“Salvation is our cooperative effort with God’s grace through keeping of the commandments and the acquisition of the beauty of the virtues, which bring man, who is in the image of God, to the likeness of God.”
~Taken from Acquiring The Mind of Christ by Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer)
This, to me, has got to be one of the most profound and wonderfully simply stated explanations of the Orthodox view of salvation I have ever come across. It is short and simple and to the point.
Salvation is not a one time experience and guarantee. It is a process. And while I can say I was saved when Jesus died on the cross, I also know that it is, indeed, a process. I can mess up that salvation for myself if I part from God- my relationship with Him and His commandments. For in parting from those, I am furthering myself from becoming like Him.
Yet as I go through the day- seeking Him in prayer, attending Liturgy and taking part in the sacraments, reading the bible and books that encourage my faith, surrounding myself with others of the faith, teaching my children about the faith, singing hymns, practicing gratitude, and attempting to avoid sin, all of those things bring me closer to Him and, therefore, is me demonstrating that cooperative effort with His grace.
I’ve always enjoyed reading explanations of salvation. This one really struck me this morning and I was compelled to share. Hopefully it gives you as much to ponder as it did for me.