Ancestral "Orginial" Sin

anthimus.etal.jpg

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

+

ANCESTRAL ("ORIGINAL") SIN

In the Old Testament account of creation, God created mankind and established a place for him called Paradise. He also gave him a commandment regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "And the Lord God commanded Adam, saying, 'You may eat food from every tree in the garden, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat; for in whatever day you eat from it, you shall die by death' (Genesis 2:16,17). In that, Adam and Eve did not physically die the day they ate from the tree, the words "you shall die" indicate a spiritual death through the separation from God.

Ancestral sin is the disobedience of Adam to God's command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam willingly disobeyed the commandment and diverted himself, or fell, from God's path to perfection, thus separating himself from His Creator, the Source of Life.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE FALL

  1. This Fall of Adam caused mankind to become subject to mortality. While this is often seen mainly as a punishment or penalty, the emphasis concerning God's judgments on Adam and Eve at the Fall is best understood in terms of His mercy. So, for example, concerning man's mortality (Genesis 3:19), Saint Gregory the Theologian states, "Yet here too He provides a benefit--namely death, which cuts off sin, so that evil may not be everlasting. Thus His punishment is changed into a mercy."

  2. We who are in Adam's race are not guilty because of Adam's sin, But because of our own sin. However, because all of mankind fell away from the grace of God through Adam's disobedience man now has a propensity, a disposition, an inclination towards sin, because just as death entered the world through sin, now sin enters through fear of death.

  3. Mankind's strong propensity to commit sin reveals that in the Fall, the image of God in man (Genesis) is also fallen. However, the ancient Holy Fathers emphasize that the divine image in man has not been totally corrupted or obliterated. Human nature remains inherently good after the Fall; mankind is not totally depraved. People are still capable of doing good, although bondage to death and the influences of the devil dull perception of what is good and lead them into all kinds of evil.

  4. Adam's Fall not only brought mortality and sin into the world but also sweat, toil, hunger, thirst, weariness, sorrow, pain, suffering, sickness, tribulations, tragedy and tears.

  5. Even after the Fall, the intellectual, desiring and intensive (forceful or driving) aspects of the soul are natural and therefore neutral. They can be used in a good way, or in a bad, harmful way. For instance, desire is very good when one directs it towards God. But when desire is out of control, one may use it in very inappropriate ways, such as becoming gluttonous or desiring another person's spouse. The classic analogy is that these powers of the soul are like iron, which can be made into a plow to help grow food, or into a sword to be used to kill someone.

Christ, by His Death and Resurrection, conquered the devil and death, freeing mankind for the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15) and mankind possible a more complete communion between god and man than was ever possible before. This communion allows people to become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pt. 1:4), to transcend death and, ultimately, all the consequences of the Fall. (Source: The Orthodox Study Bible)

_________________________

On the 3rd of the month, Memory of the Holy Hieromartyr Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia.

Saint Anthimus was bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia (Asia Minor). His Church was set on fire in 288 A.D., at the command of Emperor Maximian, and twenty thousand (20,000) Christian perished (+ 28 December). Under the protection of God, Saint Anthimus was among those who escaped the conflagration and took refuge in the surrounding mountains. He was captured not long after and brought before Maximian who questioned him amid all the frightful instruments of torture. Saint Anthimus was unshakeable in his confession of faith in Christ. He suffered many cruel torments. He was beaten with rods, made to walk in red hot bronze sandals and finally fixed to a wheel that broke his limbs, while the executioners burnt his body with flaming torches. Strengthened by Divine Grace, he remained steadfast and, like gold refined in the fire, shone more brightly in the midst of torments. He prophesied to the Emperor Maximian the approaching end of the pagan empire and the triumph of Christianity. The sight of his patience and confidence drove Maximian mad with rage. He rent his purple cloak and ordered Anthimus to be beheaded. After the Saint's death, the hair of his head continued to grow miraculously. (The Synaxarion)

_________________________

"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostomos

+++

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George