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« on: November 30, 2007, 10:48:43 AM »

I noticed in another forum here (Faith Issues) the idea being presented that Mary, the mother of our Lord, was sinless. That is that she did not personally commit sin during her life.

One poster stated it...

Quote
Orthodox believe that Mary was still born with the same corruption inherited from our fathers' sinfulness, though she did not sin during her life.  Regardless, since she still possessed this corruption, she was in need of Christ's Cross as much as the rest of us.

Now, I'll admit I have some difficulty understanding the nuances and difference between the Eastern idea of being born in sin from that of the Western idea of original sin. On the one hand they seem world's apart. On the other they seem insignificantly different, almost semantical. But, that is not the point of this post.

I disagree with the idea that Mary was sinless. Not only was she born in sin, and in need of the Saving grace and work of Christ, but she personally sinned according to Romans 3:23 (...for ALL have sinned...). The one and only exception to this rule, according to the Scripture, is Jesus Himself.

I have no problem seeing Mary as a great example of faith and devotion to God. And it is a fact that God chose her, while she was yet a virgin, to conceive and bare His only begotten Son -- the incarnate Word. I mean not to belittle her example or station in the plan of God.
However, I am curious how you guys would rationalize this concept of her being free from any personal or individual committal of sin compared with Romans 3:23.

Thanks for your patience and replies with an obvious outsider.  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2007, 11:31:46 AM »

Cleopas:  I cannot fully answer your question there are many more learned men and women on this site than me. I do want to thank you for treating Mary with respect in your post. We refer to her as the Theotokos (God-Bearer or Birthgiver of God). As Jesus' mother we honor her as being part of the divine plan of salvation, which, in Orthodoxy is more wholistic. Why do we treat her with respect?  Tell me, you have friends. Have you met their mothers. How did you treat their mothers? With disdain, apathy, disrespect? I am sure that you didn't. Why then do some treat the mother of our Lord this way.


Ranting., sorry. Hopefully, others will answer you.
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2007, 11:41:47 AM »

I noticed in another forum the idea being presented that Mary, the mother of our Lord, was sinless. That is that she did not personally commit sin during her life.

One poster stated it...

Now, I'll admit I have some difficulty understanding the nuances and difference between the Eastern idea of being born in sin from that of the Western idea of original sin. On the one hand they seem world's apart. On the other they seem insignificantly different, almost semantical. But, that is not the point of this post.

I disagree with the idea that Mary was sinless. Not only was she born in sin, and in need of the Saving grace and work of Christ, but she personally sinned according to Romans 3:23 (...for ALL have sinned...). The one and only exception to this rule, according to the Scripture, is Jesus Himself.

I have no problem seeing Mary as a great example of faith and devotion to God. And it is a fact that God chose her, while she was yet a virgin, to conceive and bare His only begotten Son -- the incarnate Word. I mean not to belittle her example or station in the plan of God.
However, I am curious how you guys would rationalize this concept of her being free form any personal or individual committal of sin with Romans 3:23.

Thanks for your patience and replies with an obvious outsider.  Smiley

God bless !

To say short - I think it would be in vain to post some quotes of the Fathers....

She is complete SINLESS-but she shares our human nature - I would not say She is born in Sin- Her Mother was holy and her Father....she was choosen before the ages to become God's Mother..but was human as we all.

In the Gospel you can read about the Theotokos in the highest terms...

She is the KE_CHARITOMENI--the GRACEFILLED - she is full of grace ( never was anyone addressed like this in the whole Scripture), what is full of grace - is there place for sin..

In CHRIST
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2007, 11:57:43 AM »

Grace and Peace Christodoulos,

Your post is much appreciated! Blessings!   Smiley

I have heard some say that the Holy Ghost dwelt among Mary and John the Baptist in the wombs of their mothers, is this true? Have you heard anything like this?
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2007, 12:01:50 PM »


In the Gospel you can read about the Theotokos in the highest terms...

She is the KE_CHARITOMENI--the GRACEFILLED - she is full of grace ( never was anyone addressed like this in the whole Scripture), what is full of grace - is there place for sin..

Very interesting. Would you mind citing the passage where she is thus titled?

