Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof

  1. Although God created man upright and perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which secured life while he kept it, and threatened death if he broke it,1 yet man did not remain long in this honour. Satan used the subtlety of the serpent to seduce Eve, then through her seduced Adam,2 then Adam – without any compulsion – wilfully transgressed the law of their creation and the command given to them by eating the forbidden fruit. All this God was pleased to permit according to his wise and holy counsel, having purposed to order [direct] it to his own glory.

1 Gen 2.16-17 2 Gen 3.12-13; 2Cor 11.3

  1. Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God,3 and we fell in them. By this, death came upon all men; all became dead in sin,4 and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.5

3 Rom 3.23 4 Rom 5.12, etc. 5 Ti 1.15; Gen 6.5; Jer 17.9; Rom 3.10-19

  1. They being the root, and by God’s appointment standing in the place and on behalf [as representatives] of all mankind,6 the guilt of the sin was imputed [put to the account of] and corrupted nature passed on to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation [conception and birth]. Their descendants are now conceived in sin,7 and are by nature children of wrath,8 the servants of sin, the subjects of death9 and all other miseries – spiritual, temporal and eternal – unless the Lord Jesus sets them free.10

6 Rom 5.12-19; 1Cor 15.21-22, 45, 49 7 Ps 51.5; Jb 14.4 8 Eph 2.3 9 Rom 6.20; 5.12 10 Heb 2.14-15; 1Thes 1.10

  1. All actual transgressions proceed from this original corruption,11 by which we are utterly disinclined, disabled, and made opposite [antagonistic] to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil.12

11 Jas 1.14-15; Mt 15.19 12 Rom 8.7; Col 1.21

  1. During this life, this corruption of nature remains in those who are regenerated [born again].13 Although it is pardoned and mortified [put to death] through Christ, nevertheless both this corruption of nature and all its inclinations and desires are truly and properly sin.14

13 Rom 7.18, 23; Ecc 7.20; 1Jn 1.8 14 Rom 7.23-25; Gal 5.17