover that references to the Cross are much more frequent than to theosis. Additionally, the two themes are sometimes connected, as in the Great Vespers hymn of the Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Livegiving Cross, which states that it is the Cross “by which we earthborn creatures are deified” [88]. This is a good example of how the Liturgy demonstrates Jones’ misrepresentation on this point; specifically the statement in EH that “deification is grounded in the Incarnation rather than the atonement.” Aside from the service books, Orthodox prayer books are also replete with references to the saving power of the Cross.

The redeeming death of the Savior is at the very heart of Orthodox worship. “Being baptized and sealed,” Fr. Thomas Hopko explains, “we eat and drink the Lord’s broken body and shed blood at the table in His Kingdom during the Divine Liturgy in order to bear His passion and suffering in our lives, so that dying with Him we can live with Him, and enduring with Him we can reign with Him in the Kingdom which has no end. Communing with the crucified, victorious Lord, we are anointed with the grace of His Spirit so that our sufferings in the flesh can avail to the salvation of our lives, and so that our very death can be, with that of Christ crucified, unto the forgiveness of our sins, the healing of our souls and bodies, and life everlasting” [89].

Indeed, we witness in the eucharistic celebration the intimate relationship between the Cross and theosis. Christians since the earliest times have understood theosis in the context of the participation in, and our subsequent uniting with, the broken Body and spilled Blood of Jesus. Kelly explains that “the eucharist for the Fathers was the chief instrument of the Christian’s divinization; through it Christ’s mystical body was built up and sustained…Hilary, for example, argues that, since he receives Christ’s veritable flesh, the Saviour must be reckonded to abide in him; hence he becomes one with Christ, and through Him with the Father. He is thus enabled to live here below the divine life which Christ came fro heaven to give to men. Ambrose writes similarly, ‘Forasmuch as one and the same Lord Jesus Christ possesses Godhead and a human body, you who receive His flesh are made to participate through that nourishment in His divine substance’…According to Cyril of Jerusalem, ‘We become Christ-bearers, since His body and blood are distributed throughout our limbs. So, as blessed Peter expressed it, we made partakers of the divine nature.’ The essence of communion, states John Chrysostom, is the uniting of the communicants with Christ, and so with one another: ‘the union is complete, and eliminates all separation.’ Thus ‘we feed on Him at Whom angels gaze with trembling…We are mingled with Him, and become one body and one flesh with Christ’” [90].

Of course, this relationship between the Cross and theosis has also been pointed out in the broader context of the Christian life (see Note-K), as Fr. Thomas explains: “If we are really called to be divine, then we are called to be crucified, because if God ultimately reveals Himself on the Cross, then that is where we have to reveal ourself too. If God fulfills Himself on the Cross, then that is where we fulfill ourself too. If He reveals His Godness in a broken Body and shed Blood, then these things have to take place in our life too” [91]. In his article The Tree of the Cross, Fr. Thomas again links the Cross and theosis: “The cross gathers in itself the entire mystery of salvation, and as such, embraces the entire mystery of the spiritual life. To take up the cross and to live within its power is salvation. It is the Kingdom of God, defined by the Apostle as ‘the peace and the joy and the righteousness in the Holy Spirit.’ It is theosis, deification, the becoming God by grace that is the center and goal of human being and life” [92]. No less than St. Athanasius himself attested to the unity of the Cross and theosis: “The Word became flesh in order both to offer this sacrifice and that we, participating in His Spirit, might be deified” [93].


24 posted on 12/09/2011 9:30:10 PM PST by rzman21
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To: yldstrk

Sorry. I pinged you by mistake.


25 posted on 12/09/2011 9:38:28 PM PST by rzman21
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To: Bellflower
We will never be a Christ, little or otherwise. There is only one Christ and that is Jesus The LORD. The idea that we become a Christ is a false doctrine. We must strive to be Christ like but we will never, never be a Christ.

I agree! The televangelist, Benny Hinn, was criticized for saying "we are all little gods running around", yet here is someone supposedly "Orthodox" saying the same thing, "our divination, so that we may become little Christs". And people wonder where Mormonism got THEIR false doctrines from! There is NO possible way we will ever be as god. That was the lie from Satan. God says through his grace we will be "conformed into the image of Christ" and our glorified bodies will be "like unto his glorified body" when we are resurrected. When we humble ourselves before God HE lifts us up. The greatest humility is when we come to the realization that we cannot save ourselves. That we cannot earn or merit the gift of eternal life. That we can only be saved by the righteousness of Christ applied to our "account". THAT is true humility.

