Athanasius of Alexandria further developed the themes of divine adoption, sanctification, exaltation by being united to God, participation in the divine life, and deification in Christ.
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the current understanding of salvation and the Christian’s quest for heavenly citizenship by presenting Athanasius’ complex vision of salvation. Athanasius incorporates the entire Christ event in his soteriological plan of humanity’s deification.
The incarnation of Christ initiated the process of salvation by bestowing upon humanity an example to follow and pattern their life after. The cross, on the other hand, served to persuade those who did not believe in the incarnation’s significance. Hence, Athanasius explains that the whole of Christ’s life saves.
Moreover, a great exchange takes place in Athanasius’ understanding of the deification of humanity: God, the divine giver becomes the recipient, and the human recipients out of gratitude and praise give praise to God. As a result, humans are freely and firmly in union with God established in and through Jesus Christ.
Finally, Athanasius contends that the process of overcoming the sinfulness or forgetfulness that has become inherent in the human condition involves a process of purification, restoration, and sanctification through divine participation in the divine nature called deification.