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Author Topic: The meaning of ' God's forgiveness'/ ' God forgiving our sin'?  (Read 1917 times) Average Rating: 0
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walter1234
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« on: September 25, 2012, 08:02:22 AM »

In Protestant, God forgiving our sins means our sin is covered by the blood of Christ. He no longer see our sins. He no longer show angry toward us. He no longer want to punish our wickedness and  kill us anymore. He starts to love us again.


What does 'God's forgiveness' mean in orthodox church?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 08:04:03 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 08:41:48 AM »

In the Orthodox Church, sin is understood as "missing the mark" (greek: hamartia).
Sin is, as such, seen as a disease which hinders our way to Theosis (Union with God). Orthodox christians come to the the Church to recieve the Holy Mysteries which aid us in our struggle towards salvation. We confess our sins with a priest or a confessor as a witness before God.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Sin

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Confession
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dhinuus
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 08:54:12 AM »

In Protestant, God forgiving our sins means our sin is covered by the blood of Christ. He no longer see our sins. He no longer show angry toward us. He no longer want to punish our wickedness and  kill us anymore. He starts to love us again.
What does 'God's forgiveness' mean in orthodox church?
The best way to understand forgiveness is to read the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2015:11-32&version=NKJV

The father never hated the son. He always wanted the son to return. All it took for the father to forgive the son and take the son back, was for the son to return from his life of sin. So all it takes for God to forgive is repentance.

Orthodoxy does not see sin and forgiveness in legal / transactional terms. The way you have explained sin looks like the following scenario.
1) I parked at the wrong spot.
2) So the authorities are angry at me for not obeying their rules
3) So they want me to pay a fine.
4) For me to reconcile with the authorities, I have to pay the fine.
5) I am so poor, I have no money to pay the fine.
6) So a very loving man steps in for me and pays the fine for me.
7) Now that the fine is paid, I am free.

Orthodoxy does not view God as the city authority mentioned above; but as a loving father.

Quote
‘God chastises with love, not for the sake of revenge - far be it! - but seeking to make whole His image. And He does not harbour wrath until a time when correction is no longer possible, for He does not seek vengeance for Himself. This is the aim of love. Love’s chastisement is for correction, but it does not aim at retribution... The man who chooses to consider God as avenger, presuming that in this manner he bears witness to His justice, the same accuses Him as being bereft of goodness. Far be it, that vengeance could ever be found in that Fountain of love and Ocean brimming with goodness!’
St. Isaac the Syrian

I sure you are thinking; if this is the case, then what is the relevance of the 'cross'?. In orthodoxy we dont just look at the crucification alone. The focus is on the Resurrection of Christ and his victory over death.

Think of the fallen nature of men, as a disease (or corruption) that affected us. The whole purpose of the Incarnation, Earthly Mission, Crucification and the Resurrection of Christ, who took on our own form was to heal us from the disease and restore us from the corruption. St. Athanasius summarizes it for us:
Quote
God became man that men might be made gods.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 08:57:16 AM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2012, 10:42:22 AM »

In Protestant, God forgiving our sins means our sin is covered by the blood of Christ. He no longer see our sins.

I don't think that's quite accurate, though you are right insofar as some people do use that Old Testament way of speaking in referring to the Atonement Christ wrought for us, and thus give the impression you describe. It is not really that our sins are covered (i.e. but still there), but that they are removed - washed away - laid upon Christ at Calvary - removed "as far as the east is from the west", or cast (as one of the prophets says) into the depths of the sea.

Speaking metaphorically, I guess it may be right to say that the blood of the Old Testament sacrifices covered our sin, as in Psalm 32.1; but the blood of Christ has washed them quite away, "whiter than snow".
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 10:51:12 AM »

In Protestant, God forgiving our sins means our sin is covered by the blood of Christ. He no longer see our sins. He no longer show angry toward us. He no longer want to punish our wickedness and  kill us anymore. He starts to love us again.


What does 'God's forgiveness' mean in orthodox church?

He no longer want to punish our wickedness and  kill us anymore.

We don't think this was ever true so the Protestant antidote to what is seen as an angry, murderous God is nonsensical to us.
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walter1234
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 12:11:02 PM »

In Protestant, God forgiving our sins means our sin is covered by the blood of Christ. He no longer see our sins. He no longer show angry toward us. He no longer want to punish our wickedness and  kill us anymore. He starts to love us again.


