Saturday, April 18, 2015

Expect the resurrection of the dead…

Our integration into the Divine Nature is no accident. Neither is it our due. It is not something that will inevitably happen, but it is where our being will lead us if we do not resist it, if we do not resist God.

Yes, God made man for immortality. We are not speaking of some kind of purely spiritual existence, eternal but bodiless. No, man was made, body and soul, for immortality, for deathlessness.

The entire culture, even Christianity, is infected with this idea—that any trans-mortal existence must be purely spiritual, as if we are going to be changed into angels—and it instantly recoils.

The religious recoil subconsciously by fantasizing about it. The irreligious recoil knowingly by rejecting it. Still, it is a fact of human nature: our bodies are made for immortality, and hence, our souls.

But what can it mean, our integration into the Divine Nature? Aren’t we spirits already? Some do indeed teach and believe, ‘I am a spirit, I have a soul, I live in a body.’

Simplistic thinking comforts for a while, but not for long. Although by nature God made us immortal, body and soul, that does not make us spiritual. Only One is Spirit: that is God.

Though we lost our natural immortality through our transgressions, by resisting our human nature as created, God, in becoming a man, Jesus Christ, accomplished more for us than immortality.

He, being One of the Holy Triad and pure Spirit, integrated with the body and soul of a man that He created. God became man, that man might become God, except for our free will, must become God.

St Gregory Nazianzen says in his Funeral oration for St Basil, ‘Man has been commanded to become God.’ He is also the first Church father to use the term ‘théosis’ for that God-charged deification.

So man who, body and soul, was created for immortality in the first Adam but forfeited that life by separation from the Divine Nature, that is, by suicide, in the second Adam is recreated for divinity.

Christ, in defeating death by death, bringing life to those in the tombs, Himself rose from the dead, body and soul, as first-fruits of all who have ever died. Not as a Spirit only, but as a complete man.

Yes, the God-man, who, though standing before His Father who is in heaven interceding for sinners, walks with His disciples on earth, even shares food with them, proving the resurrection of the dead.

Though in this present life our souls are the life of our bodies, in the world to come, the Spirit is the life of both our souls and bodies, our human nature fully integrated with the Divine Nature.

Through Jesus Christ the human race has gained more than it lost. Human nature has been raised to the Divine Nature. Respect your body as much as your soul, and expect the resurrection of the dead.


steve said...

You do know that this triune God concept does not originate with Jehovah, don't you?
The Romans, Greeks, Medo-Persian, Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians impacted God's people, before and after Jehovah's Law was communicated to his people by Moses. All of these world powers and smaller nations living around the Israelites worshiped triune gods. Jehovah was clear as to who he was and not once did he state or even elude to himself being partitioned or sharing his rulership with two other equally powerful deities. Jehovah specifically prohibited the worship of foreign gods by the association with these other nations. When the Jew did stray to other worship such as Baal and Molech (all part of a triune), Jehovah's indignation came on the Jews. This happened time and time again.

Moreover, when Jesus came on the scene, he gave constant recognition to his God. Born as a Israelite (Jew), he worshiped the same God, Jehovah or (Yahweh). As a child, his earthly father, Joseph, taught him the Law, history and their culture. Additionally, as a child, he was taught by the religious leaders in the temple. There was no triune worship of gods. They all worshiped one God, not three in one and certainly not three separate deities. Jesus never spoke of himself as someone to worship. He directed all worship to the God he himself worshiped, Jehovah or (Yahweh). Was Jesus a god, yes. Is the one called Devil and Satan a god, yes. And so are the other demons. Accept for Jehovah, they are all crested by him as his heavenly Sons. Jesus never accepted nor did he expect to be worshiped. The same cannot be said for Satan and the Demons. But even they know who Jehovah is regardless of their efforts to distort Jehovah's reputation and character.

How do you, subscribing to the Judeo-Christian religion, accept this distorted view of Jehovah, partitioning him like:

1. The moon-god Sin, the sun-god Shamash, and the fertility goddess Ishtar, the lover or consort of Tammuz.

2. Osiris, his consort Isis, and their son Horus.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Forgive me, brother, but my blog is not the place to dialog with people whose aim is to challenge the Orthodox faith, with a view to correcting us.

What we have is what we have received from Christ and the apostles, ratified by the seven worldwide councils of the Church.

In this and my other blogs, I try to demonstrate to all followers of Jesus that the Orthodox Church and Faith are our common heritage.

I try to cut out the spiritual materialism and picture-thinking which is always turning the Message into a mere religion.

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life. He is in heaven before His Father's throne interceding for us as our High Priest, and He is with us here on earth, among us as He promises, till the end of time.

Thanks for reading my blog, but if you want to know what I believe, just dig a little deeper (I know it is nine years deep, but that just makes it more of an adventure).

Grace and peace,