Orthodox Christians believe that the ultimate goal of the Christian life is deification – conformity to God. This means union with God intimately. This is possible because God became man in order that Man could become god. The greatest saints have achieved this in this life. But they never know that they have achieved theosis – they are blinded by pride. Moreover, salvation is not a way to escape eternal death, but an entrance into a life in Christ.
Orthodox Christians worship the saints as family and believe they continue to live with God after death. The word “saint” comes from the Greek and means “not of this world.” Although all baptized believers are considered saints, some saints have special recognition. These are the ones who have exhibited superhuman strength during tribulations and spread the Gospel with extraordinary zeal. They are the ultimate role models for Orthodox Christians.
According to the Orthodox Faith, Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, and was born of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Because of this, Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. His coming to earth was foretold in the Old Testament. Because of this, the Orthodox Church focuses its efforts on knowing Jesus Christ.
Orthodox belief in the Trinity
Orthodox belief in the Trinity teaches that God is one person with three distinct personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. While God remains the Father in heaven, he will never cease to be the Son, nor will he cease to be the Holy Spirit. Even though the Trinity is difficult for us to understand, there are several good resources that help explain its nature.
The word echad is not found in Scripture, so we don’t know if this word actually refers to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Some say this term reflects the idea of “one God,” while others say that it refers to “three separate persons.”
Orthodox veneration of the Virgin Mary
In the Orthodox tradition, the Virgin Mary is revered as the mother of Jesus Christ. She conceived Jesus under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and was taken care of by her betrothed, Joseph. Joseph took the child and mother into his home and raised them as his own. According to the Orthodox Church, the birth of Jesus was a miracle. Mary’s obedience to God offset the disobedience of Eve in Paradise. In addition to being the mother of Christ, she is also known as the Panagia, which means “a woman of God.”
In the Orthodox Church, Mary is revered as the Mother of God and the Ever-Virgin. The Incarnation is one of the primary reasons for honoring Mary as the Mother of God.
Orthodox approach to sin
The orthodox saints believe in God, and their approach to sin is based on that belief. Their doctrines are in contrast to those of the Western Church, where the concept of sin is an evil that has to be overcome through personal effort. While the Western Church emphasizes the necessity of the will and the ability to change, the Orthodox Church focuses on grace and love.
The central tenet of Orthodox Christianity is that God became human in Jesus Christ. As such, he entered into creation.
Orthodox veneration of the New Testament
The New Testament is one of the most important parts of the Orthodox faith. It contains accounts of the life and death of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early Church. The four Gospels tell the story of Christ and his ministry, while the twenty-one epistles describe Christian life and the development of the early Church. In addition to these books, the Orthodox Church venerates the Book of Revelation, a symbolic text about Christ’s return to earth.
The Old Testament was filled with examples of sacrifice and worship. The Temple and Tabernacle were important centers of worship. The synagogue, a manmade development during the Babylonian exile, was also a center of teaching and eventually influenced the worship of the Early Church. Today, Orthodox worship includes sacrifice.