Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

John Calvin on Original Sin

[The following outline and notes are re-edited from blogposts originally published on 12/30/10 and 1/3/11.]

Institutes 2.1.4-11 [from the Beveridge translation] may be summarized as 

follows:

I. 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.
II. Depravation Communicated is Communicated Not merely by Imitation, but by Propagation. Proofs:
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.
         IV. Clarification:
                  A. God is not the author of sin;
                  B. The mortal wound of original sin was self-inflicted.

NOTES [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 Romans 3.

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.

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