SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine :  to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the height of iniquity

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Next Page )
PosterThread
proudpapa
Member



Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


  to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the height of iniquity

If evil, are they so by nature, or by will? But by nature souls can in no way be evil. Whence do we teach this. From the above definitions of will and sin. For to speak of souls, and that they are evil, and that they do not sin, is full of madness; but to say that they sin without will, is great craziness, and to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the height of iniquity and insanity. Wherefore whatever these souls do, if they do it by nature not by will, that is, if they are wanting in a movement of mind free both for doing and not doing, if finally no power of abstaining from their work is conceded to them; we cannot hold that the sin is theirs. But all confess both that evil souls are justly, and souls that have not sinned are unjustly condemned; therefore they confess that those souls are evil that sin. But these, as reason teaches, do not sin.

 2012/8/30 23:38Profile
proudpapa
Member



Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 Re: to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the

I am having difficulty understanding what is being said I think I have an Idea but I trully am not good at reading comprehension. what is your take.

 2012/8/30 23:55Profile
proudpapa
Member



Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


 Re: to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the

The quote is from Augustine: The Writings Against the Manichaeans and Against the Donatists

Chapter 12.—From the Definitions Given of Sin and Will, He Overthrows the Entire Heresy of the Manichæans. Likewise from the Just Condemnation of Evil Souls It Follows that They are Evil Not by Nature But by Will. That Souls are Good By Nature, to Which the Pardon of Sins is Granted

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf104.iv.vi.xiii.html



 2012/8/31 0:31Profile









 Re: to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the

Quote:
If evil, are they so by nature, or by will? But by nature souls can in no way be evil. Whence do we teach this. From the above definitions of will and sin. For to speak of souls, and that they are evil, and that they do not sin, is full of madness; but to say that they sin without will, is great craziness, and to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the height of iniquity and insanity. Wherefore whatever these souls do, if they do it by nature not by will, that is, if they are wanting in a movement of mind free both for doing and not doing, if finally no power of abstaining from their work is conceded to them; we cannot hold that the sin is theirs. But all confess both that evil souls are justly, and souls that have not sinned are unjustly condemned; therefore they confess that those souls are evil that sin. But these, as reason teaches, do not sin. Augustine.



The condition being spoken of is evil. The action being spoken of is sin. The object being spoken of is the soul. The power being spoken of is the will or volition of the soul. The preceding conclusion is that the soul is not intrinsically evil.

Paraphrase


To speak about the soul as being intrinsically not evil, and yet to say that the soul does not sin, is madness or irrational, but to say that the soul exercises no intention or will when it does sin is to express complete madness. The soul does not need a teacher to sin, it is bounded up with the body in such a way that the soul sins by nature without effort yet not all that arises from the soul is sinful. Therefore to hold any one guilty of wilful sin if their sin is in fact that which they do without thought or wilful intent is wrong. If a soul has no freedom in their thinking resulting from a renewed mind so as to be able to know what they are doing; so that they do not have the power to resist their sinful inclinations; in short no way of deliverance, then that sin is not accounted against them. It is claimed by all others (commentators) that when the soul sins, whether perceived to be justly or unjustly condemned, sin is accounted against them. But (these) those who sin without the power of the renewed mind do not sin; as reason teaches. amrkelly


End Paraphrase


Brother here is my understanding of the passage quoted above. I cannot say if my understanding is entirely accurate. I can say that at the root of the passage lies a heresy. This is essentially that a soul, (person) whilst they are evil in the sight of God, is only accountable for their sin if they have been renewed in their thinking through the Gospel so as to know that all of their actions are both wilful and at the same time arise out of the sinful nature, if they do in fact sin. In contrast a person who though they are (as a believer is) sinful in the sight of God, cannot know that their actions are sinful and therefore by reason cannot be accountable for their sin. The argument claims that the soul is intrinsically neutral neither evil nor good and that even the unregenerate mind sins wilfully. The purpose of the argument is to reason that a person neither who being intrinsically good nor evil still exercises their will or volition when they do in fact sin. The real issue for Augustine seems to be the issue of accountability before God. It is an "as God sees it" argument though asserted by virtue of a renewed reasoning mind.