26 posted on 12/09/2011 9:53:31 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: Bellflower
He is talking about having The Holy Spirit within you. Which is the third person of the trinity.

So you have the Divine in you. Not outside of God. With Him in Him in the Unity of the Holy Spirit. We are the Body Of Christ/Divinity.

27 posted on 12/10/2011 1:09:09 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: All; Bellflower

The Problem: Our separated brethren deny that we can truly partake of the divine nature or, in the case of Mormons, they go to the other extreme and claim that each of the saved become completely divine, gods of their own worlds after death.

The Truth: Through the sacraments, founded in the blood of Jesus Christ, we partake of divinity. Though the inexpressible gulf between our humanity and God’s divinity still exists and will exist through all eternity, we truly participate in the divine nature, each of us becoming not just a legal, but a real child of God.

When explaining divinization, Thomas Aquinas used the example of an iron poker heated in a fire. Though the red-hot poker never itself becomes fire, yet it participates in every characteristic of the fire. So do we participate in the divine nature through the perfection brought about in purgation and the sacraments. Through these active experiences of the Divine, we are filled to the capacity of our being with divinity.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen 5:1-3 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth....

We are made in the image and likeness of God. That image may have been marred by original sin, but it can be restored. It is brought to perfection through Jesus Christ in a way that simply was not possible in Adam, for the New Adam supersedes and perfects the old in a way not available to the first Adam, even if he had not fallen.

Mt 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

God commanded it, so it is literally possible. It can only be attained through participation in the divinity of Jesus.

Heb 12:23 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect...

Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

2 Pet 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.

Scripture attests that we truly participate in the divine nature.

Jn 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

Col 2:9-10 For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority

Col 1:26-27 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

This is possible because Christ truly resides in us, and we in Him, through the sacramental life.

1 Jn 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

We are all made into firstborn children of God, truly made perfect as God is perfect before God through Christ. We are individually members of Christ’s Body.

Gal 4:4-7 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

2 Cor 4:11 For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Eph 2:15 by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace...

God has only one Son. However, we are made one new man in place of the two, part of the Body of the Son, through the sacramental life. Thus, we become heirs with Christ.

Rom 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 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!” 16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 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.

Eph 2:21-22 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

James 1:17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

We do not simply put on Christ’s righteousness, God, who holds all things in existence, whose Word formed the universe from nothing, actually removes the reality of our sin so that our sin no longer exists. Thus are we made perfect.

Rom 12:2 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.

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentence those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit...

Eph 3:5-6,19 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.... and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.

The promise of Christ is to be filled with all the fullness of God (cf. Col 2:9 on the previous page) - being truly part of the Son, truly participating in the Divine Nature. That is why Paul says what he does in Ephesians 5:1

Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

2 Cor 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

Col 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.

Rom 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

1 Pet 4:6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God.

John 14:23 If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

1 Cor 3:16-17,19-20 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are... Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

2 Cor 6:16 For we are the temple of the living God...

Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

2 Cor 13:5 Do you not realize that Christ is in you?

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me...

Phil 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

God is not Father because He made us. He is our Creator, our Master, because He made us. He is Father because He eternally begets the Son. Thus, it is only our portion in the Body of Christ, only when we partake in and participate in the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ, that God truly becomes our Father, and we truly become His sons and daughters. If we want to become children of God, we must be divinized. That is what the sacraments do. They make us truly his children. St. Athanasius stated it most succinctly: “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” Through the sacramental life, forged in God’s covenant with creation and His work on the Cross, we are truly made into the Body of Christ, who is God.

Divinization is the central mission of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #460, 1988, 1999). All teaching, all ministry, all work is done with the end of bringing all people to the sacraments so that they may be divinized and have a share in the Body of Christ. Our human nature was made in order to be completely immersed in the divine Fire, the consuming, ravishing love of God, in a whirling dance with Him forever, pouring ourselves out perfectly to Him and Him to us, eternal interpenetration with the Eternal. This cannot be accomplished except in Jesus Christ, in His suffering, His cross, His sacraments.


28 posted on 12/10/2011 1:12:20 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: All; Bellflower

The Problem: Our separated brethren deny that we can truly partake of the divine nature or, in the case of Mormons, they go to the other extreme and claim that each of the saved become completely divine, gods of their own worlds after death.

