[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Transfiguration and Deification

by Matthew

A lot of Christians puzzle over what is meant in the Transfiguration, yet this incident in the life of our Lord is surely the one of the most glorious and holds much signifcance for our own salvation.

Luke 9
28 ¶ And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Eli'jah:

31 who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Eli'jah: not knowing what he said.

34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son:

36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.


When it says that Peter did not know what he was saying, a lot of people think this was one of Peter's typical foot-in-mouth comments. I rather take the view that what he was saying was prophetical in character. He referred to making tabernacles. In this he was showing that the feast of tabernacles was being fulfilled.

The people of Israel dwellt in tabernacles and so did the Ark of the Covenant, in which was the presence of God, the holiest thing on earth. The Transfiguration shows that again, God's presence was on earth, this time in hypostatic union with humanity in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be another fulfillment of this in the Millennium when the earh shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). But the ultimate fulfillment of the feast of the tabernacles is in the eternal state, for it says in Revelation 21:

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.


The entire universe is to be filled with the presence of God! It says in 1 Corinthians 15:

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.


The cosmos is to be transfigured. Through Christ it will be united to God and deified in Him, that God may be all in all.

But before this, the believer is to glorified or transfigured.

To understand the Transfiguration we have to remember what happened to Moses:

Exodus 34
29 ¶ And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Si'nai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.


Moses had been in the presence of God. The presence of God is where God's holy uncreated energies are manifest. This is God's life and it transforms and transfigures. Moses was transformed by being in the presence of God. He experienced a partial glorification.

In the Transfiguration, the glory of God was revealed in Christ. His human nature did not become intermingled with His divine nature. No. His human nature was temporarily glorified and transfigured by His divinity. Now that He is risen and ascended into heaven, our Lord is fully glorified.

At His coming our Lord shall gather His redeemed to Himself and glorify and transform them. We shall still be human beings of flesh, but our flesh will be changed and transfigured through Christ. Through Christ's hypostatic union of humnaity and divinity, we come to participate in the divine and in Christ our flesh will be deified. We shall become God as He is God. We shall be like Him. It is the purpose of God in the church to make a new man (Ephesians 2:10), a new kind of humanity.

The glorification of believers is proportionate. There are degrees of glory. Those that come to be of the house of Christ (Hebrews 3:6), who have overcome and suffered for His sake shall be glorified in a unique way. It says in Romans 8:

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


Those that have suffered for Christ receive the end in heirship with a greater glory. And these that are of the house of Christ are granted the privilege of exercising government over the universe as a race of divine beings. They may be said not only to have become one with God (as are all who are in Christ) but to have themselves become gods.

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20 Comments:

  • "The cosmos is to be transfigured. Through Christ it will be united to God and deified in Him, that God may be all in all."

    Your association of God being "all in all" with the elevation of the creation, as I take your meaning, to the level of deity is not in accordance with scripture. 1 Corinthians 15:28 has specifically to do with all things being brought into subjection to Christ, and Christ himself being subjected to the Father. The unity of essence the Father and Son are not diminished by the Son's subjection to the father, but then the Son is God from eternity to eternity and outside of time: we are not, and never will be. Regardless of what "oneness" with God means, it cannot mean taking up a place in the Trinity, or should I say panity: deity is not made, God simply is Himself.

    "...in Christ our flesh will be deified. We shall become God as He is God."

    No, I wholeheartedly reject the notion that you or I will ever be glorified into Godhood in exactly the same manner as Christ, for whom deification is simply a recognition of his essential, eternal person.

    Matthew, I recognize that, being divided by a common language, we do not always perfectly communicate with one another. I think I get your gist, that many Christians do not fully grasp the blessings that are in store for the redeemed in Christ: indeed, it has not entered into the mind of man, however, I feel that if miscommunication has occurred in this case, the blame rests squarely on your shoulders.

    I do not think that Peter was prophesying: what Peter said brought Moses and Elijah into equality with Christ: what the Father said put the focus squarely on Christ, where it belongs. It was a correction of the Jewish thinking about the Messiah, which Peter was articulating.

