John 6:35, 41-51
(I suggest actually reading Ephesians to experience the depth of what is there, but my sermon provides a brief overview of some key points and texts)
Salvation is Orthodox "psycho" "therapy"—or Christian soul healing—the process of theosis, union with God. Ephesians provides us with the blueprint and language.
Ephesians 1:4-5 reveals that 'God chose us in Christ, adopting us as His children—to be holy and blameless.' We are adopted into the divine life in Christ. While we are made in the image of God, Ephesians 2 addresses the human crisis: we are born fallen and sinful; 'dead and under the power of the world and evil spirits.' Ephesians 2:3 brings it to a sharp point: “All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and mind and we were by nature children of wrath like everyone else.” Things are not as they were intended, the world is fallen and hostile to God, each mind and heart twisted by the passions. So, Ephesians says, God graciously sends Jesus to dwell in our hearts through faith; and we are commanded (4:1ff) "to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called....to grow in every way into Him who is the head—Jesus Christ.” Salvation is a slow process of growing into Christ: theosis takes time.
Growing is a gift but also a struggle, as we leave behind the false self. Ephesians 4:17ff “you must no longer live as the Gentiles, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart... You were taught to be renewed in the spirit of your minds and to clothe yourself with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness... So then, putting away all falsehood, speak the truth…”
Falsehood…. Satan has spoken lies into your heart since you were a baby. The World’s lies affect every community, even the church. Our doubts and fears are a barrier to trusting God. So we try to find a way to save ourselves. The Jews called idols “False Things” and we entrust our salvation to our own idols daily.
Disease is disease, but there are different types, right? Treating heart ailments is different from cancer. And heart ailments and cancers are also further differentiated. The passions are a spiritual cancer in each of us, but you need to know which type you have. The darkened mind is a learning disability in each of us, but you must diagnose what the problem is. We all suffer from a heart malady—our spirit heart needs healing—but how is your heart broken or sick?
We are driven by different fears and different needs—find out what yours are. We all keep our personal secrets—ask the Holy Spirit to reveal yours. We are each deluded and lead astray in a particular way—ask Jesus to guide you from the path onto His path. The journey to theosis requires the receiving saving grace by painful repentance and conversion. I suggested Enneagram last week, if you don’t like that, then find another tool to help you become the New Self, the True Self, in union with God.********************************************************************************
Last week we offered the Exodus narrative as a revelation from God about our spiritual journey to theosis union with God. We spoke of Salvation as a process of leaving Egypt/slavery to sin, being purified in the desert and going to the Promised Land into freedom from the passions into union with God. This week Ephesians talks of the darkened mind/heart and the Gentile life which parallels Egypt! The New Self is the Promised Land. The Bible reveals the basic truth of salvation is myriad ways.
If interested in enneagram here are some online tests.
Here is a great overview of the types which should help you clarify
These are but three of the many excellent books out there.
"The Road Back to You" Ian Cron & Suzanne Stabile (they have lots of podcasts as well)
"The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective" Richard Rohr & Andreas Ebert (Rohr has a website and lots of information)
"The Sacred Enneagram" Christopher Heuertz
The import of the Enneagram is to understand the Passion/Deadly Sin secretly at work within your own soul. It cannot capture all there is to know about you. As you answer questions you might not be consistent or accurate. Reading the descriptions will probably clarify things, or at least narrow down the possibilities. Most people find it to be very useful.