The Truth: Through the sacraments, founded in the blood of Jesus Christ, we partake of divinity. Though the inexpressible gulf between our humanity and God’s divinity still exists and will exist through all eternity, we truly participate in the divine nature, each of us becoming not just a legal, but a real child of God.

When explaining divinization, Thomas Aquinas used the example of an iron poker heated in a fire. Though the red-hot poker never itself becomes fire, yet it participates in every characteristic of the fire. So do we participate in the divine nature through the perfection brought about in purgation and the sacraments. Through these active experiences of the Divine, we are filled to the capacity of our being with divinity.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen 5:1-3 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth....

We are made in the image and likeness of God. That image may have been marred by original sin, but it can be restored. It is brought to perfection through Jesus Christ in a way that simply was not possible in Adam, for the New Adam supersedes and perfects the old in a way not available to the first Adam, even if he had not fallen.

Mt 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

God commanded it, so it is literally possible. It can only be attained through participation in the divinity of Jesus.

Heb 12:23 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect...

Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

2 Pet 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.

Scripture attests that we truly participate in the divine nature.

Jn 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

Col 2:9-10 For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority

Col 1:26-27 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

This is possible because Christ truly resides in us, and we in Him, through the sacramental life.

1 Jn 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

We are all made into firstborn children of God, truly made perfect as God is perfect before God through Christ. We are individually members of Christ’s Body.

Gal 4:4-7 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

2 Cor 4:11 For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Eph 2:15 by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace...

God has only one Son. However, we are made one new man in place of the two, part of the Body of the Son, through the sacramental life. Thus, we become heirs with Christ.

Rom 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 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!” 16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 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.

Eph 2:21-22 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

James 1:17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

We do not simply put on Christ’s righteousness, God, who holds all things in existence, whose Word formed the universe from nothing, actually removes the reality of our sin so that our sin no longer exists. Thus are we made perfect.

Rom 12:2 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.

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentence those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit...

Eph 3:5-6,19 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.... and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.

The promise of Christ is to be filled with all the fullness of God (cf. Col 2:9 on the previous page) - being truly part of the Son, truly participating in the Divine Nature. That is why Paul says what he does in Ephesians 5:1

Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

2 Cor 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

Col 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.

Rom 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

1 Pet 4:6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God.

John 14:23 If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

1 Cor 3:16-17,19-20 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are... Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

2 Cor 6:16 For we are the temple of the living God...

Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

2 Cor 13:5 Do you not realize that Christ is in you?

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me...

Phil 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

God is not Father because He made us. He is our Creator, our Master, because He made us. He is Father because He eternally begets the Son. Thus, it is only our portion in the Body of Christ, only when we partake in and participate in the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ, that God truly becomes our Father, and we truly become His sons and daughters. If we want to become children of God, we must be divinized. That is what the sacraments do. They make us truly his children. St. Athanasius stated it most succinctly: “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” Through the sacramental life, forged in God’s covenant with creation and His work on the Cross, we are truly made into the Body of Christ, who is God.

Divinization is the central mission of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #460, 1988, 1999). All teaching, all ministry, all work is done with the end of bringing all people to the sacraments so that they may be divinized and have a share in the Body of Christ. Our human nature was made in order to be completely immersed in the divine Fire, the consuming, ravishing love of God, in a whirling dance with Him forever, pouring ourselves out perfectly to Him and Him to us, eternal interpenetration with the Eternal. This cannot be accomplished except in Jesus Christ, in His suffering, His cross, His sacraments.


29 posted on 12/10/2011 1:12:20 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: All; Bellflower

The Problem: Our separated brethren deny that we can truly partake of the divine nature or, in the case of Mormons, they go to the other extreme and claim that each of the saved become completely divine, gods of their own worlds after death.

The Truth: Through the sacraments, founded in the blood of Jesus Christ, we partake of divinity. Though the inexpressible gulf between our humanity and God’s divinity still exists and will exist through all eternity, we truly participate in the divine nature, each of us becoming not just a legal, but a real child of God.

When explaining divinization, Thomas Aquinas used the example of an iron poker heated in a fire. Though the red-hot poker never itself becomes fire, yet it participates in every characteristic of the fire. So do we participate in the divine nature through the perfection brought about in purgation and the sacraments. Through these active experiences of the Divine, we are filled to the capacity of our being with divinity.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Gen 5:1-3 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth....

