Our life in the Body of Christ begins with our Baptism into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3). This phrase explains what it means to be Baptized “into the Body of Christ” (I Corinithians 12:13). To exist in the Body of Christ is to do so by existing in the death of Christ, as well as His resurrection. How this makes us “His body” is amplified when we see that “His death” is more than the event on Golgotha, but the fullness of His divine self-emptying that was made manifest to us on Golgotha’s Cross. We are Baptized into the self-emptying love of Christ, for this is the only way of life. If we are to be transformed “from one degree of glory to another” then it is towards the “glory” of the crucified, self-emptying Christ that we are being transformed. Deification (theosis) is also self-emptying (kenosis) for there is no other kind of life revealed to us in Christ. The fullness of life in Christ is found in His emptiness.
Michael, I believe those three points you make and probably many others are inherent to our “turning God-wards”