By Abbot Tryphon
“Being real with God is far more important than being emotional” Participation In The Divine Life | The Morning Offering.
According to Protopresbyter George Metallinos, Dean of the Athens University School of Theology, “For we Orthodox the unique and absolute goal of life in Christ is theosis, our union with God, so that man – through his participation in God’s uncreated energy – may become “by the Grace of God” that which God is by nature (without beginning and without end). This is what “salvation” means, in Christianity.”
The Divine Life | The Salvation
As Christians we know that salvation is an ongoing process that, as believers, we are called to cooperate in. We are instructed to “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). The Apostle Paul made clear the necessity of human cooperation when he told us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:1–13)”.
Our salvation is a process by which we become more and more like Christ. Our faith is a free gift from God, not dependent upon anything we can do, but this life long process of salvation requires that we cooperate with God’s grace, that we might be transformed by the Holy Spirit, and made holy. If we are to spend eternity with God, transformation must take place.
“Our salvation begins the moment we commit ourselves to Christ, and within the abounding grace of the Holy Spirit we are ever drawn closer in communion with God.” Participation In The Divine Life | The Morning Offering.
The sole purpose of the Church is the salvation of every human person, helping us to become united to Christ, and transformed by Him in all holiness. It means we are prepared for eternal life. Through the Church we hear the Good News, that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and that He rose from the dead, and because of this we have eternal life.
This work of salvation is a gradual, life-long process by which Christians become more and more like Christ. Our salvation begins the moment we commit ourselves to Christ, and within the abounding grace of the Holy Spirit we are ever drawn closer in communion with God.
The Divine Life | The Divine Natures
Theosis goes far beyond the simple restoration of people to their state before the Fall. Because Christ united the human and divine natures in his person, it is now possible for us to experience closer fellowship with God than Adam and Eve initially experienced in the Garden of Eden. Some of the Church Fathers went so far as to say that Jesus would have become incarnate for this reason alone, even if Adam and Eve had never sinned.
Theosis is the regaining of the Holy Spirit, and glorification begins now in this life. Theosis is participation in the Divine Life via the Nous. Our sanctification, glorification and transformation all begins now, in this life. Being deified means we become participants in the Divine Life through theosis.
“that in the ages to come he might display the overflowing richness of His grace.” [Eph. 2:7] Participation In The Divine Life | The Morning Offering.
The Divine Life | The Incarnation of God
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria wrote, “He was incarnate that we might be made god”. Although seemingly absurd, that we fallen, sinful creatures may become holy as God is holy, has been made possible through Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Even though it is not possible for any created being to become God ontologically, or even a necessary part of God, so a created being cannot become Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit nor the Father of the Trinity.
The deification of human nature is provided by the Incarnation of God, which makes man God to the same degree as God Himself became man. It is clear that He Who became man without sin (Heb. 4:15) will divinize human nature without changing it into the Divine Nature, and will raise it up for His Own sake to the same degree as He lowered Himself for man’s sake. This is what Saint Paul teaches mystically when he says, “that in the ages to come he might display the overflowing richness of His grace (Eph. 2:7)”.
With love in Christ,
About The Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a monastery of the Western American Diocese, under the omophor of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. The Monastery is a non-profit 501 C3 organization under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible.
We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery’s mailing address:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
P.O. Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA
Another small way to contribute to the monastery if one already purchases items through the amazon.com website is to use the smile.amazon.com link associated with our monastery. Purchases will accrue a small percentage that will eventually be given to the monastery in time. For more information, please go our website page here: https://vashonmonks.com/using-amazon-smile
By: Abbot Tryphon | The All-Merciful Saviour Orthodox Monastery on Vashon Island. Washington, United States
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