• Michael Haldas

Sin


“...sin is committed in three stages, namely, the suggestion of it, the pleasure experienced, and the consent…Our captivity to sin begins with this interior progression from the reception of information (through the eyes, ears, or touch) to the awakening of a concrete desire.” (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Dynamis 12/16/2013)

“Sin is first a simple suggestion, then a strong imagination, then delight, then assent.” (Thomas à Kempis)

“When we decide to do what we know is wrong, we plant an evil seed that begins to grow out of control, eventually yielding a crop of sorrow and pain.” (Life Application Study Bible, Deuteronomy 29:18)

“The darkness of sin is complete darkness. Closing the eyes to God also shuts out everything that reveals God. And since God is everywhere revealed, sin shuts out everything everywhere. All we’re left with is what little we can see in our darkened world or in our minds closed off behind our shut eyes. This is why we can truly say that sin leads only to illusion, to a false view of things as they are lost in the shadows or in our own imaginations.” (Heiromonk Maximos)

“With His teachings and sinless life, Christ serves as a thorn in the flesh of those unwilling to comply with His life-giving ethical demands. Our moral opposition to these demands may be spoken or unspoken. We may know we are doing wrong and yet, because we enjoy the way we live, resist change. Or, we may reject the reality of sin from an intellectual standpoint, embracing a moral relativity more compatible with our own desires. Such an approach assumes that it is all right to do as we wish as long as others are not hurt, the laws of the land are not broken, and no social gaffe is committed.” (Dynamis 5/13/2014)

“Sin is not a legal problem because God is not a lawyer (and neither is a priest if he knows his business). Sin is a death problem. It’s far more like a disease than anything else.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…we don’t understand sin as some sort of legal problem involving some sort of debt to be paid. We understand sin as a sickness problem that results in death that requires a cure. We understand God as more of a doctor not a lawyer. At least for now. Christ announced Himself in Luke 4:16-19, quoting Isaiah 61, as a healer and a physician. I say for now, because Christ will eventually be our judge – our lawyer so to speak; but for now He is still our doctor. God seeks to make us like Him. He wants to heal and cure us.” (Sacramental Living Podcast)

“...sin is not a crime against the divine justice, but a sickness that destroys man. Christ came not to heal God’s wounded honor but to heal man of his sickness. Because of sin, man had become enslaved to death and corruption. God is life, and man had cut himself off from the only source of life and happiness. Christ came to restore man to life.” (Clark Carlton)

“The understanding of sin as illness conforms to the spirit of Christ. Speaking to the Pharisees who were mocking Him, He said: "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Mt 9:12).” (Father George Morelli)

“Sin is a deep-seated, terminal disease that can be cured only by the healing work of the Great Physician.” (John MacArthur)

“…sins refers to every thought, attitude, and action contrary to the will of God… “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). All people therefore exist “in their sins.” (Dynamis 5/16/2014)

"Sin has caused our affections to stray, propelling us to worship relationships, achievement, and work—everything but God…Far better it is for you to say: "I am a sinner," than to say: "I have no need of religion." The empty can be filled, but the self-intoxicated have no room for God.” (Pastor Timothy Keller, Fulton J. Sheen)

“When we take our eyes off our own failings, shortcomings, and sins, we notice the failings of others. As the sins of others get our attention, our focus turns away from our own struggles with the passions, and we begin to fall further into sin, our eyes having turned away from the Lord. When our focus is no longer turned toward the conquering of our passions, our hearts become vulnerable, and we begin to expend our energy on picking apart our neighbor.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“When we hear the word sin, whether we are describing the behavior of others or thinking about our own behavior, we tend to think of it in terms of judgment, rule-breaking, moral transgression and other juridical terms – something that requires punishment. We would be better served, and more accurate, to think of it in terms of weakness, infection, and sickness in need of healing– at least for now. Christ came first as our savior and great physician. He has yet to come as our final judge.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Judging ourselves by others is a sin. Let us leave all final judgment to God and offer mutual support in the struggle set before us by the Lord: “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:48). We each stand before our Master (Rom 14:4). Hence, we are presumptuous if we take on God’s role as judge, either of ourselves or of others.” (Dynamis

9/16/2015)

“For us to discern the righteousness of god requires patience, graciousness, and controlled passions.” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 1:19-20)

“… the word"passion” as used by the Holy Fathers in their writings is not a word that translates well into English. It does not mean an intense desire for something. Rather, it means a sickness of the soul, turning our backs on God, and a habit for sin.” (Father David Smith)

