What does ‘Saved as a Community’ mean?
We are Saved by Faith in Jesus. At baptism and confirmation, we are called by our personal name. Each of us is an individual, even in the confessional. What, then, does it mean to say that we are saved as a community? Can we not be saved as individuals? MR Kolbeck
From the moment that the Word was made flesh and lived among us (Jn 1:14), humanity was given a share in the intimate love that penetrates the life of the Trinity. Because the Word, the Son of God, is as much human as he is divine, you and I are bonded to him and taken into a loving relationship with him and everyone else. This keeps us spiritually alive, like a spring within us that wells up to eternal life (Jn 4:14).
As long as we all strive to live a life of love for God and love for one another, the bond between God and us is strong. In this way, members of the human race are a loving community of human persons mysteriously absorbed into the loving community of the divine persons in the Trinity.
There’s Sin and there’s Salvation
However, sin has entered the world, and sin indicates a lack of love. Sin damages our relationship with God and the rest of humankind. And this is where salvation comes in.
Christ has redeemed us from sin, and so we can confidently say that we, as the community of the faithful in Christ, have been saved and will live with God for ever.
This requires repentance for our sins and a determination to persevere in loving God and neighbour and showing it in what we do and say.
We, the People of God, are a community of faith, hope and love who are alive in Christ and saved from everlasting death. You agree with that but ask if the individual is also capable of salvation?
Jesus described himself as the vine and each individual person as a branch of the vine. He said: As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me…Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away, he withers (Jn 15:4-6).
Individuals are saved provided that they do not deliberately cut themselves off from the communion of the People of God who, in spite of human frailty, keep going with confidence in the love of God and neighbour.
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