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Was it ever possible for our Lord Jesus Christ to have sinned?


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#101 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:58 AM

We don't know either way, but there is sufficient reason to give her, of all people, the benefit of the doubt.

Then, if one can't say emphatically that such a thing is so, why emphatically insist that such a thing is so?

#102 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 01:53 PM

Truly, is if I had been told that I MUST accept the sinlessness of Mary as DOGMA in order to be received into the Church, I would not have become Orthodox. And that's the truth, pure and simple.


Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend You? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to Him by My Father."

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve. - John 6:60-71

There are many "hard sayings" that are difficult for people to understand or accept, but they do eventually have to be reconciled in order to be a true follower of Christ. It does nobody any favors to "sugar coat" the Faith once received to make it more "palatable" to modern sensibilities. Once we start down that path we end up at Episcopalianism.

Herman the not sugar-coated Pooh

#103 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 01:58 PM

Then, if one can't say emphatically that such a thing is so, why emphatically insist that such a thing is so?


Because there are reasons to do so? Which have already been elucidated at length? Reasons that are Scriptural, theological, and "reasonable" to more than a few people involved in this discussion? Because the hymnody is relatively emphatic about it and what we believe we pray? Do you simply "bleep" over those prayers?

Why be emphatic that the Theotokos actively "sinned"? One misunderstood verse does not a theology make except for Protestants.

Herman the elucidated Pooh

#104 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 02:29 PM

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend You? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to Him by My Father."

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve. - John 6:60-71

There are many "hard sayings" that are difficult for people to understand or accept, but they do eventually have to be reconciled in order to be a true follower of Christ. It does nobody any favors to "sugar coat" the Faith once received to make it more "palatable" to modern sensibilities. Once we start down that path we end up at Episcopalianism.

Herman the not sugar-coated Pooh


Very heartless of you, Herman. You're just showing her the door. I can understand doing that over something the saints have never believed, but not over something some of them have.

#105 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 03:09 PM

Very heartless of you, Herman. You're just showing her the door. I can understand doing that over something the saints have never believed, but not over something some of them have.


I'm sure Father that Herman's message was designed to show the way to deeper commitment in the Church. And I'm sure also that it was not at all heartless but on the contrary!

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#106 Benjamin Martin

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 05:04 PM

I ask this question sincerely because many Christians believe Jesus Christ could have sinned while here on earth, but that He resisted thus becoming the perfect sacrifice.

Two of the verses used to defend this position are, "Because He Himself has suffered and been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted," and, "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 2:18 & 4:15)

The argument being that temptation would be pointless if Christ was unable to sin in the first place. Thus, He struggled against sin in order to be victorious over it and become our perfect sacrifice.

I look forward to your responses.


Hello Darlene Griffith

Christ's human nature is irrefutably holy and indissoliby or inseparably joined to his morals and conduct, his personality and character cannot be consent to sin.

The likeness of sinful nature
Because Christ came in the likeness of sinful nature (Romans 8:3), the likeness (Gr. homoioma) which means "resemblance" for his "holy flesh" is to be similar to "sinful flesh," because his flesh contain no carnal nature and never commited any act of sin. This means he experience what a sinful nature is like only through holiness not through sin, for he is just being human, the humanity of Christ. Because he never inherited sinful nature for he was born as a 'holy thing' (Luke 1:35) containing the similarities or likeness of sinful nature, even though, his human nature is holy. This is what makes Christ's human nature different from our human nature. Christ's human nature is not corrupted but is holy and our human nature is corrupted by sin.

Example: Christ physiological state has biological drives caused by intervening variable between a stimulus and a response like feeling the need to sleep (Matthew 8:24), to hunger (Matthew 4:2, 21:18), and to thirst (John 19:28) by humbling himself to these restrictions and limitations to keep the body balanced. He is in wearied (Gr. kopiao) which means "to grow tired and exhausted," the body cells deteriorate, complex protein molecules break down into simpler compounds causing body fatique like headaches, toothaches, feeling weak and soreness in the body (John 4:6). He is in agony (Gr. agonia) which means "of servere mental and emotional struggles," the body goes through the aging process which he experiences suffering and pain (Luke 22:44), even Jesus weep.

