As we have seen, Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God meaning that in their being and actions they reflected the attributes of God such as goodness, truth, holiness, wisdom, creativity and immortality. They disobeyed God because they desired to become as gods (Gn 3:5). In God's plan they were to grow in His likeness or become gods but they chose to do this independently of God, that is, by their own understanding and efforts. In this they failed and instead of becoming gods they became mortals.
painted by Aidan Hart
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you ask the average Christian:
" Why did the Son of God became man?" The answer would be "To save us from sin". Implied in this answer is "by His death and Resurrection." This view is true but limited in understanding.
Eastern Churches, however, emphasizes a more comprehensive view of Salvation,
Theosis, meaning human divinization.
St. Athanasius of Alexandria (295-373 AD) states is thus: "God
became man, so that we might be made God." St.
Peter expresses this truth by saying that God has given us a "share
in the divine nature". (2Pt
Son of God by taking on human nature divinized it from the first moment of
conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This means that the *"energies
of Christ divine nature completely penetrated his human nature thus restoring
the 'image and likeness' of God to human nature."
*Note: The energies of God are the uncreated God himself as he communicates himself to creatures. God in his essense cannot be communicated to his created beings. The Transfiguration is a great feast in the Eastern Churches because what the apostles saw was the natural consequence of the divinization of Christ's humanity, that is, what naturally occurs to a body that is wholly divinized, or completely penetrated by the divine energies of the divine nature; it becomes luminous and brilliant as the sun. Theosis or the divinization of human nature was first accomplished in Christ and through Christ to the rest of mankind. This is why Christ is called the "Second Adam".
as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ all will be made alive."
This is not just a doctrine of Eastern Churches but a Christian doctrine neglected by the Catholic Church in favor of growth in Christ holiness of life. We read in the Summa, "With regard to the full participation of the Divinity, which is the true bliss of man and end of human life; and this is bestowed upon us by Christ's humanity; for Augustine says in a sermon (xiii de Temp.): "God was made man, that man might be made God." (Summa, 3.1.2)Of course man cannot become literally God but man and woman are meant to become god-like or gods.