Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/On Nature and Grace/Chapter 18
Chapter 18 [XVII.]—Who May Be Said to Be in the Flesh.
There is a passage which nobody could place against these texts with the similar purpose of showing the impossibility of not sinning: “The wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God;” for he here mentions the wisdom of the flesh, not the wisdom which cometh from above: moreover, it is manifest, that in this passage, by the phrase, “being in the flesh,” are signified, not those who have not yet quitted the body, but those who live according to the flesh. The question, however, we are discussing does not lie in this point. But what I want to hear from him, if I can, is about those who live according to the Spirit, and who on this account are not, in a certain sense, in the flesh, even while they still live here,—whether they, by God’s grace, live according to the Spirit, or are sufficient for themselves, natural capability having been bestowed on them when they were created, and their own proper will besides. Whereas the fulfilling of the law is nothing else than love; and God’s love is shed abroad in our hearts, not by our own selves, but by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
- Rom. viii. 7, 8.
- Rom. xiii. 10.
- Rom. v. 5.