I can see how one cold reason form that designation that she was sinless. What I fail to see is how one meshes that with Romans 3:23 without contradicting it. Could you offer any insight along that line?

May the Lord bless you as well.
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2007, 12:06:22 PM »

Grace and Peace Christodoulos,

Your post is much appreciated! Blessings!   Smiley

I have heard some say that the Holy Ghost dwelt among Mary and John the Baptist in the wombs of their mothers, is this true? Have you heard anything like this?

God bless !

I think many Saints were blessed even in the womb- if I remember well - also St. Nicolas and St. Sergij of Radonesh......or Staretz Jonah of Kiev - had his first vision of the heavenly Kingdom at the age of a few months.....

I think there are fathers who say she was sanctified in the womb...but I have to look...

In CHRIST
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2007, 12:25:01 PM »

I noticed in another forum here (Faith Issues) the idea being presented that Mary, the mother of our Lord, was sinless. That is that she did not personally commit sin during her life.

One poster stated it...

Now, I'll admit I have some difficulty understanding the nuances and difference between the Eastern idea of being born in sin from that of the Western idea of original sin. On the one hand they seem world's apart. On the other they seem insignificantly different, almost semantical. But, that is not the point of this post.

I disagree with the idea that Mary was sinless. Not only was she born in sin, and in need of the Saving grace and work of Christ, but she personally sinned according to Romans 3:23 (...for ALL have sinned...). The one and only exception to this rule, according to the Scripture, is Jesus Himself.

I have no problem seeing Mary as a great example of faith and devotion to God. And it is a fact that God chose her, while she was yet a virgin, to conceive and bare His only begotten Son -- the incarnate Word. I mean not to belittle her example or station in the plan of God.
However, I am curious how you guys would rationalize this concept of her being free from any personal or individual committal of sin compared with Romans 3:23.

Thanks for your patience and replies with an obvious outsider.  Smiley

Couple of points.

Firstly, the Orthodox Church does not accept that "Original Sin" involves any culpability. In other words, no one is born guilty of sin, not even you or I. We do not have any dogma of an "Immaculate Conception" because it is completely unecessary since the "problem" of being conceived sinful doesn't exist.

Secondly, how do you know that the Theotokos voluntarily committed sin during her life? Can you name a sin she committed?

Thirdly, the Orthodox Church in fact does teach that the Theotokos, like all of us, is redeemed through Christ.
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2007, 12:28:08 PM »

Couple of points.

Firstly, the Orthodox Church does not accept that "Original Sin" involves any culpability. In other words, no one is born guilty of sin, not even you or I. We do not have any dogma of an "Immaculate Conception" because it is completely unecessary since the "problem" of being conceived sinful doesn't exist.

Secondly, how do you know that the Theotokos voluntarily committed sin during her life? Can you name a sin she committed?

Thirdly, the Orthodox Church in fact does teach that the Theotokos, like all of us, is redeemed through Christ.

Thank you. Points 1 & 3 I understood (sorta).

Concerning Point 2, How do I know? Because the Apostle Paul under inspiration said so when he said "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" in Romans 3:23.
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2007, 12:30:31 PM »

Very interesting. Would you mind citing the passage where she is thus titled?

Grace and Peace Cleopas,

Asking one to cite the whole of our Tradition within the confines of the Scriptures is like asking one to cite a passage found in War And Peace using only Cliff-Notes... It's simply not possible.  Undecided

I know that I am speaking through weak analogies but I believe you might get my point... ?

Quote
I can see how one could reason form that designation that she was sinless. What I fail to see is how one meshes that with Romans 3:23 without contradicting it. Could you offer any insight along that line?

She was 'sinless' not because of an inherent 'human' quality but because of her participation in the Divine Godhead... Although we are all wounded and corrupted we can through God's Active Grace participate in the Divine Godhead. Is this not correct everyone?

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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2007, 12:31:51 PM »

Thank you. Points 1 & 3 I understood (sorta).

Concerning Point 2, How do I know? Because the Apostle Paul under inspiration said so when he said "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" in Romans 3:23.

