Salvation through Christ alone?

On the Orthodox-Questions Yahoo group the issue of salvation is being discussed. One person mentioned the generally held protestant understanding of salvation and it really reminded me of the different point of view I have now as an Orthodox Christian. He was professing that salvation is always an either/or type of thing - that you either have saving faith in Christ or you do not and that this salvation is accomplished solely through Christ's work and is complete and sealed. There is no need for anything else but saving faith in Christ and once you have that, you have the "whole show."

For us, salvation isn't quite as cut and dry...I wrote in reply:

From our perspective, salvation is a process (made possible only by
Christ's work) not an event that takes place upon the "signing" of some sort
of prayer contract...Salvation is a mystery. Now I know
you are groaning at this point, but what can I say? The Holy Trinity is
a mystery, the Incarnation is a mystery, how we are untied to Christ is a
mystery, how we become "partakers of the divine nature" is a mystery, and
ultimately how St. Paul and St. James are reconciled (Martin Luther
adamently claimed they could NOT be reconciled) is a mystery. God saves us,
the Church saves us, and we save each other. It's just not that simple to say
"Christ alone saves us and nothing else is involved."

I guess I would say (however worthless my opinion might be) that Christ,
alone, makes salvation possible...but the show ain't over simply because we
give intellectual assent to this fact. Here is where the Church, the
Sacraments, the Clergy, the Laity, our spouses, our children, the poor, the
sick...all of them play a salvific role in our lives as we "work out our
salvation with fear and trembling."


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