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Quotes About Sin

Quotes about sin from throughout Christian History. See also Quotes about Sinless Perfection.

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Clement of Alexandria, c. A.D. 190

As far, however, as we can, let us try to sin as little as possible. For nothing is so urgent in the first place as deliverance from passions and disorders, and then the checking of our liability to fall into sins that have become habitual. It is best, therefore, not to sin at all in any way, which we assert to be the prerogative of God alone; next to keep clear of voluntary transgressions, which is characteristic of the wise man; thirdly, not to fall into many involuntary offenses, which is peculiar to those who have been excellently trained. Not to continue long in sins, let that be ranked last. But this also is salutary to those who are called back to repentance, to renew the contest. (The Instructor, Bk. II, ch. 1)

For the wounds of the sinner are the rents of the garment of the flesh, the holes made by lusts, through which the shame of the soul within is seen; namely sin. Because of this it will not be easy to save the garment that has been torn away all round, that has rotted away in many lusts, and has been rent asunder from salvation. (The Instructor II:2)

Tertullian, A.D. 197-220

In the following quote, Tertullian is writing as a Montanist, against the Church. The Montanists were very strict, and Tertullian is arguing that there is no forgiveness for sins like adultery. Each "you" in the quote is directed at the churches that did forgive sins like adultery (though often only one time).

Not even we ourselves forget the distinction between sins ... John has here sanctioned it; in that there are some sins of daily committal, to which we all are liable: for who will be free from the accident of either being angry unjustly, and retaining his anger beyond sunset or else even using manual violence or else carelessly speaking evil; or else rashly swearing; or else forfeiting his plighted word or else lying, from bashfulness or “necessity?” In businesses, in official duties, in trade, in food, in sight, in hearing, by how great temptations are we plied! So that, if there were no pardon for such sins as these, salvation would be unattainable to any. Of these, then, there will be pardon, through the successful Suppliant of the Father, Christ. But there are, too, the contraries of these; as the graver and destructive ones, such as are incapable of pardon--murder, idolatry, fraud, apostasy, blasphemy; (and), of course, too, adultery and fornication; and if there be any other “violation of the temple of God.” For these Christ will no more be the successful Pleader: these will not at all be incurred by one who has been born of God, who will cease to be the son of God if he do incur them. ("On Modesty," ch. 18)

George MacDonald, c. 1875

Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because he would give the best, and man will not take it.

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