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Ortho_cat
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« on: July 30, 2009, 12:56:50 AM »

I'm somewhat confused by this concept.  From what I know, the Orthodox Church teaches that there are several ways to obtain "remission of sins": baptism, partaking of the eucharist, confession, and holy water (are there others?). This concept confuses me. Did Jesus not die "for the remission of our sins?" If this is the case, then why must we continually do these practices to have our sins forgiven? I understand the concept of theosis so much as it relates to good works and repenting from sin, but I do not understand how the continual remission of sins plays into salvation. I must confess that using holy water for the remission of sins is most baffling to me.
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2009, 07:46:01 AM »

I'm somewhat confused by this concept.  From what I know, the Orthodox Church teaches that there are several ways to obtain "remission of sins": baptism, partaking of the eucharist, confession, and holy water (are there others?). This concept confuses me. Did Jesus not die "for the remission of our sins?" If this is the case, then why must we continually do these practices to have our sins forgiven?

Because we continually sin.

Quote
I understand the concept of theosis so much as it relates to good works and repenting from sin,

Part of repenting is achieving its goal, remission of sin that impedes theosis.

Quote
but I do not understand how the continual remission of sins plays into salvation.

Makes it possible. We fall and then get up and go on. We don't fall and then try to crawl on our face towards the goal.


Quote
I must confess that using holy water for the remission of sins is most baffling to me.

We don't.  The Holy Spirit does that.
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 10:09:06 AM »

I'm somewhat confused by this concept.  From what I know, the Orthodox Church teaches that there are several ways to obtain "remission of sins": baptism, partaking of the eucharist, confession, and holy water (are there others?). This concept confuses me. Did Jesus not die "for the remission of our sins?" If this is the case, then why must we continually do these practices to have our sins forgiven? I understand the concept of theosis so much as it relates to good works and repenting from sin, but I do not understand how the continual remission of sins plays into salvation. I must confess that using holy water for the remission of sins is most baffling to me.

Jesus did, indeed die for the remission of our sins, as well and rise and ascend for us.  This was done apart from works of righteousness which we may have done, and according to His mercy.

Yet...what of the appropriation, individually, of that Foundation which is Christ?  What of building on that?  Christ's remission of sins was an act on behalf of all mankind -- all sin and death was conquered in a corporate sense, but individuals still have to enter into that rest which was established for all mankind.

How do we enter into communion with the One who established the reality and ground of our salvation?  Why, baptism, for it is this way which He established for us to "put on Christ," to be "buried with Him" -- in other words, to participate in His saving reality by grace, through faith.  It is merely a way in which we, obediently, can enter into the ground and reality of the salvation which will deliver us from our bodies of death.

How do we continue to be purified of the death which reigns in our members?  Why, the body and blood of Christ, confession of sin, constant prayer and remembrance of God, fasting, almsgiving, and other works of charity...not in the sense that these things enact our salvation, for that initial foundation has already been laid by the only One who could do such a thing, but rather in the sense that we, creatures, work out the salvation that's already been provided for us, laid out potentially for us to realize in this lifetime. 

I admit to feeling a bit scatterbrained this morning; has what I've said made any sense?

Welcome to the forum, by the way.
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 11:27:27 AM »

Does one have to attend all the Mysteries stated by Ortho_cat? Can't God forgive someone when he doesn't?
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2009, 12:28:15 PM »

Does one have to attend all the Mysteries stated by Ortho_cat? Can't God forgive someone when he doesn't?

It's indeed possible. As has been said before, "We know where the Holy Spirit is, not where it isn't." That is, we know that the Mysteries forgive our sins, but we cannot know the Will of God, nor whom is forgiven without partaking in them.
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2009, 03:22:50 PM »

DavidBryan and ialmisry,

Thank you. What you said makes sense.

I have some follow up questions pertaining directly to these mysteries themselves and the nature of remission that they provide for us.

First off, can we be forgiven of our sins if we directly ask God while not being present in front of a priest? (while driving, lying in bed, etc.)

