His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
The Word was made man in order that we might be made divine [also translated, “that we might become God.” Or, “he was humanized that we might be deified.”]. He displayed himself through a body, that we might receive knowledge of the invisible Father. He endured insult at the hands of men, that we might inherit immortality. (Athanasius, On the Incarnation, 54)
For as Christ died and was exalted as man, so, as man, he is said to receive what, as God, he always had, in order that this great gift might extend to us. For the Word was not degraded by receiving a body, so that he should seek to ‘receive’ God’s gift. Rather he deified what he put on; and, more than that, be bestowed his gift upon the race of men. (Athanasius, Contra Arianos, i. 24-25)
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V.)
Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us. Let us become gods for His sake, since He for ours became man. He assumed the worse that He might give us the better; He became poor that we through His poverty might be rich; He took upon Himself the form of a servant that we might receive back our liberty; He came down that we might be exalted; He was tempted that we might conquer; He was dishonoured that He might glorify us; He died that He might save us; He ascended that He might draw to Himself us, who were lying low in the fall of sin. Let us give all, offer all, to Him Who gave Himself a ransom and a reconciliation for us.
Being God, You became man and was mingled with mortals: You were God from the beginning, and You became man later in order to make me god, since You became man. . . . The Word of the Father was God, but became man, as we are, so that, having mingled with the mortals, He might unite God with us . . .As man, He is interceding for my salvation, until He makes me divine by the power of His incarnate manhood . . . Since man did not become god, God Himself became man… in order to reconstruct what was given through what is assumed . . . For if He [the Holy Spirit] is not to be worshipped, how can He deify me by Baptism?
(Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations and various works)
Since it was the will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in his divinity, he assumed our nature in order that by becoming man he might make men gods. Moreover, when he took our flesh he dedicated the whole of its substance to our salvation. He offered his body to God the Father on the altar of the cross as a sacrifice for our reconciliation. He shed his blood for our ransom and purification, so that we might be redeemed from our wretched state of bondage and cleansed from all sin. But to ensure that the memory of so great a gift would abide with us for ever, he left his body as food and his blood as drink for the faithful to consume in the form of bread and wine. (Thomas Aquinas, a sermon on The Feast of Corpus Christi [Opusculum 57]).
It is evident then, that He hath called men gods, that are deified of His Grace, not born of His Substance . . . If we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods: but this is the effect of Grace adopting, not of nature generating . . The rest that are made gods, are made by His own Grace, are not born of His Substance, that they should be the same as He, but that by favour they should come to Him, and be fellow-heirs with Christ. (Augustine, Commentary on the Psalms, 50, 2).
This is the God of compassion, yearning to save man; and the Word himself at this point speaks to you plainly, putting unbelief to shame; the Word, I say, of God, who became man just that you may learn from a man how it may be that man should become God (Clement of Alexandria, Protepticus [Exhortation to the Greeks] 8,4)
The Son in his kindness generously imparted deification to others … who are transformed through him into gods, as images of the prototype … the Word is the archetype of the many images. (Origen, Commentary on John, ii, 2)
From Jesus began a weaving together of the divine and human nature in order that human nature, through fellowship with what is more divine, might become divine, not only in Jesus but also in all those who, besides believing in Jesus, take up the life which he taught; the life which leads everyone who lives according to the precepts of Jesus to friendship with God and fellowship with him. (Origen, Contra Celsus, iii. 28)