OUR CHURCH AND OTHERS
EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCHES (CON'D)
I. Introduction (review of Lesson 4)
A. Formal principle of its theology (source)
1. Holy Scripture, and
2. The "sacred tradition".
B. Material principle (central idea)
1. Goal is deification of man.
2. "Infused" righteousness
C. Only "main teachings" from her Confessions.
II. Distinctive Doctrines
A. "Deification" of man.
1. The main teaching.
2. Goal is "theosis" or deification.
a. Christ's divinity implanted through the sacraments.
b. This grace or deity given through the sacraments enables man to save himself.
c. Enables man to do good works to make himself holy and united with God, a mystical union with God.
d. Justification remains "potential" and not "actual" until mystical union with God.
e. (Mead, p. 227)1 (Mayer, p. 15f)2
3. Discussion points. 3
a. Justification is a forensic act by God.
b. Christ alone.
c. Grace alone.
d. Faith alone without works.
B. The Trinity
1. East Orth. Ch. Confess the Triune God.
2. Knowledge of God is by:
b. experience, and
d. therefore, is the common heritage of all men.
e. But, is complemented by the revelation of God in Christ.
3. Father is above the Son and the Spirit.
a. Father is the source.
b. Son and Holy Spirit are the effects.
4. Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father.
a. The "Filiogue Controversy" (from the Latin)
b. Admit Holy Spirit proceeds "through" but not "from" the Son.
5. Discussion Points
a. All 3 Persons co-equal, none before or after the other.
(1) Jn 5:23.
(2) Jn 10:30.
(3) 1Jn 5:20.
b. Holy Spirit proceeds from both Father and the Son.
(1) Jn 16:7.
(2) Ro 8:9.
(3) Gal 4:6.
c. No knowledge of God's grace except through Christ Crucified
(1) Jn 8:19.
(2) Ac 4:12.
(3) 1Co 1:24.
(4) 1Co 3:11.
C. Doctrines of Man
1. Man is a mixture of spiritual and material forces.
a. Body is material and lower than soul.
b. Soul is spiritual or divine.
2. Body alone is sinful.
a. A prison house for soul.
b. Soul is perfectly holy.
3. Man saved by soul escaping the body.
a. Escapes body's sinful influence.
b. Soul escapes to be again united with God.
4. Man still has inherent power to do good.
5. Denies man's total depravity.
6. "Image of God".
a. Defined as sum total of powers given to man at creation, to be and choose and do good.
b. Not lost by man at fall into sin.
c. Man lost only the "likeness" of God.
(1) A potential or future perfection.
(2) Becomes reality only when man correctly exercises his created and native powers.
7. Discussion Points
a. Man is totally corrupted by sin.
(1) Is 64:6.
(2) Ro 3:9-23.
(3) Ro 8:5-13.
(4) 1Co 2:14.
b. The image of God.
(1) Is perfect righteousness and holiness before God.
(2) Ge 1:26,27.
(3) Ge 5:1,2.
(4) Ecc 7:29.
(5) Eph 4:21.
(6) Col 3:10.
(7) Lost when man fell into sin.
(8) Ge 3:6-10.
(9) Ro 5:12,18.
(10) Ro 6:23.
(11) Restored to man as gift in Christ.
(12) Ro 6:22.
(13) 1Co 1:30.
D. The Person and Work of Christ.
1. Christ as the God-man.
a. They teach He is true God and true man.
b. Use the formulas used by Creed of Chalecdon to express the personal union.
2. He died to:
a. Pay for man's sin.
b. Set man free from power of Satan.
3 . But, by doing this:
a. He did not save man.
b. He only made it possible for man to save himself.
c. His death only opened the way for man to save himself.
4. Discussion Points
a. His death was a complete, final, and perfectly sufficient payment for our sins.
b. By His death, we are saved without any addition on our part.
c. Ro 3:23,24.
d. Ro 6:23.
e. Gal 4:4,5.
f. Eph 1:7-9.
g. Col 1:19,20.
h. Heb 10:14.
i. 1Pe 3:18.
