Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Salvation

“Faith transforms the whole person, heart, soul, mind, and body…Salvation deals with the whole person, for each human being is a unity, body and soul.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 10:5-13, James 5:13-15)


“The Lord’s resurrection reveals the great dignity of the human body, which is destined for heavenly glory. Salvation is not an escape from the physical dimensions of our lives, but their fulfillment by our participation as whole persons in the life of Christ. True faith in the Savior requires that we unite every aspect of our existence to Him for healing and transformation. Even as He healed the sick and fed the hungry, the most obvious practices of faithfulness involve caring for people in their bodily weaknesses and infirmities. By showing tangible signs of care for our neighbors, regardless of who they are, we also touch the wounds of Christ, for He is present to us in everyone in need.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“Christ heals/saves human flesh in the incarnation, and then that salvation becomes ours when we are united to Christ through faith and the sacramental life in the Church, which is Christ’s Body. Salvation is not just God uniting Himself to humanity in Christ in the incarnation, but also is in our participation in this salvation – in our incorporation into Christ and into Christ’s Body. God became human so that humans might become divine. All the dividing walls between humanity and God have been removed so that now humanity can participate in the divine love and divine life.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


 “…when believers are accounted righteous, “God’s righteousness is actually given to mankind by grace”…But this gift is not a one-time event. Being “saved” is not a past event that happened at a certain time and place. “This righteousness transforms the whole person, internally and externally”…Salvation is past, present, and future. It is a process in which the grace of the Holy Spirit restores us to the image of God in which we were made.” (Fr. Basil, Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 4:11, 12). 


“Though Christ has accomplished his victory once and for all, we as human persons come to participate in this victory in time and space. We struggle with sin and repentance and healing in real-time. We continue to draw near to the Triune God in worship, though now with knowledge rather than ignorance (John 4:23-24).” (Father Stephen De Young)


“…salvation is not automatic or universal. It will in some way have to involve the free response of man, by the action of grace, to God's abiding Love…salvation will not be forced upon anyone: each person will turn to God of his own free will when he reaches the state of maturity.” (Archbishop Hilarion, Fr. George Morelli)


“Salvation can be messy. I believe this with all my heart and so I state it at the outset of this article. As such, it marks me as a heretic in Modernity. I not only believe that salvation is messy – I believe that messiness is pretty much inherent to salvation. And along with that, I believe that our aversion to messiness (in all things) is a peculiar affliction of the modern world and a vexation of the spirit.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“And it is concerning this life of the world to come that Christ points his hearers in today's Gospel reading [Luke 20:1-8], in particularly strident and dire terms. While it may seem that there is no purpose in this life but to gratify ones' desires, even at the expense of others, and while it may seem that if one manages to escape negative consequences for one's actions in this life, there will be no such consequences, the truth is that in the end there will be a reckoning. In the end, every one of us will stand before his or her creator and judge to give an account, and all that which has not been corrected, has not been restored, or has not seen justice done in this life will see justice in the next. Those who have received good things in this life at the expense of others will face the loss of everything. Those who wasted their lives chasing after those things which pass away will have nothing to show for themselves. Those who thought they had an unlimited time to repent and make things right will discover, to their sorrow, that their time is up.” (Father Stephen De Young)


“It is interesting that Jesus provides food abundantly for the thousands to eat, yet He is concerned about the leftovers which He doesn’t want to go to waste. So He orders the leftovers be gathered together so nothing is lost (see also John 6:1-14). Will not the Lord, who is concerned that food crumbs not be lost, also be similarly concerned with every human being? We should not be wishing that any are permanently separated from God, but rather should be saddened, as Jesus is, that any might end up separated from God and lost from the Kingdom. He came exactly to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). And He gathers together even the crumbs, the leftovers, the debris, the refuse and saves them too. St Paul identifies himself with the refuse and offscouring of the world (1 Corinthians 4:13) – the world doesn’t want this scrap and sweepings, but Christ does.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“…our salvation lies with our brothers and sisters. The significance of relationships cannot be avoided. Our ability to receive love and to reflect the love of Christ to others is a necessary component of our salvation. We are all presented with Christ’s great command to love our neighbor as ourselves, yet we so often struggle with this command.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13)....we work out our own salvation (v. 12) while it is God who works in us to do His will (v. 13).” (Orthodox Study Bible, Philippians 2:12-13)


“We should not suppose, because he said, “For it is God that works in you both the willing and the doing,” that he has taken away free will. For if that were so he would not have said above “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” [Philippians 2:12]. For when he bids them work, it is agreed that they have free will. But they are to work with fear and trembling so that they will not, by attributing the good working to themselves, be elated by the good works as though they were their own.” (St. Augustine)


“Thus, the Apostle writes, “…for it is God who is at work in you to will and to do for His good pleasure” (vs. 13). God is the focus.  He is the one who is active and effective in the work of salvation…Note that the word “you” is singular. The Almighty is active in each believer to fulfill “His own good pleasure.” The term “pleasure” is derived from the root “to satisfy”…The thought is that God is the one who is operating in the believer to accomplish His goal. Therefore, the attainment of salvation is wholly by grace. As we “work out” our salvation, the God of mercy not only gives us the power to do it but the will to achieve it.” (Fr. Basil)


“He who believes from the heart is informed that Christ came not to judge but to save him, and this not by works nor by toil nor by perspiration, but only by faith in Him.” (St. Symeon the New Theologian)


“Salvation demands faith in Jesus Christ. People cannot save themselves by their own good works. Salvation is "faith working through love." It is an ongoing, lifelong process. Salvation is past tense in that, through the death and Resurrection of Christ, we have been saved. It is present tense, for we must also be being saved by our active participation through faith in our union with Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is also future tense, for we must yet be saved at His glorious Second Coming.” (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese)


