As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Original Sin response

When refering to original sin, Calvin talked about "total depravity." For many, that idea has come to mean that there is nothing good in man. However, that's not what Calvin himself meant. He was saying that every part of man is touched by sin. It's the idea of a broken mirror. We are created in God's image and therefore, to reflect the majesty and glory of God. When Adam and Eve sinned, it broke the mirror for all of us. We still bear the image of God, it's just broken and we reflect it poorly. I believe that is why people who have no knowledge of Christ can still do noble, selfless things.

What we inherit from Adam is death, both physical and spiritual, and a propensity toward sin. That is what I think the "sin nature" is. Do we HAVE to sin? No, Jesus never did, and He was fully human. Will we sin? Yes, we will all sin, and in fact, in God's eyes, have all sinned.

And this is of great importance, because it goes to the heart of what we believe about Christ's sacrifice. Catholics and Protestants believe that God is appeasing Himself by the death of Himself so he won't be offended by our presence. The Orthodox is like ... like Aslan and the Table. Because Christ was not guilty of our sinS (highlight the plural), and He died for them in our place, everything was reversed and death was defeated by death.

You say, "...He (Christ) dies for them (our sins) in our place..." and I say, "Jesus paid the penalty for our sins." I think we are saying and believe the same thing. The whole idea of the Old Testament sacrificial system is that something must die for our sins.

Hebrews 9:18-26 (see especially vs. 22)
18That is why blood was required under the first covenant as a proof of death. 19For after Moses had given the people all of God's laws, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God's laws and all the people, using branches of hyssop bushes and scarlet wool. 20Then he said, "This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you."[d] 21And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the sacred tent and on everything used for worship. 22In fact, we can say that according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified by sprinkling with blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.

23That is why the earthly tent and everything in it--which were copies of things in heaven--had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.

24For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate.[e] He did not go into the earthly place of worship, for that was merely a copy of the real Temple in heaven. 25Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the earthly high priest who enters the Most Holy Place year after year to offer the blood of an animal. 26If that had been necessary, he would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But no! He came once for all time, at the end of the age, to remove the power of sin forever by his sacrificial death for us.

The penalty for sin is death and Jesus paid the penalty for all mankind for all time.


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