Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ancestral Sin
 We Inherit the Results of 
Adam's Sin, and not his Guilt

The doctrine of original sin as espoused in the West, is foreign to Orthodoxy, yet in no way suggests we do not need to be born again (born anew). We believe, as did the Early Church Fathers, that we inherit only the results of Adams sin, not his guilt. This is known as ancestral sin because the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, resulted in our inheritance of death, sickness and an inclination toward evil. Christ's death on the cross has its power, not in an atonement sacrifice, but in the conquering of the power of death. Death is trampled down by death. It is by Christ's resurrection that a way was made for us to be transformed by contact with the Living God, thus becoming his children by adoption.

Although we do not refer to ourselves as "saved", as do Evangelical Christians, we nevertheless believe that we are in need of salvation. Salvation is a process, not a one time commitment. Our understanding of sin in an ancestral way, which is distinct from the concept of original sin and the hereditary guilt that required, consequently, a substitutionary atonement-type of sacrifice, separates us doctrinally from Western Christianity.

Had there not been a fall, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Logos (Word) would still have incarnated into the flesh and taken on our nature. For it is by this condescension by our Creator God to take on the nature of that which He created that we are given the opportunity of being deified (Saint Paul said we shall become as gods).

Our journey into the heart culminates in theosis, whereby we are joined in everlasting communion with the very God Who created us. Saint Athanasius of Alexandria said, "The Son of God became man, that we might become god." In II Peter 1:4, we read that we have become "...partakers of divine nature." Saint Athanasius further says that theosis is "becoming by grace what God is by nature."

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Saturday September 28, 2013 / September 15, 2013
14th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.

Saturday after the Universal Elevation of the Precious and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord
Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Great-martyr Nicetas the Goth (372).
New Hieromartyr John priest and Virgin-martyr Eudocia (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Andrew, Gregory, Gregory, John priests (1921).
Venerable Ignatius confessor (1932).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1935).
New Hieromartyrs John, Jacob, Peter priests and Nicholas deacon, Martyrs Mary and Ludmila (1937).
Uncovering of the relics of St. Acacius the Confessor, bishop of Melitene (257).
Martyrs Theodotus, Asclepiodotus, and Maximus of Adrianopolis (305-311).
Martyr Porphyrius the Mime of Caesaria (361).
Uncovering of the relics of the Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen (415).
Venerable Philotheus the Presbyter of Asia Minor (10th c.).
St. Joseph, abbot, of Alaverdi in Georgia (570) (Georgia).
"Novoniketas" Icon of the Mother of God (372).
Sts. Bessarion I and Bessarion II (1540), metropolitans of Larissa (Greek).
New Martyr John of Crete (1811) (Greek).
Venerable Gerasimus, abbot, of Sourvia (1740).
St. Symeon, archbishop of Thessalonica (1430).
St. Joseph the New of Partos, metropolitan of Timisoara (1656) (Romania).
St. Mirin, abbot of Paisley.

You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Stewards of the Mysteries of God

4 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

Matthew 23:1-12

Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

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