We are made in the image and likeness of God. That image may have been marred by original sin, but it can be restored. It is brought to perfection through Jesus Christ in a way that simply was not possible in Adam, for the New Adam supersedes and perfects the old in a way not available to the first Adam, even if he had not fallen.

Mt 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

God commanded it, so it is literally possible. It can only be attained through participation in the divinity of Jesus.

Heb 12:23 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect...

Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

2 Pet 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.

Scripture attests that we truly participate in the divine nature.

Jn 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

Col 2:9-10 For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority

Col 1:26-27 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

This is possible because Christ truly resides in us, and we in Him, through the sacramental life.

1 Jn 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

We are all made into firstborn children of God, truly made perfect as God is perfect before God through Christ. We are individually members of Christ’s Body.

Gal 4:4-7 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

2 Cor 4:11 For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Eph 2:15 by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace...

God has only one Son. However, we are made one new man in place of the two, part of the Body of the Son, through the sacramental life. Thus, we become heirs with Christ.

Rom 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 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!” 16 it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 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.

Eph 2:21-22 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

James 1:17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

We do not simply put on Christ’s righteousness, God, who holds all things in existence, whose Word formed the universe from nothing, actually removes the reality of our sin so that our sin no longer exists. Thus are we made perfect.

Rom 12:2 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.

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentence those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit...

Eph 3:5-6,19 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.... and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.

The promise of Christ is to be filled with all the fullness of God (cf. Col 2:9 on the previous page) - being truly part of the Son, truly participating in the Divine Nature. That is why Paul says what he does in Ephesians 5:1

Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

2 Cor 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

Col 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.

Rom 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

1 Pet 4:6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God.

John 14:23 If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

1 Cor 3:16-17,19-20 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are... Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

2 Cor 6:16 For we are the temple of the living God...

Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

2 Cor 13:5 Do you not realize that Christ is in you?

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me...

Phil 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

God is not Father because He made us. He is our Creator, our Master, because He made us. He is Father because He eternally begets the Son. Thus, it is only our portion in the Body of Christ, only when we partake in and participate in the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ, that God truly becomes our Father, and we truly become His sons and daughters. If we want to become children of God, we must be divinized. That is what the sacraments do. They make us truly his children. St. Athanasius stated it most succinctly: “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” Through the sacramental life, forged in God’s covenant with creation and His work on the Cross, we are truly made into the Body of Christ, who is God.

Divinization is the central mission of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #460, 1988, 1999). All teaching, all ministry, all work is done with the end of bringing all people to the sacraments so that they may be divinized and have a share in the Body of Christ. Our human nature was made in order to be completely immersed in the divine Fire, the consuming, ravishing love of God, in a whirling dance with Him forever, pouring ourselves out perfectly to Him and Him to us, eternal interpenetration with the Eternal. This cannot be accomplished except in Jesus Christ, in His suffering, His cross, His sacraments.


30 posted on 12/10/2011 1:12:20 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: All

http://bridegroompress.com/sc/deify.htm


31 posted on 12/10/2011 1:14:48 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: All; johngrace

Oh My!! Sorry about repeats! I have been having problems with this server.


32 posted on 12/10/2011 1:16:48 AM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: rzman21

I started reading this. Much I don’t agree with at all. Too much to read right now and too many points to argue against right now. Why don’t you put your own beliefs in your own words as that would be easier to deal with. Will continue to wade through this later.


33 posted on 12/10/2011 2:14:43 AM PST by Bellflower (Judas Iscariot, first democrat, robber, held the money bag, claimed to care for poor: John 12:4-6)
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To: rzman21
The author is talking about imitating Christ’s virtues and becoming an earthly icon of his grace.

How can you become an icon of grace??? What is an icon of grace???

34 posted on 12/10/2011 11:11:43 AM PST by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: rzman21
The author is talking about imitating Christ’s virtues and becoming an earthly icon of his grace.

How can you become an icon of grace??? What is an icon of grace???

35 posted on 12/10/2011 11:14:39 AM PST by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: johngrace
This is possible because Christ truly resides in us, and we in Him, through the sacramental life.

All teaching, all ministry, all work is done with the end of bringing all people to the sacraments so that they may be divinized and have a share in the Body of Christ. Our human nature was made in order to be completely immersed in the divine Fire, the consuming, ravishing love of God, in a whirling dance with Him forever, pouring ourselves out perfectly to Him and Him to us, eternal interpenetration with the Eternal. This cannot be accomplished except in Jesus Christ, in His suffering, His cross, His sacraments.

