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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Grace of Christ, and...: Chapter 37

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 37 [XXXII.]—In What Sense Christ is Called “Sin.”

There was a change of the sacramental ordinances made after the coming of Him whose advent they prefigured; but there was no change in the Mediator’s help, who, even previous to His coming in the flesh, all along delivered the ancient members of His body by their faith in His incarnation; and in respect of ourselves too, though we were dead in sins and in the uncircumcision of our flesh, we are quickened together in Christ, in whom we are circumcised with the circumcision not made with the hand, 2010 but such as was prefigured by the old manual circumcision, that the body of sin might be done away 2011 which was born with us from Adam. The propagation of a condemned origin condemns us, unless we are cleansed by the likeness of sinful flesh, in which He was sent without sin, who nevertheless concerning sin condemned sin, having been made sin for us. 2012 Accordingly the apostle says: “We beseech you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled unto God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2013 God, therefore, to whom we are reconciled, has made Him to be sin for us,—that is to say, a sacrifice by which our sins may be remitted; for by sins are designated the sacrifices for sins. And indeed He was sacrificed for our sins, the only one among men who had no sins, even as in those early times one was sought for among the flocks to prefigure the Faultless One who was to come to heal our offences. On whatever day, therefore, an infant may be baptized after his birth, he is as if circumcised on the eighth day; inasmuch as he is circumcised in Him who rose again the third day indeed after He was crucified, but the eighth according to the weeks. He is circumcised for the putting off of the body of sin; in other words, that the grace of spiritual regeneration may do away with the debt which the contagion of carnal generation contracted. “For no one is pure from uncleanness” (what uncleanness, pray, but that of sin?), “not even the infant, whose life is but that of a single day upon the earth.” 2014



Col. 2:11, 13.


Rom. vi. 6.


Rom. 8:3, Gal. 3:13.


2 Cor. 5:20, 21.


Job 14:4, 5.

Next: Chapter 38