"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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    The Four States of Libertas Naturae

    libertas naturae - (freedom of nature); "the liberty that is proper to a being given its particular nature." (Muller 176). The four states of libertas naturae are as follows:

    a. libertas Adami - (freedom of Adam); "before the fall - this is the ability or power not to sin." (Muller 176).

    b. libertas peccatorum - (freedom of sinners); a freedom that is proper to and confined within the limits of fallen nature and is therefore an absolute inability to do good or to act for the good with the sinner described as not able not to sin." (Muller 176).

    c. libertas fidelium - (freedom of the faithful); "a freedom of those regenerated by the Holy Spirit that is proper to the regenerate nature and is characterized by the ability to sin and to do good." (Muller 176).

    d. libertas gloriae - (freedom of glory); "a freedom proper to the fully redeemed nature of [the blessed in heaven], who, as residents of the heavenly kingdom are now characterized by the inability to sin." (Muller 176).

    The four states of man in relation to sin enumerated by Augustine of Hippo: (a) able to sin, able not to sin (posse peccare, posse non peccare); (b) not able not to sin (non posse non peccare); (c) able not to sin (posse non peccare); and (d) unable to sin (non posse peccare). The first state corresponds to the state of man in innocency, before the Fall; the second the state of the natural man after the Fall; the third the state of the regenerate man; and the fourth the glorified man.

    For more on this topic:
    Human Nature in Its Fourfold State: Thoughts on Augustine's View on the Will.
    Libertas Peccatorum - Man's State of Sin After the Fall by Robert J. Olson
    The Fall and Imputation of Sin @monergism

    Posted by John on May 16, 2006 02:30 PM


    The Four States of Libertas Naturae. I've always wondered what to call the four 'freedoms' when discussing things like Calvinism with my friends. It is near to know what the names are.

    Thanks, Mr. Hendryx, I'll try to remember this stuff...

    God bless,

    The Aspiring Theologian

    The Aspiring Theologian Blog: Reformed Theology & Apologetics

    What I am anticipating is libertas gloriae. Can't wait to be unable to sin!!!!!

    Awesome job summarizing Augustine in such an understandable way. I was lead to write a blog entry on the topic for next week (Jan 27, 2014). After I wrote my outline and thoughts I ran across yours.

    I will cite you, I loved your summary.

    Hi! Where augustine enumerated this states?

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