What does 'sin' mean to you?
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2007, 12:34:59 PM »

Very interesting. Would you mind citing the passage where she is thus titled?



Luke 1:28

I reccommend reading On the Occasion of the Salutations to the Holy Mother of God by Archbishop Stylianos of Australia for a some very tasty food regarding this thought.
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2007, 12:36:15 PM »

Luke 1:28

Schultz... your ruining my 'Cliff-notes' anology....  Angry
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2007, 12:37:14 PM »

Grace and Peace Cleopas,

Asking one to cite the whole of our Tradition within the confines of the Scriptures is like asking one to cite a passage found in War And Peace using only Cliff-Notes... It's simply not possible.  Undecided

I know that I am speaking through weak analogies but I believe you might get my point... ?

Ahh. My error. I assumed he was referring to a passage of Scripture itself.

Quote
She was 'sinless' not because of an inherent 'human' quality but because of her participation in the Divine Godhead... Although we are all wounded and corrupted we can through God's Active Grace participate in the Divine Godhead. Is this not correct everyone?

So then you are saying her sinlessness was imputed because of her faith and relationship with God? I can accept that.

However, the quote in my initial post says (as far as I can understand it) that Mary never ever committed even one sin in her life. The Scripture does not (that I can see) confirm that concept. If it does teach that then what sense do you make of Romans 3:23? How do you address it with respect to this concept?
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2007, 12:38:50 PM »

Schultz... your ruining my 'Cliff-notes' anology....  Angry

Cleopas asked for a citation whereby the Theotokos is titled "ke charitomeni".  Since the Bible itself is a part of Holy Tradition, we can cite War & Peace itself, so to speak, and in the original Russian.  
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2007, 12:46:42 PM »

So then you are saying her sinlessness was imputed because of her faith and relationship with God? I can accept that.

Does this view leave room for the Providence of God?

Quote
However, the quote in my initial post says (as far as I can understand it) that Mary never ever committed even one sin in her life. The Scripture does not (that I can see) confirm that concept. If it does teach that then what sense do you make of Romans 3:23? How do you address it with respect to this concept?

Personally, I wasn't there...  Cheesy But I would be so bold as to say at the point of her fiat she shared most intimately in the divine Godhead. What does Light have to do with Darkness? I would say 'nothing'...
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2007, 12:47:56 PM »

Concerning Point 2, How do I know? Because the Apostle Paul under inspiration said so when he said "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" in Romans 3:23.

The Apostle Paul also says in the same Epistle that "all Israel will be saved" (11:26). Does this mean that there will be an apocatastasis? Will all Israel in fact be saved?
In another Epistle to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul tells them that they "were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge". (1 Corinthians 1:5). Does this mean that everything the Corinthian Church knew and said was inspired by God? Then why does the same Apostle rebuke the Church in Corinth in the same Epistle for being "still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?" (1 Corinthian 3:3)?
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2007, 12:48:32 PM »

Cleopas asked for a citation whereby the Theotokos is titled "ke charitomeni".  Since the Bible itself is a part of Holy Tradition, we can cite War & Peace itself, so to speak, and in the original Russian.  

And I worked so hard on that Cliff-notes analogy...  Cry
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2007, 12:51:42 PM »

And I worked so hard on that Cliff-notes analogy...  Cry

So you know, it was very beneficial to me. It gives me a bit more perspective on the Orthodox dimension towards things and will help me relate better in general.

Thank you kindly. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2007, 01:01:04 PM »

The Apostle Paul also says in the same Epistle that "all Israel will be saved" (11:26). Does this mean that there will be an apocatastasis? Will all Israel in fact be saved?
In another Epistle to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul tells them that they "were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge". (1 Corinthians 1:5). Does this mean that everything the Corinthian Church knew and said was inspired by God? Then why does the same Apostle rebuke the Church in Corinth in the same Epistle for being "still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?" (1 Corinthian 3:3)?