    By Blogger Tim, at Friday, October 05, 2007 11:45:00 AM  

  • I’m still digesting it but this is an excellent article Matthew. If I understand properly you are saying that the Transfiguration was a foretaste of what is to come and that we will be transfigured in like manner. I had not considered that deification is resultant to glorification but I think you’ve made an excellent argument. At this point I would tensd to agree with Tim in reference to Peter’s statements but I will remain open to a better understanding.

    Tim I’m afraid your reasoning betrays your assertion. You assert that Matthew’s perspective could not possibly be scriptural but the scripture you offer only verifies that subjection to God does not exclude deification, which you then only counter with a philosophical perspective. Perhaps you could reconsider and offer a more compelling argument?

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, October 05, 2007 2:12:00 PM  

  • "His human nature did not become intermingled with His divine nature."

    And yet one person. What a mystery.

    "The doctrines of the Two Natures supplies, in a word, the only possible solution of the enigmas of the life-manifestation of the histrorical Jesus. ... It is, to put it briefly, the simple statement of "the fact od Jesus." as that fact is revealed to us in His whole manifestation. We may reject it if we will, but in rejecting it we reject the only real Jesus in favor of another Jesus--who is not another, but is the creature of pure fantasy." BB Warfield

    As far as "our flesh will be deified", I would have to think this is stepping over the line. And us becoming gods is as well.

    Even in my glorified body I will be more like angels than God, because I am created, and a worshipper of the Triune God, never to be worshipped.

    Have a blessed Lord's Day.

    By Blogger donsands, at Friday, October 05, 2007 5:15:00 PM  

  • Tim

    "Regardless of what "oneness" with God means, it cannot mean taking up a place in the Trinity, or should I say panity: deity is not made, God simply is Himself."

    Ontologically no creature can every become part of the indivisible Trinity. However, through Christ's restorative work , the cosmos is brought into harmony with and fellowship with God.

    The cosmos will experience the same love and fellowship that is enjoyed by the members of the Trinity. Thus, they participate in the intimate fellowship of the divine godhead.

    "No, I wholeheartedly reject the notion that you or I will ever be glorified into Godhood in exactly the same manner as Christ, for whom deification is simply a recognition of his essential, eternal person."

    But what of Christ's incarnation? In the incarnation, the humnaity of Christ was brought into essential unity with His divinity. Christ's flesh was part of His person, the flesh of a god-man.

    In the Transfiguration, this flesh was glorified in that it came to reflect the glory of His divine nature.

    In the same way, the glorified believer comes to reflect the glory that is in Christ. They have come to share in the vital union of humanity and deity that is Christ's posession.

    "I do not think that Peter was prophesying: what Peter said brought Moses and Elijah into equality with Christ: what the Father said put the focus squarely on Christ, where it belongs."

    I think this interpretation overlooks the significance of the feast of Tabernacles in redemptive history and the clear connection between this and the Transfiguration incident.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:52:00 AM  

  • Kc, thanks for your thoughts.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 4:54:00 AM  

  • Donsands, you have a blessed Lord's Day too.

    "As far as "our flesh will be deified", I would have to think this is stepping over the line."

    But is not the Church the mystic body of Christ?

    The Church is a new kind of humnanity that results from the glorification of Christ in heaven as the union of deity and manhood.

    In a real sense, the Church may be said to be a emanation of Christ's deified humanity.

    If we do not come to participate in Christ's divine nature, but only in His human nature, how is the unity of His person maintained?

    If we our flesh is not deified through union with the god-man, how is that our resurrection and glorification can be grounded and mediated through His person?

    "Even in my glorified body I will be more like angels than God, because I am created, and a worshipper of the Triune God, never to be worshipped."

    I do not see that glorified/ deified humanity will ever be an object of worship, though we shall certainly participate in the glory of God- else what can it possibly mean to be glorified?

