4-23-17 What’s Next? Theosis!

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Sermon Notes:

SO WHAT’S NEXT?  WHEN JESUS SAID “IT IS FINISHED” – WHAT DID HE MEAN?  I’M DONE, THERE IS NOTHING MORE TO DO?

OBVIOUSLY THERE WAS MORE TO DO – PREACH PRISONERS IN PRISON, RESURRECTION, ASCEND TO HIS FATHER

HEBREWS – “SAT DOWN”  DONE THEN?

NO – MUCH MORE TO DO – SEND SPIRIT, EVER INTERCEDED, BUILD HIS CHURCH

IT IS FINISHED – 5055 teléo (from 5056 /télos, “consummation, completion”) – properly, to complete (consummate), i.e. finish (qualitatively) the necessary process – with the results “rolling-over” to the next level (phase) of consummation.[This root (tel-) means “reaching the aim.” It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).]

YES – FINISHED THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM, NOT NEEDED – DEFINITELY NOT DONE!

VERY GOOD PICTURE – ‘END OF THE WORLD’  WHAT IS THE END?  STOP? GO AWAY?  NO!

“the consummation of the age”  COMPLETED WHAT MEANT FOR THAT AGE

NEXT AGE, NEXT STEP – OUTPOURING HOLY SPIRIT – Luke 24:49-51  Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.

Acts 1:4 And when they were gathered together, He commanded them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift the Father promised…

I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth… You do know Him, for He abides with you and He will be in you.…  He will teach you all things   John 16:7, 14:16,17,  14:26

WHY BENEFIT?  WHAT JESUS GOAL? LOOK HIS FINAL PRAYER FEW MINUTES LATER – FOR US:

John 17:20-26  “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

21  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

22  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

23  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24  Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

WHAT IS HIS GOAL FOR US? ONENESS – THIS GOES MUCH DEEPER THAN UNITY IN CHURCHES – THIS IS UNION WITH GOD!  ONENESS

‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ Matthew 19:5

ONENESS – BELONGING, INTERPENETRATION – HEART, MIND, SOUL, BODY – HE GETS ME!

CLOSEST PICTURE WE HAVE IS MARRIAGE – GOES WAY BEYOND UNITY – UNION!

EVERY WEDDING CEREMONY SEE YOUNG COUPLE – KNOW WHY – LONGING TO BELONG, TO TRULY CONNECT, BECOME ONE!  WHOLE PERSON     OFTEN WONDER – WILL THEY MAKE IT?  NOT MEANING JUST NOT GET DIVORCED –  BUT WILL THEY TRULY BECOME ONE?  MANY MARRIAGES DON’T – MAY LIVE AS FRIENDS, MAY LIVE IN UNITY, SIDE BY SIDE – NEVER LEARN TO LIVE AS ONE

THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN – LIVE IN THIS ONE-NESS

EARLY CHURCH FATHERS – KNEW GREEK – SAW THIS MEANING

“At the heart of the Patristic doctrine of the Holy Trinity is theosis—the transformation of the human being in the communion of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 108)                         Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 69 – c. 155)                     Justin Martyr (c. 100 – c. 165)                         Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 120 – c. 202)                   Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215)         Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225)                                  Origen (c. 185 – c. 254)                                Athanasius (c. 296 – c. 373)                               Gregory of Nazianzus (329 – 389)                           Basil of Caesarea (c. 330 – 379)                             Gregory of Nyssa (c. 330 – c. 395),

“Gregory understood Christian salvation in terms of the larger idea of theosis, or “divinization,” the transforming participation in the being and life of God.”

The primacy of theosis in Eastern Christian theology is directly related to the fact that Eastern Christian theology is based on the direct spiritual insights of the saints or mystics of the church.  Romanized theology was based to a greater extent on the apparently more rational, judicial thought tradition of the West. 

Eastern Christians consider that “no one who does not follow the path of union with God can be a theologian” in the proper sense.

Flame of Love Clark Pinnock  – Obviously salvation is multifaceted and has many dimensions- conversion, new birth, justification and sanctification – but the goal is surely glorification and union with God. The removal of our condemnation is very important, but this is but a facet of salvation, part of a much larger scenario.  Acquittal before God is only the beginning, not the end of salvation. After being justified, we enter the process of being conformed to Christ and anticipate sharing God’s glory in the new community and new creation.

This has been the emphasis of Orthodoxy: our identity is found in relationship with God. The goal is immersion in the richness of the divine life. Salvation is the Spirit, who indwells us, drawing us toward participation in the life of the triune God. The goal is union with God…

To think of salvation in this way is to recover what early theologians called theosis. This category invites us to think of the goal of salvation as participation in the divine nature,

THIS IS THE BENEFIT – JESUS HERE – SIDE BY SIDE RELATIONSHIP, EVEN FACE TO FACE

FRIEND – COMPANION, TEACHER – BUT IN TRUE UNION – MUCH MORE!

 

MARRIAGE – THAT DAY CHANGES EVERY DAY FOLLOWING!  BECOME VERY DIFFERENT PERSON, THIS UNION CHANGES US VERY PROFOUND WAYS – SAME IN UNION – THEOSIS  THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!  UNION!  NEVER TO BE DIVIDED AGAIN!

 

Spirit sweeps us up into the love of God. Walking in the Spirit, we become ever better acquainted with the love that surpasses knowledge and are filled with the divine fullness (Eph 3:16-19). The Spirit summons us to a transforming friendship with God that leads to sharing in the triune life. Thanks to the grace of Christ and the love of God, the Spirit dwells in us and unites us to the corporate triune fellowship (2 Cor 13:13)

By faith we take hold of grace and by hope we wait patiently for it, but love is the very nature Of God and therefore the environment of eternity. Love characterizes life in the age to come. We will sit down at table in the kingdom and occupy the place prepared for us (Jn 143; Rev 19:l7). Second Peter 1:4 is not an isolated thought or throwaway line but enunciates a fundamental biblical teaching-what Paul speaks of as being united to Christ and john speaks of as a mutual indwelling in God. Union with God is not peripheral to salvation but the goal.

The purpose of life is a transforming friendship and union with God.

United to Christ in his participatory journey, we are on the path to share in God’s life through death and resurrection. The living flame of love is preparing souls for union with love. Jesus speaks of this oneness: “The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me”

(Jn 17.22-23>.9

Union with God is a state of intimacy, and sexual imagery may be used for it. Paul says that the love of male and female points to the mystery of Christ’s love for us (Eph 831). The reason we should reject prostitution is that we are one with the Lord (1 Cot 6:15-19). Salvation itself aims at a wedding (Rev 19:9). The new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, is prepared as a bride for her husband.

 

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