After the fall of Adam & Eve from pride & disobedience, all mankind inherit original sin.

The Catholic Church teaches that the original sin can be removed by the Sacraments of Baptism but the stain of original sin or the concupiscence of the flesh still remains.

St. Paul describes this in Romans 7:15-24 as;

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

In light of this dilemna, is there a way to remove concupiscence or wash-away the stain of sins in our bodies. Does Christ leave the Church with any teaching how to remove or wash away the stain of sins after we are cleansed by baptism?

Unfortunately, this is a tough challenge for many striving Christians as we can see from Scriptures, Christ has elevated the definition of adultery:

"You shall not commit adultery," Christ spoke of adultery in the heart. "Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28).

Now, I'm looking for Church teachings on how to remove concupiscence, as clearly based on Saint Paul himself as he overcame concupiscence when he exclaimed;

"I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)

So, its not hopeless for us.

**My question is how did Saint Paul overcame concupiscence, and what does it mean when Saint Paul overcame concupiscence his body is sinless like Adam & Eve?


Galatians 2:20 you quoted shows that faith in the Son of God plays the critical role in overcoming concupiscence. Indeed, we know very well that Ephesians 2:8-9 provide the precise formula for spiritual salvation: we are saved by God’s gift of grace which is a function of faith:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.(Ephesians 2:8-9)

The verses naturally throw up two questions:

  1. What is precisely the faith referred to in Ephesians 2:8?
  2. Given that one’s deed (action or performance, as opposed to words) is not a prerequisite for God’s gift of salvation grace, how then does one say or proclaim this faith and to whom should one proclaim this faith?

We can argue that the Lord's Prayer, authored by no sinful mortal but by Jesus Christ himself, is the foremost proclamation of faith that is referred to in Ephesians 2:8; that in praying the Lord’s Prayer daily, we are in fact proclaiming our faith or belief that the Son fulfilled the will of the Father. Thus, the Lord’s Prayer encompasses the teachings and exhortations of Paul the Apostle (Romans 10:8–10, New KJV):

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8–10)

An excellent source is the book "The Creed of Christ: An Interpretation of The Lord's Prayer" by Gerald Heard (1889 - 1971). A well-known author, philosopher and lecturer, Heard studied history and theology at the University of Cambridge, graduating with honours in history. He lectured from 1926 to 1929 for Oxford University's extramural studies programme. More information about him can be sourced from Wikipedia.

In the book, Heard describes The Lord's Prayer as the "real creed of Christianity." On page 6 of his book, he writes:

At the heart of the Gospels there is, however, one other thing. Beside the new Commandments, beside the new Law, more lovely but far more exacting than the old, there is, put more briefly and tersely, a master-instruction, a set of key-rules as to how that Law may be kept. There is only one passage in the biographies more central than the Sermon on the Mount. It is more central because it is the root from which the action ordered by the Sermon must spring, because it shows the source of power without which the Sermon, the Beatitudes, remain a magnificent but impossible demand, a splendid promise which cannot be fulfilled. That passage is therefore rightly called by a supreme title, the Lord's Prayer.

Heard goes on to link faith and the Lord's Prayer (for example, as implied by the following passage, page 94):

It is so against the grain of our present nature to realize that any right prayer must first and foremost be something which alters the self, a process whereby desire is transcended and the will transmuted."Bread of the Coming Day...My bread is to do the Will of Him Who sent me." How are we to do that will which is so different from ours? Are we not here involved in a vicious cycle? To live as God would have us live His eternal Life we have to do His will, but to do His will we have to become part of his Life. As long as we are self-willed, motivated by our wills, we do our wills, not His.

Through the fulfillment of the will of the Father in His Son, Jesus Christ, the Father declared us righteous in His sight. That is, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our justification, the declaration of God that we are free of guilt and penalty of sin and acceptable to Him (Romans 4:25, NIV):

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

Our justification also marks the beginning of sanctification, a continual process of being made holy by the power of the Holy Spirit, a lifelong process that makes us more and more like Jesus Christ.

Therefore, the Lord's Prayer is a means to justify ourselves to the Father. Via the Lord’s Prayer, prayed daily, we are led by the Holy Spirit in our daily lives and become more like Jesus Christ – the precise outcome of sanctification.

