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  1. 1. Salvation A study of the Orthodox view on Salvation 1
  2. 2. Section I – Introduction 2
  3. 3. I – What is Salvation    deliverance from something, rescue, saved from a person or place. Redemption, granting freedom Most religions give emphasis to salvation in one form or another 3
  4. 4. To Understand Christian Salvation we need to understand 2 fundamental truths of Orthodoxy:  1) H. Trinity  2) Incarnation 4
  5. 5. Who is our savior   JESUS CHRIST "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). 5
  6. 6. Section II – What does humanity need salvation from? Why do we need a savior? 6
  7. 7. The Fall     Humanity made in the “image and likeness of God” (Gen 1:26) “The image is that which man possesses from the beginning, and which enables him to set out in the first place upon the spiritual Way; the likeness is that which he hopes to attain at his journey’s end.” (Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, pg. 51) image = potentiality; likeness = realization Man had free will Man disobeys God. He used something in creation for his own selfish gain and not for the glory of God. Man “falls”. This Fall is called ‘sin’. 7
  8. 8. What was the consequence of the Fall?   “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Gen 2:17) Death was the effect – death entered the world through the fall. Rom 5:12 – “For as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin;” Creation as a whole became tarnished by sin. “Cursed is the ground because of you” (Gen 3:17) “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Rom. 8:22) 8
  9. 9. What was the consequence of the Fall?    No man is an island. We are members of one another. So “fall of first humans” affected all of humanity. There is a leaning towards sin. (Rom 7) Humanity lost its communion with God. They hid themselves from God among the trees of the garden. There is a gulf or gap between humanity and God. Humanity has lost the potentiality. 9
  10. 10.   This is the situation from which humanity needs a savior. DEATH –  sin,  satan,  separation from God. 10
  11. 11. Section III – How is humanity saved? What does the incarnate son of God do for salvation? 11
  12. 12.   In order to fix this dilemma God the Father sent his only begotten Son into the world. (John 3:16) “WHO FOR US MEN, AND FOR OUR SALVATION CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN” – Nicene Creed 12
  13. 13. 2 Points to keep in mind      1) Unity of Christ’s work Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension are all part of the one work of Jesus Christ. To isolate one historical event is not appropriate if it takes away from another. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Rom 4:25 “O Lord, we commemorate Thy death, confess Thy resurrection and await Thy second coming.” – H. Qurbana Anamnesis Moranaya Days (Days related to our Lord) 13
  14. 14. 2 Points to keep in mind  2) Mystery of Christ’s work. All human explanations are insufficient to capture the full meaning of what Jesus Christ accomplished through the cross. Several pictures have been given to us from the H. Scripture and Fathers. 14
  15. 15. 1. Incarnation – “taking flesh”     Son of God shared in humanity’s pain and became one among us. Christ saves us by becoming what we are. Through this he lifts humanity back to its potential – uniting humanity with divinity. Jesus is perfect God and perfect man. (2 Cor 8:9) “God became man in order for man to become God.” St. Athanasius “Than samyam naam poontituvan nammude samyam avan poontu” (“That we may become like Him, He put garb of our likeness”)– Hymns of Sleeba Morning Prayer. 15
  16. 16. 2. Renewing the image of God    “You created man out of earth and placed him in paradise, and when he transgressed Your commandment, You did not leave him straying, but did guide him by the prophets, and in the fullness of time You sent Your Onlybegotten Son into the world, Who when he had taken flesh of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, renewed Your image which was worn out.” – H. Qurbana Anaphora of St. James Recreation of humanity – Christ as second Adam “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Cor 15:22; Rom 5 Creation as a whole – “Nothing can equal the miracle of my salvation: a few drops of blood recreate the whole world.” St. Gregory of Nazianzen (Quoted in V. Lossky Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, pg. 153). 16
  17. 17.      3. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ offers us forgiveness of sins by becoming the perfect offering on the cross. In the Old Testament offerings were given to God for the forgiveness of sins. But God offered himself once and for all. “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” 1 Cor 5:7 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” St. John 1:29 “but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Pet 1:19 17
