If death is the ultimate, cosmic enemy, Christ is the Savior because he conquers death. His death on the cross is a historical fact, sealed by the resurrection. Having identified himself with fallen humanity down to death on the cross, he rose again and manifested the risen, transfigured, and deified humanity which was from the beginning in the plan of God. That new humanity becomes also ours when we are baptized and share in the eucharist, which is a communion with the risen Lord: ‘You have died,’ writes the Apostle, ‘and your life is hid with Christ in God’ (Col 3.3). Baptism and eucharist are, therefore, the true foundations not only of spirituality but also of Christian ethics. Through them each human person can share in the risen humanity of Christ and achieve a communal unity, which is the Church, Body of Christ. And since Christ’s humanity is hypostatically united with the divine Logos, ‘life in Christ’ can also be termed deification.
* This excerpt is from “Rome, Constantinople, Moscow: Historical and Theological Studies” by Fr. John Meyendorff