What is the nature of forgiveness that holy water provides? If I drink holy water every day, and if that in itself forgives me of sins, then is it necessary to partake of other sacraments, so far as forgiveness is concerned? Not that I would neglect the others purposefully, but i'm trying to establish what the holy water provides for you.

I also realize now that holy unction is for the remission of sins.  This is directly out of the epistle of James, so I have nothing further to address regarding this mystery.
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2009, 04:30:54 PM »

I'm somewhat confused by this concept.  From what I know, the Orthodox Church teaches that there are several ways to obtain "remission of sins": baptism, partaking of the eucharist, confession, and holy water (are there others?). This concept confuses me. Did Jesus not die "for the remission of our sins?" If this is the case, then why must we continually do these practices to have our sins forgiven? I understand the concept of theosis so much as it relates to good works and repenting from sin, but I do not understand how the continual remission of sins plays into salvation. I must confess that using holy water for the remission of sins is most baffling to me.

Don't forget that sacrifice when used in scripture with regard to forgiveness and remission is a noun--it is a person, Christ, and what He did was "offer" Himself as sacrifice.  It is Christ Himself, a person, not some abstract "thing," that is forgiveness and remission.  Thus, we have to unite ourselves to the Sacrifice (Christ) in order to obtain this remission.  In Baptism we do this "as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."  But above all in the Eucharist.  But He Himself told us this:  "take eat, this is my Body...drink this all of you, this is my Blood which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26.27-8).   Do not think that He was separating the two parts of the phrase--it is all one, we are to eat and drink these things mystically given which were offered up for the remission of sins.    I hope this helps
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 01:49:40 AM »

DavidBryan and ialmisry,

Thank you. What you said makes sense.

I have some follow up questions pertaining directly to these mysteries themselves and the nature of remission that they provide for us.

First off, can we be forgiven of our sins if we directly ask God while not being present in front of a priest? (while driving, lying in bed, etc.)

What is the nature of forgiveness that holy water provides? If I drink holy water every day, and if that in itself forgives me of sins, then is it necessary to partake of other sacraments, so far as forgiveness is concerned? Not that I would neglect the others purposefully, but i'm trying to establish what the holy water provides for you.

I also realize now that holy unction is for the remission of sins.  This is directly out of the epistle of James, so I have nothing further to address regarding this mystery.


Hello, I was just wondering if anyone might have any further information or insight regarding these points.  Thankis!
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 09:02:14 AM »

Aeroshick, I think that our friend Simayan already answered this.
Does one have to attend all the Mysteries stated by Ortho_cat? Can't God forgive someone when he doesn't?
It's indeed possible. As has been said before, "We know where the Holy Spirit is, not where it isn't." That is, we know that the Mysteries forgive our sins, but we cannot know the Will of God, nor whom is forgiven without partaking in them.

About lying on your bed, it doesn't matter. If you kneel down your soul, do you also have to do it for your body? I believe that God can forgive our sins on any time, any place, regardless of our body's position and the words we speak; it is more than enough as long as it is a heartfelt and true repentance.
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 09:29:06 AM »

Aeroshick, I think that our friend Simayan already answered this.
Does one have to attend all the Mysteries stated by Ortho_cat? Can't God forgive someone when he doesn't?
It's indeed possible. As has been said before, "We know where the Holy Spirit is, not where it isn't." That is, we know that the Mysteries forgive our sins, but we cannot know the Will of God, nor whom is forgiven without partaking in them.

About lying on your bed, it doesn't matter. If you kneel down your soul, do you also have to do it for your body? I believe that God can forgive our sins on any time, any place, regardless of our body's position and the words we speak; it is more than enough as long as it is a heartfelt and true repentance.

