He who justifies, deifies

ego dixi dii estis et filii Excelsi omnes vos, autem sicut hominem moriemini et sicut unus de principibus cadetis.

I say, “You are gods, and sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like men and fall like any prince.” Psalm 82 (81): 6 – 7, RSV

Since He said that men are gods, it is therefore clear that they are deified by His grace, not born of his substance. For He justifies who is just in Himself and not through another, and He deifies who is God in himself and not by participation in another. He who justifies, however, himself deifies, since by justifying He makes the sons of God. ‘He gave them power [potestatem, ἐξουσίαν] to be the sons of God (John 1.12). If we are made sons of God, we are also made gods, but this is by the grace of the adopter and not from the nature of the generator.

—St. Augustine, Ennarrationes in Psalmos 99.2

Now compare the Vulgate translation of John 1.12 cited by Augustine

quotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri

with the translation of Calvin’s disciple Beza

quotquot autem exceperunt, dedit eis hoc jus, ut filii Dei sint facti

and ask yourself, who or what school is truly closer to the spirit (or Spirit) of either St Augustine or St John?


4 Responses to “He who justifies, deifies”

  1. Eric Says:

    I am really enjoying your blog – keep it up.

  2. deathbredon Says:

    When justification and sanctification are ontologically separated, as opposed to merely heuristically, then a slide away from historic Christianity has indubitably begun.

  3. H Lee Poteet Says:

    I must agree with Death Bredon.

    I am also reminded of a quotation from St. Athanasius, i.e., “He became man that we might be come gods.” I now see this much more deeply than before.

    Keep writing.

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