ABSTRACT. The teaching about the original yielding to sin of the first human beings, the effects of that sin and man’s deliverance from slavery to sin in the patristic literature is fundamental to God’s plan of redemption. In the writings of the Fathers of the Church we learn that there was a time when man, created in the Image and Likeness of God, adorned with every virtue, dwelling in Eden, close to God, was continuously contemplating God. Man’s mind was imbued with knowledgeable insights with spirituality prevailing in him. He rejoiced and was in an immaterial and heavenly exultation. He was endowed by God with a good nature and every spiritual and material blessing. Adam and Eve were in perfect harmony with the divine will; they had neither experience nor knowledge of evil. In contrast to us who live today, they were dwelling in a paradise where they were provided with everything. They did not experience any disturbance of this harmony and did not face any turmoil, difficulty or suffering that we face. They did not foresee death in their future; they did not suffer from any disease. They lived in a paradise in which it appeared that their most important obligation was to remain self-sufficient in God and not have any knowledge or experience of evil. However, Adam and Eve were influenced by the malevolent proposal of the devil disguised as a serpent so as not to be recognized. He offered them an easier route to deification than that which they had been endowed. He offered them the Likeness of God without any spiritual effort, excluding God, even to the point of making God jealous of His own creation!. Surrounded by perfection and beauty, they exchanged the True Good for things that were injurious to their nature in the unfallen state. God bestowed upon them free will so that they would be capable of offering gratitude to their Creator, but they used this free will to disobey His commandment. Thus, the first humans willingly and wilfully disobeyed God’s commandment, losing the heavenly gifts because of pride, disobedience, gluttony, contempt and ingratitude. By disobeying the commandment and eating from the tree, man fell from divine grace; he knew the good from which he fell and the evil into which he fell.

Keywords: orthodox; spirituality; temptation; man; devil; fall; sin

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
PhD; Reverend Professor at Dumitru Stăniloae Faculty of Orthodox Theology,
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași, Romania

Home | About Us | Events | Our Team | Contributors | Peer Reviewers | Editing Services | Books | Contact | Online Access

© 2009 Addleton Academic Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Joomla templates by Joomlashine