A prepared body to carry sins
Therefore, he experienced what the sinful nature was like without commiting sin such as sinless infirmities, sinless restrictions, and sinless limitations he obtain in the human nature. His human nature is not divine (only holy) and this process of this was to suffer like humans because we are finite being and only have power to a certain degree which have restrictions and limitations.

Christ also has a body that is prepared (Gr. katartizo) which means "to frame out and to put in order," the body was designed and prepared to be a sacrifice and carry the sins of the world (Hebrews 10:5), its quite naturally he experiencing the likeness of sinful nature (all sins in the human nature) through the act of holiness even to the point of having psychological stress for carrying the sins of the world in his body (1 Peter 2:24), yet without sinning. He probably had a medical condition called hematidrosis. It's not very common, but it is associated with a high degree of psychological stress. The effects causes a severe anxiety that release of chemicals that break down the capillaries in the sweat glands. As this small amount of bleeding into these glands, and the sweat comes out tinged with blood. Not a whole lot of blood, just a very, very small amount (Luke 22:44).

Christ is absolutely sinless with no possible tendency and without any shape of sin at all essential points even in temptation. But he did lack morals in his disposition by the inclination of negative emotional behavior such as anger (Mark 11:15), but yet, even in that type of manner (because of the limitations and restrictions); he still being apart from the result of sin. Nor was he subjected to sin in any fashion. He suffered in all degrees of intensity being tempted (Gr. peirazo) which means "to try and to test" in every enticement by containing a intolerable resistance (Hebrews 2:18).

#107 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:13 PM

I'm sure Father that Herman's message was designed to show the way to deeper commitment in the Church. And I'm sure also that it was not at all heartless but on the contrary!

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

Dearest Father Raphael,

I respect you highly, but for one who was on the receiving end of such comments, I must disagree with you. It was unnecessary for Herman to go to such lengths and use such measures to correct me. Using the teaching of the Church on the Holy Eucharist as being the true body and true blood of Christ, and then proceed to compare it to the sinlessness of Mary in order to humiliate and warn me is unkind and uncharitable. Furthermore, to implicitly proffer warnings that if I am unable to accept the sinlessness of Mary, therefore I am not a "follower of Christ," is unwarranted and excessive.

It was made very clear to me prior to being received into the Orthodox Church that I had to accept the teaching on the Eucharist, which is proclaimed as dogma, and necessary to be believed in order to approach the Chalice. (my poor catechesis notwithstanding) The sinlessness of Mary was never even mentioned. And to suggest that I cannot approach the chalice or receive the Holy Mysteries because I am unable at this time to affirm the sinlessness of Mary is inordinate and disproportionate.

#108 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:10 PM

Let your conscience and your confessor be your guide. I am neither of these. If you don't like my opinion feel free to ignore it. I, for one, am not so ready to take offense.

#109 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:55 PM

Dear All,

We need to cease from posting personal comments here.

Thank you.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#110 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:51 PM

These thread have done nothing to edify the faithful but have in fact done the opposite, for there is bickering amongst us who are brothers and this before the whole world. We are making a scandal to the faithful and giving joy unto the heathen. The very discussion over a mater which some posts have shown is of great importance has been reduced to this. Look at us accusing each other, arguing with each other as though enemies apart from each other and not united in one Body. I suggest that we cease from these topics until all can calmed down. Now to me we have another probelem this is something pasterol and not just theological, and there need to be thought on this and how this is addressed.

My comments are not to one person, but to all.

Forgive me.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#111 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 09:34 PM

Certain comments have been left on the Forum not from favouritism but to show something of the interaction that occurred during the discussion today.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#112 Rob Bergen

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 04:02 AM

Darlene

Christ has a human will, but He also has a divine will. Through the Incarnation, Christ raised humanity, and became the "firstborn of all creation." This means that his human form was made perfect. St. Maximus the Confessor has stated that sin is not natural. He said virtue (the opposite of sin in this case) is natural, and that "Christ naturally acted virtuously." Therefore, Christ was incapable of sin, because it is not natural to humanity. Everything that is natural to humanity, Christ assumed and made holy (i.e. birth, and death, but in trampling down death…resurrection). This is how I understand your question "was it possible for our Lord to sin?"

