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Catechism Class: LD3, Q7-8. Imputed Sin

20/04/2021

Catechism Class: Imputed Sin

Text . H/C Lord’s Day 3, Q7-8. Genesis 3 

Q7 “From where, then, did man’s depraved nature come?” “From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise, for there our nature became so corrupt that we are all conceived and born in sin.” So in this class we are going to look at the Fall of Man, and the consequences that have resulted from it. Genesis 2:16-17 There was only one rule in paradise – Don’t eat the fruit from that tree! But Adam and Eve couldn’t even keep that one simple rule. They failed the obedience test, they ate the fruit of the tree and they fell from God’s favour:- Genesis 3:6-7

LISTEN TO THIS LESSON AS A PODCAST. CLICK HERE.

1 The Immediate ConsequencesFrom the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,

The consequences of Adam’s disobedience were immediate and devastating.  With that one single sin, paradise was ruined, and Eden forbidden.  Let’s explore further…

  • Sin entered into mankind’s experience.  They have disobeyed God, they have cast doubt upon his word, believing the lies of the serpent rather than the word of God. Genesis 3:1-4   It was a lie!  Lying is SIN, and the man and woman fell for the lie.
  • Fear entered into the world. Genesis 3:9  
  • The ‘Blame Game’ began.  When confronted by God about their disobedience, Adam blamed God for giving him the woman and the woman for giving him the fruit of the tree, and Even blamed the serpent….  Genesis 3:12-13 
  • Pain and Sickness began.  For the woman, childbearing would be sore, the first indication of pain in the world.  Genesis 3:16,  
  • Labour and toil and sweat.  Being a gardener, tending the garden of Eden was no great inconvenience for Adam, it was a pleasure.  But now, after the fall, all that has changed forever,  for being a gardener is back breaking work.  Every time you stoop to all a weed, think of Adam and Eve, and their disobedience.  Genesis 3:17-18  
  • Life became hard.  I knew an old Christian man, a funeral director, now gone to glory, who often stood at a coffin with a newly widowed woman, and put his arm on her soldiers, and “Life has wearied him…”. Life wearies us all.  Here’s why, Genesis 3:19  
  • Death enters the world.  Genesis 3:19,  Paul expressed this succinctly  this in Romans, when he wrote, “For the wages of sin is death…”
  • Creation is wrecked.  Romans 8:22-23   Everything is damaged, everything is broken and everything is passing away.

With the fall that fellowship is broken, and man becomes totally purposeless, glorifying only himself, in his pointless unsatisfactory existence.   Genesis 3:23 

2 What’s That Got To Do With MeRomans 5:12  

Adam and Eve are our historical first parents. Adam and Eve were real people, who really did fail the test and because of that, we are related to Adam.  Aren’t we so like our parent!  We have inherited the characteristics of Adam, his sinful nature.   How could this happen? Augustine of Hippo proposed a theory that had come to be known as ‘Seminal Representation.’  He suggests that we were all IN ADAM when he sinned, – we were ‘in his loins.’  He translated Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” as ‘IN WHOM all have sinned.’ Augustine felt that our original, inborn sinfulness could only be explained, if everyone was literally and genetically “in the loins of Adam.” The guilt of Adam is rightly applied to me, because all humanity was physically present when Adam committed the sin. In Adam’s sin all people actually sinned.  There is biblical evidence for this, READ 1 Corinthians 15:22 and Hebrews 7:9-10, where the precedent for this theory is established,   As the catechist teaches us, for there our nature became so corrupt that we are all conceived and born in sin.” Because Adam has sinned, we all have sinned, and we all come short of God’s righteous standards.  

But wait!  “I’m a good person! I know I make mistakes from time to time, but I’m really not that bad, am I?” But we are not good. The sinful nature that we have inherited from our father, Adam, is often described as “TOTAL DEPRAVITY.”  It’s not that we are as utterly sinful as we can possibly be, but we are totally depraved in that every part of our lives are affected by sin.  Our mind, our will, our emotions.  Everything within us is tainted by sin.    But aren’t little babies born innocent?  Certainly not!  Our instructor reminds us that we are not just BORN in sin, we are even CONCEIVED in sin.  That’s important, for it establishes and confirms our belief in the value of human life from conception to death. READ Psalm 51:5 We are sinners, we are lost and condemned and far away from God, living lives that are so far out of God’s purposes, that we can never gain any satisfaction from our broken lives.  That leaves us to ask one final question:-

3 How Can I Fix the Problem?

Up to now we’ve have nothing in this catechism class but bad news.  There’s more bad news too.  There is nothing we can do to improve our condition.  But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined to all evil?  A. Yes,   When God drove Adam and Even from paradise, from his garden and his presence, he sealed the gates, so that they could never re-enter it.  Genesis 3:24   We can try, of course, and many do.  Nothing will work though.  Thankfully, the catechist doesn’t leave us in such despair.  There is hope for us, – not within us, or in anything we do, but in Christ!  He says, unless we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.

There is only one way to have our sins dealt with, and the evil influence of our perverse human nature corrected, and that is through the regeneration of our spirit, that is the work of the Holy Ghost within us. As we were made in the image of God, we must be REMADE in that image, so that God’s image in us is repaired and restored.  The Lord Jesus referred to this as being BORN AGAIN, (BORN FROM ABOVE)  John 3:1-3  

We need to be created again, to be new creations, born from above, and that is what God does for us, when he regenerates our souls, through the application of God’s word by the Holy Spirit, who makes us aware of our sin, and inclines us to repent of it, and to rest in Christ’s finished work on the cross. Romans 5:17-21  

© Bob McEvoy April 2021

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