“Another way to phrase it is that the passions are simply the incorrect orientation of our desires due to the infection of sin within us. These are things such as pride, self-love, obsession with material items, greed, sloth, sexual lust and spiritual ignorance to name a few.” (Sacramental Living)

“The word"passions” in Greek has the same root word as the Greek word for"passive.” The late M. Scott Peck, the famous psychiatrist and author of The Road Less Traveled and other books, likened sin to laziness. Indeed, much of our sin comes from our inherent laziness not to make the effort to do the right thing in our thought and actions but rather simply give in to the passions.” (M. Scott Peck, Sacramental Living)

“Giving into the passions enslaves us to the world and actually keeps us from knowing our true selves, which is God’s desire for us. Knowing ourselves and growing into what we were meant to be as created persons of God with purpose are only possible when God illumines our thoughts and hearts. This can’t happen when we enslave ourselves to thoughts and behaviors that are not of God.” (Sacramental Living)

“Sin infects us all, and so we cannot simply divide the world into the heroes and the villains.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Sin does not come out of nature, but out of distortion of nature for self-indulgence. Thoughts that enter the mind involuntarily are not sins but temptations. They become sins when they are held and entertained. (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 25:27-28)

“We want to help people understand that the more they can recognize their own sin, the more they will experience God’s grace. A life of gratitude for being saved is far more pleasing than a life based on self-righteousness over being good.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“People can feel so guilt ridden by their past that they think God could never forgive or accept them…No matter how shameful your past, God can also forgive and use you.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1:12-17)

“The greatest sinners have often become the most notable saints.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1 1:12-17)

“Sometimes God chooses the most unclean vessels to achieve some of His most significant work. Saul violently opposed the Church and sought to destroy it before he became one of its most fervent promoters and was renamed Paul. St. Augustine and St. Mary of Egypt were great sinners before they became great saints.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

“The word sin in Hebrew, as used in Genesis where it is first mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 4:7), is a strong word taken from the same Hebrew word that means to"miss the mark” or"fall short.” In Greek, the word is amartia and is analogous to an archer missing a target… [sin] is not simply moral transgressions or breaking rules. It is much deeper than infractions or rulebreaking. Sin is infection. We often fall short in our behaviors because we are sick, polluted if you will, with sin and self-will.” (Sacramental Living)

“Life in Christ requires us, every day, every hour, and in every circumstance and relationship, to love in the same manner that Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us; given this, we have to rely on God’s forgiveness.” (Dynamis 10/29/12)

“In our daily life, we must regularly crucify sinful desires that keep us from following Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 2:19-20)

“Most sin is the good we do not do rather than the bad we do. Apathy is fertile ground for sinful behaviors that start small but can grow over time to cause many harm. An apathetic state is the worst state you can be in spiritually, save despair...Apathy leads to so much evil that could be overcome with simple loving actions.” (Sacramental Living)

“These two modes [opposing ways of life] have existed from the dawn of history…1)"the paths of uprightness” [right] and 2)"the ways of darkness” [wrong] (Pr 2:13)” (Dynamis 9/18/2012)

"We all have evil [wrong] desires, and we can’t ignore them. In order for us to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we must deal with them decisively (“crucify” them).” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 5:19-21)

“In our daily life, we must regularly"crucify” sinful desires that keep us from following Christ. This, too, is a kind of dying with Him. And yet the focus of Christianity is not on dying but on living.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 2:19.20)

“One of the great teachings of Christianity as taught to us by Jesus is to"die to self”.…dying to self [our wrong desires or inclinations] is a daily challenge.” (Sacramental Living)

“The toughest battle we will ever endure is the one that gets played out on the field of selfdiscipline, self-control and moment by moment reliance upon the indwelling presence of God.”(Jim Ware)

“Think of someone who has wronged you, did something grossly unfair to you or even verbally or physically abused you. Perhaps you’ve forgiven that person. If so I am sure it wasn’t easy and you remember how much hard work it was. Or perhaps there is someone right now you despise for what they’ve done to you. If you try for a moment to sincerely forgive him or her and you’ll see … It truly is like"dying to self” as Christ says we must yet it is the only way to heal a wrong.” (Sacramental Living)

