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64. The angels are in concord with us even now, when our sins areforgiven. Therefore, in the order of the Creed, after the reference to"holy Church" is placed the reference to "forgiveness ofsins." For it is by this that the part of the Church on earth stands; itis by this that "what was lost and is found again"is not lost again. Of course, the gift of baptism is an exception. It is anantidote given us against original sin, so that what is contracted by birth isremoved by the new birth--though it also takes away actual sins as well,whether of heart, word, or deed. But except for this great remission--thebeginning point of a man's renewal, in which all guilt, inherited and acquired,is washed away--the rest of life, from the age of accountability (and no matterhow vigorously we progress in righteousness), is not without the need for theforgiveness of sins. This is the case because the sons of God, as long as theylive this mortal life, are in a conflict with death. And although it is trulysaid of them, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sonsof God,"yet even as they are being led by the Spirit of God and, as sons of God,advance toward God, they are also being led by their own spirits so that,weighed down by the corruptible body and influenced by certain human feelings,they thus fall away from themselves and commit sin. But it matters .Although every crime is a sin, not every sin is a crime. Thus we can say of thelife of holy men even while they live in this mortality, that they are foundwithout crime. "But if we say that we have no sin," as the greatapostle says, "we deceive even ourselves, and the truth is not inus."
Library of CongressCatalog Card Number: 55-5021
CHAPTER TheOccasion and Purpose of this "Manual"
50. There is a difference, however. The first man brought sininto the world, whereas this One took away not only that one sin but also allthe others which he found added to it. Hence, the apostle says, "And thegift of grace is not like the effect of the one that sinned: for the judgmenton that one trespass was condemnation; but the gift of grace is for manyoffenses, and brings justification."Now it is clear that the one sin originally inherited, even if it were the onlyone involved, makes men liable to condemnation. Yet grace justifies a man formany offenses, both the sin which he originally inherited in common with allthe others and also the multitude of sins which he has committed on his own.
Are all Saints supreme beings of righteousness?
Therefore, he chose to be baptized in water by John, not therebyto wash away any sin of his own, but to manifest his great humility. Indeed,baptism found nothing in him to wash away, just as death found nothing topunish. Hence, it was in authentic justice, and not by violent power, that thedevil was overcome and conquered: for, as he had most unjustly slain Him whowas in no way deserving of death, he also did most justly lose those whom hehad justly held in bondage as punishment for their sins. Wherefore, He tookupon himself both baptism and death, not out of a piteous necessity but throughhis own free act of showing mercy--as part of a definite plan whereby One mighttake away the sin of the world, just as one man had brought sin into the world,that is, the whole human race.