The atonement

How do some think that the sin of Adam hasn't caused a penalty? How do they say that Adam's sin isn't inherited? How do say that we didn't have a penalty imposed upon us because of Adam's transgression?
Here is what St Cyril taught:

"For let us see, if you will, even from the writings of Moses, the grief to which disobedience has brought us. We have been driven from a paradise of delights, and have also fallen under THE CONDEMNATION OF DEATH; and while intended for incorruption:----for so God created the universe:----we yet have become ACCURSED, and subject to the yoke of sin. And how then have we escaped from that which befel us, or Who is He that aided us, when we had sunk into this great misery? It was the Only-begotten Word of God, by submitting Himself to our estate, and being found in fashion as a man, and becoming obedient unto the Father even unto death. Thus has the guilt of the disobedience that is by Adam been remitted: thus has the power of the curse ceased, and the dominion of death been brought to decay. And this too Paul teaches, saying, "For as by the disobedience of the one man, the many became sinners, so by the obedience of the One, the many became righteous." FOR THE HOLE NATURE OF MAN BECAME GUILTY IN THE PERSON OF HIM who was first formed; but now it is wholly justified again in Christ. For He became for us the second commencement of our race after that primary one; and therefore all things in Him have become new. And Paul assures of this, writing, "Therefore every man who is in Christ is a new creation; and the former things have passed away: behold, they have become new." Sermon 42 on the gospel of Luke.

"We must inquire how Adam, the first forefather, TRANSMITTED TO US THE PENALTY IMPOSED UPON HIM FOR HIS TRANSGRESSION. He had heard 'Earth thou art and to the earth shalt thou return', and from being incorruptible he became corruptible and was made subject to the bonds of death. But since he produced children after falling into this state we, his descendants, are corruptible, coming from a corruptible source. THUS IS THAT THAT WE ARE HEIRS OF ADAM'S CURSE. That cannot mean at all that we are punished for having disobeyed ALONG WITH HIM the divine injunction which he received; it means that he became mortal, as I said, and TRANSMITTED THE CURSE to his seed after him (for we are born mortal from a mortal source) whereas our Lord Jesus Christ who bears the title 'second Adam' and is a second beginning of our race after the first, re-formed us into incorruptibility by assaulting death, nullifying it in his own flesh and in him the force of the primal curse has been broken. This is why all-wise Paul says that as 'through man came death, so also through man came the resurrection of the dead'; and again, 'As in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made alive.' SO CORRUPTION AND DEATH ARE THE UNIVERSAL AND GENERAL PENALTY INVOLVED IN ADAM'S TRANSGRESSION; likewise the general ransom with respect to all men has been accomplished finally in Christ. For man's nature in him put off that death which had been attached to it through the first man's being made mortal. But the father of each of us, though he is hallowed through the Holy Spirit and obtains the forgiveness of his sins, does not hand on the gift to US. For there is one who hallows ail, justifies and restores them to incorruption, Jesus Christ our Lord, and through him and from him the gift comes to all alike. Forgiveness of sin and dissolution of death are different things. Each enjoy forgiveness of his own offences in Christ through the holy Spirit. All of us in common are released from the primal penalty imposed upon us, the penalty of death I mean, which reaches all in its course, in resemblance to the first who fell into death. That is why all-wise Paul says that 'Death ruled from Adam to Moses over those who had sinned in the likeness of Adam's transgression. For whilst there was law, the penalty of death held sway. But after Christ's dawn, righteousness entered in, justifying by grace and warding off our bodies' corruption."
St Cyril, Select letters, Doctrinal answers and questions, answer 6

I noticed that what those guys object to is that sin has no existence. And what they don't understand is that we don't inherit sin genetically. The whole thing is that we have sinned in Adam (not along with him of course),
as St Cyril said:
"But also to the removal and overturning of the dishonor we deserved since we SINNED FIRST IN Adam and trampled on the divine command. He is dishonored in our place since he bears our sins, as the prophet says" Commentary on John 18, vol. 2, PG 322
And also:
"For we are united to Him just as also we were united to Adam, when he brought upon himself the penalty of death." Commentary on Luke, sermon 142
How does anyone dare to say anything different after all of this? I wonder how do some priests also teach the same falsehood, which was anathematized both by Pope Shenouda and Pope Tawadrus.


  • edited May 2020
    Here is the way I look at it, not that I am that invested into it:

    1- "those guys" that you are talking about DO NOT say that sin doesn't exist. They simply consider that to inherit Adam's sin, the ACTUAL ACT contradicts freewill, which is a gift given by God. This is concept of "inheriting the sin itself" is part of the legalistic analogy that lacks consideration for other end-goals of the Economy of Salvation. That's why St. Athanasius doesn't discuss such ideas in On the Incarnation. 

