In the Orthodox Church

Why does the human being still bear the consequences of the ancestral sin?

Sorin, one of the writers on our site asked me the following:

“I’d like to ask you a dogmatic question: if Christ’s Sacrifice erased the ancestral sin, how do the Church inviereaFathers explain the fact that the woman still gives birth to children in pain, the man still gains his bread in the sweat of his face and the nature is still decayed?”

Because I didn’t have a good answer, I asked father Dorin Picioruş to help us. Here is the aswer of his holiness, very conclusive and precise:

“Christology, the talk about God, about His Person and work, is not an isolated chapter, but a entirety itself, integrated in an even bigger entirety, meaning a holistic and complete theological understanding.

Theologically speaking, the question is wrong from the very beginning, because it asks about the Sacrifice and not about Lord’s person, about the Sacrificed, as if this fact could be separated of His person. Or can’t see it alive, direct and complex, that the one Who is sacrificing is Christ Himself, Who not only is sacrificing Himself for us, but He also deified His assumed humanly kind, through every single moment of His life, continuously.

My dear ones, not the Cross itself or His death on the cross have abolished sin in the sinless humanly nature of Christ, but every single moment of His life was a denial of the sin, therefore a victory over sin in His humanity.

Yes, His sacrifice was a crucial and dramatic moment, but it defeated sin. But this moment must not be individualized or separated from His life in its wholeness before and after His death and resurrection.

Because absolutizing the Cross, like the protestants did, only idealizes His death for us, making it the only moment of the redemption of the humanity and hiding the hypostatical truth, that each step of His life, from His conception to His Ascension to the Heavens are victorious steps over sin and, therefore, over death and the devil.

So, any sin has been abolished in Lord’s person through the continuous and the most divine deification of His human kind, which was a constant denial and victory over sin. And the deification of His human kind is the new being, it’s the pattern for how it looks and how it should look the divine-human man, the god by grace, the Saint.

But the Saint’s holiness is not a moral issue, but an ontological one. Just as it was for Lord. For Lord not only because He obeyed Father and died on the Cross for us, has saved and redeemed us, but because He was continuously, moment by moment obedient to Father and in a constant intimacy with the Father and the Holy Spirit, both in human and divine nature.

The holiness is ontological for it’s an ascesis in which you live constantly and consciously the joy of life in the grace of the Holy Trinity. It is also an inside reality, the holiness, that means the grace of The Holy Trinity, which outflows from the soul and you can see it onto the body as well. The body deifies, it transforms…but in the end it still dies.

And the Christian woman, although baptized, still faces the pains of labour, but she is helped and full of grace, the grace that makes her strong and fills her with the Holy Spirit. The man, as well, who wearies himself, both working but also in his ascension, because God’s life, that means His grace, springs into him.

Also the nature is sanctified by the prayers and the services of the Church. It is prepared, like a dough, to yeast. And when the Groom of the Church will come everything will be ready for the great wedding, the disclosure of His glory, of His power, of His love, of His omniscience and of His almighty beauty.

Although now we live in the body, which, apparently, has only the post-lapsarian (lapsarian=the fall of man at the beginning) attributes and it needs food, drink, sleep, making love, creation, work, if we are Christ’s mystic members, deified and which constantly deify, deep inside our persons, who look the same with the ones who are outside the Church, in these persons the greatness of deification happens.

That’s why some people stink after their death, but others smell like high-priced chrism. If you put the Saint next to others, while they are still alive, to many people, they don’t seem to be very different. But if you look at them deep inside they are fundamentally different, for their lives are hidden in the life of God, in the uninterrupted relationship with God and, when He will come, we will show our true person.

We can also feel in the holy and honourable relics of the Saints, who they really are and what will they be, they who keep raising in holiness into His Kingdom, when Lord will come, in His glory, irradiating His glory and He will be with all His Saints.

Therefore, to conclude, Christ has abolished sin in His human nature, because sin never had a place in His human kind, the human kind which obeyed, chose and loved the ones His deified nature wanted. But even if apparently both, the sons of God and the sons of man look the same, only in the sons of God the new deified being is shaped and them, together with the whole universe prepare all the time, becoming more and more beautiful.

The beauty of the being, which is its deification. And without it we have only a philosophical, sterile theology, a continuous fuss which shows you don’t take part of the talking, living with and loving God.

Thank you for your question, but consider this a rule: don’t ever study or ask yourself fragmentary things, but study them in their completeness, for only in this way orthodox theology makes any sense!”

(Father Dorin)

Translated by Sinziana Moldovan

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