Would seem you guys would have picked another word besides divinized since it is so close to divination which is a form of witchcraft in the scriptures...

But anyway, Jesus Christ resides in us and we in Him due to the free gift of the new birth...Not because we follow sacramental church rules...

36 posted on 12/10/2011 11:46:30 AM PST by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: johngrace

What they are saying is that you, when you believe this, are now part of the Godhead. There is no longer the Trinity but millions of individuals in the Godhead. This is so very exceeding wrong. There are three persons in The Godhead not millions.


37 posted on 12/10/2011 3:29:01 PM PST by Bellflower (Judas Iscariot, first democrat, robber, held the money bag, claimed to care for poor: John 12:4-6)
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To: Iscool

But anyway, Jesus Christ resides in us and we in Him due to the free gift of the new birth...Not because we follow sacramental church rules...

>>That’s just your private opinion.


38 posted on 12/10/2011 4:27:10 PM PST by rzman21
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To: Bellflower

Do you believe scripture when St. Peter says:
“by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature.”

2 Peter 1:4

We don’t become part of the Godhead, period.

St. Gregory Palamas writes:
St. Gregory Palamas, on the divine energies
68. The divine transcendent being is never named in the plural. But the divine and uncreated grace and energy of God is divided indivisibly according to the image of the sun’s ray (Cf. Basil, De spiritu sancta 9.22.35) which gives warmth, light, life and increase, and sends its own radiance to those who are illuminated and manifests itself to the eyes of those who see. In this way, in the manner of an obscure image, the divine energy of God is called not only one but also many by the theologians. For example, Basil the Great says, “As for the energies of the Spirit, what are they? Ineffable in their grandeur, they are innumerable in their multitude. How are we to conceive what is beyond the ages? What were his energies before intelligible creation?” (Idem, 19.49.1-4) Prior to intelligible creation and beyond the ages (for also the ages are intelligible creations) no one has ever spoken or conceived of anything created. Therefore, the powers and energies of the divine Spirit are uncreated and because theology speaks of them in the plural they are indivisibly distinct from the one and altogether indivisible substance of the Spirit.

69. As it has been made clear above by Basil the Great, the theologians treat the uncreated energy of God as multiple in that it is indivisibly divided. Since therefore the divine and divinizing illumination and grace is not the substance but the energy of God, for this reason it is treated not only in the singular but also in the plural. It is bestowed proportionately upon those who participate and, according to the capacity of those who receive it, it instills the divinizing radiance to a greater or lesser degree.

70. Isaias named these divine energies as seven, but among the Hebrew the word seven indicates many: he says, “There shall come forth a rod from the root of Jesse and a flower shall come forth from it. And seven spirits shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, piety counsel, might, fear.” Those who hold the opinions of Barlaam and Akindynos foolishly contend that these seven spirits are created. This opinion we examined and refuted with clarity in our extensive Antirrhetic Against Akindynos. But Gregory the Theologian, when he called to mind these divine energies of the Spirit, said, “Isaias was fond of calling the energies of the Spirit spirits.” And this most distinguished voice among the prophets clearly demonstrated through this number not only the distinction with respect to the divine substance but also indicated the uncreated character of these divine energies by means of the word `rested upon,’ for `resting upon’ belongs to a pre-eminent dignity. As for those spirits that rested upon the Lord’s human nature which he assumed from us, how could they be creatures?

71. According to Luke, our Lord Jesus Christ says he casts out demon by the finger of God, but according to Matthew it is by the Spirit of God.” Basil the Great says that the finger of God is one of the energies of Spirit. If then one of these is the Holy Spirit, the others too certainly are, since Basil has also taught us this. But on this account there are not many Gods or many Spirits, for these realities are processions, manifestations and natural energies of the one Spirit and in each case the agent is one. When the heterodox call these creatures, they degrade the Spirit of God to creature sevenfold. But let their shame be sevenfold, for the prophet again says of the energies, “These seven are the eyes of the Lord that range over the whole earth.” And when he writes in Revelation, “Grace to you t peace from God and from the seven spirits which are before the throne of God, and from Christ,” he demonstrates clearly to the faithful that these are the Holy Spirit.