    I agree that there are similarities between glorified humans and angles; both have spiritual and heavenly bodies, whatever such a body is like, but I think this comparison ignores the importance of Psalm 8:

    5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,
    and hast crowned him with glory and honor.


    6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;
    thou hast put all things under his feet:

    Here we see that man, who is lower than the angels is placed in government not only over the earth, but over all creation- all things. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ is, of whom this Psaml speaks typologically.

    If redeemed man is placed above the angels, whom he judges, the only being above Him is God and through Christ, the redeemed and ovecoming believer comes to share in God's sovereignty by co-ruling with Christ, the Lord of the Universe.

    "And us becoming gods is as well."

    The Scriptures do speak of gods in a lesser sense:

    Psalm 82
    6 I have said, Ye are gods;
    and all of you are children of the Most High.

    Here, the judges of Israel are in view.

    It says in Genesis 9:

    6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

    Because man is made in the image of God, he posesses the power to exercise the office of government.

    The government of man is a delegation of the sovereignty of God, hence th judges of Israel were called 'gods.'

    I would therefore argue that it is not inappropriate to describe the Christian's goal of sharing in Christ's heavenly government as 'becoming a god.' This is a matter of status, rather than nature.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 5:17:00 AM  

  • "The Church is a new kind of humnanity "

    I don't see that Matthew. The Church is simply humans who are alive to the things of God, because they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

    When Christ, and God the Father establish the new heavens and the new earth, then we will still be created beings, who are sinless, and who are pure and righteous, as the elect angels are.
    Though I agree that angels will be subject to us, for we shall be co-heirs with Christ.

    We shall be like Him in His humanity, but never His divinity.
    If we are divine, then we can be worshipped.
    That's what Satan wanted, to be worshipped.
    Jesus said, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him ONLY you shall serve." Matt. 4:10

    We shall worship God, and serve Him throughout eternity, and it will be beyond our wildest dreams all the joy we shall experience!
    We shall inhabit a new Earth, and won't that be marvelous.
    (I digress)
    I will consider your thoughts with my pastor Matthew. But I believe this is closer to error than truth, to beleiev we will be divine beings.

    By Blogger donsands, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 5:50:00 AM  

  • "I don't see that Matthew. The Church is simply humans who are alive to the things of God, because they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit."

    Is not the resurrection body a new work?

    Does the indwelling of the Holy Spirit not form a new kind of humnaity patterned after Christ?

    "Though I agree that angels will be subject to us, for we shall be co-heirs with Christ."

    Was Adam a co-heir with Christ? Were the angels subject to Adam?

    It seems clear that the church is a new kind of humanity.

    "We shall be like Him in His humanity, but never His divinity."

    If Christ's deity and manhood are inseparably joined, can we say that we only participate in His humanity?

    If we are in Christ, we are in the god-man.

    "If we are divine, then we can be worshipped."

    No not necessarilly.

    The source of our deification is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

    The lie of Satan is that man can make himself a god without grace.

    That is how Satan deceived Eve. And we see this in cults, false religions and humanistic philosophies today.

    But the true deification is by grace in Christ.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 7:51:00 AM  

  • "Was Adam a co-heir with Christ? Were the angels subject to Adam?"

    Maybe. Don't know.

    Matthew, we will have to disagree about humans becoming gods for now. It goes against my heart's convictions, and I don't see it plain enough in Scripture.
    But I will be checking what others think the Bible say.
    You're a deep thinker, and that can be good. And it can be bad sometimes.

    By Blogger donsands, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 8:33:00 AM  

  • kc:
    “Tim I’m afraid your reasoning betrays your assertion. You assert that Matthew’s perspective could not possibly be scriptural but the scripture you offer only verifies that subjection to God does not exclude deification, which you then only counter with a philosophical perspective. Perhaps you could reconsider and offer a more compelling argument?”

    “Even in my glorified body I will be more like angels than God, because I am created, and a worshipper of the Triune God, never to be worshipped.” –donsands

    Quite the case:

    Acts 10:
    “25And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.”

