Mennonite Articles of Faith (1766) - Article 8
VIII. Of the Fall of Man and Its Consequences.
We believe that our first parents, Adam and Eve, remained not in this blessed condition, but allowed themselves to be led astray through the crafty deceit of the serpent, the devil, or Satan (Genesis 3:1-5; Revelation 20:2; John 8:44) who with his angels had before fallen away from God and been cast out. Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4. Our parents fell in that they, against their conscience, transgressed the plain command of God and ate of the tree (Genesis 3:1-8) of which God had bidden them not to eat under pain of death. Genesis 2:16, 17.
Through this one disobedience sin with all its sad consequences came into the world. We acknowledge the far-reaching effects of this in every relation, first of all, however, for our first parents. Romans 5:12-21. Through it they fell from their innocence and were filled with shame; in the place of their filial reverence and openheartedness came fear and pangs of conscience (Genesis 3:1-8); in place of the unrestricted and intimate converse with God, a condition of antipathy and estrangement from Him (John 3:20), yea, the wrath and severity of the holy and righteous Creator. Ephesians 2:3. Besides the peace with God they lost also the peace with their created surroundings, they must pass under the sentence of death (Romans 5), were driven from the garden of Eden, the way to the tree of life was closed for them (Genesis 3:24), the earth itself was cursed on their account, and they were doomed to much pain and hard work. Genesis 3:16-19.
All this misery and wretchedness passed as a natural heritage upon all their posterity (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22), for how could they bring forth seed different from themselves (Job. 14:4; John 3:6), or how could they transmit prerogatives which they themselves had lost? Therefore we believe that they and all their posterity in, through, and with them, have become subject to physical (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22), spiritual (Ephesians 4:18; James 1:15; Romans 7:13), and eternal death (Romans 6:23), and utterly unable to be saved therefrom either by their own efforts (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 13:23) or through any creature. Psalms 49:7, 8. In this miserable condition they would, therefore, have to remain forever, if God had not come to them in His mercy. Ezekiel 16:5, 6.
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