What does 'God's forgiveness' mean in orthodox church?

He no longer want to punish our wickedness and  kill us anymore.

We don't think this was ever true so the Protestant antidote to what is seen as an angry, murderous God is nonsensical to us.

This is how protestant understand of Gospel:

All men in this world are all sinful. All men are the sinners.
 
Because God is righteouness and holiness, He cannot tolerate sin.Because God is righeouness and holiness, he cannot simply forgive our sin. Because God is righteouness and holiness, no matter how much righteouness works men done still cannot appease God's wrath after men sin. He must punish and destroy all sinners, e.g all men in the world.Due to our sins, All people in this world deserve to be killed by God.

However, God is also love, so He sent his only son to the world and saved  us. At the cross, Father poured out full of wrath , abondoned and even killed his son.Due to the holiness and rightouness of God has been satisfied by the sacrifice of Christ, God accept the men again and give us chance to love Him. If a man believe the work that Jesus has done on cross, Jesus' blood that sheded on cross would cover us. He or she now become righteouness in the blood of Christ as God cannot see our sin.Thus, God are willing to forgive all our sin now and we can get into heaven . We are saved.

This is how protestant understand of salvation and forgiveness. Very horrible and strange......( Although I am still a Protestant now)


( God seems like a killers and murders, has a hobby of destroying his creations) Cry Huh Embarrassed
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 12:21:11 PM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2012, 12:47:39 PM »

This is how protestant understand of Gospel:

All men in this world are all sinful. All men are the sinners.
 
Because God is righteouness and holiness, He cannot tolerate sin.Because God is righeouness and holiness, he cannot simply forgive our sin. Because God is righteouness and holiness, no matter how much righteouness works men done still cannot appease God's wrath after men sin. He must punish and destroy all sinners, e.g all men in the world.Due to our sins, All people in this world deserve to be killed by God.

However, God is also love, so He sent his only son to the world and saved  us. At the cross, Father poured out full of wrath , abondoned and even killed his son.Due to the holiness and rightouness of God has been satisfied by the sacrifice of Christ, God accept the men again and give us chance to love Him. If a man believe the work that Jesus has done on cross, Jesus' blood that sheded on cross would cover us. He or she now become righteouness in the blood of Christ as God cannot see our sin.Thus, God are willing to forgive all our sin now and we can get into heaven . We are saved.

This is how protestant understand of salvation and forgiveness. Very horrible and strange......( Although I am still a Protestant now)


( God seems like a killers and murders, has a hobby of destroying his creations) Cry Huh Embarrassed

This is not the God that we as Orthodox recognize and not a loving one for sure.
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2012, 01:51:04 PM »

Surely the nub of the matter is this - that we western Christians emphasise forgiveness, whilst believing in 'Christus Victor', whereas you eastern Christians emphasis 'Christus Victor' (Christum Victorem, if you wish), but believe in forgiveness. Both are true; both in fact should receive equal emphasis from us both - but they don't. Who, after all, can hold in proper balance the whole mystery of our redemption and salvation?
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2012, 07:54:26 PM »

Surely the nub of the matter is this - that we western Christians emphasise forgiveness, whilst believing in 'Christus Victor', whereas you eastern Christians emphasis 'Christus Victor' (Christum Victorem, if you wish), but believe in forgiveness. Both are true; both in fact should receive equal emphasis from us both - but they don't. Who, after all, can hold in proper balance the whole mystery of our redemption and salvation?

I'm glad to see you back posting after a little "drought."

I think the Orthodox Church emphasizes forgiveness and victory equally. Likewise, the Cross and the Resurrection are emphasized equally. From a Western Christian perspective, this can often seem like the victory aspect is being emphasized more than forgiveness, simply because most Western Christians are not used to that degree of emphasis being placed on the victory aspect. Evangelicals are an exception, since they tend to lay special emphasis on Christ's death as a victory, although the Resurrection can be rarely mentioned even in Evangelical circles.
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walter1234
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 03:57:54 AM »

I still cannot understand what God's forgiveness mean in orthodox church.