  • Is "justification by faith" already wash away the concupiscence? St.Paul still humbly admit the presence of "concupiscence" after his conversion experienced. What did St.Paul underwent to arrive at saying "it is no longer I who lives but Jesus", meaning the struggles of the flesh, the concupiscence is gone. St.Paul had a "new flesh/healed flesh" and experience a transformation. Is St.Paul received other graces aside from "justification by faith"? – marian agustin Nov 25 '18 at 17:30

Direct Answer from Catechism of the Catholic Church

1000 This "how" exceeds our imagination and understanding; it is accessible only to faith. Yet our participation in the Eucharist already gives us a foretaste of Christ's transfiguration of our bodies:

Just as bread that comes from the earth, after God's blessing has been invoked upon it, is no longer ordinary bread, but Eucharist, formed of two things, the one earthly and the other heavenly: so too our bodies, which partake of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, but possess the hope of resurrection.556

The Holy Eucharist is the only sacramental means that can heal our wounded flesh or restored back our fallen nature. Transfigured bodies means a glorified body freed or healed of concupiscence.

990 The term "flesh" refers to man in his state of weakness and mortality.536 The "resurrection of the flesh" (the literal formulation of the Apostles' Creed) means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our "mortal body" will come to life again.537

Biblical explanation

Jesus came to Redeemed us to restore back Divine Life in us thru Sacrament of Baptism. This mystery was first revealed in the Wedding in Cana. The Blessed Virgin Mary had seen the state of soul of the people which although are celebrating a worldly feast said to Jesus the words "they have no wine" meaning "they have no life or Divine Life".

The whole world was created in Jesus sake and the fallen world would be recreated by Jesus thru His Life offering by the cooperation of the Woman. The six jar of wine represents the six days of creation which Jesus filled with wine or filled with all of His Most Precious Blood.

Jesus emphasized clearly his God given mission to restored Divine Life and to give us Eternal Life.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John10:10)

To give us a Life that is Full, Jesus founded His Church and instituted the Sacraments that would restore the Divine Life thru Sacrament of Baptism. The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist was instituted to give us Eternal Life. But, Jesus knew that our fallen nature is bound to fail along the way of our christian journey and so the Sacrament of Confession was also needed. This vital Sacraments is the reason why the "fullness of the means of salvation" can only be found in the Catholic Church. As scriptures teaches "nothing defiled shall enter God's Kingdom".

Our christian and non-christian brothers & sisters although can avail of the Baptism thru other means outside the Church which are acceptable to God and some recognized by the Catholic Church. But they have no means of removing the "concupiscence", so only thru the Catholic Church can a soul be cleanse fully to become worthy of entrance into Heaven.

This is the reason why Jesus insisted the Bread of Life discourse. Only the Holy Eucharist can restore our wounded flesh who had inclination to commit the sins of the flesh. Jesus fullness of life means giving us a "new flesh" thru receiving His very own flesh "body & blood" in the Holy Eucharist.

This is the key why St.Paul able to overcome his concupiscence. St.Paul teachings on the Holy Eucharist can be read here in this link below. A good source of St.Paul explanation on the Holy Eucharist.

Eucharistic Theology in St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians

It also worth mentioning one the Great Theologian of the East, the Great St.John Damascene who's hand was cut-off and miraculously healed and restored by the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. John Damascene's teaching that St.Joachim "concupiscence" was removed or cleansed by means of the "Bread of Life and Wine" administered to him directly by the angel. This is the mystery behind why the human nature transmitted by St.Joachim is worthy to received the "sanctifying grace" at the first instant of conception.

  • St. John Damascene's teaching are not based on Scripture here. Do the Scriptures support the Angel story with St. Joachim? Or is it Apocrypha? – Ken Graham Mar 15 '19 at 23:50
  • @Ken Graham St.John Damascene is a Doctor of the Church, his teaching on "spotless seed" coincides with the Tradition of the Church giving Mary the title "House of Gold" relating to the Ark of the Covenant. What is the material use in the Ark? it is pure & uncorrupted. So, St.John Damascene teaching can be traced to Tradition and Church Father teachings. Are you saying that Mary comes from a "tainted seed" of St.Joachim? Church Father and St.JP2 teaches using the word "ABSOLUTE", perennial enmity meaning no part of Mary was touch by satan even the seed of St.Joachim. – marian agustin Mar 16 '19 at 0:57
  • @Ken Which is Divine for God to do,cleanse the seed of St.Joachim at the moment of conception or cleanse the seed from the origin before it is release?.Remember the "seed" will be generated by "sensual pleasures or concupiscence" which is a mark of lust and Council of Trent defined "concupiscence" as the method of transmitting original sin. The Ark of the Covenant will be upheld only if Mary's flesh comes from pure or spotless seed.Otherwise it will contradict scriptures, Apostolic Tradition and Church Father teachings on the Ark of the Covenant. – marian agustin Mar 16 '19 at 1:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.