Agios o Theos, Agios ischyros, Agios athanatos, eleison imas!

#113 Lakis Papas

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:27 AM

Hoping that the controversy cooled after so much time, I hope to contribute to the discussion now.
 
Trying to change the pattern of discussion, I turn to St Paul to find how he describes the process of "performing sin":
 
Romans (7:16-23) 
If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
 
St Paul says here that my failure "not to sin" is not a derivative of ignorance, because I know the good and even I want it. The cause is my will’s weakness to execute it (“for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find”). This weakness is called by St Paul “sin”. So the practice of evil is consequent upon sin, according to st Paul.  
 
Also, St Paul talks about a division of self ("For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man" - "But I see another law in my members"). This division is the primordial source of sin.
 
It is usefull to point that St Paul's description is different from the common conviction for sin (common conviction for sin identifies sin with committing evil). In modern language St Paul says "sin gives birth to sin". Sin is impossible without the preexistence of sin internally. This analysis is differentiated from the generally accepted simplified theory that a person is a recipient of temptations, potentially accepted or rejected after a psychosomatic process. St Paul describes that an existing internal division in a person, which he calls "sin", actually causes the execution of the evil by that person. 
 
Assuming the ability to sin by Christ, we should accept that there should be such an internal division in Him - which certainly did not happen.
 
St Paul also says (Hebrews 4:15):
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
 
In Christ temptations were external, or natural conditions, that were applied in a not divided Person. That is why St Paul says "yet without sin". Because in Christ the "law of sin" was not inherited by his ancestors, as He was not conceived according to the natural manner, but Virgin Mary conceived Him miraculously by the agency of the Holy Spirit. So, Christ faced temptations, He experienced temptations, but without sin. 
 
This is why St Paul continues and after the abovementioned passage writes (Romans 8:2-4): 
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
 
Combining Romans (7:16-23) and (Romans 8:2-4) becomes clear that: the law of good can not be done in that it is weak through the flesh, sin dwells in humans who are in captivity to the law of sin which is in their members, therefore God did what law could not do by sending His own Son in flesh, like our sinful flesh, but His flesh being without sin; in this way sin was condemned precisely where it is manifested (Christ as a man had no internal division between law of good and law of flesh !). Because of the sinlessness of Christ, Christians also can fulfill the law, as they become dead in their flesh after being baptized, as members of the Church.


#114 Benjamin Martin

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 06:59 PM

I ask this question sincerely because many Christians believe Jesus Christ could have sinned while here on earth, but that He resisted thus becoming the perfect sacrifice. Two of the verses used to defend this position are, "Because He Himself has suffered and been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted," and, "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 2:18 & 4:15) The argument being that temptation would be pointless if Christ was unable to sin in the first place. Thus, He struggled against sin in order to be victorious over it and become our perfect sacrifice.

I look forward to your responses.

 

Hello Darlene Griffith,

 

This might help explain -

 

The Holiness - The Divine Nature contains the fundamental moral attribute of his holiness is the most exalted pre-eminent in the highest standard above all other properties that emphasize his moral and character (the Holy One: Isaiah 40:25, Mark 1:24, Acts 3:14, 7:52, 13:35). And through his holiness which he brings under the control by exercising the conditions of all his other properties to be governed and directed in their course of action in order to be righteous and justice Redeemer. For the perfection of holiness in his Divine Nature is the supreme reason for the worship that is powerfully impressed upon his Deity (Hebrews 1:6 & 9). For the One Person of Christ whose our High Priest is separate which means "to set apart; asunder" (Hebrews 7:26, 4:14, 15) from all that is evil and sinful.

 

Divine Nature: The One Person operates in accordance to Divine characteristics with perfection, flawlessness, and completeness by the holy proficiency of his Divinity.

 

Human nature: The One Person operates in accordance to human characteristics with infirmities, restrictions, and limitations by the normal constraints of his humanity.

 

The reason why he was tempted so he can help us who are being tempted:

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.

 

The reason why he perfected his infirmities, restrictions, and limitations through righteousness and holiness, so we can have salvation in him (Hebrews 5:7-10).