Indeed. But the context for Romans 3:23 deals with the universal condition of man (save Christ) and with each individual's personal failure, his sins, and Christ as the sole means for atonement. He clearly relates the condition is universal, the personal guilt (and thus personal committal) is universal, and the answer is only found in the single exception of Christ. My point is that in the context of Romans 3:23 Mary, John the Baptist, and everyone else (save Christ) are included.
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2007, 01:02:21 PM »

So you know, it was very beneficial to me. It gives me a bit more perspective on the Orthodox dimension towards things and will help me relate better in general.

Thank you kindly. Wink

Yeah! I'm glad I could help in my little way...  Grin

But take note I'm a novice and shouldn't be taken too seriously...  Tongue
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2007, 01:04:12 PM »

Ahh. My error. I assumed he was referring to a passage of Scripture itself.
He is referring to a passage of Scripture: The word KECHARITOMENI is what the Angel calls Mary in Luke 1:28:
"και εισελθων προς αυτην ειπεν χαιρε κεχαριτωμενη ο κυριος μετα σου".
("And coming unto her said: Hail! thou who art full of grace! The Lord is with you!")

The work KEHARITOMENI carries the meaning of "full to the brim with grace".
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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2007, 01:11:29 PM »

Indeed. But the context for Romans 3:23 deals with the universal condition of man (save Christ) and with each individual's personal failure, his sins, and Christ as the sole means for atonement.
The Orthodox Church doesn't accept the concept of "atonement" either, nor the judicial concept of "merit" used to "pay" for sins. The point is, as I said, we already say that the Theotokos is "saved", like all of us, through Christ. She doesn't have to have sinned in order to require Christ to "save" her. The Orthodox understanding of salvation is the process of theosis, and sinlessness does not in itself guarentee theosis.
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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2007, 01:20:30 PM »

The Orthodox Church doesn't accept the concept of "atonement" either, nor the judicial concept of "merit" used to "pay" for sins. The point is, as I said, we already say that the Theotokos is "saved", like all of us, through Christ. She doesn't have to have sinned in order to require Christ to "save" her. The Orthodox understanding of salvation is the process of theosis, and sinlessness does not in itself guarentee theosis.


Okay. Excluding the concept of atonement (wasn't trying to muddy the waters), the context of Romans 3:23 still refers to all humans except Christ. It says ALL have sinned.

If I may, without trying to tackle all of the related tangents, let me restate and hopefully stream line the question...

How do you couple and explain Romans 3:23 with regard to Mary supposedly being sinless? How do you officially interpret that passage in question with regards to her?
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2007, 01:23:54 PM »


Okay. Excluding the concept of atonement (wasn't trying to muddy the waters), the context of Romans 3:23 still refers to all humans except Christ. It says ALL have sinned.

If I may, without trying to tackle all of the related tangents, let me restate and hopefully stream line the question...

How do you couple and explain Romans 3:23 with regard to Mary supposedly being sinless? How do you officially interpret that passage in question with regards to her?
You've missed the point of my earlier post. You have interpreted "ALL have sinned" as meaning "all except Christ have sinned". Yet I gave you two examples of the same word "all" being used by the same Apostle, yet clearly not literally meaning "all". Here it is again:

The Apostle Paul also says in the same Epistle that "all Israel will be saved" (11:26). Does this mean that there will be an apocatastasis? Will all Israel in fact be saved?
In another Epistle to the Corinthian Church, the Apostle Paul tells them that they "were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge". (1 Corinthians 1:5). Does this mean that everything the Corinthian Church knew and said was inspired by God? Then why does the same Apostle rebuke the Church in Corinth in the same Epistle for being "still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?" (1 Corinthian 3:3)?


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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2007, 01:26:50 PM »

Indeed. But the context for Romans 3:23 deals with the universal condition of man (save Christ) and with each individual's personal failure, his sins, and Christ as the sole means for atonement. He clearly relates the condition is universal, the personal guilt (and thus personal committal) is universal, and the answer is only found in the single exception of Christ. My point is that in the context of Romans 3:23 Mary, John the Baptist, and everyone else (save Christ) are included.

EO do not agree with our Western understanding of this and most deny both original sin and the Atonement (as Christ's sacrifice in satisfaction of the sin debt). This was my biggest stumbling block to EO when I was considering that communion.

We are sort of playing on different baseball diamonds than the EO with regard to this.

