In the early Greek church, divinization through the pattern of Christ was called theosis (literally: becoming godlike or one with God), and was a very important concept for many Christians. Early Christians understood salvation not merely as escaping hell, but as a total transformation of one’s being in conformity with the divine image (Eph. 4:13,15, 2 Cor. 3:18, 1 John 3:1-3). We today in the Christian Universalist Association share this greater understanding of salvation, based on a recognition of the image of God within human beings and, therefore, our divine potential, which was manifested in the person of Jesus.
The Bible makes it clear that God should be regarded as the Father of all people (Mal. 2:10, Mat. 6:9, Eph. 4:6); that all human beings, both male and female, are created in the divine image according to God’s own likeness (Gen. 1:26-27), that the Light or Spirit of God is within us (Job 33:4, Mat. 5:14, Mark 1:8,); and that we are literally God’s offspring (Acts 17:28).
Becoming one with God is the glorious destiny of all people! No one is excluded from this amazing divine plan. In the fullness of the ages, God will become “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28), meaning that all beings will manifest the attributes of God to their fullest possible potential. Life — in whatever form it may take in our spiritual journey — is about striving and advancing toward ever-greater levels of divine manifestation until, by God’s grace and love and power, every trace of selfish separation is purged from us and we are transformed, made into a new creation, as Christ already was from the foundation of the world.
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