  18. 18.    3. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. “He was oppressed and afflicted,        yet he did not open his mouth;        he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,        and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,        so he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 “Lord God, Lamb of God and word of the Father, who takes away the sin of the world, be gracious to all. You, who take away the sin of the world, incline your ear to us and receive our prayers.” – Angelic Hymn Humanity’s sin is forgiven and pardoned by the perfect sacrifice of Christ upon the cross. 18
  19. 19. 4. Redemption – (Ransom, bought with a price)  Jesus through his death upon the cross redeems   Jesus through his death upon the cross redeems us from “death” (sin, satan, separation from God) Jesus died in our place. “Taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to corruption and death, He surrendered His body to death in place of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished.” St. Athanasius On Incarnation 19
  20. 20. 4. Redemption – (Ransom, bought with a price)  “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,   but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 Christ has paid the price for all. “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor. 6:20 “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Cor 7:23 redemption – “a term which implies the idea of a debt, or the payment of a ransom for the release of captives, and is borrowed from legal practice” – Vladimir Lossky The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (pg. 151) 20
  21. 21.  4. Redemption – (Ransom, bought with a price) Redemption implies freedom. The slave is freed “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entagled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal 5:1)  “Blessed is the delightful offering and glorious is the Sweet Fruit Who was offered for us and cleansed us, and by His sanctifying oblation hallowed us. The Lamb, the Son of the Virgin Ewe, Who ascended the Cross and redeemed us, and delivered us from the sacrifices of dumb animals.” – Promeon of H. Qurbana 21
  22. 22. 5. Mediator     who reconciles humanity to God “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1 Tim 2:5 He bridges the gulf created by the fall. 22
  23. 23. 6. Healing      Sin is an illness that needs healing. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” (Matt 4:23) "I am the Lord who heals you." (Exodus 15:26). When Jesus healed he also said “Your sins are forgiven” This is one reason why Christ had to be fully human. “The unassumed is unhealed.” St. Gregory Nazianzen 23
  24. 24. 7. Trampling upon death     “by Thy death trampling this our death” – Hymn of St. Severus of Antioch (opening Hym of H. Qurbana) "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?." The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (I Cor 15: 54 -56) Death is the last great enemy 1 Cor 15:26 Freed from the power of sin. So that we can lead victorious life. importance of Resurrection – resurrection confirms the victory of the cross. Every Sunday is a mini Easter. 24
  25. 25. 8. Opening up gates to paradise   Adam had to leave paradise but now humanity can re-enter it. “Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise” Luke 23:43 25
  26. 26. Section IV – How can we experience this salvation? Salvation is accomplished by grace in response to faith . 26
  27. 27. 1. Grace   “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” Rom 3:24 “grace – for it is by this name that we know the deifying energies which the Holy Spirit communicates to us.” (Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, pg. 86) 27
  28. 28. 2. Faith –      Faith is the starting point for person’s salvation. “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6) Faith is not an intellectual assent to a set of propositions. It isn’t simply saying yes to a set of questions. It is not a matter of the head but a matter of the heart which moves the hands and feet to action. Repentance brings faith. Changing of the mind. This is a continuous action. Not just once but daily. 28
  29. 29. 3. Life in Christ      How do we enter a life in Christ? H. Baptism “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Gal 3:27 Baptism is our death, burial and resurrection in union with Jesus Christ (Rom 6:5-11) Union with Christ. 29
  30. 30. 4. Anointed with Holy Spirit      H. Chrismation. We become Christs. Personal Pentecost “Unless one is born of water and of Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” “All are filled with the Spirit” – Acts 2:4 Spirit bearers – “O Holy Spirit make us worthy temples of thy holy habitation.” 30
  31. 31. 5. As members of the Body of Christ    Salvation for those who experience this new birth takes place in the Church. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her ” – Eph 5:25 “the Church is both the preparation for and the experience of the life of the Kingdom of God here and now.” (Clark Carlton, The Life, The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation, pg. 86). 31
  32. 32.      6. After the second coming. General Resurrection “and He will come again in His great glory to judge both the living and the dead” – Nicene Creed separation of those on the right hand and left (Matthew 25) “For those who love God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be paradise. For those who hate God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be hell.” – Fr. Thomas Hopko ( We will become like Him – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” I John 3:2 32