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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2007, 01:34:19 PM »

EO do not agree with our Western understanding of this and most deny both original sin and the Atonement
Even so, I don't think this is necessary to understand why Romans 3:23 does not mean that the Theotokos has sinned. You're a Roman Catholic, and you hold the concepts of Original Sin and Atonement, yet, you also do not hold that Romans 3:23 means that the Theotokos must have sinned. I'm not arguing from an Orthodox theological or even Patristic viewpoint, but I'm using only Scripture to show why it isn't necessary to believe that Romans 3:23 implies sin on the part of the Theotokos.
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2007, 01:38:42 PM »

You've missed the point of my earlier post. You have interpreted "ALL have sinned" as meaning "all except Christ have sinned". Yet I gave you two examples of the same word "all" being used by the same Apostle, yet clearly not literally meaning "all".

Actually, I understood your point. My rebuttal was that despite your examples of a limited use based on the context of the passages cited the opposite is true when one considers the context of Romans 3. The context of Romans 3 clearly proves that the all Paul has in mind is everyone in the world save Christ.

I will include a large portion of the chapter below to provide a quick reference for context (emphasis is mine):

Quote from: Romans 3:10-26

 10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 13Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

 14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

 15Their feet are swift to shed blood:

 16Destruction and misery are in their ways:

 17And the way of peace have they not known:

 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.

 19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

 21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2007, 01:41:50 PM »

Even so, I don't think this is necessary to understand why Romans 3:23 does not mean that the Theotokos has sinned. You're a Roman Catholic, and you hold the concepts of Original Sin and Atonement, yet, you also do not hold that Romans 3:23 means that the Theotokos must have sinned. I'm not arguing from an Orthodox theological or even Patristic viewpoint, but I'm using only Scripture to show why it isn't necessary to believe that Romans 3:23 implies sin on the part of the Theotokos.

Okay. Would you mind then giving me a personal commentary on Romans 3:23 and it's surrounding passages, and explain why I should accept (or at least consider) that "all" there does not refer to everyone save Christ?
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2007, 01:46:29 PM »

Even so, I don't think this is necessary to understand why Romans 3:23 does not mean that the Theotokos has sinned. You're a Roman Catholic, and you hold the concepts of Original Sin and Atonement, yet, you also do not hold that Romans 3:23 means that the Theotokos must have sinned. I'm not arguing from an Orthodox theological or even Patristic viewpoint, but I'm using only Scripture to show why it isn't necessary to believe that Romans 3:23 implies sin on the part of the Theotokos.

Understood.

I would add, though, that we believe she would have sinned if not for her Immaculate Conception. It was a special grace coming from Christ's Atonement that allowed her to be truly free to choose not to sin in her life. Without it, she would have been enslaved to sin like the rest of us. With her will freed and able not to sin, she chose not to. She did what Eve couldn't.

So, in that sense, Romans 3:23 is true for us.
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2007, 01:47:05 PM »

EO do not agree with our Western understanding of this and most deny both original sin and the Atonement (as Christ's sacrifice in satisfaction of the sin debt). This was my biggest stumbling block to EO when I was considering that communion.

We are sort of playing on different baseball diamonds than the EO with regard to this.

That is not altogether true, lubeltri. The Fathers teach that Christ was made an offering for our sins...

Christ knew no sin, but he was made sin for us. This occcured by the imputation of our sin to him. The key text is 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." It was central to the Fathers' justification teaching.

Christ was not a sinner, but a victim for sinners, according to Cyril of Alexandria: "We do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world" (Letter 41:10).

Christ knew no sin either inwardly or outwardly, either in intention or action. Yet he was voluntarily made to be sin for us by the imputation of our sin to him.

St. John Chrysostom explained: "God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins. This is God's righteousness, that we are not justified by works (for then they would be perfect, which is impossible), but by grace, in which case all our sin is removed" (Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 11:5).

"It was only because all flesh was subject to sin that he was made sin for us. In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.' After his death on the cross Christ descended to hell, because it was death, working through sin, which gave hell its power. Christ defeated death by his death, and brought such benefit to sinners that now death cannot hold those who are marked with the sign of the cross" (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul's Epistles).

