So that men might become God (partakers in the divine nature)

I have recently been getting into the concept of theosis/divinization in Catholic teaching and would like some more information on the topic. For a little while I’ve been under the idea that it means that we will take upon the divine nature and become like Christ, in that we will be full God and full man. However, now I’m not so sure about that because I’ve seen a lot of people say that we will become God by grace, rather than nature. I’m having trouble understanding what it means to become God by grace. I do realize that in one way or another we will become God, but my question is, in what way will we become God? I’ve also heard a lot of people use the idea of us being a flame from a burning stick, in that we are of the fire but not the same as the fire. However, a flame still has the same nature as fire. Perhaps I need some more education on the idea of partaking in God’s nature, so I would appreciate it if somone explained this concept to me. Last of all, what does this whole concept of theosis have to do with the Lord’s “Ye are gods” quote? May the one God bless you all!

Peace brothers and sisters.

We will not become God. We will become holy by the presence of his love ( grace ) within us. And by becoming holy, we become adopted sons and daughters, because he will love us as a father loves those of his children are full of love.


If this is so, and I understand the op, this quote by st. Maximus the Confessor makes little sense “All that God is, except for an identity in being, one becomes when one is deified by grace.”

God has no exceptions… Think about that alongside your quote…if we become "like God, except for something, then we are not God.

We will remain human beings. Our nature will still be human. We don’t literally *become *God, but we do *participate *in God’s nature. Through grace (and this is a process that begins with baptism), we, as Scripture says, “put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). Think of it as being clothed with and filled with a portion of the divine nature. Our nature remains human, but we are given a taste of God’s own divine life. We will never be infinite as God is. We will never be a divine person within the eternal Trinity…but God clothes and infuses us with His own divine nature. The degree to which we participate in the divine nature also varies. Even among the saints in heaven, Our Lady is far greater than the other saints…she participates in the divine nature in a sense far more profound than any other creature.

One important strand of Christian thought about redemption involves concept of the divinization of the soul through Christ. One important foundation of this is Saint Peter’s teaching that we participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). That is, we participate in the divine nature–not take on the divine nature ourselves. Ludwig Ott in his “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” (pages 256-7) speaking of this deification, wrote that “in view of the nature and degree of the participation in the divine nature,” two extremes should be avoided–“It must not be conceived in the pantheist sense of the transformation of the soul into the divinity; the infinite distance between the Creator and the created remains.” “It represents a communion of man with God. This consists in an accidental unification which is accompanied by a created gift of God”…It “is based on sanctifying grace.”–something the preceding poster well pointed out. (And the other extreme is that this deification must not “be conceived as a mere moral communion with God, which consists in the imitation of the moral perfections of God.”)
The question you raised has been raised for thousands of years, and Catholic (and Orthodox) theologians insist in the face of this matter that we ourselves do not take on the nature of God, but participate in the divine nature. This participation is given to us by divine grace.
A book you could check out by a solid Catholic theologian Daniel Keating is his book “Deification and Grace,” which was published in 2007. I have it and read it myself because I am interested in the subject. If you are much into this question you could purchase this book from or ask for it via interlibrary loan from a local library.

Thanks brother. I like how Ludwig Ott exposes the two false extremes. Most people seem to realize that an absorption into God is a false interpretation of theosis, but I all to often here people make the mistake of underestimating this concept. The answer lies somewhere in between the two, as it would not make sense that we would be taught that “God became man so that man might become God” but then be to that we won’t become God. I may check out that book if I get the chance.
Peace to you all

And I found an explanation from another forum member that makes a lot of sense to me:

To me this sounds like a great, beautiful explanation. However, if someone sees some kind of error in this please bring it up. I don’t see any error, but I just want to make sure.

Also, what about “Ye are gods”? Does it have anything to do with this?


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