Psalm(s): 41 , 52
Old Testament: Isaiah 8:16-9:1
New Testament: 2 Peter 1:1-11

What does it mean to be called and chosen in Christ? Is it simply a means to have our sin removed and to gain entry into heaven? Is it the simple confession that Jesus is your personal Lord and Saviour? Are we really the only faith that can lead to eternal salvation?

St. Peter gives us a pretty good indication this morning of what a follower of Jesus is called to be:

….make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-7)

In baptism, we become not only members of a faith community but partakers in the divine nature of God.

As good Protestants, we don’t often think of ourselves as partaking in the divine nature. We concentrate instead on our own sinfulness, and the absolute deprivation of the flesh.

Very rarely do we think we have the potential to become true saints.

For Peter, Paul, and the other New Testament writers however, increasing in holiness was one of the main foci of their letters and Gospel accounts.

The early Christian movement inherited from its Jewish roots the notions of Divine election and the call from God to be holy as He is holy. .

The Christian was called to put away the old self, and to dawn the new. To cast away sin and to put on Christ.

This transformation, this theosis is an ongoing process that lasts for our entire lives.

It is a collaborative activity between the Holy Spirit and the individual will.

I spoke a few days ago about God’s love for human choice, and the same holds true here. The Holy Spirit can move us all He want….but unless we give our assent to that movement, we will not be transformed completely.

I hate using the “spiritual journey” catchphrase for this blog, because it was thrown around so much in seminary and CPE…..but theosis is exactly that. A journey and movement towards God. An eagerness to see Him face to face, and not to be afraid of the promise in baptism that we have been cleasned of our old selves, and marked as Christ’s own forever. +