72. Through Micah the prophet our God and Father foretold the birth the Only-Begotten in the flesh and wishing to show as well the inoriginate character of his divinity said, “His goings forth have been from the beginning from an eternity of days.” The divine Fathers explained that these ‘goings forth’ are the energies of the Godhead, as the powers and energies are identical for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Yet word is being passed around about their being created by those who eagerly hold and defend the opinions of Barlaam and Akindynos. But let those who have lately come to their senses understand who is the one from the beginning, who it was to whom David said, “From eternity (which is the same as saying from an eternity of days’) and unto eternity you are.” And let them consider intelligently, if they will, that God, in saying through the prophet that these goings forth are from the beginning, in no way said they came into being were made or were created. And Basil, when, in the Spirit of God, he made the theological statement, “The energies of the Spirit existed before intelligible creation and beyond the ages,” did not say `they came into being.’ God alone, therefore, is active and all-powerful from eternity since he possesses pre-eternal powers and energies.

73. In outright opposition to the saints, those who advocate the opinion of Akindynos say, “The uncreated is unique, namely, the divine nature, and anything whatsoever distinct from this is created.” Thus do they make into a creature the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, for there is one and the same energy for the three, and that of which the energy is created cannot itself be uncreated. For this reason it is not the energy of God that is a creature—certainly not!—but rather the effect and the product of the energy. Thus, the holy Damascene taught that the energy which is distinct from the divine nature is an essential, that is, a natural movement (Cf. John Damascene, Expositio fidei 37 and 59.7-9). And since the divine Cyril said that creating belongs to the divine energy,( Cyril of Alexandria, Thesaurus 18) how can this be a created reality, unless it shall have been effected through another energy, and that in turn through another, and so on ad infinitum; and the uncreated cause of the energy is always being sought after and proclaimed?

74. Because the divine substance and the divine energy are inseparably present everywhere, the energy of God is accessible also to us creatures, for according to the theologians it is indivisibly divided, whereas the divine nature remains utterly indivisible according to them. Thus, the Church Father, Chrysostom, says, “A drop of grace filled all things with knowledge; through it wonders took place, sins were loosed (John Chrysostom, Expositiones in Psalmos 44.3).” When he indicated that this drop of grace was uncreated, he then hastened to show that it was an energy and not the substance; and, further, he added the distinction of the divine energy with respect to the divine substance and the hypostasis of the Spirit when he wrote: “I am speaking of this part of the operation for indeed the Paraclete is not divided.” The divine grace and energy at least is accessible to each of us since it is itself divided indivisibly, but since the substance of God is utterly indivisible in itself how could it be accessible to any creature?

75. There are three realities in God, namely, substance, energy and a Trinity of divine hypostases. Since it has been shown above that those deemed worthy of union with God so as to become one spirit with him (even as the great Paul has said, “He who clings to the Lord is one spirit with him.”) are not united to God in substance, and since all theologians bear witness in their statements to the fact that God is imparticipable in substance and the hypostatic union happens to be predicated of the Word and God-man alone, it follows that those deemed worthy of union with God are united to God in energy and that the spirit whereby he who clings to God is one with God is called and is indeed the uncreated energy of the Spirit and not the substance of God, even though Barlaam and Akindynos may disagree. For God foretold through the prophet not `My Spirit’, but rather, “Of my Spirit I will pour out upon those who believe.”

76. Maximus says, “Moses and David and those who have become fit for the divine energy by laying aside their carnal properties were moved at a sign from God”; and, “They became living icons of Christ and the same as he is, more by grace than by assimilation”; and, “The purity in Christ and in the saints is one”; and, “The radiance of our God is upon us,” sings the most divine of melodists. For according to Basil the Great, “As souls that bear the Spirit are illumined by the Spirit they become spiritual themselves and send forth grace to others. Thence comes foreknowledge of the future understanding of mysteries, apprehension of things hidden, distribution o spiritual gifts, citizenship in heaven, the dance with the angels, joy without end, divine distribution, likeness to God, and the summit of our longings, namely, to become God.”

-—from The One Hundred and Fifty Chapters, translated by Robert E. Sinkewicz (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies) Note: I’ve omitted some footnotes, and put others in parentheses next to the words they refer to.


39 posted on 12/10/2011 4:29:56 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21

eh?


40 posted on 12/10/2011 5:07:25 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Iscool

Of Course. There is always his Divine Mercy then your thoughts.


41 posted on 12/10/2011 5:17:27 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: rzman21
Most articles on humility get it wrong. The best booklet about what Humility means is Andrew Murray's book: LINK... We aren't humble when we go around saying we are dirt. We are humble when we see ourselves through God's loving eyes.
42 posted on 12/10/2011 6:43:41 PM PST by LadyDoc
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