The prefix is a question. Are men evil by nature alone, or do they also have to exercise their knowing mind (wilful mind) in order to be called or accounted as evil before God? There are many Scriptures which come to mind to support elements of the presuppositions underpinning this question as well as the argument. Universalism is the principle heresy which arises from the argument. But there are other heresies inferred in the argument as well. Although I have never thought that Watchman Nee expressed any heretical thinking he also argues that the soul is not intrinsically evil. For Nee the meaning lies in understanding the relationship between the Spirit, Soul and Body. The body is always evil because it embodies the power of sin and death. The Spirit is always good as it is a spirit born of the sinless and perfect life which is in Christ. The Soul posses the body as well as expresses the new life in the spirit through a renewed mind. It has to be said that Nee’s teachings on this subject form the most controversial and difficult of his teachings because of the implications which attend to this Augustinian heresy. This is a great sadness as I have personally found Nee's ministry of teaching to be exceptional. In misunderstanding this one point much of his ministry has been rejected at a time when it is more needed than ever before.

 2012/8/31 8:03
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2003
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the

If man is evil, is it because it is his nature to be so, or is it because he has chosen to be so? That is the question.

If it is totally by nature, that is if man has no choice in the matter, then how could they be held accountable for that sin? It would be like a dog being condemned for doing what dog's do.

Augustine is, I think, arguing that man's will enters into the equation and that he has chosen to sin. I have not read the rest of what he is saying here, but in a nutshell that is the main idea of the paragraph you posted.


_________________
Travis

 2012/8/31 15:44Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2003
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

armkelly: I have listened to others besides Nee that argue that man does not have a "sin nature". One was a man named Michael Pearl (No Greater Joy Ministries) here in the states. He has a pretty compelling teaching on the subject.

I think the idea behind those who say that man does not have a sin nature is the same as stated by Augustine in this passage of his writing. The nature of a thing is that which gives the thing it identity and that over which the thing has no control. For example, dogs do dog things and have dog behaviors because they are dogs. They cannot act as cats because they are, by nature, dogs. By that reasoning, a man with a sin nature could never become anything other than a sinner and would be reprobate.

I have found that nowhere in scripture is the sin nature identified. We were by nature the children of wrath, but that means that according to the natural state of our sinful lives we were destined for wrath, and not that we have a sin nature.

It is true that we are born in sin, but those who teach against a sin nature would not equate that with our nature, but rather with our eternal relationship to God prior to regeneration.

Interesting quote.


_________________
Travis

 2012/8/31 15:51Profile









 Re: to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the

Quote:
I think the idea behind those who say that man does not have a sin nature is the same as stated by Augustine in this passage of his writing. The nature of a thing is that which gives the thing it identity and that over which the thing has no control. For example, dogs do dog things and have dog behaviours because they are dogs. They cannot act as cats because they are, by nature, dogs. By that reasoning, a man with a sin nature could never become anything other than a sinner and would be reprobate. tanyweb.



One of the Scriptures which came to mind whilst reading the Augustine quotation was “No man has sinned after the likeness of Adam’s sin” Romans 5:14. Adam was innocent and yet he sinned. He was not deceived as Eve. yet he sinned. Clearly this verse does point to a condition which is no longer the experience of Adam’s progeny. The condition is of course innocence. Yet this Scripture does not say that men are incapable of resisting sin. In fact the opposite is inferred by the Scripture in Romans which tells us that all are without excuse. What we are told, again from Romans is that it is Adam’s sin which is accounted against all men, even as Christ’s obedience is accounted to all men. Transgression came in by one man Adam, and righteousness by one man Christ. Clearly for the transgression of Adam to become real in experience one has to be born of Adam; so that in Genesis we read that Adam begot a son after his own image and likeness.. Similarly to benefit from Christ’s obedience one has to be born of Christ’s Spirit; in this regard we read that we are changed into His image and likeness. The Scriptures in Romans also tells us that it is the physical body which is inherently sinful because it is “the body of sin and death”. Yet for those who are born again it is “the spirit which is born of the Spirit”. The danger in asserting that “flesh begets flesh” be it dogs, cats or any other is to lose sight of the fact that Scripture also teaches that “all have sinned” and so all are personally accountable as well as sinful by virtue of being of Adam’s progeny.

