Q. Has God created thee naturally so wicked and perverse? A. By no means: but he created me good and after his own image, in the true knowledge of God, in righteousness and in holiness. While we see that men are so wicked and perverse, the question may arise whether God has created us so badly. The answer is: no, He hasn't. He has made us very good, as Scripture testifies. The Preacher says: "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright." (Ecclesiastes 7:29) God made man upright, namely in His image. "God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him." (Genesis 1:27) Adam had the true knowledge of God, was righteous and holy. When we look around us, we see that many are unholy, unrighteous and wicked. Yet, God had created us good, and righteous. When we, after our fall, are renewed, as Paul says, we get back our lost virtues, namely righteousness and holiness. "Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephesians 4:24) And in another place, the same apostle says that the renewed man gets back the true knowledge of God, wherein he was created. "Put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." (Colossians 3:10) Q. Whence then proceeds that depravity which is in thee? A. From the fall and disobedience of Adam and Eve in Paradise; hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all conceived and born in sin. The origin of our depravity is in the fall of Adam and Eve in Paradise. They ate the forbidden fruit, against the express commandment of God. All posterity was comprised by Adam. When he had been obedient in Paradise, all his posterity also had inherited eternal life. Likewise, because he sinned, all his posterity also fell with him. They were counted in him, as in the father of the whole human race. He was the head of the human race, and we all were counted in him. So, he fell, and became corrupted. Likewise we are fallen, and are corrupt now. Experience proves this. Look around you, and you see how corrupt the world is. By the disobedience of one man, of Adam, are we made sinners. This Paul says: "by one man's disobedience many were made sinners." (Romans 5:19) We are corrupt from our birth, as also David testifies: "behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalms 51:5) The nature of a babe, when born, is already corrupted. He is unable to do any real good. For, when a child is shapen in iniquity, as David says, he is wicked. The child being wicked, also its deeds, how good they may seem, are also corrupted in God's eyes. Q. What was that disobedience? A. That they did eat of the fruit of the tree, which God had forbidden them. The disobedience of Adam and Eve, as is already said, was that they ate of the forbidden fruit. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6) They transgressed God's express words, for He had said: "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17) Q. Does the disobedience of Adam concern us? A. Certainly: for he is the father of us all; and we have all sinned in him. Adam was the father of us all, and we have all sinned in him. By this one man, sin entered into the world, and also death with it, as God had warned. Likewise, the death, which came into the world, passed upon us all, because we all were counted in Adam. This shows us the hopeless state of us all. Many try to be righteous, but they will never succeed in own power. Some think they are pretty advanced on the way to become righteous, but I say you, that they only can think this because of their blindness. They see not their daily sins. Of course, when you close your eyes for your sins, you may think to be righteous in some measure. But when God awakens you from this deadly sleep, you will understand the truth. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Bible to Israel Editor: Teus Benschop - email@example.com Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of Catechism, 17 ------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ibp-e/cate: cat-017.txt .