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Death as wages of sin


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#1 ecstoian

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:25 AM

Hi everyone at monachos. This is my first post here :-)

While I was thinking about death and resurrection, a couple of questions came to my mind. I will first give these three Scriptural quotations, from Paul, and then I'll state my questions.

"The wages of sin is death"
"Christ died for our sins, according the the Scriptures"
"We were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son"

1. How can the single bodily death of the Son of God be reckoned as wages/payment for the multiple crimes committed by a criminal ? (If this one deserves more than a single bodily death for his multiple deaths that he gave rise to, how can one single bodily death, that of Jesus, be sufficient to reconcile him to God ?) Or how can that single death of Christ become the wages for all sins of humanity ?

2. If Christ died for sins, paying for them, why does man still die ? Or what meaning does man's death have, after the death and resurrection of Jesus have taken place ?

#2 IoanC

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:15 PM

--Orthodox understanding of "wages of sin is death", does not mean that one has to pay the price of death in order to redeem his soul (know as "penal substitution" which we reject). It simply means that the consequences of sin is death.
--Christ died for our sins means that He, being sinless, died in order to show us that our sins are not in the way of His love, that being sinless did not prevent Him to die for sinful people, to the contrary, He even loved dying for us. This showing of His infinite love is what heals us form the wounds of our sins, this is what it means that "He died for our sins", He died to heal us.
--Though, it was a big price to pay so to speak,it basically means that only His Sacrifice could have truly healed us, for only God can heal His own Creation. Since it follows that Christ did not pay a price in "exchange" for our Salvation, He died only once, during His own earthly life, just as every human being is appointed to die once. So, it's not that His death is more important than ours at all, He simply took upon Himself the same Cross (more or less) that each of us has, in order to identify with us fully, and thus, to be able to truly help us.
--Orthodoxy does not believe in the theory that Christ died in order to calm the anger of The Father. The Father sent The Son out of the same love and desire to rescue us and heal the wounds of our souls. As you probably know, we believe in The Holy Trinity (One God--Three Persons), so since God is Love, all Three Persons are Love and equally involved in our lives.
--We still die bodily because having already accrued sin, our bodies have become ill and God out love for us did not allow us to bear this body forever. In Genesis He prevented us from eating from the tree of Life after eating from the tree of Good&Evil so that we don't end up getting worse forever. However, Christ did not come to rescue our bodies, but our souls. We believe The Saints have had direct communion with God even from the earthly life, but they still had to die bodily in order to be given a new, incorrupt, body at The Second Coming of Christ. Again, the wages of sin is death, meaning once you sin you become ill, and the body has to return to the earth, in order to be refashioned altogether.

#3 ecstoian

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 07:31 PM

--Orthodox understanding of "wages of sin is death", does not mean that one has to pay the price of death in order to redeem his soul (know as "penal substitution" which we reject). It simply means that the consequences of sin is death.
--Christ died for our sins means that He, being sinless, died in order to show us that our sins are not in the way of His love, that being sinless did not prevent Him to die for sinful people, to the contrary, He even loved dying for us. This showing of His infinite love is what heals us form the wounds of our sins, this is what it means that "He died for our sins", He died to heal us.
--Though, it was a big price to pay so to speak,it basically means that only His Sacrifice could have truly healed us, for only God can heal His own Creation. Since it follows that Christ did not pay a price in "exchange" for our Salvation, He died only once, during His own earthly life, just as every human being is appointed to die once. So, it's not that His death is more important than ours at all, He simply took upon Himself the same Cross (more or less) that each of us has, in order to identify with us fully, and thus, to be able to truly help us.
--Orthodoxy does not believe in the theory that Christ died in order to calm the anger of The Father. The Father sent The Son out of the same love and desire to rescue us and heal the wounds of our souls. As you probably know, we believe in The Holy Trinity (One God--Three Persons), so since God is Love, all Three Persons are Love and equally involved in our lives.
--We still die bodily because having already accrued sin, our bodies have become ill and God out love for us did not allow us to bear this body forever. In Genesis He prevented us from eating from the tree of Life after eating from the tree of Good&Evil so that we don't end up getting worse forever. However, Christ did not come to rescue our bodies, but our souls. We believe The Saints have had direct communion with God even from the earthly life, but they still had to die bodily in order to be given a new, incorrupt, body at The Second Coming of Christ. Again, the wages of sin is death, meaning once you sin you become ill, and the body has to return to the earth, in order to be refashioned altogether.


Ioan, thank you for your answer. On the contrary, Athanasius, in his On the Incarnation, clearly says:

But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. Here, then, is the second reason why the Word dwelt among us, namely that having proved His Godhead by His works, He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression.

[..]

Death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid. Wherefore, the Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a mortal body, that He might offer it as His own in place of all, and suffering for the sake of all through His union with it, "might bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver them who all their lifetime were enslaved by the fear of death."






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