By Abbot Tryphon
“The inheritance of death rather than Adam’s sin” Ancestral Sin | The Morning Offering.
That the Orthodox Church does not accept the doctrine of original sin as espoused in the West, in no way suggests we do not need to be born anew. Orthodoxy continues the teaching of the Early Church that we inherit only the results of Adam’s sin, not his guilt. This is known as Ancestral Sin because the sin of our first parents resulted in our inheriting a cosmos where sickness, and death reign.
“Becoming by grace what God is by nature.” Saint Athanasius | Ancestral Sin
Ancestral Sin | The Cross
Christ’s death on the cross has as its power, not as an atonement sacrifice, but in the conquering of the power of death itself. Death has been trampled down by death, and Christ’s resurrection opened the door to eternal life, and ended the finality of death. Christ’s resurrection has become our resurrection. The Ancient and Apostolic Church did not deny the atonement of Christ on the cross, but had a different understanding of just what this meant, as apposed to the view of the denominations.
Ancestral Sin | The Christ
Even though we Orthodox do not believe a child is born in sin, the life and death of Christ, which reverses the primordial, generational, and personal falleness of this world, is what the child enters through baptism.
“The Son of God became man, that we might become god.” Saint Athanasius of Alexandria said | Ancestral Sin
Although we do not refer to ourselves as “saved”, as do Evangelical Christians, believing as we do that salvation is a process, we nevertheless know we are in need of salvation. Our understanding of the nature of sin as distinct from the concept of original sin and the hereditary guilt that requires a substitutionary, atonement-type, sacrifice, separates us doctrinally from Western Christianity.
Ancestral Sin | The Logos
Had there not been a fall, Christ the Logos (Word) would still have, in the mind of many Church Fathers, incarnated in the flesh and taken on our nature. For this condescension by our God to take on the flesh of His creatures, opened wide the door for our communion with Him, allowing us to enter into the very Heart of God, thus completing creation as it was meant to be.
Our journey into the heart culminates in theosis, whereby we are joined in everlasting communion with the very God Who created us, for as Saint Athanasius of Alexandria said, “The Son of God became man, that we might become god.” And in II Peter 1:4, we read that we have become “…partakers of divine nature.” Saint Athanasius went on to say that theosis is “becoming by grace what God is by nature.”
With love in Christ,
About The Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a monastery of the Western American Diocese, under the omophor of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. The Monastery is a non-profit 501 C3 organization under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible.
We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery’s mailing address:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
P.O. Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA
Another small way to contribute to the monastery if one already purchases items through the amazon.com website is to use the smile.amazon.com link associated with our monastery. Purchases will accrue a small percentage that will eventually be given to the monastery in time. For more information, please go our website page here: https://vashonmonks.com/using-amazon-smile
By: Abbot Tryphon | The All-Merciful Saviour Orthodox Monastery on Vashon Island. Washington, United States
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