Human beings are created in the image and likeness of God – the image of God being all our God-like qualities in potential, the likeness of God being these qualities in their fulfillment. Orthodox Christianity teaches that the goal of human life is growth in the likeness of God, a process called “theosis” or “deification”. By Divine grace, every person has the potential to become God-like; this is our calling.
As a result of sin and death (alienation from God), this process is impaired, and we fall under the tyranny of various “passions” (obsessions, compulsions, addictions) that are part of our fallen human nature. Rather than turning to God for fulfillment in life, we seek out an earthly source for satisfaction. Such a search is futile as only He who created us can give us the sense of meaning, peace and fullness of life that we seek. The result is a growing sense of desperation, anxiety and depression.
The Church is viewed as a spiritual hospital where the passions are cured, true peace and fulfillment can be found, and where one can once again undertake the journey of theosis. All that the Church offers us, worship, feasts, fasts, etc., are a therapeutic regime given by Christ for our healing and a return to being alive.
The Orthodox Church is concerned with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. A life in Christ is an inner transformation of the human heart into the image & likeness of God.