Devotional Word for Friday, September 18, 2020
On Monday, we spent some time thinking about where our sinful nature comes from. We concluded that God made us without sin in His image. That tells us that our sinful nature comes from somewhere else. Today we are going to look at the Heidelberg Catechism Questions 7 and 8 to help us understand our situation.
Question 7 says, “Where, then, does this corruption of human nature come from?” The answer is “From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden; whereby our human life is so poisoned that we are all conceived and born in the state of sin.” This answer is going to take just a little bit to unpack. Remember that in the beginning creation was created and ordered, and the Lord pronounced it was very good. Remember that the Lord created a garden and put Adam and Eve into the garden. They had instructions not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed and as a result were cast out of the garden. Is question 7 of the Heidelberg Catechism suggesting that all of the consequences of the sins of people today can be traced back to that event? If so, how could it suggest such a thing? The answer to the first question is yes. The answer to the second question is that the Bible says so.
Romans 5:12 says THEREFORE, JUST AS THROUGH ONE MAN (that is Adam) SIN ENTERED INTO THE WORLD, AND DEATH THROUGH SIN, AND SO DEATH SPREAD TO ALL MEN, BECAUSE ALL SINNED. Paul here makes the case that when Adam sinned, all of his offspring sinned. When sin came into the world through Adam’s disobedience, it was handed down to each generation even until today.
We may well think that this sounds unfair. As we look at the consequences of sin in our own lives as well as in the world around us, it may feel like Adam has a lot to answer for. After all, if he had only kept his paws off the fruit, none of the mess of life would have happened. If that is our thinking, we are forgetting a critical detail. Adam is not the only one who has sinned. We have all sinned. Each and every one, apart from the Lord Jesus, who has ever lived has sinned. That means that not only are we guilty because we are descended from Adam, we are guilty because of our own actions.
Question number 8 drives this point home. It says, “But are we so corrupt that we are altogether unable to do good and prone to do evil?” The answer says, “Yes, unless we are born again through the Spirit of God.” Because of the sin of Adam, our own sins, and the wretched consequences of both, we do say with the Scriptures that we are so corrupt that we are altogether unable to do good and prone to evil. However, we are thankful that God in His providential care often restrains us so that we do not act in the most evil way possible. We are also thankful that there is a way we might escape sin and its wretched consequences. We must be born again through the Spirit of God. Let us pray!