About Salvation

Salvation is the goal of Christianity, and the purpose of the Church. The Orthodox Church teaches that “God became man (in the person of Jesus Christ), so that man may become like God” (St. Athanasius). This concept of becoming like God is termed “theosis” in Greek, or deification, and it means that salvation is not simply a response to a legalistic question, but is rather a healing process initiated by God and participated in by man.

Orthodoxy views mankind’s inclination to sin as a symptom of an illness that needs treatment, not just a transgression that requires retribution. One of the distinctive characteristics of Orthodox Christian theology is that it sees the Gospel message of Christ not as law, but as an invitation into relationship. It speaks of the mystery of the Holy Trinity in terms of the relationship of love that exists among them. To join in that love is the work that will lead to salvation.

Here is a short video detailing how the Orthodox understanding of salvation is different from that of Western confessions of Christianity (ie. Roman Catholicism, Protestantism):

Here is a brief video explaining why the Divine Liturgy is now our primary means of participation in salvation because of the Incarnation (God becoming man):