We cannot excuse disobedience by saying: ?I forgot.? God?s commandment is:
?Remember? ? as in <022008>Exodus 20:8; cf. <610305>2 Peter 3:5 ? ?For this they willfully forget.? ?Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.? <450212>Romans 2:12 ? ?as many as have sinned without the law shall also perish without the law?; <421243>Luke 12:43 ? ?he that knew not and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten [though] with few stripes.? The aim of revelation and of preaching is to bring man ?to himself? (cf. <421517>Luke 15:17) ? to show him what he has been doing and what he is. Goethe: ?We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.? Royce, World and Individual, 2:359 ? ?The sole possible free moral action is then a freedom that relates to the present fixing of attention upon the ideas of the Ought which are already present. To sin is consciously to choose to forget, through a narrowing of the field of attention, an Ought that one already recognizes.?
(d) Ability to fulfill the law is not essential to constitute the non-fulfillment sin. Inability to fulfill the law is a result of transgression and, as consisting not in an original deficiency of faculty but in a settled state of the affections and will, it is itself condemnable. Since the law presents the holiness of God as the only standard for the creature, ability to obey can never be the measure of obligation or the test of sin.
Not power to the contrary, in the sense of ability to change all our permanent states by mere volition, is the basis of obligation and responsibility for surely Satan?s responsibility does not depend upon his power at any moment to turn to God and be holy.
Definitions of sin ? Melanchthon: Defectus vel inclinatio vel actio pugnans cum lege Dei. Calvin: Illegalitas, seu difformitas a lege. Hollaz: Aberratio a lege divina. HolIaz adds: ?Voluntaries do not enter into the definition of sin, generically considered. Sin may be called voluntary, either in respect to its cause as it inheres in the will or, in respect to the act, as it proceeds from deliberate volition. Here is the antithesis to the Roman Catholics and to the Socinians, the latter of whom define sin as a voluntary [ i. e ., a volitional] transgression of law.? It is a view, says Hase (Hutterus Redivivus, 11th ed., 162-164), ?which is derived from the necessary methods of civil tribunals and which is incompatible with the orthodox doctrine of original sin.?
On the New School definition of sin, see Fairchild, Nature of Sin, in Bibliotheca Sacra, 25:30-48; Whedon, in Bibliotheca Sacra, 19:251, and On the Will, 323. Per contra, see Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:180-
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