 

The One Person came by entering into every human experience and perfected human weakness by being apart from sin in order to fit the description of a High Priest:

Hebrews 2:10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exist, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.


The One Person's holy and sinless human nature is best seen him perfecting his human weakness and becoming as our High Priest:

Hebrews 4:14 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are --yet was without sin.

 

Moral Limitation - One Person goes through his humanity he did lack morals in his disposition by the inclination of negative emotional behavior such as anger (Mark 11:15, Ephesians 4:26), but yet, even in that type of manner he still being set apart from the result of sin. With no possible tendency and without any shape of sin at all essential points even in temptation. Nor was he subjected to sin in any fashion. He suffered in all degrees of intensity being tempted (Gr. πειράζω - transliteration peirazō) which means "to try and to test" (Hebrews 2:18, James 1:13-15) in every enticement by containing a intolerable resistance. For he as a man remain sinless with no possible tendency and without any shape of sin at all essential points in temptation.

 

Spiritual Limitation - One Person goes through his humanity by the means and methods of the Divine Power is obtained and exercised. His human will was subject to conditions for obtaining what he desired like being strengthen (Gr. ἐνισχύω - transliteration enischyō) which means "to make and grow stronger" (Luke 22:39-46, Hebrews 5:7) which is done by the act of prayer. His dependency was relying upon the supported anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38), being led and filled with the power (Matthew 4:1, Luke 4:1,14) for his human will is directed by the movement of the Spirit to sacrificially offer himself up (Hebrews 9:14), and resurrected by the power of the Spirit (Romans 8:11).

 

Intellectual Limitation - One Person goes through his humanity by having personal experiences that contain the ability of increasing in knowledge, to have a continuous intellectual development, and improvement of skills. He is restricted in knowledge for its a life-long process of knoweth (Gr. εἴδω - transliteration eidō) which means "to know of anything," (Mark 13:32, 11:13) learning and exploring the world around him. Because learning is part of his daily life from his culture, his environment, and his surroundings by obtaining knowledge by observation. His ministry was his professional career and business by learning in social skills, humbling himself to restrictions and limitations, and accepting the adaption to change if needed.

 

Physical Limitation - One Person goes through his humanity of a physiological state that has a biological drives caused by intervening variable between a stimulus and a response like feeling the need to sleep (Matthew 8:24), to hunger (Matthew 4:2, 21:18), to thirst (John 19:28), and to wept (John 11:35) by humbling himself to these restrictions and limitations to keep the body balanced. He is in wearied (Gr. κοπιάω - transliteration kopiaō) which means "to grow tired and exhausted," (John 4:6) the body cells deteriorate, complex protein molecules break down into simpler compounds causing body fatique like headaches, toothaches, feeling weak and soreness in the body. He is in agony (Gr. ἀγωνία - transliteration agōnia) which means "of servere mental and emotional struggles," (Luke 22:44) the body goes through the aging process which he experiences suffering and pain.

 

Psychological Limitation - One Person goes through the suffering that his human nature is experiencing. But the Divine Nature is not under the power or authority of the suffering itself. For his human nature is holy and sinless that cannot content to sin through the suffering. The human flesh became weak (Gr. ἀσθενής - transliteration asthenēs) which means "infirmity or feeble;" (Matthew 26:41, Galatians 5:16-18) his physical strength of the body, the psychological stress and anxiety reduced in vitality without contenting to sin by his weakness. But through his sufferings (which is not caused by own sin), the human will submitted to the Divine Will (Hebrews 5:7-10, 10:9, 10) and became obedience under the effects of suffering causing perfection for our salvation and holiness.


 

 

 



 


Edited by Benjamin Martin, 20 August 2013 - 07:00 PM.


#115 Ryan

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 02:43 PM

Didn't read through all the threads, but did anyone mention St. Maximus' teaching about the gnomic will and the absence thereof in Christ? Not that I fully comprehend what he means.



#116 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 06:27 PM

Christ had both human and divine natures, and one hypostasis.  Christ’s human nature was in perfect harmony with His divine nature.  God cannot sin.  Therefore, Christ could not have sinned.  I thought this was sorted out in 431.






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