The Canadian Journal of Orthodox Christianity
Volume II, No 1, Winter 2007
separate from the goal of Christ being fully formed in us. Rather ourmovement toward full salvation (or divinization or deification) is simplybeing looked at in relation to another Person of the Holy Trinity.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit as the Outcome of Salvation in Christ
Orthodox teaching is clear that the coming of the Holy Spiritupon the Church is the purpose and intended fruit of the incarnationand the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. St.John the Forerunner told his followers and questioners:
I indeed baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with theHoly Spirit (Mark 1:8).
Our Lord Jesus Christ told his disciples:
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon youand you shall be my witnesses . . . . (Acts 1:8).
And in the 14
century St. Nicholas Cabasilas says of the outcome of Christ’s life and work:
What is the effect and the result of the sufferings and works andteaching of Christ? Considered in relation to ourselves, it is nothingother than the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church.
However it is not only the Church as the Body of Christ or onlyher hierarchy which receives the Holy Spirit, but all of its memberspersonally, and it is indeed Orthodox to desire the experience of theHoly Spirit at work in our lives. In the first century the promise of therestoration of the Holy Spirit as a gift to believers in Christ wasannounced by the apostle St. Peter to the crowds after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:
In the quotations which follow I emphasize certain phrases by use of italics to keep the readerfocussed on the main points being illustrated through the quotations.
A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy
(London, SPCK, 1983), p. 90.