Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
How was the man on the cross next to Jesus saved, since he was not baptised, had communion or even worshipped?
The Thief was quite literally in the proximity of the Incarnate Word of God. Before His Resurrection, Jesus Christ was on the earth precisely to save human souls as He told His Apostles many times. When the Thief confessed His sins, repented there on the cross, and indeed asked for mercy to the Living Christ there on the Cross, God had the perogative to save this thief however He chooses. To be sure, this is still the reality of how God works, He can still save folks in or outside of the Church by whichever means He Wills. However, this does not negate the power of the Church, in that God established a Universal mechanism which is the Seven Divine Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Communion, Confession, Marriage, Ordination, and Unction of the Sick, all of which are exclusive to His Church. Salvation is not exclusive to these Mysteries in a legal sense, but we should neither scoff them and push God on a technicality. We're Christians, not Moses
How was the man on the cross next to Jesus saved, since he was not baptised, had communion or even worshipped?Jesus used his executive privilege
Also fair to mention that the man next to Jesus on the Cross did not 'just have faith' as some Protestants claim, but also demonstrated works by defending Jesus against the slander spoken by the other man. To us it may not seem like a lot, but in his circumstances, it was the very most he could do.
Thank you for this, along side with your insights about moral relativism and peace from war, you've been on a roll of powerful reflections young brother, keep it up and speak the real.
Blood sacrifice, blood atonement. He shed His blood on the Cross and died in order to satisfy the justice of the Father and impute onto fallen humanity the righteousness He earned through His sinlessness in order to save them from the eternal damnation that was their due following the fall of Adam.
This is perfectly Biblical and I don't see how anybody can object to it. Provided, it's an incomplete explanation in and of itself, as I've stated above.
Romans 5:6-11: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
How we are justified by His Blood is debatable. As has been asked about the Thief on the Right, or any of the Old Testament Saints, how are they saved? I would say they were saved by the Grace of God, but I'm not sure exactly it was the Blood. They can be saved aside from His Blood, but by His very Grace. He is not limited by His Blood or any other methods, if He chooses to save any soul that is entirely His business. In the Orthodox approach, we can only be concerned with our own individual sins, not the potential or rhetorical sins of others. So for us in our lives, we are Orthodox, and we are saved by His Blood in the Holy Commmunion, so then quite literally.
Hebrews 9:13-15: "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."
Agreed, but we might suggest that this Blood is the Holy Communion.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21:"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
This is a reference to the Holy Confession, which is called Reconciliation, hence while Apostle Paul specifically mentioned it as "the ministry of reconciliation." This is the crux of the entire difference between Orthodox and Protestant readings of the Scriptures, many Protestant thinkers read the Scriptures to discredit Sacramental Christianity, and yet all Sacramental Christians precisely find all of the Sacraments in the Bible!
Thank you for those folks who shared, this has been something I have been thinking about for a long time, and even if I may disagree with some of y'all, I can quite respect and appreciate your own views, and am happy that you feel comfortable sharing them with us.