Does the Orthodox Church believe in assurance of salvation?

It’s important to note that righteousness (justification), holiness (sanctification), and wholeness (healing) are not discrete gifts we receive. God does not bestow these packets of blessing on us as things we either have or don’t have.

Instead, we are given Christ. And He, personally, is all our righteousness, holiness, and wholeness. Satan’s lie in Eden was that by doing some particular thing, Eve could herself become godlike. The reality is not so impersonal. Instead, as we become personal participants in what God is (2 Pt 1:4), as we abide in Christ (Jn 15) then the same stuff that’s in the Vine is in the branches (Rm 11:16-24) — some more, some less, so that we bear little or much fruit as a result.

“If any man be in Christ, then there is a new creation” (2 Co 5:17). All that God has for us is personal, and it is found in relationship. A husband doesn’t ask how far he can stray and remain married; if he senses he has grown distant from his wife or has wronged her, he returns and renews his first love (Rev 2:4)

There is security in Christ. In fact, “security” is one of the meanings of the Greek word for salvation, sotiria. To one degree or another — and hopefully to an increasing degree — we are “in Christ” and what is His is ours. There is security in Christ, so we abide in Him; but there is no security for us if we don’t abide in Him: “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb 2:3)

To put some depth behind that concept, have a look at how the New Testament writers use the expression “In Christ.” Our participation in Him is such a core concept that it’s all over the Apostles’ teaching in the New Testament:

I find that meditating on passages like these makes my mind boggle, restores my sense of humility at how little I walk in these realities, and puts my trust in the all-good God who has committed Himself to produce His likeness in me.

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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