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How Can a Layman Be Saved?

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I advise you to more diligently read the Divine Scriptures and the teachings of our holy and God-bearing Fathers, who have been given by the grace of the All-Holy Spirit to comprehend the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, that is, the true meaning of Sacred Scripture. In their spirit-enlightened teaching, you will find everything you need for salvation. And I, a sinner, according to my feeble mind, answer your question:

The Most Merciful God works our salvation by the Orthodox faith, good deeds, and His grace. The Orthodox faith is that which is borne by the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Eastern Church; without this Orthodox faith, no one can be saved. Good deeds are the Gospel commandments, which, together with faith, are also necessary for anyone to be saved. The Orthodox faith without good works is dead, and good works without faith are also dead. Those who desire salvation must have both together: both the Orthodox faith with good deeds and good deeds with the Orthodox faith; and then, with the help of God’s grace, which furthers our good deeds, they will be saved according to the word of Christ, Who says: Without Me ye can do nothing (Jn. 15:5).

And it should be known that Christ the Savior, our true God, Who wants all men to be saved, has established good deeds as a law, that is, His saving Gospel commandments, equally for all Orthodox Christians, both monastics and laity living with their wives and children, and demands their most diligent fulfillment from all Orthodox Christians, because His holy commandments don’t demand great bodily labors, but only the good dispensation of the soul: The yoke of His holy commandments is easy and the burden of performing them is light (Mt. 11:30).

The holy | How Can a Layman Be Saved? | The Paradise NewsBy Fulfilling the Commandments, We Learn to LoveHow many of us can say that we are in a state of perfection or can really imagine what it consists of? At best, we experience it as moments of insight. But to live in perfection is a state infinitely far from us. Therefore, it is by fulfilling the other commandments that we can learn to love.

“>commandments of Christ, with the grace of God, can be easily fulfilled by any Orthodox Christian, whatever his rank, sex, or age: both the young and the old, the healthy and those lying in infirmities, if only they have such a disposition of soul. Therefore, those who transgress them and don’t repent shall be condemned to eternal torment together with the demons at the Second Coming of Christ.

The holy Gospel commandments, especially the main ones, are so necessary for salvation that if we’re lacking in even one of them, our souls will not be saved. These are the commandments on love for God and others, meekness and humility, peace with all and patience, forgiving others from the heart, not condemning anyone, having no hatred, loving enemies, giving both spiritual and bodily alms as much as we can, and forcing ourselves with all diligence to fulfill all the other commandments of Christ that are written in the Holy Gospel.

And above all: to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and to love others as ourselves; and imitating the meekness of Christ, to strive against the passion of anger even to the point of blood.

Living in peace with everyone is so necessary that the Lord found it necessary to repeat it to His holy Disciples and Apostles more than once: Peace be unto you (Lk. 24:36); Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you (Jn. 14:27). And where there is the peace of Christ, there is Christ Himself; but if there is no peace in the soul, then there is no Christ there.

| How Can a Layman Be Saved? | The Paradise NewsOn the Virtue of PatienceDear brothers and sisters, there is nothing we more often encounter in life than misfortunes and sorrows! What should we do amidst all these misfortunes in order to keep ourselves from harm, to not be conquered but to become conquerors?

“>Patience is also necessary for salvation. Christ says: In your patience possess ye your souls (Lk. 21:19). And it’s necessary to endure not only for a time, but unto death itself: He that endureth to the end shall be saved (Mt. 10:22).

He who wholeheartedly forgives his neighbor’s trespasses will receive forgiveness of his trespasses from God.

Whoever condemns not his neighbor shall not be condemned by God.

He who desires salvation must also keep all the other Gospel commandments as the treasure of his heart.

And humility, which is the foundation of all the Gospel commandments, is as necessary for salvation as breathing is for life. As it’s impossible to live without breathing, so it’s impossible to be saved without humility. The saints of God were saved in various ways, but none were saved without humility, which would be impossible.

Therefore, whoever wants to be saved must wholeheartedly consider himself a sinner before God, the most sinful of men, worse than any creature of God; he must regard himself as but dust and ashes, and in the recesses of his heart, must reproach himself for everything, and blame himself alone for his every sin.

Thus, fulfilling all the Gospel commandments in humility of heart, frequently offering a broken-hearted prayer to God for the forgiveness of his sins, a man is accounted worthy of God’s mercy and the forgiveness of sins; God’s grace visits him, and he will undoubtedly be saved by God’s mercy.

Additionally, an Orthodox Christian must also observe the commandments of the Church as set forth in the book, Orthodox Confession. They are also necessary for salvation. The Sacrament of Confession consists in repenting of your sins before God, casting them aside, and having the firm intention to, with the help of God, never return to them again. Then, before your spiritual father, as before God Himself, confess all your sins and receive absolution for them from him.

We must prepare ourselves to commune of the Divine Mysteries by fasting, by tender and sincere confession of our sins, full reconciliation with everyone, reading the whole Church rule at the appointed time according to Christian custom, and proceeding to Holy Communion with fear and trembling, with faith and love, with reverence befitting the one God.

You can find the fullest instructions on how to behave in the family and on other Christian duties in the God-inspired writings of | How Can a Layman Be Saved? | The Paradise NewsSt. John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of ConstantinopleHis reflections about the system of human relations based on Christian faith, Christian family, the upbringing of children, prayer at home and in a community of believers, about Christian mutual support and works of mercy have become classics of Christian literature.

“>St. John Chrysostom and other holy men, when we read their books with fear of God and due attention.

Source: Orthodox Christianity