"We are not given life in order that we may be released from the Judgment that hangs over us from our birth, but in order that we may be perfected in the image of God. None of us can say that we are “saved”, that the job is done and we can relax. Saint Paul speaks of the athlete who must keep on running until the race is over. We trust in the mercy of God, and place our hope in Him alone. But we have a role to play in what God calls us to…Salvation is not a reversal of God’s judgment; it is the process of being restored into His likeness." (Father Spyridon Baily)

"Our task in this short earthly life is to resume the dialogue that was lost with God in Paradise; to learn how to orient the heart, tuning its antennae to the frequency of God’s life and grace. It is in this way we acquire eternal life and our salvation." (Archimandrite Sergius)

“…God gave us “being” (existence), with a view that we should move towards “well-being,” and with the end of “eternal being” (salvation).” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“We should never say that nothing is important. On the contrary, everything is important. Even the smallest of our actions impacts our eternal salvation.” (Elder Sergei of Vanves)

“Christianity is a communal religion, one in which even the concept of salvation is corporate. It is not about being saved in some vacuum, all by yourself. Your salvation and my salvation are connected.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Godliness is a life-long business. The working out of the salvation that the Lord, himself, works in you is not a matter of certain hours, or of a limited period of life. Salvation is unfolded throughout our entire sojourn here." (Charles Spurgeon)

“There is no more important or pressing issue for each person to consider than that of his own salvation.” (Clark Carlton)

"God desires all to be saved, yet this gift of salvation has to be accepted by the believer, since God will not force salvation on us. As we freely receive the gift of salvation, suffering allows us to remember that this world is transitory and that we need God. When we turn to God during periods of struggle, we grow in our faith, coming one step closer to deification, where we are united in our humanity to God’s divinity. This transformation takes place when we embrace repentance as a way of life, placing ourselves before God’s mercy.” (Abbot Tryphon)

"St. Paul’s statement,"If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9), must be read in the context of Christ’s words:"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” (Matt. 7:21–23) (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Even after we are illumined by Christ, we can still lapse or apostatize. Likewise, the one who rejects Him initially may later repent and be saved.” (Dynamis 5/22/2014)

“Salvation is not how to get people like me (or like you) into some place safe from the fires of hell. That is a transportation problem at best, or a legal problem, at worst. The point of salvation is how to change people like me (and you). It is about changing us such that seeing the resurrection becomes possible.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Matthew 28:17 states of the resurrected Christ and the 11 remaining disciples, ‘When they saw Him, they Worshipped Him; but some still doubted.’ The resurrection was unlike anything they encountered. It defied, and still defies, rationality. Notice the disciples worshipped anyway despite their doubt. Their persistence paid off. They grew in the Holy Spirit until their doubts dissolved and their faith grew even stronger. Their experience is our experience. Our salvation depends on our acceptance and growth in this true reality of the resurrection.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“The human race has devoted many hours to finding the key to the ultimate reality – to finding the God from whom comes life. Our human efforts have produced the world’s wide array of religions and philosophies…The gracious acts of Christ our God are the foundation of our proclamation of salvation. They are the essence of the message we call divine revelation…Only when God deliberately reveals Himself to us in human flesh, however, do we find our way into the infallible community that joins humanity to God.” (Dynamis 11/27/14)

“....salvation is more than the mere forgiveness of sins. Ultimately, it consists in the conquering of death and the union of man with God…Our salvation does not depend on our own discipline and rule keeping but on the power of Christ’s death and resurrection.” (Clark Carlton, Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 2:20-23)

"The sole purpose of the Church is the salvation of every human person, whereby we are united to Christ, transformed by Him in all holiness, and prepared for eternal life. This work of salvation is a gradual, lifelong process by which Christians become more and more like Christ. It begins the moment we commit ourselves to Christ, and within the abounding grace of the Holy Spirit, we are ever drawn closer in communion with God.” (Abbott Tryphon)

"...to be saved is to be restored to true spiritual health. It is not God’s attitude toward man that needs to be changed, but rather man’s state.” (Clark Carlton)

“Salvation cannot rest on intellectual knowledge alone. You must repent, follow Christ, and be made a new person by his Holy Spirit.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 12:32-24)

"Salvation…does not depend on whether a person says I believe in Jesus and says he is my savior. Jesus said not everyone who calls me Lord shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Apostle James tells us faith without works is dead as a body without breath. Our salvation must be active. We must work with the grace of the Holy Spirit to try and live out the lives God has intended for us. An empty confession of faith, a baptismal certificate, a church membership or pledge card, these things cannot save. Rather we must use our faith in Jesus Christ as a cornerstone on which we work by faith to construct a dwelling place worthy of God’s Spirit… (Father Kirrill Gvosde)

“The reality is that it’s harder for religious people to come to Christ than anyone else because they think they are already good to go.” (Jefferson Bethke)

“The world does not consist of 100 per cent Christians and 100 per cent non-Christians. There are people …who are slowly ceasing to be Christians but who still call themselves by that name: some of them are clergymen. There are other people who are slowly becoming Christian though they do not yet call themselves so. There are people who do not accept the full Christian doctrine about Christ but who are so strongly attracted by Him that they are His in a much deeper sense than they themselves understand. There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Other religions teach, in essence, that we can be saved if we follow their founders’ words. But Christians believe we are saved not primarily by following what Jesus said but by believing in what He did. We are saved not by what we do but by what Jesus has done. It is in His actions— His birth and incarnation as a human being; His miracles and healings; His response to trials, temptations, suffering, and death; and ultimately His resurrection and ascension—that we meet Him, not just as another teacher but as a Savior accomplishing our salvation in our place.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Salvation is a