Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/Against Two Letters of the Pelagians/Book I/Chapter 23
Chapter 23 [XI.]—What It is to Be Delivered from the Body of This Death.
For when he says also, “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” who can deny that when the apostle said this he was still in the body of this death? And certainly the wicked are not delivered from this, to whom the same bodies are returned for eternal torment. Therefore, to be delivered from the body of this death is to be healed of all the weakness of fleshly lust, and to receive the body, not for penalty, but for glory. With this passage also those words are sufficiently in harmony: “Ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption, of our body.” For surely we groan with that groaning wherein we say, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” That also where he says, “For what I do, I know not;” what else is it than: “I will not, I do not approve, I do not consent, I do not do”? Otherwise it is contrary to what he said above, “By the law is the knowledge of sin,” and, “I had not known sin but by the law,” and, “Sin, that it might appear sin, worked death in me by that which is good.” For how did he know sin, of which he was ignorant, by the law? How does sin which is not known appear? Therefore it is said, “I know not,” for “I do not,” because I myself commit it with no consent of mine; in the same way in which the Lord will say to the wicked, “I know you not,” although, beyond a doubt, nothing can be hid from Him; and as it is said, “Him who had not known sin,” which means who had not done sin, for He had not known what He condemned.
- Rom. vii. 24.
- Matt. vii. 23.
- 2 Cor. v. 21.