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How much theosis is enough (to get to heaven)?


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#21 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:01 PM

I would refer back to Fr David's post #2. The Good Thief, whom the Church calls Dismas, held nothing back but confessed Jesus as King. We say very often in our services, 'Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom'. The Good Thief gave himself over entirely to Jesus. During the Twelve Gospels service of Holy Friday, we sing, "The Wise Thief didst Thou make worthy of Paradise, in a single moment, O Lord. By the wood of thy Cross illumine me also, and save me." It is commonly said that attaining to union with God, 'theosis', is a long struggle, but for some there is no time for a long struggle. That it may happen within a short time (three years for example) or 'in a single moment', speaks of what Archimandrite Zacharias calls 'the mystery of the person'.

Edited by Father David Moser, 21 October 2012 - 11:40 PM.
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#22 Ernest E. W. Herman

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:20 PM

Thank you so much for these comments!

You put it in this way: “The thief on the cross worked out his salvation…”
May I say something? The thief on the cross was NOT a saved person. Was he not crucified as a wrong doer? Therefore we cannot say that he worked out HIS salvation. One needs to be saved before to work out his/her salvation – which is not the case in discussion.

So again, what works did you do be saved? What did he work himself in order to earn his salvation, as a thief nailed on the cross? Rebuking the other thief? I do admit, it was very nice of him to do that and I think that certainly, Jesus liked that. But what Bible scripture supports this statement that rebuking a wrong doer gets you to Heaven?
God bless us all!

#23 Olga

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:41 PM

So again, what works did you do be saved? What did he work himself in order to earn his salvation, as a thief nailed on the cross? Rebuking the other thief? I do admit, it was very nice of him to do that and I think that certainly, Jesus liked that. But what Bible scripture supports this statement that rebuking a wrong doer gets you to Heaven?


The thief's words that followed his rebuking of the other thief are what saved him: Remember me, Lord, when You come in Your kingdom.

#24 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:51 PM

It wasn't so much his rebuke of the other thief but his own acknowledgement of his being deserving of his punishment, and then his confession of Christ as King that saved him. His work was his acceptance of his punishment; if we accept involuntary suffering we transfigure it into the ascesis of voluntary suffering. By his self-condemnation, he avoided condemnation and so was acceptable to Christ Who therefore promised him a place in Paradise.

#25 David Lindblom

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:41 PM

I've found that if you ask 10 different priests/Orthodox laymen you'll get 15 different answers.  I find this frustrating too.  I think we Orthodox get muddled down in all the theology and forget how simple the Christian message was that came from the lips of the Apostles.  Repent, believe, be baptized and you will be filled w/ the Holy Spirit.  Period...you're in. You have passed from death to life.  When you rose from the waters of baptism you were a new creation in Christ.  You ARE NOW a Christian.  Now as this new creation you act accordingly...like Christ.  Anything that gets in the way of that must be, by God's grace, gotten rid of.  Take part in all the sacrements of the Church.  Remain faithful to your Lord no matter what till the very end of your life.  Theosis is God's work in you.

 

As far as deathbed conversions, we are only responsible for what we can do while we are able to do it.  If we lack ability/opportunity for something, like baptism, but are in faith reaching out to Christ He will not cast us out.  This is the thief on the cross.  He demonstrated, to me anyway, some of the greatest faith in the New Testament and that faith was specifically in Christ....that faith saved him.  We don't need to come up w/ all kinds of speculations of what acts he did that saved him...it was Christ because of his faith in Him.  That's it.  It's not complicated.



#26 David Lindblom

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 01:00 AM

If I may add, remember the parable Jesus told about the workers who were called to work at different times of the day?  Remember how the ones who had only worked an hour or two yet were paid just as much as those who had worked all day?  I think this parable shows the incredible grace and mercy of our God.  It's direction not perfection (if I may borrow from John MacArthur).  This is not an excuse to sit back and do nothing though, Christ also told a parable of the fellow who did nothing w/ what God had given him and he did not simply waltz into heaven afterwards.  W/ our faith it's always balance.



#27 Eric Peterson

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:06 PM

It doesn't seem to me like theosis is something quantifiable, especially given that it never ends.






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