The Orthodox Christian Understanding of Sin

Archimandrite Sophrony

Archimandrite Sophronius

By: Archimandrite Sophronius (Sakharov)

Sin is primarily a metaphysical phenomenon whose roots lie in the mystic depths of man’s spiritual nature. The essence of sin consists not in the infringement of ethical standards but in a falling away from the eternal Divine life for which man was created and to which, by his nature, he is called.

Sin is committed first of all in the secret depths of the human spirit but its consequences involve the individual as a whole. A sin will reflect on a man’s psychological and physical condition, on his outward appearance, on his personal destiny. Sin will, inevitably, pass beyond the boundaries of the sinner’s individual life, to burden all humanity and thus affect the fate of the whole world. The sin of our forefather Adam was not the only sin of cosmic significance. Every sin, manifest or secret, committed by each one of us affects the rest of the universe.

The early-minded man when he commits a sin is not conscious of its effect on himself as is the spiritual man. The carnal man does not remark any change in himself after committing a sin because he is always in a state of spiritual death and has never known the eternal life of the spirit. The spiritual man, on the contrary, does see a change in himself every time his will inclines to sin- he senses a lessening of grace.

Advertisements

7 Responses to “The Orthodox Christian Understanding of Sin”


  1. 1 Dn Charles September 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

    ” The spiritual man, on the contrary, does see a change in himself every time his will inclines to sin”
    What a blessing it would be to have this gift!

  2. 2 Moses September 18, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks Mash for this! 🙂

  3. 3 Mark Downham January 10, 2011 at 4:02 am

    This is an exact confession of the Evangelcial understanding of the problem of Sin and a responsible and infoirmed reasding of Scripture and a brilliant summing up of Adamic inquity (original sin) and human transgression (personal sin).


  1. 1 Elder Sophrony: The Effects of Sin « Enlarging the Heart Trackback on October 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm
  2. 2 The Orthodox Christian Understanding of Sin « Sowing Seeds of Orthodoxy Trackback on April 16, 2010 at 6:24 am
  3. 3 The Orthodox Christian Understanding of Sin « Sowing Seeds of Orthodoxy Trackback on July 15, 2010 at 6:44 am
  4. 4 Altvater Sophrony von Essex: Über das Wesen der Sünde [Elder Sophrony of Essex: The Orthodox Christian Understanding of Sin] | Faith · Hope · Charity Trackback on March 25, 2012 at 9:09 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Blog Stats

  • 354,167 hits

My YouTube Channel

St. Mary of Egypt

Archives

St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

%d bloggers like this: