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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness...: Chapter 12

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 12.—The Law Could Not Take Away Sin.

Observe also what follows. Having said, “In which all have sinned,” he at once added, “For until the law, sin was in the world.” 247 This means that sin could not be taken away even by the law, which entered that sin might the more abound, 248 whether it be the law of nature, under which every man when arrived at years of discretion only proceeds to add his own sins to original sin, or that very law which Moses gave to the people. “For if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 249 But sin is not imputed where there is no law.” 250 Now what means the phrase “is not imputed,” but “is ignored,” or “is not reckoned as sin?” Although the Lord God does not Himself regard it as if it had never been, since it is written: “As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law.” 251


Footnotes

19:247

Rom. v. 13.

19:248

Rom. v. 20.

19:249

Gal. 3:21, 22.

19:250

Rom. v. 13.

19:251

Rom. ii. 12.


Next: Chapter 13

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