How are we saved?
"God our Saviour wants all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). Grace does not compel anyone. Men have the God-given freedom to accept it and to work with it or to reject it. Those who embrace it are saved and those who withdraw from it are lost." - Elder Cleopa of Romania
Our salvation is about acquiring eternal life in union with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. Scripture tells us that “nothing unclean can enter the Kingdom of God (Eph 5:5; Rev 21:27). God is light, and those who enter into the Kingdom of God must also be sons of light. Therefore the entry into the Kingdom requires the purity of soul and a garment of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb 12:14). We are destined to become holy people of God.
Paul says, Ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.(Eph 2:8). In his letter to the Philippians he also writes, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (phil 2:12) Salvation involves both faith and works.
The Son of God came into the world to accomplish two things. First, to open the path to Paradise for the possibility of the personal salvation of each of us. Second, He came to direct the hearts of all people to search and thirst for the Kingdom of God and give them help and power on their path to salvation.
In Orthodox theology, redemption is not seen in judicial terms, where one is redeemed from the wrath of God as a result of the Fall and granted justification. Redemption is instead where one is called to participate in the divine energies of God as a result of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It is a gracious and divine gift which is bestowed by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the Church, granting all faithful, a personal experience of Christ who in turn leads us to God, His Father.
St. Athanasius of Alexandria wrote, "The Son of God became man, that we might become [like] God."