  33. 33. 7. Theosis     Deification or becoming like God will be fulfilled only in the age to come. The growth begins in this life but it is a continual process into eternity. Deification is to become what God made us to be. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – St. Matt 5:48 33
  34. 34. Conclusion 34
  35. 35. Section II – What does humanity need salvation from? Why do we need a savior? 35
  36. 36. Section III – What does the incarnate son of God do for salvation? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Incarnation Renewing the image of God The Lamb of God Redemption (ransom) Mediator Healing Trampling upon death Opening up the gates to Paradise 36
  37. 37. Section IV - How can we experience this salvation? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Grace Faith Life in Christ Anointing with the Holy Spirit As members of the Body of Christ Second Coming Theosis 37
  38. 38. Section IV – How can we experience this salvation? Salvation is accomplished by grace in response to faith . 38
  39. 39. For Further Reading : 1. Hopko, Fr. Thomas. The Orthodox Faith Available online 2. Carlton, Clark. The Life, The Orthodox Docrtine of Salvation (Salisbury : Regina Orthodox Press, 2000) 3. Ware, Bp. Kallistos. The Orthodox Way (Crestwood, NY : SVS Press, 2002) 4. Lossky, Vladimir. The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (Crestwood, NY : SVS Press, 2002) 39
  40. 40. Appendix Common Questions regarding Salvation 40
  41. 41. 1. Is salvation a process?    Salvation as already achieved : "When the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love towards man, appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7). Salvation as an on-going process : "To us who are being saved, (the word of the cross) is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). Salvation as yet to be obtained : "Since, therefore, we are now justified by (Christ's) blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God" (Romans 5:9). 41
  42. 42.     2. Can a person loose their From Bishop Kallistossalvation? Saved? pgs. 44-45): Ware (How Are We "God wishes all to be saved (I Tim 2:4): but he knocks at the door but does not break it down by force - he waits for us to open (cf. Rev. 3:20)...and so our salvation comes to pass only with our voluntary consent...And because grace is never irresistible; it is also never the end of our earthly life there remains always the possibility that we may fall away." “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Rev 2:10 “Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' “ – Matthew 7:22-23 3 surprises in heaven – John Newton (Amazing Grace) (continued) 42
  43. 43.  2. Can a person loose their salvation? Reason for this confusion :     To some to be saved means to be declared “not guilty”. Saved person stands before God justified because he/she has accepted Christ. Legal view of salvation For the Orthodox this is over emphasis on one metaphor. Salvation is a living relationship with God Humility about our own spiritual state 43
  44. 44.  2. Can a person loose their salvation? How can a person loose their salvation?     Falling away from God For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2 Peter 2:20-21 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; Phil 2:12 Not that this sins changes God’s attitude towards us but our sin forms a barrier between us and God. 44
  45. 45.    3. Can non Christians be saved? Theophan the Recluse. He replied more or less thus: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins. " - For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.“ It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. Rom 9:15-16; compare Acts 10:34-35 Let us pray that God be merciful on all; Let us work to bring others to the True Light (Jesus Christ). 45
  46. 46.        3. Can non Christians be saved? An Orthodox scholar recently observed that there are basically three views that Christians have taken with regard to non-Christian views that Christians have taken with regard to non-Christian religions. Exclusivism - The first is that the non-Christian will be damned Inclusivism - The second is that the non-Christian may be saved in spite the religion he practices, but only through the mercy of God. Pluralism - The third is that the non-Christian may be saved by means of the very religion he practices, for nonChristian religions may also contain saving truths. The claim of exclusivism has been rejected by many Orthodox scholars as untenable. This is not done in the interests of facilitating missionary endeavors or to foster world peace. Exclusiveness is rejected as a matter of Truth. The majority of Orthodox scholars would accept inclusivism -Rev. Protopresbyter George C. Papademetriou This does not take away from the centrality of Jesus Christ 46
  47. 47. Is this Biblical?   Are you saved? Have you accepted Jesus as personal Lord and savior?   Personal lord and savior is not in Bible Accept Jesus. Rather acceptable to God (Rom 15:16; 1 Pet 2:5) 47