Does God forgiving our sin mean God heal us from sins and falling condition. Confessing our sins means we are willing to receive the healing from our our God?

God are willing to forgive our sin and heal us or give us healing all the time. He just respect our free-will and wait us to choose to accept his healing.Isn't it??

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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 08:16:20 AM »

Does God forgiving our sin mean God heal us from sins and falling condition. Confessing our sins means we are willing to receive the healing from our our God?
God created man in His image and with the potential to attain His likeness. In other words God wants us to be 'gods' like Him. With the fall we became slaves to death and satan and lost our potential to attain the likeness of God. Prior to Christ, all men died and went into the realm of the dead (called Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek). So men were literally slaves to death and hades; and there was nothing men could do to escape it. Christ died on the cross and entered the realm of the dead (Hades). When light enters darkness, darkness vanishes. Just like that as 'the Life' (Christ) entered 'the realm of the dead' (is Hades); Hades vanished (As wax melts before the fire).  Christ destroyed Hades, liberated the souls kept captives there and liberated us from slavery to death. So salvation has to be seen as liberation. There are two aspects of liberation:
- Liberation from death and Hades
- Liberation to attain the likeness of God (ie Theosis)

The second aspect of liberation; the liberation to attain the likeness of God (which by the way is the true purpose of our creation), does not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process of 'living faith' manifested by works; and by participating in the Holy Sacraments instituted for us.

God are willing to forgive our sin and heal us or give us healing all the time. He just respect our free-will and wait us to choose to accept his healing.Isn't it??
Salvation is not just about sins being forgiven. The ultimate destination is to attain the likeness of God (Theosis). Christ offers it freely to everyone. He stands and knocks at the door of the heart of everyone; if we open our door He comes in. If we don't, he is not going to kick open the door like a Police SWAT team and come in.

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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2012, 01:12:50 PM »

I still cannot understand what God's forgiveness mean in orthodox church.

Neither can I.
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walter1234
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 01:37:39 PM »

Does God forgiving our sin mean God heal us from sins and falling condition. Confessing our sins means we are willing to receive the healing from our our God?
God created man in His image and with the potential to attain His likeness. In other words God wants us to be 'gods' like Him. With the fall we became slaves to death and satan and lost our potential to attain the likeness of God. Prior to Christ, all men died and went into the realm of the dead (called Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek). So men were literally slaves to death and hades; and there was nothing men could do to escape it. Christ died on the cross and entered the realm of the dead (Hades). When light enters darkness, darkness vanishes. Just like that as 'the Life' (Christ) entered 'the realm of the dead' (is Hades); Hades vanished (As wax melts before the fire).  Christ destroyed Hades, liberated the souls kept captives there and liberated us from slavery to death. So salvation has to be seen as liberation. There are two aspects of liberation:
- Liberation from death and Hades
- Liberation to attain the likeness of God (ie Theosis)

The second aspect of liberation; the liberation to attain the likeness of God (which by the way is the true purpose of our creation), does not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process of 'living faith' manifested by works; and by participating in the Holy Sacraments instituted for us.

God are willing to forgive our sin and heal us or give us healing all the time. He just respect our free-will and wait us to choose to accept his healing.Isn't it??
Salvation is not just about sins being forgiven. The ultimate destination is to attain the likeness of God (Theosis). Christ offers it freely to everyone. He stands and knocks at the door of the heart of everyone; if we open our door He comes in. If we don't, he is not going to kick open the door like a Police SWAT team and come in.


Thanks,dhinuus !!  

I have already tried my best, but I still cannot understand the meaning of 'God forgiving our sin'/'God's forgiveness' !  Huh  Sad

1.IS God all-forgive / always forgive our sins?
2.Before we confess our sins, has God forgiven us already?
3.If we do not confess  our sins , is He still willing to forgive us?
4.If salvation is not mainly about forgiveness,why do we still need to keep confessing our sin and keep asking for His forgiveness?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 01:50:31 PM by walter1234 » Logged
walter1234
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 01:49:00 PM »

