The following are quotations form several sources which presents how the Eastern Orthodox Church views the doctrine of justification. I post it here as a reference for all of those who ask. For more nitty gritty on how Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants view the doctrine of justification differently click here and here.

Father John Beck on the Orthodox Church of America’s website devoted a whole article to justification:

Medieval Catholic piety held that this occurs through infused grace, which confers upon us the power to perform righteous deeds and thereby actually to become or be made righteous. This enables us to build up a “treasury of merits,” the term “merit” being understood as a gift of divine grace rather than our own accomplishment (Council of Trent, 1547). The popular notion that we are saved only if our merits outweigh our sins on the scales of divine justice is usually attributed to Roman Catholics. It is shared, nevertheless, by many Orthodox, who have failed to appreciate the fullness of God’s grace, both in enabling us to perform good works and in forgiving us fully when we sincerely repent of our sins…

[T]hrough the action of the indwelling Spirit, enables us finally to share in Christ’s own resurrection and glorification, attaining what the Greek Fathers call theôsis or “deification” (which means existential participation in God’s life, and not ontological confusion between God and His human creatures). Good works should thus be understood to be a response rather than a means to salvation.

The following are excerpts from Bishop Jeremias II who wrote in response to Lutheran theologians from Tubingen:

…good works are not separate from, but necessary for, true faith. One should not trust in works nor be boastful in a Pharisaic manner.

One should not boast of them [works] nor depend on them, for that would be sinful; but as much as you are able, fulfill the works which are the result of faith and are necessary.

Therefore, wherever religious awe of divine things and obedience to the words of the Holy Fathers are abandoned, there no good works can be built up, nor the true faith which proves itself by good works.

[A]part from faith, hope, and love, it is impossible to be saved.

Lay Theologian Vladimir Lossky wrote: “The notion of merit is foreign to the Eastern tradition” (The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, 1957, p. 197).

Bishop Kallistos Ware wrote, “Even though we affirm that, ‘Human free will is an essential condition,’ in no way does this signify that salvation can be ‘earned’ or ‘deserved.’ It remains always the free gift of God. … Any attempt to compare in this way the respective contributions of the divine and human partners, assigning percentages to each, is utterly misguided” (How are we Saved, p. 38).

The Orthodox Study Bible’s comments on Eph 2:8-10– “[G]ood works flow out of authentic faith. Works cannot earn us this great treasure–it is a pure gift–but those who receive the gift do good. We are not saved by good works, but for good works” (p.1600).

Comments on James 2:14-19, 20-24– “The faith that saves is a complete faith, not the mind and the tongue but the whole man trusting in the living God. This means our faith and our relationship with God–our justification–are dynamic and living. Our faith grows and affects our actions…It [justification] is dynamic, a growth process that finds its natural and normal realization in good works” (p. 1676).

Lastly, the following is a prayer that Orthodox ask God of every morning:

My Most Merciful and All-merciful God, O Lord Jesus Christ: in Thy great love, Thou didst come down and take flesh in order to save all. Again, O Savior, I pray Thee, save me by Thy grace. For if Thou shouldst save me for my deeds, it would not be a gift, but merely a duty. Truly, Thou aboundest in graciousness and art inexpressibly merciful. Thou hast said, O my Christ: “Whoever believeth in Me shall live and never see death.” If faith in Thee saves the desperate, behold: I believe! Save me, for Thou art my God and Creator. May my faith replace my deeds, O my God, for Thou wilt find no deeds to justify me. May my faith be sufficient for all things. May it answer for me; may it justify me; may it make me a partaker of Thine eternal glory. And may Satan not seize me, O Word, and boast that he has torn me from Thy hand and fold. O Christ my Savior, save me whether I want it or not. Come quickly, hurry, for I perish. Thou art my God from my mother’s womb. Vouchsafe, O Lord, that I may now love Thee as once I loved sin, and that I may labor for Thee without laziness as once I labored for Satan the deceiver. Even more, I will labor for Thee, my Lord and God Jesus Christ, all the days of my life, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen (Arhipov, Sergei. Orthodox Daily Prayers, Kindle Locations 229-231).

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