“But sin, which Christ offered Himself for, is not simply moral transgressions or breaking rules. It is much deeper than infractions or rule-breaking. Sin is infection. We often fall short in our behaviors because we are sick, polluted if you will, with sin and self-will. (See Frederica Mathewes-Green’s website, www.frederica.com, for an excellent article,"Sin: Infraction or Infection.”) Christianity teaches that because we are infected with sin no matter how good we are by worldly standards, we all consciously and unconsciously fall short or miss the mark daily according to the standard that God has set for us. Our infection is so deep that it renders us unable to make the right choices all of the time no matter how hard we try. We are not what He intended us to be because like Cain, we chose and continue to choose other than Him and His will. Thus we can never be sin-free by our own will power.” (Sacramental Living)

“Separation from the world involves more than keeping our distance from sinful practices; it means staying close to God.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 6:17)

“An escape from sinfulness requires more than just repentant thoughts. For we are enmeshed in a spiritual war zone, entrenched in patterns of sin that become habitual. Often, darkness becomes imprinted in our souls and bodies so that even our wills our bypassed and we sin automatically. To cleanse ourselves means that by the promised of God, we embark on a sustained struggle for holiness. This cleansing includes genuine sorrow for our sins, confession and repentance. It means willful avoidance of sin arousing situations, reconciliation with those we have wronged, and resolute practice of Christian virtue, and cleaving to God through faith and prayer. It calls us to participation in the holy sacraments. Is this too difficult for us humans? Yes. Thus it is the Holy Spirit, who cleanses us from every stain, and heals our infirmities, who empowers us to live this life of peace with God and repentance before Him.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 7:1)

"We have equated sin too much with acts and deeds and laws and obligations. For Jesus sin is something much deeper. Sin is a refusal to grow, a refusal to love, a refusal to get committed, to be concerned, and to take risks. So many parables condemn the refusal to grow or to take risks. Look at the parables of the talents (Matt. 25:14–30) and the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:32– 46)—they show the refusal to be concerned. Then the parable of the tree that bears no fruit illustrates a refusal to bear fruit and to grow (Matt. 7:17–20).” (Anthony De Mello)

"Sin is the refusal of spiritual life, the rejection of the inner order and peace that come from our union with the divine will. In a word, sin is the refusal of God’s will and of His love. It is not only a refusal to"do” this or that thing willed by God, or a determination to do what He forbids. It is more radically a refusal to be what we are, a rejection of our mysterious, contingent, spiritual reality hidden in the very mystery of God. Sin is our refusal to be what we were created to be—sons [and daughters] of God, images of God.” (Thomas Merton)

“When a Christian does things that keep him away from Christ, he sins because he does not live up to his purpose, and that is to live in Christ. When we do not live up to our goal, being the image and becoming the likeness of God, then we sin.” (Father Alexander Karloutsos)

“...ambition to be gods is still one of the most basic temptations of the human soul. In our fallen state, each individual wants to be the center of the universe. Even an infant wants the whole world to revolve around him." (Bishop Basil Losten)

“Man's thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins. God's thought is always of the glory man will miss if he sins.” (Watchman Nee)

“...all people seek happiness, and they attach themselves to things they believe will make them happy. That attachment is experienced as love. The main human problem, however, is that, because of sin, we misidentify what will make us happy.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“...we might consider the passions as distorted when the ego is in control of their direction. Then, we desire whatever fills the ego, whether praise, or power, or whatever it is that we crave. When we feel enslaved by what we desire, then we know we have gone down the wrong path. The spiritual journey is always one toward freedom, and an essential aspect is to direct the passions and desire toward God. The more we become clear about our places of wounding, the more freedom we gain because we are no longer controlled by unconscious impulses.” (St. Zosimas)

“That’s the strange thing about sin. People think of sin as a rebellion against God. Some people even like to think that sin is a way of preferring things to God. And in a way it is. But the irony is that if you close your eyes to the light by which you can see the world—the only way you can see the world as it is—then you lose sight not just of the light but also of everything else. Sin, even though it might be motivated by our wanting to get hold of something, to snatch it away from God, in the end always alienates us from things just as much as it make us strangers to God.” (Heiromonk Maximos)

