Confession of Faith (1617) - Article VII
Of the fall and punishment of man we confess:
The first man, Adam, and Eve, having been thus gloriously created after the
likeness of their Creator, unto eternal life, did not continue long in this
estate; but as they were created with a free will, to choose what they would, so
that they could fear, serve and obey their Creator, or, disobey and forsake Him;
and as their Creator had given them a command, not to eat of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that they should eat thereof, they
should surely die; they, notwithstanding this, in their vain desire to be equal
to their Creator in wisdom and knowledge, were led and drawn away from God, and
deceived by Satan; and thus they disobediently and voluntarily transgressed the
command of their Creator.
The woman, last created, was first deceived, and turned her ears away from God to Satan, and, also seducing her husband, they, through this sin, fell under the wrath and disfavor of God, and, with all their posterity, became subject that very day, to temporal and eternal death, and were thus divested of the divine virtue, which is righteousness, and true holiness, and became sinful and mortal.
On this account, God, the holy and righteous judge, in whose sight wickedness can not endure, but who is of purer eyes than to behold evil, or to look on iniquity; and who threatens from heaven with His wrath and disfavor all disobedience and ingratitude of men; was so incensed by the sin thus committed by Adam and Eve, that thereby they not only fell into eternal condemnation, together with all their posterity, but God the Lord moreover imposed upon Adam and Eve divers temporal, bodily punishments, which also continually extend themselves into all their generations. Who are so corrupted in Adam, that they are all from their youth, by nature, inclined to sin and evil, and are therefore deprived of the beautiful pleasure garden, or paradise, but must eat their bread, all their life, in sorrow and in the sweat of their face, from the uncultivated earth, which because of this first sin was so cursed and marred, that it brings forth of itself weeds, thorns, and thistles; and cover the shame of their bodies made naked by sin. The woman, as the chief transgressor, has to subject her will and power to the man, and was constrained to bring forth her children in pain and anguish. This punishment continues upon all men, until they finally return to the dust and ashes whence they came.
Concerning how Adam, together with the whole human race, through sin, fell into temporal and eternal death, and, in consequence of this, became sinful, read: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men." "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned," etc. "And not as it was by one that sinned . . . . for the judgment was by one to condemnation," etc. "For if by one man's offense death reigned," etc. "Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation," etc. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners," etc. (Romans 5:12, 14-19).
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15: 21, 22).
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalms 51:5).
"Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" (Job 14:4).
"Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die" (Sirach 25:24; Titus 2:14; Wisdom 2:24).
The prophet Esdra says: "The first Adam bearing a wicked heart, transgressed, and was overcome; and so be all they that are born of him." "And he transgressed, and thou immediately, thou appointedst death in him and in his generations" (2 Esdras 3:21, 7).
"O thou Adam, what hast thou done! for though it was thou that sinned, thou art not fallen alone, but we all that come of thee" (2 Esdras 7:48. Read also: John 3:6; Romans 8:5; Ephesians 2:3; Sirach 17:16; Genesis 6:5).
Read further, how God announced unto Adam his punishment on account of sin, which punishment God extends unto all his posterity: "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the, field: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:17-19, 23, 24). Concerning the punishment of the woman, read: Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:12.
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