Theosis – Union with God

theosis

As I am growing in my spiritual journey from evangelical Christianity to a more Eastern version of Christianity.  One of its concepts is the doctrine of theosis.   Theosis is defined as participating in the divine or according to Stephen Clinton, theosis is  becoming one with God, goes beyond all these experiences. It implies that a human can somehow become one with the God of the universe, thereby incorporating and transcending reality, a kind of reverse incarnation.  The Apostle Peter says this about participating in the divine:

2 Peter 1:3-4

[3] His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to(1) his own glory and excellence,(2) [4] by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

I am learning about what it means to see myself as part of the divine, and one who participates with God in his being (panetheism), his mission and Kingdom, and to see myself in Him as the Apostle Paul writes “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27), and as Jesus says “Remain in my love, as I remain in my heavenly Father’s love (John 15:9).  The Apostle Paul while in Athens explaining the gospel and the resurrection to Greek Philosophers said to them “for in Him we move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

According to Clinton and is more than just cookie cutter systematic theology, theosis is:

Patristic and Orthodox theologians believed theosis to be the primary work of salvation. In this way, much like Realized Eschatology, the end of our walk is in view from the beginning. Five considerations about theosis that pertain to soteriology are as follows: theosis explains man’s soteriological need as the restoration of eternal life which began in the garden, and is our human destiny; theosis teaches that salvation happens through reunion with uncreated grace, that is, as a supernatural act of change in us; theosis explains salvation in terms of resurrection and glorification, sanctification and its doctrines are a means to the end; theosis makes a clear distinction between the essence and energies of God; and, theosis forms a basis for Christology, including incarnation, atonement, and ascended being.

As I am reading Gerald May’s “Awakened Heart – Opening yourself to the Love you Need”, one of the processes towards being “one in Christ Jesus” is through Consecration.  May defines consecration as Consecration – defined as a dedication to divinity, it implies intentionally participating with the divine… (Gerald May)   May goes on and says:

Consecration also means opening ourselves to accept a divinely given gift.  It requires we trust in grace than our own personal capabilities.  It calls for an attitude of willingness to a power greater than your own.  To say yes to love, we must trust enough to be willing to enter love.

Awakened Heart

One of the ways to practice consecration for me is to be involved in recovery.  The 12 step movements (Celebrate Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous) are all means by which we participate in the divine and consecrate ourselves to the divine.  Steps 2 and three state:

Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity From <http://12step.org/references/bible/step-2-scriptures/>

Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God From <http://12step.org/references/bible/step-3-scriptures/>

Daily, I make a decision to turn my will and life over to Jesus.  As I grow in that surrender it is more of him living in me, than me living in him, we are united in Christ Jesus.  May continues:

As we grow in love the source of love becomes more important than everything.  Everything, health and recovery included becomes relative and put at risk.  Although the Holy One continues to be our deliverer and sustainer, love calls us beyond using  God to satisfy needs, to heal us, to get us out of trouble or to enhance efficiency.  Love calls us to gratitude, relinquishment, celebration, service, play, praise, companionship, intimate communion, and always to a deeper yearning.  In other words love calls us to love.  (Gerald May – Awakened Heart)

 

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