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Durham e-Theses
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Saint Paul’s doctrine of sin

Gosling, J. W. F. (1971) Saint Paul’s doctrine of sin. Masters thesis, Durham University.



St. Paul sees sin both as 'prenomic’ ("in. the world before the law was given" Rom.5.13) and as revealed by the law. The law was meant to "make alive" (Gal.3.21), but Paul came to see that the law reveals man's inability to fulfil God's, demand, and, in fact, energises 'prenomic' sin, making it '.transgression’. This realisation does not affect Paul's estimate, of-the law; rather, the law's failure, to fulfil its function in man is explained by the fact that man, as flesh, is "sold under sin" (Rom.7.14). The flesh is not inherently sinful, but is dominated by the power of sin. "All have sinned" (Rom.3.23) and sin is essentially one, though three, forms of sin are to be found in Paul's, thought. 'Prenomic' sin is a dominant feature of human activity or living which distinguishes it as resulting in alienation from God. This conception is made concrete in two directions. Firstly, transgression, which requires the context of the law, has the elements of defiance of God's demand and subjective guilt. Secondly, sin personalised is the hidden power of sin, which holds man in slavery. St. Paul is not so much concerned, with the origin of sin as with its consequences of alienation from God, 'more sin’ and death. It is as God reveals himself in the work of Christ and the gift of the Spirit that sin is revealed; it is in the revelation of Christ that God’s purpose of faith is made known and man's failure to fulfil God's purpose is revealed. The Christian though Christ has condemned sin in the flesh (Rom.8.3), has to contend with the fact that he is still in the flesh, as he awaits the full outworking of God's action in Christ in the resurrection of the dead.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1971
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:40

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