There is no doubt that this subject is a difficult one, but there is also no doubt that the Scripture is clear that “the heart is wicked and deceitful above all else” Jeremiah. Clearly the heart in this verse does not have to do with the physical body; it is to do with the soul. The wickedness and deceitfulness has to do with unbelief or else a refusal to acknowledge God Who is “clearly manifest through the things He has created” Romans. Universalism as a doctrine or a teaching is built upon the idea that because men cannot but sin therefore God Himself would be unjust to condemn anyone who sinned simply because they are sinners by nature. It is a claim that this would be unjust and must be therefore incompatible with a just and loving God. Added to this is the modern day teaching that because Christ has died for sin, there is no sin for which eternal consequences can be accounted to any individual, as this would itself be a denial of God’s love which sent Christ to the Cross for sin.

The Scripture teaches that the sin nature is the physical body and the soul becomes sinful insofar as it is governed by the lusts of the flesh. Once this dominion is achieved even the heart, mind and will are taken captive and become carnal my nature as well. Only new birth offers a man the opportunity to overcome this carnal mind and sinful body, by the renewing of the mind as well as by the Cross of Christ through personal experiential identification with Christ’s death and resurrection. What Nee teaches is that the soul does not always sin; not that the soul is sinless. This is different to the reasoning of Augustine who asserts that a man must wilfully sin in order to be accounted a sinner. Nee teaches that men do not sin in the first instance because they “will” to sin in some particular way or other, but that men sin in the first instance because they are sinners by nature. The singular distinction which Nee draws is a distinction between Spirit, Soul and Body, not simply Soul and Body. So that in Nee’s teaching it is possible to draw a distinction between the inevitability of sin arising from the body (the law of sin and death working in our members) as well as the soul which is governed by bodily lusts and desires, and the possibility that the soul can through a regenerated spirit do that which is not sinful by the governing principle of resurrection life having dominion over the whole man. In this view the unregenerate man will inevitably sin both in the body and the soul, i.e. thoughts and desires; (though even the unregenerate man does not always sin) but the regenerate man can have a renewed mind as well as victory over his body through the Cross of Christ. To that extent I believe Nee is arguing that the soul is not intrinsically evil. The soul does sin, but it has the possibility of becoming free from sin by the renewing of the mind, so that “you may prove that acceptable and perfect will of God”. In contrast the body must be “borne up unto death daily”. The soul is able to “do God’s will” whereas the body must become subject to the “death of the Cross”.

In Augustines argument sin is only sin where the will to sin is recognised. This leaves room for the possibility that a person can claim to be sinless before God simply because they do not wilfully sin, without the need to repent of sin, and this because Christ has died for sin. It is sin which arises from the nature or else the consequence of Adam's sin. This is the historical root of Universalism as we know it today.

 2012/8/31 18:59
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Very well put Amrkelly. Your post deserves a slow, contemplative reading. There is much substance to ruminate upon. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

Paul


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2012/8/31 19:09Profile
brothagary
Member



Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1863


 Re:

lately i seem to struck with awa ,and even tremble reading your writings andrew ,,,bless you brother


did agustine have this veiw spokon of here towards the end of his life,,,i was under the impresion this was his earlyer view

 2012/8/31 21:47Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2003
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

the teaching of spirit soul and body is one i see very plainly in scipture. i guess the concept of sin nature is one i still wrestle with a bit. all men are born in sin. all men are bound for hell barring repentance and regeneration. but if a mans nature is that which cannot decide to change then is he born with a sin nature or is he born lost, spiritually dead to god. i guess the discussion is somewhat dependent on the definition one scribes to the term nature. of the fact that all men are born in sin and must be born again there really can be no debate. the universalist creates god in his own image so as to be ok with doing as he pleases with no consequence. of some thing the word is explicitly plain.

sorry for the topping mistakes. replying from my new phone.


_________________
Travis

 2012/8/31 21:47Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy