(Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 4) The Dreadful Cause of Man's Misery Lord's Day 3 Psalter No. 416 st. 4 Read Romans 5:12-31 Psalter No. 140 st. 2,3 Psalter No. 415 st. 8 Psalter No. 387 st. 5,6 Beloved: In Romans 5:4 the apostle Paul calls Adam a figure of Him who was to come, namely, of Christ. In what respect can Adam be called a figure of Christ? Certainly not in His disobedience and fall. No, indeed, for the Messiah was that holy thing which was born of Mary and learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (Hebr. 5) Adam was a figure of Christ as Covenant Head. As Adam was the head of the Covenant of Works, so Christ is the head of the Covenant of Grace. In the Covenant of Works Adam represented all men who were included in him as their father; Christ in the Covenant of Grace represented all those who were included in Him by virtue of election. There are those who teach that the Covenant of Grace differs in nature and essence from the Covenant of Redemption, and thus they teach the doctrine of the three, instead of two, covenants, although Scripture teaches emphatically in Gal. 4:24, "These are the two covenants," and our Reformed fathers have therefore taught likewise. It is therefore without doubt that Christ as "the last Adam" is the Head of the Covenant of Grace. It was demanded of Him that He fulfill all the conditions of the covenant for all those that were given to Him by the Father, while all the promises of the covenant are yea and amen in Him, because they were promised to His elect in Him. It would certainly be no covenant of grace if even one condition had to be fulfilled by the recipients, and the promises of the covenant would never be fulfilled if they were made dependent upon man's obedience. Because of the covenant relationship, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to God's elect. They are reckoned in Christ from eternity and they actually enter the covenant by regeneration and by being grafted into Christ. In Adam, however, all men are included in and were brought forth in the Covenant of Works; they were all reckoned in him, and in their covenant head they all fell away from God. The origin of man's misery lies in the fall, as the third Lord's Day of our Catechism plainly teaches us. We would now ask your attention to that Lord's Day. Lord's Day 3 Q. 6: Did God then create man so wicked and perverse? A. By no means; but God created man good, and after his own image, in true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love him and live with him in eternal happiness to glorify and praise him. Q. 7: Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature? A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise; hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all conceived and born in sin. Q. 8: Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness? A. Indeed we are; except we are regenerated by the Spirit of God. In this third Lord's Day the dreadful cause of man's misery is shown, and we are told: I That the cause may not be imputed to God, II That the cause lies in man's willful disobedience, III That the cause does not make man's deliverance out of his misery impossible. I By the law, then, as the second Lord's Day teaches us, is the knowledge of sin, a knowledge which by the conviction of the Holy Spirit discovers to us such a depth of misery that we must acknowledge that we are prone by nature to hate God and our neighbor. Yet that convinced sinner would never flee to Jesus if God did not cut off every attempt to improve himself and to satisfy God's justice by showing him the source of his misery so that he must say with David, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." In this Lord's Day we must now consider, the instructor comes to that source of our misery. In the first place the catechism removes all the blame from God. The cause of our misery is not in God. He has made man good and in His image, perfectly good, both as to soul and body. If anything had been lacking in the creation of man, the blame of man's fall would come upon God. But it is not so. All of creation, including man, lay open for God's inspection. And what was the result? "And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good." Even of the angels it is not written that they were created after God's image and likeness, although they are called "sons of God." Of the Son of God, Scripture says that He is the express image of His person. He could say, "He that has seen Me has seen the Father," because the full essence of God is in Him as it is in the Father, and in the Holy Spirit. But man is created in God's image and likeness. It has pleased the Lord to create some traces of His attributes in the soul of man, although God's attributes themselves cannot be communicated to any creature, because the full essence of God is in each attribute. But in creation the Lord granted man some likeness to His image. Likeness and image can, therefore, not be separated; although man, having been created in God's image, can ascend to the likeness of God. Image and likeness express the same thought namely that man was created in the likeness of God's image, consisting in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. Paul describes it very clearly when in Eph. 4: 24 and in Col. 3:10 he says that God's people are renewed after the image of Him that created him. God's image then, as it was created in man, is renewed in the elect, and that image consists, as the above mentioned texts show, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, "that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love Him and live with Him in eternal happiness to glorify and praise Him." By virtue of his divine creation then, man was a prophet, a priest, and a king. As a prophet he rightly knew his Creator; he knew Him as the only, true, Triune God; he knew Him in His omnipotence, wisdom, righteousness and love. In the state of rectitude man needed no grace; the knowledge of grace in Christ could only be wrought in the heart of fallen man. God was not unknown to Adam. He