Genesis 4:7 and Deuteronomy 30:11-14


#1

I’ve always struggled with these verses. The first seems to be saying that man can rule over sin in their life. What is the Catholic teaching on this verse? :confused:

The verses (in fact all of Deuteronomy 30) seems to say that following God and His commandments is not too hard. “The Word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” Deut 30:14.

I have read many verses in the OT that seem to imply the same thing- that we can follow Him. Jesus even said He came not for the righteous. Who were the righteous? I thought none were righteous without Jesus?:shrug:

oneseeker2


#2

I think it is common belief that people are born with a want and hunger for God and that if your conscience is well formed, then following your conscience makes it easier to follow God.

But, man also has a tendency towards sin, which makes it more difficult to follow the ways of God.


#3

[quote="oneseeker2, post:1, topic:309876"]
I've always struggled with these verses. The first seems to be saying that man can rule over sin in their life. What is the Catholic teaching on this verse? :confused:

The verses (in fact all of Deuteronomy 30) seems to say that following God and His commandments is not too hard. "The Word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it." Deut 30:14.

I have read many verses in the OT that seem to imply the same thing- that we can follow Him. Jesus even said He came not for the righteous. Who were the righteous? I thought none were righteous without Jesus?:shrug:

oneseeker2

[/quote]

But Jesus, before the Incarnation, was the 2nd Person of the Trinity. So they could follow Him through His Word, in the Law and in their hearts.


#4

[quote="oneseeker2, post:1, topic:309876"]
I've always struggled with these verses. The first seems to be saying that man can rule over sin in their life. What is the Catholic teaching on this verse? :confused:

The verses (in fact all of Deuteronomy 30) seems to say that following God and His commandments is not too hard. "The Word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it." Deut 30:14.

I have read many verses in the OT that seem to imply the same thing- that we can follow Him. Jesus even said He came not for the righteous. Who were the righteous? I thought none were righteous without Jesus?:shrug:

oneseeker2

[/quote]

As to the Deuteronomy quote St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that Old Law was more burdensome than the New Law (S. th. I-II:107:4) and that it could not be followed without the aid of grace (S. th. I-II:109:4 and S. th. I-II:98:1):

"Reply to Objection 3. The yoke of the law could not be borne without the help of grace, which the law did not confer: for it is written (Romans 9:16): "It is not him that willeth, nor of him that runneth," viz. that he wills and runs in the commandments of God, "but of God that showeth mercy." Wherefore it is written (Psalm 118:32): "I have run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou didst enlarge my heart," i.e. by giving me grace and charity."

It preceded the New Law which would fulfill and perfect it. (S. th. I-II:107:2) The Old Law did not confer grace while the actions considered Old Testament Sacraments (S. th. I-II:102:5) like circumcision, ritual purifications and the Paschal Lamb are held to have prepared the recipients for the reception of sanctifying grace from God and in the case of circumcision (S. th. III:70:4) conferred it comparably to Baptism in the New Law. The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludvig Ott explains:

"b) As the entire Old Covenenant "was our pedagogue in Christ" (Gal. 3, 24), so the Old Testament Sacraments as types pointed to the future riches of the Messianic era (Hebr. 10, 1: Umbram habens lex futurorum bonorum) and were thus a confession of faith in the coming Redeemer. By awakening the consciousness of sinfulness and faith in the coming Redeemer, with the co-operation of actual grace in the recipient, they created a disposition favorable for the reception of sanctifying grace which God then conferred and thus these Sacraments brought about inner sanctification ex opere operantis.
c) Circumcision performed on young infants effected the inner sanctification neither ex opere operato as in Baptism, nor merely ex opere operantis, i.e., not merely by reason of the faith of the representative of the recipient, but quasi ex opere operato."

As to the Genesis quote which precedes the Mosaic Law Haydock Bible Commentary holds the passage as a proof of free will:

"The whole discourse is about doing well or ill; and Cain is encouraged to avoid the stings of conscience, by altering his conduct, as it was in his power, how strongly soever his passions might solicit him to evil."

The Gospel of Luke verse (Luke 5:32: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.") has various explanations as St. John Chrysostom tells Christ might be ironic in His words, St. Ambrose of Milan suggests it is a reference to those who boast of the law and St. Gregory of Nyssa even proposes it might be a reference to the angels.


#5

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