Thursday, August 28, 2014

Augustine: good from evil

Thursday, August 28, 2014
    Feast of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430
    Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.
    —Romans 5:12 (NIV)
    God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist. And if he had willed that there should be no reformation in the case of men, as there is none for the wicked angels, would it not have been just if the nature that deserted God and, through the evil use of his powers, trampled and transgressed the precepts of his Creator, which could have been easily kept—the same creature who stubbornly turned away from His Light and violated the image of the Creator in himself, who had in the evil use of his free will broken away from the wholesome discipline of God’s law—would it not have been just if such a being had been abandoned by God wholly and forever and laid under the everlasting punishment which he deserved? Clearly God would have done this if he were only just and not also merciful and if he had not willed to show far more striking evidence of his mercy by pardoning some who were unworthy of it.
    ... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Enchiridion On Faith, Hope, and Love, par. 27 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 5:12; Matt. 26:28; Acts 2:38; 10:43; Eph. 1:7-8; 4:32; Col. 1:13-14; Heb. 9:22; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your mercy is great.
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