Even later Protestant confessions would echo the same apostolic teaching: "He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He bore our sins in his own body. It pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite mercy, without any desert or deserving, to provide for us the most precious sacrifice of Christ, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied. So that Christ is himself the righteousness of all them that truly do believe in him" (Reformed Episcopal Articles of Religion 1875).
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2007, 01:49:13 PM »

Actually, I understood your point. My rebuttal was that despite your examples of a limited use based on the context of the passages cited the opposite is true when one considers the context of Romans 3. The context of Romans 3 clearly proves that the all Paul has in min is everyone in the world save Christ.

I will include a large portion of the chapter below to provide a quick reference for context (emphasis is mine):

Christopher, look at the first verse:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one"

Is this literally true? Didn't God say Noah was Righteous? (Genesis 7:1) Was God wrong?

On what basis do you exclude Christ from the implications of this verse and no one else?
If it is literally true that "There is none righteous, no, not one" either Christ was not a man like us, and was not "one of us", or He was unrighteous.
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2007, 01:55:07 PM »

That is not altogether true, lubeltri. The Fathers teach that Christ was made an offering for our sins...

Christ knew no sin, but he was made sin for us. This occcured by the imputation of our sin to him. The key text is 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." It was central to the Fathers' justification teaching.

Christ was not a sinner, but a victim for sinners, according to Cyril of Alexandria: "We do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world" (Letter 41:10).

Christ knew no sin either inwardly or outwardly, either in intention or action. Yet he was voluntarily made to be sin for us by the imputation of our sin to him.

St. John Chrysostom explained: "God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins. This is God's righteousness, that we are not justified by works (for then they would be perfect, which is impossible), but by grace, in which case all our sin is removed" (Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 11:5).

"It was only because all flesh was subject to sin that he was made sin for us. In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.' After his death on the cross Christ descended to hell, because it was death, working through sin, which gave hell its power. Christ defeated death by his death, and brought such benefit to sinners that now death cannot hold those who are marked with the sign of the cross" (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul's Epistles).

Even later Protestant confessions would echo the same apostolic teaching: "He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He bore our sins in his own body. It pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite mercy, without any desert or deserving, to provide for us the most precious sacrifice of Christ, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied. So that Christ is himself the righteousness of all them that truly do believe in him" (Reformed Episcopal Articles of Religion 1875).

I know some EO (you included, I assume) affirm this, but many others see it as un-Orthodox.
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« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2007, 02:05:24 PM »

Christopher, look at the first verse:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one"

Is this literally true? Didn't God say Noah was Righteous? (Genesis 7:1) Was God wrong?

On what basis do you exclude Christ from the implications of this verse and no one else?
If it is literally true that "There is none righteous, no, not one" either Christ was not a man like us, and was not "one of us", or He was unrighteous.

Hmmm. Well, off the cuff, Noah was declared righteous in his generations. I'm not sure that means he was literally sinless (obviously I don't believe anyone, save Christ, ever was, is, or will be). Albeit, that righteousness dealt uniquely with him finding favor and being spared the wrath of God in the flood. Later, after the flood, he certainly sinned. One famous instance is when he drank himself drunk (see Galatians 5:17-21), and one of his sons uncovered his nakedness. So, even if one argued Noah was sinless up until the time of the flood they would have to admit that following the flood he personal sinned, at least once.
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2007, 02:14:49 PM »

Hmmm. Well, off the cuff, Noah was declared righteous in his generations. I'm not sure that means he was literally sinless (obviously I don't believe anyone, save Christ, ever was, is, or will be). Albeit, that righteousness dealt uniquely with him finding favor and being spared the wrath of God in the flood. Later, after the flood, he certainly sinned. One famous instance is when he drank himself drunk (see Galatians 5:17-21), and one of his sons uncovered his nakedness. So, even if one argued Noah was sinless up until the time of the flood they would have to admit that following the flood he personal sinned, at least once.

Oh come on! You can't seriously expect me to accept that as a rational argument!
Look, it's simple. One verse of Scripture says "there is none righteous" and in another verse God calls Noah "righteous" (which even if you want to say that Noah was unrighteous after the flood, there was at least one point in history when God Himself said there is at least one righteous man).