    2- All i am understanding from the above readings is the we, as Adam's descendants, we are then subject to the consequence of his sin. That is the result of the sin, in other words it's the penalty or condemnation or judgement or sentence. All those words refer to the effect of the sin and not the actual act itself. 

    3- PSIII and Pope Tawadros II haven't "anathematized" anyone nor will they ever do that since that specific judgement has a process and not too many have gone through that process. George Bebawi went through it it and is excommunicated....Atif Aziz did and he also is excommunicated. But no one else that we know off, nor should that word be through around like that easily by anyone.
  • No, they say that sin has no existence so it can't be inherited. That's because they misunderstand the concept of inheritance itself. Also, I am saying "those guys" because I don't know how to refer to them properly in English. St Athanasius used the term "mankind" when he spoke about sinning and redemption. He said that Christ had come "in order firstly to make men quit and free of their old trespass" On the incarnation (20:2). He conidered the first sin was ours, not Adam's only.

    The quotes you have read prove that death wasn't just a consequence, it was "THE UNIVERSAL AND GENERAL PENALTY INVOLVED IN ADAM'S TRANSGRESSION". Because they deny that it was a penalty.
    I mentioned this quote "But also to the removal and overturning of the dishonor we deserved since we SINNED FIRST IN Adam and trampled on the divine command. He is dishonored in our place since he bears our sins, as the prophet says" Commentary on John 18, vol. 2, PG 322., which clearly speaks about the act itself, that we've sinned in Adam.

    Anyone who follows a condemned teaching is condemned.
  • Every single Christian believes that sin doesn't have an existence but it is an act.
  • That quote of St. Athanasius doesn't mean that "we inherit the sin." We were for sure under the rule and the effect of the sin. There is no doubt about that. St. Athanasius also concentrates on the process rather than that one act you keep mentioning. He said:
    “For, having invented wickedness in the beginning and so involved themselves in death and corruption, they had gone on gradually from bad to worse, not stopping at any one kind of evil, but continually, as with insatiable appetite, devising new kinds of sins. Adulteries and thefts were everywhere, murder and rapine filled the earth, law was disregarded in corruption and injustice, all kinds of iniquities were perpetrated by all, both singly and in common.”

    It's the state of corruption that keeps being made worse is what brought Christ to save us. 

    Ya 7udret....the word 'penalty' is a result of an action...not one that IS the action:

    And, NO and a 1000 NO. Condemnation is a GOD-given attribute, as well as forgiveness of sins is a God-given attribute that is only partially given to the Church which is represented by her clergy. It doesn't matter what a person says or does. Until they are 'condemned' (for the lack of a better word) by the clergy, they are sons of God like me and you who have free will. St. Paul says in Galatians 5:1-7: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." this verse is for the sinners as well as those who condemn others when it's not their place to do so. GOD gave us freedom to think and decide and we MUST choose Him willingly. In the same time, those who think they have believed must let others act on their Christ-given liberty to choose Him.
  • Inheriting the sin means that we have sinned in Adam so it's not only Adam's sin but ours. If Athanasius didn't mention this clearly, Cyril did. I am not focusing on the person of Athanasius or his general teaching. Of course the state of corruption is what makes us sin and have lusts, but the first sin didn't cause corruption only. That is not the topic.

    A penalty Δικη is what is done for a sinner. Don't use an English dictionary please. I didn't say that a penalty is the action originally. A penalty is a justful judgment.

    George Habib Bebawey was not condemned but for his false teaching. And of course he wasn't so bad that if the others taught the same he only would be condemned. The teaching is heresy, the one who teaches it is a heretic. Even George Habib Bebawy and any heretic is a son of God since he was baptized.

    The inheritance of sin means that we have sinned in Adam, just like we inherit justification in Christ our second father.
    St Cyril said: "As we are condemned in Adam for disobedience and transgression of the divine command, so we have been justified in Christ because of his utter faultlessness and his total, immaculate obedience." Answers to Tiberius: 13
    It doesn't mean that we sinned along with Adam, but in him. "For we are united to Him just as also we were united to Adam, when he brought upon himself the penalty of death." Commentary on Luke, sermon 142

    Can you deny that we have sinned in Adam and have been justified in Christ? If not, so you believe that the sin of Adam is inherited. If yes, so you reject the teaching of St Cyril, who clearly said that we are heirs of Adam's curse

    It isn't Cyril's teaching only though, but he is the clearest one who explained it.
  • Aside from the purpose of this thread, can someone please shed some light on George Bibawy? Does anyone know of his relations to HH Pope Kyrillos VI?
    +God Bless+
  • George Bebawi wrote books having heretical thoughts and claims that Pope Kyrillos is the one who said that. Those books were condemned.
  • Any details about what exactly he said?
    My main interest is what exactly HH Pope Kyrillos VI did with him? What were His Holiness’ actions, etc. ?
  • I am not sure they have met originally. I don't know what happened.
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