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Catechism Buzz: Much Better

18 May 2011 by Matt Gumm

Q. 21. Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?
A. Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created.

Q. 22. Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
A. The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.

Q. 23. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.

So God creates Adam in the state of innocence, puts him in paradise, gives him liberty to eat from the entire garden save the Tree of Life, and provides a helper, so that he won't be alone. And man repays God, not by "continuing in the estate wherein he was created," but rather by transgressing God's command and bring destruction upon himself and his posterity.

That's history. The now is the sinful state, where the earth is the domain of darkness, and the creation itself groans and waits for redemption. Yet we who believe are in an intermediate state. We are actively setting aside the old sin nature, though our work in this life will never be complete.

Our ultimate destination, however, is not back to the garden. Paradise that it was, something greater awaits those who love God and are called according to His purpose. At the end of this life, a paradise awaits us that John the Revelator describes as heaven and earth remade, where there is no sun needed, because light is from the glory of God, and where praise is heaped upon the Father and the Son day and night.

Yes, man was created in an estate of innocency, in paradise, and no, he did not remain in that estate, but fell from it. But the second paradise, like the second Adam, is much better, and so we wait with anticipation for the day that is to come.