The book dwells on two main themes as thought by Augustine. The theme of free will and that of divine grace. He explains how free will allow humans to arrive at own choices and how on the other hand the choices require the grace of God for them to be valuable.” On the Free Choice of the Will”, “On Grace and Free Choice,” On Admonishment and Grace” and “ On the Gift of Perseverance” show St. Augustine’s human responsibility theory and also draws a refined reconciliation of grace and will.
St. Augustine works with the assumption that will is free and goes on to determine how human beings choose between good or evil. This happens to be a widely debated topic, and it impacts how one’s perspective on life are. (“CHURCH FATHERS: On Nature and Grace (St. Augustine)”, 2018).The Catholic faith assists in helping the members understand how free will is but unfortunately majority in our societies do not. One’s understanding of free will shows if they believe in life as one that has the ultimate “meaning.”
On Pelagius’s view on whether or not man is capable of being sinless by nature, he says that the nature of man as predominantly viewed in the institutional church can be traced back Pelagius times. The view that man is metaphysically evil by nature and that man must sin because “sinful” is what we are and that our actions which are sinful, because of our natures breed necessity. Further, as per the Pelagius view, the Bible considers sin as intentional or as a choice that is not confidence in the Almighty.it is a deserving punishment and its cause is attributed to the sinner, so Pelagius view is that man is not capable of being sinless.
On Pelagius description on the need for grace to be sinless, he does not leave any room for any special inner action of God over the soul. He describes that revelation of laws of God which can only be by reasoning which included the reading of Mosaic laws and following Christ’s examples. Only those will give us grace since God is not a respecter of person and that men advance in holiness by merit.
St. Augustine feels that Pelagius is “making the cross of the none effect” because it is during a time when there were divisions in the church, and everyone was choosing who to equate themselves with depending who they were. He felt Pelagius was not following the gospel but who evangelized him. He felt making the cross was without power in his life and that he (Pelagius) was replacing his salvation with something else (“CHURCH FATHERS: On Nature and Grace (St. Augustine)”, 2018).
Though St. Augustine feels that baptism cannot be there if there is no sin, he says grace is necessary because it is a gift that our heart desires and our salvation are dependent on. Even after one is baptized, grace is essential for real, continual joyful obedience. He says that grace governs the life governor that gives one the supreme joy in God’s supremacy. He believes that true happiness is based on God alone and he alone gives a sovereign joy. He emphasizes that all human beings desire true happiness, our wills alone as human beings are not sufficient to allow us to achieve it. This is evidently emphasized Luke’s gospel by saying “now we do not, when we make mention of these things, take away the freedom of will, but we preach the grace of God’’.( Chapter 36(XXXII).
St. Augustine on the possibility of freedom from sin possible, he says that human beings choose between doing good, but it is a case of whether one wants to do lesser “good”, .To him, and occurs when one permits the soul to be ruled by passion and desires which tends to be the choice of material things of the world. He emphasizes on using free will to make decisions that are well thought and informed by the conscience of what is right and what is evil. At. Augustine the choice to sin in this life is based on truth and allowing the fact to rule one’s life with passion keeps us far from sin. He continues that if our souls are not ordered correctly, the power to use free will disappears though not obliterated so.to him, human beings have a duty to command our souls in the right way and in combination with seeking grace we can avoid sin (“CHURCH FATHERS: On Nature and Grace (St. Augustine)”, 2018)
On nature and grace, According to Augustine, nature was made as a whole but has been corrupted by sin. God created man faultlessly and with no sin but human beings being born of Adam got corrupted by sin. Sin is that what darkens and weakens all the good qualities and it deserves punishment as written: “The very matter, says he, of sin, is its punishment if the sinner is so much weakened that he commits more sins” (Chapter 24(XXII). On the other hand, Free grace from Christ is freely granted without merit and hence can be inherited by both infants and adults. Those who are not liberated by grace do so because they are disobedient or because they have not received it. They are not sinless because they have not got rid the original sin through baptism or they have added sin due to their misconduct.
In conclusion, some people suppose that will’s freedom is denied whenever the grace of God remains, and others defend the liberty of the will. Further, it is clear the contrivers on nature and grace by Pelagius and Augustine is dated back to the ancient Greeks time.
CHURCH FATHERS: On Nature and Grace (St. Augustine). (2018). Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 April 2018, from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1503.htm