    Revelation 22:
    “8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”

    Because of these scriptures I am convinced that any being who worships me is in the wrong: that they need to be pointed to the true Eternal Creator; the true Source of Life. We will share in the reign of Christ, as His bride: we will be placed in the position of judging angels. With regard to authority, then, it we will be placed in a position higher than all of the rest of creation. This does not make us God, who is one, and who alone is to be worshipped.

    Matthew:
    “I think this interpretation overlooks the significance of the feast of Tabernacles in redemptive history and the clear connection between this and the Transfiguration incident.”

    Would you care to elaborate on this?

    “Ontologically no creature can every become part of the indivisible Trinity.”

    Agreed, and glad to hear it.

    “However, through Christ's restorative work , the cosmos is brought into harmony with and fellowship with God.”

    Agreed.

    “The cosmos will experience the same love and fellowship that is enjoyed by the members of the Trinity.”

    I agree that the redeemed cosmos (and we, as part of that redeemed cosmos), will experience some of the same love and fellowship, but I suspect you are making an argument that creatures will become part of the Trinity in all but “ontological” name.

    “Thus, they participate in the intimate fellowship of the divine godhead.”

    “Participate”, yes. But just because we participate in the fellowship of the godhead, does not make us an essential part of it, and is certainly not a basis upon which we ought to be worshipped.

    “But what of Christ's incarnation? In the incarnation, the humanity of Christ was brought into essential unity with His divinity. Christ's flesh was part of His person, the flesh of a god-man.

    In the Transfiguration, this flesh was glorified in that it came to reflect the glory of His divine nature.

    In the same way, the glorified believer comes to reflect the glory that is in Christ. They have come to share in the vital union of humanity and deity that is Christ's possession.”

    Here is where we disagree: the deity that is the source of glorification is still Christ’s: never ours.

    By Blogger Tim, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 1:07:00 PM  

  • >You're a deep thinker, and that can be good. And it can be bad sometimes.<

    Very true Donsands. Good caution. The Bible does say that we shall see Him as He is and that we shall be like Him, but we must exalt the word 'like' and note that this word should cancel out the thought of thinking that we shall BE Him.

    Truly we must be careful here as every knee shall bow only to the Son of God Himself and call Him Lord. In one text Jesus does tell the Saducees that we shall be like angels who neither marry or are given in marraige.

    It is good that you have cautioned Matthew.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, October 06, 2007 5:15:00 PM  

  • Tim

    Thankyou for your further thoughts.

    "Because of these scriptures I am convinced that any being who worships me is in the wrong: that they need to be pointed to the true Eternal Creator; the true Source of Life."

    I have never suggested that deified man will be an object of worship. How can he be when the source of His deification is in Christ by grace?

    "We will share in the reign of Christ, as His bride: we will be placed in the position of judging angels. With regard to authority, then, it we will be placed in a position higher than all of the rest of creation. This does not make us God, who is one, and who alone is to be worshipped."

    The overcoming and faithful believer is placed as no.2 under the Godhead.

    I think given the use of the word 'god' in Psalm 8 that we are justified in applying the term 'god' to the overcoming believer in glory.

    Transfiguration and Tabernacles- "Would you care to elaborate on this?"

    I did that in the post. You offered an alternative interpretation, but I think my interpretation is better.

    "“Participate”, yes. But just because we participate in the fellowship of the godhead, does not make us an essential part of it, and is certainly not a basis upon which we ought to be worshipped."

    You keep brining up worship. I do not know why.

    Is our union with Christ an essential one?

    Can one get 'out of Christ?'

    If not, then surely the eschatological participation of the cosmos in God through Christ is an essential union too?

    "Here is where we disagree: the deity that is the source of glorification is still Christ’s: never ours."

    You are saying exactly what I am saying.

    We are glorified through Christ. We cannot glorify ourselves and I hope everybody would reject in the Christian blogsphere would reject me if I taught that.

