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In the Eastern Church, this justification (impartation of righteousness) is associated with entrance into the Church. This is an ancient practice preserved from the earliest times. The liturgical texts indicate a process of conversion that culminates in [[baptism]] and the joining of oneself to the Church. The baptismal service text clearly defines this belief when the convert or newly baptized infant [after the baptism] is told, “You are justified; you are illumined!” (GOAA – ''The Service of Holy Baptism'') Justification, the impartation of righteousness, begins at conversion through the mercy of God, and it continues throughout the life of the Christian as one is conformed, in righteousness, to the image and likeness of God through the power of the [[Holy Spirit]].
Since the righteousness is offered and imparted to the Christian in love, the Orthodox Christian believes that man is, likewise, free to reject Christ’s righteousness and offer of salvation. For there is no love apart from freedom – coercion and slavery are characteristics that are incompatible with a perfect love. There are assurances in [[Scripture]] that God will hold close to himself those who are of his fold, and the Christian can rest confidently in this fact. But, we are just as free to reject God and his love as we are to embrace him.

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