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Quotes About Sinless Perfection
Quotes about sinless perfection from throughout Christian History.
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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 with perfect propriety Scripture has said that woman is given by God as a help to man. It is evident, then, in my opinion, that she will charge herself with remedying, by good sense and persuasion, each of the annoyances that originate with her husband in domestic economy. And if he does not yield, then she will endeavor, as far as possible for human nature, to lead a sinless life. (Miscellanies IV:20)
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)
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