Thoughts on the atonement.

In Orthodox theology generally it can be said that the language of “payment” and “ransom” is rather understood as a metaphorical and symbolical way of saying that Christ has done all things necessary to save and redeem mankind enslaved to the devil, sin and death, and under the wrath of God. He “paid the price,” not in some legalistic or juridical or economic meaning. He “paid the price” not to the devil whose rights over man were won by deceit and tyranny. He “paid the price” not to God the Father in the sense that God delights in His sufferings and received “satisfaction” from His creatures in Him. He “paid the price” rather, we might say, to Reality Itself. He “paid the price” to create the conditions in and through which man might receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life by dying and rising again in Him to newness of life. (See Romans 5-8; Galatians 2-4)
By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus Christ cleansed the world from evil and sin. He defeated the devil “in his own territory” and on “his own terms.” The “wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) So the Son of God became man and took upon Himself the sins of the world and died a voluntary death. By His sinless and innocent death accomplished entirely by His free will — and not by physical, moral, or juridical necessity – He made death to die and to become itself the source and the way into life eternal.

— Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Orthodox Faith – Volume 1: Doctrine

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Posted in The Atonement.
2 comments on “Thoughts on the atonement.
  1. […] Thoughts on the atonement. (thepilgrimsdiary.wordpress.com) In Orthodox theology generally it can be said that the language of “payment” and “ransom” is rather understood as a metaphorical and symbolical way of saying that Christ has done all things necessary to save and redeem mankind enslaved to the devil, sin and death, and under the wrath of God. He “paid the price,” not in some legalistic or juridical or economic meaning. He “paid the price” not to the devil whose rights over man were won by deceit and tyranny. He “paid the price” not to God the Father in the sense that God delights in His sufferings and received “satisfaction” from His creatures in Him. He “paid the price” rather, we might say, to Reality Itself. He “paid the price” to create the conditions in and through which man might receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life by dying and rising again in Him to newness of life. (See Romans 5-8; Galatians 2-4) By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus Christ cleansed the world from evil and sin. He defeated the devil “in his own territory” and on “his own terms.” The “wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) So the Son of God became man and took upon Himself the sins of the world and died a voluntary death. By His sinless and innocent death accomplished entirely by His free will — and not by physical, moral, or juridical necessity – He made death to die and to become itself the source and the way into life eternal.— Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Orthodox Faith – Volume 1: Doctrine […]

  2. […] Thoughts on the atonement. (thepilgrimsdiary.wordpress.com) In Orthodox theology generally it can be said that the language of “payment” and “ransom” is rather understood as a metaphorical and symbolical way of saying that Christ has done all things necessary to save and redeem mankind enslaved to the devil, sin and death, and under the wrath of God. He “paid the price,” not in some legalistic or juridical or economic meaning. He “paid the price” not to the devil whose rights over man were won by deceit and tyranny. He “paid the price” not to God the Father in the sense that God delights in His sufferings and received “satisfaction” from His creatures in Him. He “paid the price” rather, we might say, to Reality Itself. He “paid the price” to create the conditions in and through which man might receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life by dying and rising again in Him to newness of life. (See Romans 5-8; Galatians 2-4) By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus Christ cleansed the world from evil and sin. He defeated the devil “in his own territory” and on “his own terms.” The “wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) So the Son of God became man and took upon Himself the sins of the world and died a voluntary death. By His sinless and innocent death accomplished entirely by His free will — and not by physical, moral, or juridical necessity – He made death to die and to become itself the source and the way into life eternal.— Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Orthodox Faith – Volume 1: Doctrine […]

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