Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(Lat. obligo, "to bind") is that by which we are bound to the performance of any action. In theological science it holds a place in the doctrinal sphere, for it enters into the justification scheme. It is held that in consequence of original sin (q.v.) man comes into the world a debtor to divine justice, and is therefore under an obligation to punishment, he being deficient in that form of original justice in which he rendered to God all that service of love which the great goodness of God demanded. Hence the terms due and duty to express right conduct (comp. Hampden, Barnpton Lectures, 6:296).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Obligation'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/o/obligation.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.