1. Through believing in Christ, God gives man His grace.
a. Which empowers man to make himself good before God by good works.
b. Man saves himself through union with God.
2. Union takes place by man:
b. Attending church.
c. Doing good works by the power of God.
a. Man unites himself to God by good works.
b. And thereby saves himself.
a. Denotes the divine saving energy.
b. Given to the church.
c. Distributed through the sacraments.
d. So that man may cultivate the life in Christ.
e. Therefore, justification:
(1) Is not the forensic act of God.
(2) Is an actual change in man.
(3) Remains "potential".
(4) Does not become "actual" until final completion in the mystical union with God.
(5) Not as emphasized as the continuous sanctification.
5. Discussion Points
a. Man justified by forensic act of God.
b. Man saved through faith in Christ Jesus alone.
c. Man saved without merit or good works.
d. Ro 1:16,17.
e. Ro 3:28.
f. Ro 5:1.
g. Ro 11:6.
h. Gal 2:15,16.
i. Eph 2:4-10.
1. English speaking Orthodox Theologians prefer term "mysteries".
2. Teaches 7 Sacraments, as does Rome:
b. The Eucharist (Holy Communion).
c. Chrism (healing) (anointing with sacred oil blessed by the priest) or Confirmation.
e. Holy Orders.
g. Extreme Unction (but primarily for healing, not preparation for death.
a. Are said to be necessary to salvation.
b. Means through which His grace is given, so as to allow man to save himself (see E4 above).
4. Separate actual from original sin.
a. Original sin covered by Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
b. Actual sin covered by the sacrifice of the mass in the divine liturgy.
5. Holy Communion.
a . The high point of the divine liturgy.
b. Recipients receive both kinds mixed together.
c. Baptized babies receive Holy Communion.
d. Regarded as both:
(1) a sacrament, and
(2) a sacrifice for the living and the dead.
e. True presence.
(1) Until Reformation, various views were entertained.
(2) Seem to agree only on use of term "metousiosis".
(3) No attempt is made to explain the mystery of the change which takes place..
a. Performed by trine-triple-immersion.
b. Baptism of children is practiced.
c. Said to restore man to his original righteousness.
d. The lust, or concupiscence, which remains, is not sinful and remains without spiritual damage.
e. Is completed by Chrism, or Confirmation, immediately after Baptism.
G. The Church
1. Is the body of Christians who are ruled by the properly ordained hierarchy.
2. Therefore, they maintain there is strictly speaking, no salvation outside this church.
3. Discussion Points:
a. 1Co 4:1.
b. Eph 2:19-22.
c. Eph 4:3-6.
d. Eph 5:25-27.
e. 1Pe 2:9.
H. Worship of Saints, Angels, and Images.
1. Saints and angels:
a. Are revered.
b. Are asked to intercede between man and God.
2. Prayers are offered for the dead.
3. Purgatory is rejected.
4. Veneration of icons.
a. Considered essential.
b. But only painted ones.
(1) Graven images are said to be idols.
(2) Painted surfaces are said to be typified by the sacred representations of the cherubim.
5. Mary said to be exempt from sin.
A. Logia, Reformation 2000, Vol. IX, No. 4
B. Handbook, Mead
C. Religious Bodies, Mayer
D. Lutheran Cyclopedia
E. Outline, Sohns
F. Our Church and Others
 Handbook of Denominations, New Tenth Ed., by Frank S. Mead, revised by Samuel S. Hill, © 1985, 1990, 1995 by Abingdon Press.
 The Religious Bodies of America, by F.E. Mayer, © 1954, 1956, 1958, 1961, CPH., St. Louis, Mo.
 “Discussion Points” identifies the doctrines according to the Scriptures to point out errors of the referenced teaching.
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