[The following outline and notes are re-edited from blogposts originally published on 12/30/10 and 1/3/11
Initial Questions to Consider Concerning Original Sin:
A. How does Adam’s fall impact the entire human race?
B. To what extent does the
“contagious influence of the fall” extend?
1. To all the creatures, though
only Man offended God;
2. To the whole posterity of Adam.
Depravation Communicated is Communicated Not merely by Imitation, but by
A. The contrast drawn between Adam and Christ;
B. From the general declaration
that we are the children of wrath.
III. Original Sin Defined:
A. Original Sin is exposure to
the wrath of God based upon our nature in Adam.
B. Original Sin is hereditary
depravity extending to all the faculties of the soul.
God is not the author of sin;
The mortal wound of original sin was self-inflicted.
[from the sections outlined above]:
4. The first sin must have been
heinous indeed. The first sin can not be identified with sensuality. Augustine
spoke of the first sin as originating in pride. Calvin quotes Paul in concluding
that the first sin is disobedience, and considers this disobedience rooted in a
disregard for the Word of God. The first sin sought to annihilate the glory of
God, not trusting Him and following His commands.
5. "Original Sin" is
defined as "hereditary corruption." Original Sin is "innate from
the very womb," and not due to mere imitation (Calvin quotes from Psalm
51:5 and Job 14:4).
6. Calvin examines the parallel
between Adam and Christ found in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15. Scripture does
not teach that we are saved by an imitation of Christ, but by a renewed nature
brought about by the Holy Spirit. Calvin also quotes Ephesians 2:3 to
demonstrate the doctrine of hereditary, natural corruption.
7. From a corrupt root, corrupt
branches proceed. "Children come not by spiritual regeneration, but by
carnal descent." There is a "primary and universal curse" over
the whole human race. "Guilt is from nature, whereas sanctification is
from supernatural grace."
8. Definition of Original Sin:
"hereditary corruption and depravity of nature extending to all the parts
of the soul." Original Sin makes us first subject to the wrath of God,
then produces all sorts of fruits of unrighteousness. Calvin argues for a
combination of two older definitions of Original Sin: a want of original
righteousness" and "concupiscence."
9. Calvin expounds upon the idea
that "concupiscence" must be acknowledged to extend to every faculty
of Man. Calvin quotes from passages of Paul, especially Ephesians 4:17, 18 and
10. The blame for Original Sin is
ours, not God's (Ecc 7:29).
11. By nature, we are the
children of wrath (Eph 2:3). By "nature" Paul does not mean to
indicate nature as originally authored by God, but nature as corrupted in Adam.
Labels: Reformation Theology