“Refusing to live with God through Christ is the root cause of all sin. What enables human beings to cope with the anxieties and the adversities of life is their trusting relationship with God. Human ideologies or deeds in themselves cannot sustain life in the midst of adversities, suffering and pain. Such an attitude or pattern of life is idolatrous. In the words of St. Paul, those who adhere to such a pattern of life" exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator." (Rom. 1:25) The result is that the good things of the world that ought to be our tools become our masters.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)"Sin… is not simply moral transgressions or breaking rules. It is much deeper than infractions or rule-breaking. Sin is infection. We often fall short in our behaviors because we are sick, polluted if you will, with sin and self-will… Christianity teaches that because we are infected with sin no matter how good we are by worldly standards, we all consciously and unconsciously fall short or miss the mark daily according to the standard that God has set for us. Our infection is so deep that it renders us unable to make the right choices all of the time no matter how hard we try. We are not what He intended us to be…we chose and continue to choose other than Him and His will. Thus we can never be sin-free by our own will power.” (Frederica Mathewes-Green) Sacramental Living)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9). "...sin is not a crime against the divine justice, but a sickness that destroys man. Christ came not to heal God’s wounded honor but to heal man of his sickness. Because of sin, man had become enslaved to death and corruption. God is life, and man had cut himself off from the only source of life and happiness. Christ came to restore man to life.” (Clark Carlton)

“If we think of sin as a disease, that which keeps our heart and soul from functioning normally, that is, from turning toward and resting in God, then we can think of the Mysteries [Sacraments] as medical procedures and medicines.” (Clark Carlton)

“…if someone ever says to you,"religion is a crutch for the weak” respond by explaining it absolutely is. As opposed to being arrogant enough to think we can do everything for ourselves and live perfectly, we know we are weak and prone to the sickness of sin that leads to poor behavior and need to lean on God as our crutch. We see the Church as a hospital for the sick and that is why we go and live our lives accordingly” (Sacramental Living)

“Sometimes we judge ourselves (and others!) too harshly, focusing on our flaws and we don’t turn to God because we view God through this harsh and incorrect mindset and believe He is just as harsh and unloving as us. This mindset is easy to acquire when we think of God the Father as angry and wrathful and needing to sacrifice His son to appease His wrath (of course, one could look at this as He also loves us so much to sacrifice His Son, but either way appeasement is needed from this point of view). This is why instead of focusing on just punishment due to sin, we tend to focus on healing and restoration and purging the illness of sin. This is natural since we understand the Persons of the Trinity to be of one loving will who completely and willingly fought and defeated evil out of love for us through the death and resurrection of Christ.” (Sacramental Living)

“Sin is the refusal of spiritual life, the rejection of the inner order and peace that come from our union with the divine will. In a word, sin is the refusal of God’s will and of His love. It is not only a refusal to"do” this or that thing willed by God, or a determination to do what He forbids. It is more radically a refusal to be what we are, a rejection of our mysterious, contingent, spiritual reality hidden in the very mystery of God. Sin is our refusal to be what we were created to be—sons [and daughters] of God, images of God.” (Thomas Merton)

“Sin is a deep discrepancy between who we are and who we were created to be.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 5:13,14)

“The truth is that our response to sin is critical. By God’s grace the consequences of sin provoke our contrition, providing the breaking and humbling we need for healing. On the other hand, our denial of sin generates a downward spiral into hardened resistance.” (Dynamis 3/11/2014)

“We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. I have heard others, and I have heard myself, recounting cruelties and falsehoods committed in boyhood as if they were no concern of the present speaker’s, and even with laughter. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin. The guilt is washed out not by time but by repentance and the blood of Christ: if we have repented these early sins we should remember the price of our forgiveness and be humble.” (C. S. Lewis)

“God has two requirements for coming to Him...we must recognize our own sinfulness....we must realize that we can’t save ourselves and that we need help…“Don’t try to deal with sin, for you are sure to lose. Deal with Christ; let Him deal with your sin and you are sure to win.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 5:11, Arthur Elfstrand)

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Jesus Christ, Matthew 12:43-45)

“The wisdom of this world sweeps aside the Wisdom of God as unnecessary and irrelevant. It foolishly prides itself that its house is neatly put in order (Mt 12:43-44)…If we wish to heed His [Christ’s] voice, we must sweep our hearts clean of worldly wisdom so that He – and not the demons – may come in [us] and dine.” (Dynamis 7/9/2014)

“Unless there is full repentance and the Holy Spirit dwells in a person, an expelled demon will return with others and reoccupy its abode...” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 12:43-45)

"Ridding our lives of sin is the first step. We must also take the second step: filling our lives with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 12:43-45)"Jesus’s story about the demons coming back into a man sounds archaic in the context of today’s world as does some of the Biblical commentary. But it really makes sense. The key to Matthew 12:43-45 is the word"empty.” Yes, we can overcome sin and poor behaviors,"the demons” and empty ourselves of them. However, if we don’t fill this emptiness with God, the Holy Spirit, we are more vulnerable than we were in the first place.” (Sacramental Living II)