Does God forgiving our sin mean God heal us from sins and falling condition. Confessing our sins means we are willing to receive the healing from our our God?
God created man in His image and with the potential to attain His likeness. In other words God wants us to be 'gods' like Him. With the fall we became slaves to death and satan and lost our potential to attain the likeness of God. Prior to Christ, all men died and went into the realm of the dead (called Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek). So men were literally slaves to death and hades; and there was nothing men could do to escape it. Christ died on the cross and entered the realm of the dead (Hades). When light enters darkness, darkness vanishes. Just like that as 'the Life' (Christ) entered 'the realm of the dead' (is Hades); Hades vanished (As wax melts before the fire).  Christ destroyed Hades, liberated the souls kept captives there and liberated us from slavery to death. So salvation has to be seen as liberation. There are two aspects of liberation:
- Liberation from death and Hades
- Liberation to attain the likeness of God (ie Theosis)

The second aspect of liberation; the liberation to attain the likeness of God (which by the way is the true purpose of our creation), does not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process of 'living faith' manifested by works; and by participating in the Holy Sacraments instituted for us.

God are willing to forgive our sin and heal us or give us healing all the time. He just respect our free-will and wait us to choose to accept his healing.Isn't it??
Salvation is not just about sins being forgiven. The ultimate destination is to attain the likeness of God (Theosis). Christ offers it freely to everyone. He stands and knocks at the door of the heart of everyone; if we open our door He comes in. If we don't, he is not going to kick open the door like a Police SWAT team and come in.



Or forgiveness = healing/liberating??
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 01:49:41 PM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 03:03:03 PM »

I have already tried my best, but I still cannot understand the meaning of 'God forgiving our sin'/'God's forgiveness' !  Huh  Sad
In the Syriac tradition we refer to the Holy Sacraments as ‘rozo’.   The best English translation that I can think of is ‘Divine Mystery’.  Not everything is for us men to know; we are asked to have the faith like, little children and accept the fact all aspects of how exactly salvation works will always remain ‘rozo’ (a Mystery) to us.

Glimpses of this divine mystery are revealed to us in the Holy Scripture, in Patristic writings and from the liturgy of the Church.  As we  continue to grow spiritually by continuous prayer, fasting, works and the sacraments and become more and more like ‘god’ , God will reveal more and more of his ‘rozo’  (mystery) to us.  If we think, I will get started after I figure out everything about how exactly it works; we will never get started. It works the other way around; as we get started and continue on our journey to Theosis, more and more will be revealed to us.  
1. Does God always forgive our sins?
God always forgives our sins; all we have to do is ask. Just like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, he will come running out to meet us and embrace us.
2. Before we confess our sins, has God forgiven us already?
3.If we do not confess  our sins , is He still willing to forgive us?
God does not force forgiveness and reconciliation on anyone who does not seek it. God has given us a free will and respects it. If we sincerely want forgiveness, repent , and turn our heart away from Sin, He always forgives.  But if we don’t want to be forgiven, he does not force it upon anyone.
4.If salvation is not mainly about forgiveness, why do we still need to keep confessing our sin and keep asking for His forgiveness?
Salvation is about liberation FROM slavery to death and satan;  AND liberation TO attain the likeness of God.
God has many characteristics; the main one being He is Holy. We are commanded to in the scripture:  “ Be holy, because I am holy” . So we confess our sins and partake the Holy Communion (which is the real Body and Blood of our Lord; not just something symbolizing it as some protestants believe) ; so that we can be even more be like Him. Our ultimate aim is to be like Him; which is the purpose of our creation .. to attain His likeness.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 03:06:43 PM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2012, 05:04:30 PM »

I still cannot understand what God's forgiveness mean in orthodox church.

Neither can I.

Doesn't Aslan call it deeper magic from before the dawn of time? I doubt we can ever really know what went on between the Son and the Father at Calvary, but we know it secured our redemption as He "gave his life a ransom for many."
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2012, 05:30:45 PM »

I still cannot understand what God's forgiveness mean in orthodox church.

Neither can I.

Doesn't Aslan call it deeper magic from before the dawn of time? I doubt we can ever really know what went on between the Son and the Father at Calvary, but we know it secured our redemption as He "gave his life a ransom for many."

We don't even know the degree to which an explanation was given to the disciples. No precise explanation of the Lord's redemption is recorded from the mouth of the Lord or from the revelation of the Holy Spirit. We are left with the epistles, which try to give more detailed explanations of our redemption.
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