The Incarnation and Deification

God shares His Divinity with our humanity

The idea that Christ would have incarnated in the flesh, even if Adam and Eve had not fallen, was taught by a number of early Church Fathers. Although not a formal teaching of the Orthodox Church, the understanding comes from the view that the Logos took on our flesh because God wished to share His Divinity with our humanity. This is called Theosis, or Deification.

The teaching that Christ’s incarnation and death on the cross was intended as a propitiation for our sins (the Father demanding death as payment for our sins), was foreign to the Early Church Fathers. Christ’s death on the Cross, followed by His Holy Resurrection, was seen from the beginning, as the destruction of the power of death over the whole of the cosmos. The fall introduced death into the world, for before the fall death was unknown, even in the whole of the cosmos.  We did not inherit Adam’s sin, but rather the result of his sin, death.

Theosis (“deification) is the process of a worshiper becoming free of hamartía (“missing the mark”), being united with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in bodily resurrection. For Orthodox Christians, Théōsis (see 2 Pet. 1:4) is salvation. Théōsis assumes that humans from the beginning are made to share in the Life or Nature of the All-Holy Trinity. Therefore, an infant or an adult worshiper is saved from the state of unholiness (hamartía — which is not to be confused with hamártēma “sin”) for participation in the Life (zōé, not simply bíos) of the Trinity — which is everlasting.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday May 14, 2019 / May 1, 2019
Third Week of Pascha. Tone two.
Prophet Jeremiah (650 B.C.).
Venerable Paphnutius, abbot of Borovsk (1477).
Virgin-martyr Nina (1938).
Hieromartyr Macarius, metropolitan of Kiev (1497).
Venerable Gerasimus, abbot of Boldino (1557).
Martyr Batas of Nisibis (395).
St. Tamara, queen of Georgia (1213).
New Martyrs Euthymius, Ignatius (1814), and Acacius the Serbian of Mt. Athos (1815).
The Tsarevokokshaisk, or “Myrrh-Bearing” (1647), Andronikos (14th c.), “Unexpected Joy” and Byzantine Icons of the Mother of God.
Asaph or Asa Bishop of Llanelwy (6th – 7th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Panaretus, archbishop of Paphos in Cyprus (1791) (Greek).
Venerable Nicephorus of Chios, monk (1821) (Greek).
Martyr Sabbas (1821) (Greek).
St. Ultan, founderof Fosse (680) (Neth.).
St. Zosimas, bishop of Kumurdo (15th c.) (Georgia).
New Monk-martyr Romanus of Raqqa (780).
New Martyr Maria of Merambelos on Crete (1826).
St. Brioc, abbot of Sain Brieuc.
St. Corentin, bishop of Quimper.
Translation of the relics of St. Walburga, abbes of Heidenheim.
St. Pholosophos.

The Scripture Readings

Acts 8:5-17

5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

The Sorcerer’s Profession of Faith

9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

The Sorcerer’s Sin

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

John 6:27-33

27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you,because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

One comment:

  1. Father bless,
    Theosis seems another fundamental idea lost to all but the Orthodox. And it’s practically on page one of the Bible. BTW, your blog page spellchecker is trying to tell me “theosis” is not a word. Go figure!

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