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The Fountainhead

28 June 2011 by Daniel

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.

Adam was created as a righteous being. By that I mean that Adam was created in a state that was fit to stand in the presence of God. He was in this state from the very beginning, that is, it wasn't as though Adam started off neutral, and then became fit to stand in God's presence through subsequent obedience. He was righteous from the get go and his obedience was the natural adornment of that righteousness.

The moment Adam rebelled against God's command, however, he lost this state of righteousness falling into a state of corruption. Corruption (in this sense) is used to describe the lack of that righteousness from which all obedience flows.

Did you catch that? Think it through till you get it.

Christ was born (impeccably) righteous. He did not become righteous through obedience. Christ's obedience flowed from His pre-existing righteousness. His obedience did not bring that righteousness into being, rather His righteousness brought His obedience into being.

Do you see then what we have inherited through Adam? Each one of us is born into the same state of corruption that Adam brought into this world; we are born lacking righteousness (corrupt) and therefore have nothing within us from which obedience can flow.

This is the inheritance of all mankind. It is not something handed down from parent to child so much as it is something Adam brought into being that immediately affected all of mankind.