“A Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Once we have confessed our sins and deposited them at His [Christ’s] feet, He will permanently discard them never to be remembered. The problem that occurs is similar to my desk. I clean it off occasionally, but the papers and other things on it build up quickly again, one more hiding the desk top. That’s our spiritual problem too. We confess out sins but then they quickly build up all over again.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

"Repeated indulgence may sear and deaden our healthy pangs of conscience (1 Tim 4:2), and yet, deep in the recesses of our hearts, the painful memories of sin remain. God in His mercy allows this after-pain of sin to encourage us not to do wrong again.” (Dynamis 9/24/2014)"The battle with our own evil impulses will never end in this life, though the internal conflict should lessen as we grow in grace.” (Joseph O'Day)

“Don’t try to deal with sin, for you are sure to lose. Deal with Christ; let him deal with your sin and you are sure to win.” (Arthur Elfstrand)

"Sin, like cancer, has a way of growing if unchecked….Sin has a way of spreading. As it does, the cover-up gets bigger as well. The time to get a grip on sin and its cancerous effects is in the very beginning, before it has time to multiply its poisons in your life. Better yet, kill it before it begins. Confess your sins or your desire to sin to the Lord, and ask His help…(Life Application Study Bible, Luke 22:60)

“We must also avoid situations that open the door to gratifying sinful desires.” (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 13:14)

“The purpose of correcting and disciplining oneself is to remove the deceptions of sin, so the God-given virtues in one's nature can manifest themselves.” (Maximos the Confessor, St. John of Damascus)

“…nothing so weighs upon the soul, and presses her down, as consciousness of sin; nothing so much gives it wings, and raises it on high as the attainment of righteousness and virtue.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“People sin by choice, not by nature, volitionally stopping their ears and closing their eyes.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 6:9-13)

“…sin begins in the attitudes and intentions of the inner person….An evil action beings with a single thought.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 7:18,19, 20-23)

“The more we let sin get the upper hand in our own lives, the more our children will suffer for it. Sin is like a contagious disease. My children don’t suffer because I have it. They catch it from me and then suffer because they have it." (John Piper)

“One of the biggest roadblocks in our relationship with God is unacknowledged or unconfessed sin in our lives.” (Kasey Van Norman)

“A person living immersed in sin is living outside his true self.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 15:17)

“There is a difference between committing a sin and continuing to sin. Even the most faithful believers sometimes commit sins, but they do not cherish a sin or continually choose to commit it...All believers still sin, but they are working to gain victory over sin.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 3:4, 9)

“We all have areas where temptation is strong and habits are hard to conquer. These weaknesses give the devil a foothold, so we must deal with our areas of vulnerability…Three steps are necessary to find victory of prevailing sin: (1) Seek the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s word; (2) stay away from tempting situations; and (3) seek the help of the body of Christ – be open to their willingness to hold you accountable and pray for you.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 3:4)

“…man is not sinful by nature, but rather sinful by choice.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:14)

“Note the three sins…of all mankind: (1) forsaking God; (2) false worship; and (3) preoccupation with ourselves.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Jeremiah 1:16)

“The root problem is sin, our inclination to rebel, to be disobedient.” (Dynamis 12/4/2012)

“Our problem with sin is its enticement.” (Dynamis 2/7/2013)

“It is the essence of human sin which is the desire to deny God’s sovereignty and to grasp equal status by self-assertion.” (Father Theodore Stylianopoulos)

“We sin by choice, not by nature.” (Orthodox Study Bible)

“…once sin gets started it is difficult to stop. The deeper the mess, the less we want to admit to have caused it. It’s much easier to stop sliding down a hill when you are near the top than when you are halfway down. The best solution is to stop sin before it starts. (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Samuel 1:11)

“We tend to think that doing wrong is sin…sin is also not doing right.” (Life Application Study Bible, James 4:17)

“it [sin] is not something we should dwell on. It really is enough to know that we all fall short and that we need Christ. If we live our life sacramentally we will draw closer and closer to God and His light and His Light will naturally illuminate for us the areas where we are falling short and need to correct. God will let us know this through our heart, lovingly and gently. His wisdom will flow from our heart to our mind and it may come to our thought during prayer or just sometime throughout the day.” (Sacramental Living)

"The word sin in Hebrew, as used in Genesis where it is first mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 4:7), is a strong word taken from the same Hebrew word that means to"miss the mark” or"fall short.” In Greek, the word is amartia and is analogous to an archer missing a target… [sin] is not simply moral transgressions or breaking rules. It is much deeper than infractions or rulebreaking. Sin is infection. We often fall short in our behaviors because we are sick, polluted if you will, with sin and self-will.” (Sacramental Living)