So the only possibilities are:
1) God was wrong and Noah was unrighteous.
2) The exclusions to Romans 3 extend beyond Christ.
3) Romans 3 is not meant to be taken literally.

Take your pick! Wink
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2007, 02:19:38 PM »

Oh come on! You can't seriously expect me to accept that as a rational argument!
Look, it's simple. One verse of Scripture says "there is none righteous" and in another verse God calls Noah "righteous" (which even if you want to say that Noah was unrighteous after the flood, there was at least one point in history when God Himself said there is at least one righteous man).

So the only possibilities are:
1) God was wrong and Noah was unrighteous.
2) The exclusions to Romans 3 extend beyond Christ.
3) Romans 3 is not meant to be taken literally.

Take your pick! Wink


4) None are righteous until after they are justified.
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« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2007, 02:21:30 PM »


4) None are righteous until after they are justified.

So how was Noah justified?
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« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2007, 02:25:50 PM »

So how was Noah justified?

By Christ, of course. Retroactively.  Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2007, 02:30:10 PM »

By Christ, of course. Retroactively.  Smiley

I see. Tell me, those who are justified retroactively, are they chosen at random or predestined? Wink
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« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2007, 02:37:10 PM »

Cleopas:

I forgot to add that many of our learned contributors occassionally engage in a theological smack down
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« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2007, 02:41:35 PM »

I see. Tell me, those who are justified retroactively, are they chosen at random or predestined? Wink

  laugh I surrender! I don't feel like jumping down the rabbit hole today!
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« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2007, 02:52:29 PM »


4) None are righteous until after they are justified.

"Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations.  Noah walked with God."
Genesis 9

I dont know about you but if someone walked with God he's righteous in my book, at least at that time prior to the flood.  After the flood thats a different story.   But, had Noah stayed righteous as before he may have been rewarded as Enoch or Elijia were.

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« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2007, 05:51:21 PM »


4) None are righteous until after they are justified.

Precisely. And Justification is imputed righteousness.
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« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2007, 05:56:28 PM »

Precisely. And Justification is imputed righteousness.

Grace and Peace,

We should start a topic on "Justification" and discuss what is common and different between the Classic Consensus of the Church and modern Christian Confessions...

Read my post #29
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« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2007, 05:59:33 PM »

Oh come on! You can't seriously expect me to accept that as a rational argument!

It is perfectly rational.

Quote
Look, it's simple. One verse of Scripture says "there is none righteous" and in another verse God calls Noah "righteous" (which even if you want to say that Noah was unrighteous after the flood, there was at least one point in history when God Himself said there is at least one righteous man).

I am trying to be very agreeable in my disagreeing.  Roll Eyes Cheesy  But, hoping I'm not coming on to strong (and not wanting to wear my welcome out)...

Clearly the righteousness of Noah had nothing to do with his absolute moral purity and individual holiness (literally). Remember he found favor, grace. He was born of Adam, born in sin, and like all natural born sinners, personally sinned. Even Jesus declared "there is non good" except God. None is none -- no one. All we like sheep have gone astray.

The fact that I can show even one instance of personal sin in the life of Noah, proves he was not sinless. That alone is enough to show that the righteousness of Noah was not meant to be equated with a natural sinless life. Therefore the text does not contradict or disagree with the conclusion of Romans 3:23, which says that all (including Noah) sinned.
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« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2007, 06:05:07 PM »

By Christ, of course. Retroactively.  Smiley


Once all of Scripture was revealed we can,looking back, see that is the case. I agree. All righteousness flows form Jesus Christ, the Righteous.

Albeit, looking at this from the human side of things... Noah was justified by faith. So says the writer of Hebrews in the 11th chapter of his epistle. Indeed all justification before God is received by faith. Rather than speaking of the self righteousness (read sinlessness) of Noah, or anyone else for that matter, this actually serves to point us to the fact that all need God's grace in order to be accepted as righteous before Him. Why? Because we are (of ourselves) sinners, and sinners sin. All have sinned.
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