I think the issue we are skirting is "do I have to go to confession?" Since the various means of grace address varous parts of the person, confession, addressing the faculty of the will (which is why humbling is part of it) is a necessary component to make any progress in theosis. .  Drinking holy water helps, but does not address directly, humbling of the will which makes repentance possible.  So you can confess your sins to God, but you will not receive the grace of absolution, nor will the pride of the will give up its idea that it has a direct access to God Who will always forgive it, and very easily turns to justifying itself.
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 01:08:21 PM »


I know this topic has been discussed on other threads, however, why is it exactly that people do not want to go to Confession?  Why is it that they are so adamant about partaking of the Holy Eucharist, yet, won't show up a bit early (or the night before) to confess of their sins?

I feel that they partake of the Holy Eucharist completely out of habit, and don't realize the brevity of it all.

I was just at a church that did not require Confession before Holy Communion.  Yes, there were way more people in line for Communion than at my church (where Confession is required), however, I am not sure they were approaching in "awe".  I think it was just something they did out of habit every Sunday, they were talking in line, fidgeting, etc. 

I don't mean to judge or be disrespectful to anyone, I just can't understand why one wouldn't want to confess their sins.  We all have sins.  No, we haven't all committed murder or adultery (I hope), however, I know that I sin on every turn.  I will think something, lose my patience, indulge my whims, etc.

So, in consideration of the topic - if one doesn't feel sinful enough to go to Holy Confession, yet partakes of the Holy Eucharist, are their sins truly forgiven?

If, like mentioned above, I confess to God in my evening prayers, then omit to mention that same sin to the priest in Confession, or don't go to Holy Confession, at all, when I partake of the Holy Eucharist am I forgiven, or not?





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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2009, 04:10:30 PM »

Thanks for the replies. I very much respect the importance of public confession and agree completely that it is a necessary commandment. I am however trying to determine the sin forgiving nature of these additional elements of faith so that I can more fully appreciate their role in theosis.

It is proper to understand that confessing your sins before God in your private life is somewhat of a "pledge" that you will confess those sins before man as well? So in a sense God has forgiven you of them, but he expects you to follow up on that by carrying out the biblical procedure of confessing before man as well?

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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2009, 05:02:09 PM »


I know this topic has been discussed on other threads, however, why is it exactly that people do not want to go to Confession?  Why is it that they are so adamant about partaking of the Holy Eucharist, yet, won't show up a bit early (or the night before) to confess of their sins?

I feel that they partake of the Holy Eucharist completely out of habit, and don't realize the brevity of it all.

I was just at a church that did not require Confession before Holy Communion.  Yes, there were way more people in line for Communion than at my church (where Confession is required), however, I am not sure they were approaching in "awe".  I think it was just something they did out of habit every Sunday, they were talking in line, fidgeting, etc. 

I don't mean to judge or be disrespectful to anyone, I just can't understand why one wouldn't want to confess their sins.  We all have sins.  No, we haven't all committed murder or adultery (I hope), however, I know that I sin on every turn.  I will think something, lose my patience, indulge my whims, etc.

So, in consideration of the topic - if one doesn't feel sinful enough to go to Holy Confession, yet partakes of the Holy Eucharist, are their sins truly forgiven?

If, like mentioned above, I confess to God in my evening prayers, then omit to mention that same sin to the priest in Confession, or don't go to Holy Confession, at all, when I partake of the Holy Eucharist am I forgiven, or not?



I have attended Church's were both ways were observed. While at the Church where confession was not required before each communion people may have indeed taken communion pro-forma. Few people abstained, the line was always long.

The Church where I am now ( Rocor) requires confession before each communion ( except if there are several Liturgies within one week). The attitude is more serious. However the argument against this is that confession now becomes pro-forma.
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2009, 05:07:19 PM »

Thanks for the replies. I very much respect the importance of public confession and agree completely that it is a necessary commandment. I am however trying to determine the sin forgiving nature of these additional elements of faith so that I can more fully appreciate their role in theosis.

It is proper to understand that confessing your sins before God in your private life is somewhat of a "pledge" that you will confess those sins before man as well? So in a sense God has forgiven you of them, but he expects you to follow up on that by carrying out the biblical procedure of confessing before man as well?



Not that I an saying you are advocating this, but saying you can confess your sins to God seems to carry the implication "I can get my own absolution."  The Bible says otherwise.
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