    We are glorified in Christ and we are deified in Him.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, October 07, 2007 1:14:00 AM  

  • Brian

    Good to see you.

    "The Bible does say that we shall see Him as He is and that we shall be like Him, but we must exalt the word 'like' and note that this word should cancel out the thought of thinking that we shall BE Him."

    Perhaps. It depends what you mean.

    But you must agree that the Church being the Body of Christ comes pretty close to 'being Him?'

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, October 07, 2007 1:16:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    Good to see you as well.

    You said>But you must agree that the Church being the Body of Christ comes pretty close to 'being Him?'<

    I would say "being a part of Him"

    The bride is not the bridegroom. We will become one with Him as a reflection of His countenance but not the express image, only a reflection of that image.

    Love in Christ,

    Brian

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, October 07, 2007 11:37:00 AM  

  • Brian, I would certainly agree with that.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, October 07, 2007 12:52:00 PM  

  • Then we agree and perhaps this is a matter of carefully wording this and I think we do need to be careful. We can most certainly agree that this is going to be a most glorious rapture and appearing.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Sunday, October 07, 2007 1:58:00 PM  

  • From an earlier post:

    "The goal of the Christian should be to be lifted up onto the throne of God and to share in His sovereign rule over all things." ~ Matthew

    The problem I have with the way that you put it is that if the reigning is seen as a singular goal, isolated from the proper means of getting it: subjection and faithfulness, then the "obvious" thing to do is grasp at deity, which is exactly the opposite of what a Christian is to do.

    Did Christ (and should the Christian) want to "be lifted up onto the throne of God and share in His sovereign rule over all things?? Absolutely: otherwise the devil would never have tempted him with (a farce of) it in Matthew 4:8-9.

    I can understand that in the post I quoted above, you were contrasting with Calvinism in order to show its weakness, but I don't think that justifies making unbalanced statements: the only way to sovereignty is to give up your own will; the only way to glorification is to make nothing of yourself.

    In light of this, "the" goal of the Christian (what they should 'aim' or 'grasp' at) is subjection to God and abasement before Him. The result of this, of course, is exactly the opposite, but the fact remains we have no right to that result, and there is no sense in trying to maneuver such that God is obligated to grant us anything.

    By Blogger Tim, at Wednesday, October 10, 2007 2:11:00 PM  

  • Hi Matthew,
    I'd like to offer a few thoughts on this. On the Mountain, the disciples saw their Lord in His glory and then Moses and Elijah appeared, both very much alive and talked to the Lord. Luke 9 says they appeared in glory and spoke of His departure which He was to accomplish in Jerusalem. The word for departure is exodus. Jesus was going to lead His people out of the bonds of slavery to sin and death by His death and resurrection. Moses and Elijah had a stake in His upcoming death too since their redemption rested on Christ's finished work as much as ours does.

    Mark 9 says "5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, [2] it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; [3] listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only."
    Peter was afraid and he was not thinking clearly there. He was giving the Lord a place that was equal with Moses and Elijah the creatures, instead of giving Him the place of highest honor that He deserves. I believe that when the Father spoke, it was to rebuke Peter's mistaken idea of making Moses and Elijah equal with Jesus. It is interesting that after the Father spoke, Moses and Elijah disappear and Jesus is alone with them again.

    I looked at a couple of my Study Bibles about us being partakers of the divine nature. I also found a relevant quote.

    John MacArthur's Study Bible has this on 2 Peter 1:4.
    partakers of the divine nature. This expression is not different from the concept of being born again., born from above(cf.John 3:3; James 1:18) being in Christ,(cf. Romans 8:1) or being the home of the Trinity (John 14:17-23) The precious promises of salvation result in becoming God's children in the present age (John 1:12; Romans 8:9; Galatians 2:20;Col 1:27), and therefore by sharing in God's nature by the possession of eternal life. Christians do not become little gods, but they are "new creations" (2 Cor5:17) and have the Holy Spirit living in them.(1 Cor 6:19,20) Moreover, believers will partake of the divine nature in a greater way when they bear a glorified body like Jesus Christ. (Phil 3:20,21;1 John 3:1-3)

    And this is from the John MacArthur Study Bible on 1 Jn.3:2
    be like Him...The glorious nature of that conformity defies description, but as much as glorified humanity can be like incarnate deity, believers will be, without becoming deity.


