Salvation

The word, salvation, comes from the Latin, salveo, which refers to healing or health. We use the same root word to describe an ointment, or salve. So spiritual salvation is a state of spiritual health and well-being, which cannot be conferred on anybody by a single act or event. Of course it can begin with a special event, but just as physical health requires our co-operation with the laws of good nutrition and exercise, so our spiritual health depends upon our co-operation in faith and charity with God according to the laws of spiritual life. Salvation is a gift granted by God - but we have to open ourselves up to receiving that gift by repenting of evils as sins against Him, that is, as impediments to His love. We are saved when we act as if of ourselves to stop doing evil and to do good - but to acknowledge that any ability we have to do this is actually from Him, that it is His love acting in us and through us. We are saved when we love God and our neighbour more than we love ourselves (as Jesus Himself states plainly in Luke 10:28) - and it is the Lord alone who gives us the ability to do that.

We believe salvation is available to all people, whether they know Jesus by name and are baptized or not, provided they love God as they understand Him and live in charity toward other people - because those who have this attitude will willingly accept Jesus as God after death. "He who does the truth comes to the light" (John 3:21) - the person who sincerely seeks to do God's will will recognize Jesus as Lord. (Note: we do not believe in universal salvation, that is, that everyone is eventually saved because of the irresistible love of God. We feel that concept ultimately negates human freedom, which is the apple of the Lord's eye. There is a hell, and it's real, and there is punishment in hell, but the purpose of hell is not punishment; it is simply the containment of determined evil.)