It is true that "he who believes and is baptized will be saved." "But,"
Christ also says "he who endures to the end will be saved" (Matt 10:22;
For the Orthodox, our "agnosticism" about who will be saved is not because
we doubt God's promise. We know His promise is absolutely true: "He who
believes and is baptized WILL be saved." However, we step back in humility,
in that we do not know who will endure and believe to the end. God knows.
We are comfortable in entrusting that to Him, wholeheartedly trusting in His
promises that He who believes, is baptized, and endures to the end will be
saved. And we daily pray the He will sustain us with His Grace and tender
mercies, relying wholly upon His Grace for our sustenance and Salvation.
Simply put, He knows the end of all things. We do not. So when it comes to
"who will be saved", we let Him make the call, while believing and preaching
the Gospel as faithfully as weak sinners who are enabled by the Grace of God
As far as to the question: how do we *feel* about our salvation? I can only
speak for myself here. Like any sinful person, I am not always confident
that I will be saved. On occaision, out of pain, or because of sin, I may
despair over my salvation, crying out to God in anger or lonliness or both.
But ultimately, through that despair, and pain, by His Grace, I still cry
out to God and return to Him... so far. And I pray that by His Grace, I
....Shortly put: my confidence is low when I am not looking to Him and
trusting Him, but at myself and at others. My confidence is higher, when I
look to Him. But, still, I remain "agnostic" about my own salvation and
that of others, because the end has not yet come. And God alone knows who
will endure. But I find great comfort in knowing that I am not required to
know. It is now my job. Who will be saved is God's work. So I leave that
to Him, trusting in Him for my own salvation, the salvation of others, and
the whole world; while making an attempt at repentance and faithful
obedience, even trusting Him for those things. For apart from Him we can do
Christ is in our midst!
On Jan 18, 2008 7:34 AM, Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth <didache@...
> Ok, somewhere between the apparent Orthodox agnosticism concerning
> salvation and the other extreme *eternal security* (once saved, always
> saved), I believe that, drawn solely from Scripture, we can conclude:
> a) He who believes and is baptized will be saved.
> b) Those who are saved are saved by grace through faith as a free gift.
> c) One who believes and is baptized can be secure in his salvation -- NOT
> because he is perfect and sinless, but because of the perfect promise of God
> fulfilled in the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ.
> d) No one can say, with any certainty, whether *another* is saved or not;
> but one can say that *if someone is/was a baptized believer, then the
> promise of God is that he will be saved.*
> I.e., it is all rooted in God's Word and promise. A promise fulfilled in
> full in Jesus Christ. Yes, the final judgment will be the final ruling on
> the matter -- but according to inaugurated eschatology, we are already
> judged righteous in Christ, even now, this side of heaven. Of course you
> know of Luther's simul justus et peccator -- the baptized faithful live,
> even now, so to speak, with one foot in heaven and one foot here on earth.
> We look forward to the day when both of our feet will be planted firmly in
> Lutherans *are* susceptible to antinomianism -- we always walk a fine line
> between error and truth. A slip to one way or the other leads to false
> So, I guess what is bugging me is this... -- How do you, individual
> Orthodox believers, feel about your own salvation? Do you feel that you are
> saved, now, (understanding that you must remain in faith and repentance) and
> in this find comfort to persevere to the end? Or, do you live daily in
> uncertainty about your own salvation? If the latter is true, then does this
> not somehow lessen the work of Christ in His sacrificial death for your sins
> and the sins of the world?
> JiMi, I appreciate your reply. Thank you.
> "He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his
> - St. Cyprian of Carthage
> "O wondrous mystery! One is the Father of all, one also the Word of all,
> and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere. And there is only one
> Virgin Mother;
> I love to call her the Church." - St. Clement of Alexandria
> Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth
> The Lutheran Church of Christ the King
> 14 Pine Drive Pawling, NY 12564
> Office 845.855.3169
> Home 845.855.2616
> E-Mail didache@... <didache%40earthlink.net>
> E-Mail pawlinglutheran@... <pawlinglutheran%40verizon.net>
> Web http://www.pawlinglutheran.org
> Blog http://www.lesteverymanbeblind.blogspot.com
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