Posted in ,

Blinded to goodness

29 June 2011 by Brad Williams

Q. 25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually; which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.

Q. 26. How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity?
A. Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity by natural generation, so as all that proceed from them in that way are conceived and born in sin.

Q. 27. What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
A. The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, his displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, bond slaves to Satan, and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to come.

We are a cursed people. The stench of death hangs upon this world. It stalks us all. It lurks, like a specter, in the back of our minds from the time we become aware that we are persons to the time we breathe our last. It casts a shadow over all we do. Everything here rots. Everything here dies. Everything here turns to dust.

Nature itself feels the weight of death's oppression. The creation sighs, and it does not willingly suffer the sons of men to trample her underfoot. The earth longs for restoration, for the wicked to be put down, for death to crushed underfoot. If creation were not bidden by her Master to hold us up, she would gladly cast us off and be rid of our cursed ilk. The sons of men are cruel stewards.

Man is cursed to separation. He is separated from his God, and he is separated from the creation he was made to tend. He spends his life in fear of dying, wondering if there is something beyond this world of thorns and thistles. He sees the withering flower that dies and leaves no trace, he sees the oak tumble and burn, he watches his crops die for lack of rain, he hears his babies cry with hunger, he sees time etch her marks on his skin, and he knows he is headed for his doom. All of this, whether he knows it or not, is just recompense for his own wickedness.

It is a testament to the horror of sin and the depth of man's cursedness that the heinous thing we call death, the blight that permeates the world, is a mercy. Death is a mercy, though she is cloaked in terrible garments. For the Lord God said upon man's fall, "Behold, the man has become like on of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and live forever..." (Gen. 3:22). God drove the man out of paradise and into the clutches of death in order to save him from a fate worse than dying, a fate worse than a thousand generations of cancer, murder, rape, starvation, and war. A fate worse than a stillborn upon the lap of an inconsolable mother.

This brings us to the greatest shame of the sons of men and the source of our greatest misery. We are blinded to glory and goodness. We are utterly unable to see holiness. For if we could see glory, and if we knew holiness, we would never have to wonder if death were a mercy, whether our suffering is just, and how it could be that starving is preferable to God's displeasure.

Man is a cursed brute, and the world is full of his stench. No one knows this like a man who has been set free by that alien thing called grace, who has caught the scent of heaven, who has seen the glory of eternity, and who has been enveloped by the love of God that invades this wretched place. Only this kind of man, a man freed from the misery of sin, can see that God must kill us to save us, and that all our sufferings here, all of our miseries, are nothing in comparison to knowing the glory of God in the risen King, Jesus Christ. The cursed world thinks this man is insane, thus adding to the misery and the longing for the sons of God to be revealed.