What is the Fourfold State of Man?


Augustine (Correction and Grace XXXIII) wrote: The four states of man in relation to sin enumerated by Augustine of Hippo: (a) able to sin, able not to sin (posse peccare, posse non peccare); (b) not able not to sin (non posse non peccare); (c) able not to sin (posse non peccare); and (d) unable to sin (non posse peccare). The first state corresponds to the state of man in innocency, before the Fall; the second the state of the natural man after the Fall; the third the state of the regenerate man; and the fourth the glorified man. This is summarized in the table below:

Pre-Fall Man Post-Fall Man Reborn Man Glorified Man
able to sin able to sin able to sin able to not sin
able to not sin unable to not sin able to not sin unable to sin

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).