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In Augustine's four stages of the Christian life, is the Reborn Man in the same state as the Pre-Fall Man?

In which state was Christ the man while on earth?

[Editor's note: OP refers to the 4 stages mentioned in Augustine's Enchiridion, Ch. 118.

[From OP's comment:]

The first question is on what Augustine really meant, because both have the same able to sin and able to not sin. The second is an application of the fourfold state. My information and knowledge is based on this.

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  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. For your question to work here, you would need to specify a particular Christian denomination whose perspective you're interested in. Is it is now, it is a "truth question," which is a matter of opinion. See: What topics can I ask about here? and: How we are different than other sites. Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 16:47
  • Are you specifically asking about how Augustine would answer these questions, based on what we know from his writings? Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 22:28
  • Yes, the first question is on what Augustine really meant, because both have the same able to sin and able to not sin. The second is an application of the fourfold state. My information and knowledge is based on this: monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/four-fold.html
    – Old Geezer
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 13:51

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The OP links us to the above chart. Based on these categories, there is no difference between Pre-Fall Man and Reborn Man. However there is an important difference between Pre-Fall man and Glorified Man: namely the former can sin and the latter cannot. Whether Augustine himself would approve of the categories is another question. Of the person whom the chart calls "Reborn Man" Augustine says:

If God has regard to him, and inspires him with faith in God's help, and the Spirit of God begins to work in him, then the mightier power of love strives against the power of the flesh; and although there is still in the man's own nature a power that fights against him (for his disease is not completely cured), yet he lives the life of the just by faith, and lives in righteousness so far as he does not yield to evil lust, but conquers it by the love of holiness.

The OP also asks: "In which state was Christ the man while on earth?" Here we face a quandary, because if he was born without original sin and was "the last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:45) then he must have had the status of Pre-Fall Man. But we are told that he was tempted in the flesh by the devil, and he seems to have had moments of doubt, as at Gethsemane. If so he cannot have been in the status of Glorified Man (unable to sin). Herein lies the quandary, for this scenario seems to imply that Glorified Man is more complete in his union with God's will than the human Jesus was. However, this in in accord with orthodox Christology, which insists on a distinction between the divine and the human will in Jesus.

To answer the OP's questions directly: Jesus had the status of Pre-Fall Man. In Augustine's view, the difference between regenerate life and life before the fall is that the reborn Christian continues to struggle with the power of sin; but Adam, Eve and Jesus - being untainted with original sin - were less prone to succumb to any fleshly temptation.

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