    The Geneva Study Bible has this footnote for the 2 Peter 1:4 text.

    partakers of the divine nature
    Believers are not absorbed into deity, nor do they become divine. Rather, they have received the Holy Spirit and are sons of God (John 1:12; Rom. 8:9-21). As such they are being cnformed to the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29) and the image of God in them is being renewed in true righteousness.

    Also this quote by Martyn Lloyd-Jones from his book on Ephesians:
    . Note that as regards our holiness he says that we are `in Him', but with regard to the adoption he says `by Jesus Christ'. It is as the result of my union with Christ I am made holy; it is by the work of Christ or through the work of Christ that I receive the adoption and become a son of God. In other words, the 'through' or `by' emphasizes the work that Christ has done, the things that He had to do before I could ever become a son.
    We must safeguard this doctrine by the following consideration. While we rejoice in the fact that we are the sons of God - the sons of God in Jesus Christ - we must be careful to draw a clear distinction between His Sonship and our sonship, lest we go astray in another fashion. We are `the sons of God', but we are not sons of God in the same way as the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the Son of God by eternal generation; we are the sons of God by adoption. It was because of this distinction that our Lord at the end of His earthly life said to one of His disciples: `I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.' He did not say, `I ascend to our Father and our God'. Our sonship is derivative, we derive it from Him; it is because we have been adopted `in him'.
    To state this truth still more explicitly, we must be clear that we are not made gods; we do not become divine in that sense. While it is true that we are partakers of the divine nature, we are still human beings. The Lord Jesus Christ is `Substance of the eternal Substance', `Very God of Very God'. He is essentially different from us, and yet we are adopted into the family. It is impossible to comprehend this; but it is important for us to recognize it, because there have been people at times who have taught wrongly that Christians become gods, that we become divine. There is no teaching to that effect in the Scripture. Our standing, our position, our rank is that of adopted children. There is a sense in which we can call the Lord Jesus Christ our Brother, but we should be careful as we do so. He stands eternally the Son of God who took upon Himself human nature. We are human, adopted into the family of God and given the privileges and the standing and the status of sonship.

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at Thursday, October 11, 2007 8:34:00 PM  

  • Tim, I am really do not see how I am in disagreement with you.

    It is by subjection and faithfulness that we will inherit the kingdom.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, October 12, 2007 12:27:00 AM  

  • Va-Susan,

    You share Tim's view of Peter's comment.

    It is a possible interpretation, but I do not think it does justice to the place of the Transfiguration in redemptive history and I believe it misses the typological significance of the Feast of Tabernacles.

    "And this is from the John MacArthur Study Bible on 1 Jn.3:2
    be like Him...The glorious nature of that conformity defies description, but as much as glorified humanity can be like incarnate deity, believers will be, without becoming deity."

    For once I actually agree with MacArthur. I think what he says is a good, if a little simple explanation of Deification.

    I doubt MacArthur would use the same terminology as I would, but I see no real disagreement with what you have quoted here.

    "Believers are not absorbed into deity, nor do they become divine. Rather, they have received the Holy Spirit and are sons of God (John 1:12; Rom. 8:9-21). As such they are being cnformed to the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29) and the image of God in them is being renewed in true righteousness."

    That depends upon what is meant by 'absorbed into deity.' If what is meant is that we become a part of God or we become ontologically distinct from God, then certainly we are not abosrbed into deity.

    However, we do enter into a deeper relation with God such that we are in vital and essential union with Him and His holy, uncreated energ(grace).

    I think I would also agree with what you have quoted of Martyn Lloyd Jones too.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, October 12, 2007 12:36:00 AM  

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