Do you mean that the elements have a salvific effect?
I take 'salvific' to mean 'bringing salvation', so in the sense with which Orthodox tend to use the word salvation
, perhaps yes; in the sense we tend to use it, no. I say "perhaps", for it ill becomes me to attempt here to explain Orthodox thinking! But I shall attempt to explain.
Setting aside for a moment the word salvation
, let us consider a different biblical analogy, that of birth and growth. A baby is born, and from then on is gradually nourished over the years and decades and grows from infancy through childhood and adolescence to mature manhood. Likewise, a person is 'born again' (which I shall come back to in a moment) as a 'babe in Christ', and thereafter nourishes himself day by day, decade by decade, and grows in knowledge, experience, sanctity, faith, and stature as a mature Christian. We tend, in common (not technical, theological) parlance, to use the word salvation
) of the birth, you (I believe) of the entire process including its completion in glory.
So, is the Eucharist salvific? Yes and no. It does not contribute to the birth - that is the work of the Holy Spirit upon a sinner, wrought through faith; but the Communion should indeed contribute to the growth. It is, to use a common phrase, one of "the means of grace".
To return to the term born again
, I find it hard to know why so many previous posts on this thread - and on others, I seem to recall - speak so slightingly, one might say mockingly, of that sacred moment when a sinner, through God's grace, repents, believes, and is born again. In heaven, the angels rejoice. Ought not Orthodox on earth to do the same?