Source: Notes on Arab Orthodoxy
October 24, 2015
In the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul says that Christ is alive in him. In our dogma, we say that Christ is alive in us through the Holy Spirit. Just as the Holy Spirit is in Christ's body in His death and resurrection, He came to be in us through baptism, which is putting sin to death and a new life in the Holy Spirit.
Our unity with Christ is not through another incarnation. Our participation in Him is through the Holy Spirit, in the sense that He is in Him and in Us. He is in His corporeal being that lives after death. The Holy Spirit is not only in the divine being in Christ, but also in His body and so in the Church. The Holy Spirit descended upon Christ's body and He descends upon the Church and dwells within.
God's unity with Christ is a unity of essence because Christ is uncreated in His divine being. He is in the Church, giving Himself to us. We become one with Him by His grace. That is, He makes us one with Him. You are not His partner in essence because your essence is created, but you are with Him by the grace that He sends down upon you. What is this togetherness between you and God? It is that the Holy Spirit, who is one in essence with Christ becomes one with you by His grace. That is, by your sharing in the grace that is in Him. And grace is uncreated.
Here we are in the perfect mystery. We cannot humanly understand how the uncreated dwells in the created without becoming it. How does God enter into us and remain above? How does God's unity with man occur?
A question with no human answer. The divine given is that Christ dwells in us and we do not know how. Christianity says that love is God's dwelling-place with people and that Christ's only word to us is "Love one another even as I have loved you."
In my contemplations, it occurred to me that baptism, marriage and death are all words for one love and that this love is Christianity in the sense that any ecclesiastical order or church hierarchy adds nothing to love. The priesthood, marriage, burial, etc. are all ways of expressing one love.
But in the world, there's need for language. You do not need a language to speak with God. He is your language. In the world, you are forced to write theology because people speak. But fundamentally, if you love you have entered into dialogue. It is all speech.
God's speech to you is in the Gospel and in your spirit He gives you true speech, which is in accordance with God's speech. This is a mystery, how you can say words that theologians regard as belonging to God when they come out of you. The truth is that God speaks in you through the Holy Spirit. Your meaning conforms to His meaning. This is a mystery, how it can be both God's and yours. The answer is that the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit is in you in splendor. He inspires you and the words come from your heart which is filled with the Holy Spirit. This means that your heart is sanctified through the Spirit of God who speaks in words which in reality come down to you from above.