“Sin is failing to be as good as we can be. It is falling short of the mark and not living up to potential in which we are created, in the image and likeness of God.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

“This is the loving-kindness of God: He never turns His face away from a sincere repentance. God accepts and welcomes anyone who has become wicked to the greatest extreme and chooses to return towards the path of holiness. He does everything to restore such people to their former position." (St. John Chrysostom)

“No matter how impure your life is right now, God offers you a fresh start. You can have your sins washed away, receive a new heart for God, and have his Spirit within you—if you accept God’s promise.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ezekiel 36:25-27)

“...sin's power over man is not absolute. Rather, it is something we allow by our free will. Man's will was the first aspect of human nature damaged through sin, and therefore it is the first thing Christ heals. His healing allows us to make true choices against sin.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 6:12)

“I know the term sin grates on us, and it’s natural to squirm when a minister talks about it, but we can’t understand the joy Jesus is going to bring unless we understand sin. We must understand that we are stained, that we need to be purified, that we have guilt and shame, and we need to be rescued from it—not conned into believing it doesn’t exist.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"A sinner is sinful not by nature, but by the wrong use of his will. Evil things will overtake this wrong use. But good things overtake the righteous, because they obey Wisdom, and with His help live according to their good nature.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Proverbs 13:23)

“When we sin we refuse to look at the light of God shining everywhere. We shut our eyes and close the drapes of our heart.” (Heiromonk Maximos)

"...sin is the turning away from God. It is the pursuit of the things which are not of God rather than the pursuit of the things that are of God.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

"Our effort and struggle against sin is powerless without help from God. For this reason we must make an effort to pray, that the Lord help us in this so important struggle." (St. Tikhon of Zadonsk)

“Sin –"missing the mark” – is not a moral shortcoming or a failure to live up to some external code of behavior, but rather the failure to realize life as love and communion.” (Clark Carlton)

“The fall arises out of man’s free decision to reject personal communion with God and restrict himself to the autonomy and self-sufficiency of his own nature.” (Christos Yannaras)

“Note the three sins....of all mankind: (1) forsaking God; (2) false worship; and (3) preoccupation with themselves.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Jeremiah 1:16)

“It is sad that so few see sin as it really is—a deception. Most people can’t see this until they are destroyed by the sin they pursue.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jeremiah 3:22-25)

“The essence of sin consists not in the infringement of ethical standards but in a falling away from the divine eternal life for which man was made and to which, by his very nature, he is called.” (Archimandrite Sophrony)

“The root of every evil is a self-loving heart, or self-pity, self-sparing; it is from self-love, or excessive and unlawful love for oneself that all the vices proceed....” (St. John of Kronstadt) "The biggest obstacles to our spiritual growth is our ego, self-focus and self-absorption…Selffocus, self-centeredness and egoism, have to go, period, for us to grow towards God…” (Sacramental Living)

“…we are often so mired in self-love (e.g., arrogance, being prideful) self-centeredness, selfsufficiency, and a strong sense of self-importance. And these are the qualities us"good people” possess in abundance! We comfort ourselves with the thought that while we may not be perfect, we are not as bad as people like Hitler. Yet most of the trouble in the world is caused by ordinary people like us….Few people set out in life with the goal of becoming evil. It is the little things-petty jealousies and grievances – which act as cancerous cells within the heart." (Clark Carlton)

"It is humility that brings with it deep joy and satisfaction because it keeps us from becoming maniacally self-absorbed. (Meg Meeker)

#FatherDavidSmith #SacramentalLiving #MScottPeckSacramentalLiving #PastorTimothyKeller #AnneMarieGazzolo #JimWare #ThomasMerton #FatherAlexanderKarloutsos #BishopBasilLosten #WatchmanNee #StZosimas #HeiromonkMaximos #ClarkCarlton #CSLewis #JosephODay #MarianneCSailus #ArthurElfstrand #StJohnChrysostom #MaximostheConfessorStJohnofDamascus #JohnPiper #KaseyVanNorman #FrJosephIrvin #FatherTheodoreStylianopoulos #StTikhonofZadonsk #ChristosYannaras #ArchimandriteSophrony #MegMeeker #FultonJSheen #AbbotTryphon #FatherStephenFreeman #FatherGeorgeMorelli #JohnMacArthur #SacramentalLivingPodcast #ThomasÀKempis #PopeStGregorytheGreat