The Faith which Saves31 July 2020
It’s sad, but there are Christians today who simply don’t know what it means to believe in Christ. Instead, they have a confused notion about faith in Him, the One and Only Savior and God.
– Why do you Orthodox insist that you alone have the truth?
– Why is it, supposedly, only the Orthodox who’ll be saved?
– There are so many good people among us: Muslims, Buddhists, Christians of other confessions and even atheists.
– Is it right that you should want to send all of them to hell?
This reasoning seems to be correct and absolutely logical. But is it?
Let’s explain in simple language. Because it wouldn’t do for us to have confused ideas on such an important issue. Well, then. What’s important isn’t what each person says, but what Christ and the Church say.
Christians, beware! You have wonderful thoughts and arguments, but without knowing what salvation is. Why is salvation necessary? Why is Christ the only way to God and salvation? Only Christ!
Salvation is our union with God, the restoration of communication with Him. Salvation is something that’s of interest to all of us. All peoples, all people, the virtuous and the sinners. Speaking of himself, the Patriarch Jacob said: ‘I shall go down to Sheol to my son’. He says this because at that time, before the coming of Christ, everyone went down to hell at the end of their journey on earth, whether they were sinners or righteous. That’s how valuable their ‘good’ works are, if they’re performed without the grace we receive at baptism and through the blood of Christ.
This is why, when the Jews once asked Christ: ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’, Jesus answered them,: ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent’ (Jn. 6, 28-29).
In other words, the sole guarantee, the only way to salvation is proper faith in Him Whom God sent into the world, that is, Christ, His Son.
So it’s not enough for us to be ‘good people’. If even great and enlightened people went down to hell, how is it possible for you to want to be saved without faith in and communication with Christ? And how do you dare to inquire whether Muslims will also be saved? Just because they appear to be ‘good people’? Even though they’ve never believed in the One and Only Savior and Redeemer?
Let’s make it our concern, then, to love Christ. Because salvation without Him, merely through a number of ‘good acts’ is not going to happen.