was the God of his joy and delight, whom, if he had not fallen, he would have honored and praised to all eternity with all his posterity. Furthermore, Adam was a priest who loved his Creator heartily and sacrificed himself and all his affections, while already as a king he reigned on earth, and one day would live with Him in eternal happiness to praise and glorify Him without any possibility of interruption. Adorned with God's image, man was therefore immortal, created for the glory of God. The image was so much a part of the nature of man, that man in his whole life showed himself to be an image-bearer of God. Men speak therefore of this image in its narrower and wider sense. In the narrower sense it is entirely lost by sin; but in the wider sense there are left, after the fall, a few remains, consisting of an inborn knowledge of God, so that every man, whoever he may be, has a consciousness of the existence of God. The heresy of Pelagius then is utterly condemnable; for he considered the image of God merely to consist in man's upright posture and in his dominion over the animals, while he considered man with God's image mortal. Does not God expressly state that death is the result of sin? "The wages of sin is death" says Paul in Rom. 6: 23. The Roman Catholic Church also errs in seeing the image of God as added to created man. The creation of man itself was done in the image of God, and when that was lost the nature of man was marred, and not merely something additional lost. We must emphatically reject the error of all Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians, and their offspring, which states that man was created neither good nor bad, but as a sheet of clean paper (tabula rasa), so that what is put on that paper shall determine whether it is good or bad. God created man in an active, moral righteousness. By virtue of his creation he was good, perfectly good, an image-bearer of God, placed in a glorious state, and living in immediate communion with the Triune God. He was subject to neither sickness nor death; he knew neither grief nor terror. Indeed in that state he was able to obtain eternal life by being obedient, an even higher degree of glory, and an everlasting confirmation of that blessed state was possible for him, so that he could no more fall from that state, neither he nor his posterity. Moreover the Lord descended so low that He, the eternal God, made a covenant with His creature. With Adam God made the Covenant of Works, in which He promised life upon obedience, but also threatened death upon transgression. It is true Genesis 2 does not relate in detail the establishment of that covenant, as Genesis 3 does not mention the Covenant of Grace explicitly. Moses, however, does narrate the parts of the covenant. God did not want to be served as a tyrant for fear of punishment, therefore the threat of death, and the promise of life were included. Therefore throughout all the Scripture life is promised upon the fulfillment of the law. "Which if a man do, he shall live in them," said Moses in Lev. 18:5. To the rich young man Christ said, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments," and Paul speaks repeatedly of the obedience that is of the law: see Rom. 3:27, 10:5, Gal. 3:12. All these places refer to the fact that upon the fulfillment of the law, which fallen man cannot attain to anymore, God promised life in the Covenant of Works. Hoses also speaks of that covenant made with Adam and in him with all his posterity, when he reproves Israel for their unfaithfulness, saying, "They like men have transgressed the covenant." (Hos. 6:7) In this covenant then, Adam was able to obtain life which was irremovable. For although he was created perfectly good, God had left him the possibility of falling which would have been taken away, had he fulfilled the law. Hence it is quite wrong to say that the cause of man's misery should lie in his creation, and yet it seems so natural for our fallen nature to cast the blame upon God. This lay in the words of Adam, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me she gave me of the tree." And those who dare not say it openly as the heretics we mentioned, secretly cast the blame upon the Lord. Thus we seek to hide behind our impotence. With our Reformed doctrine we feel sorry for ourselves, but do not consider it our own fault. We acknowledge, "Such is our miserable state", but we go on to hell with our eyes open. "I did not make myself, nor can I convert myself," we say, and with a false passivity and impotence we reject the invitation of the gospel. Therefore this word of Jesus shall one day be applied to us, "If I had not come and spoken unto them they had no sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin." The false doctrine would never have spread as it has from age to age, if the seeds were not in everyone's heart. But whatever inventions men have sought out, God has created man after His image and is not the cause of man's misery. He was supplied with all the abilities to remain standing, to lay aside all temptations of the devil and to keep the commandment given in the Covenant of Works. That commandment was not grievous. One would be more inclined to ask whether the commandment not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not too easy, in relation to the penalty of death that would rest upon Adam and all his posterity eternally. We shall soon see that this commandment was not too light, but it is evident that the Lord did not demand of man something that he could not fulfill. He was created to the glory of God, and in the state of rectitude it was his delight and pleasure to glorify and praise his God and Creator, and in eternity he would serve him perfectly in eternal blessedness, if only he would acknowledge God as God. Who can describe that glorious and perfect state in which God had created man! Hence God is certainly not the cause of man's misery. Man is lost because of his own sin, and lies lost because of his own sin. Now hear in the second place how the Instructor explains this as he states II that the cause of our misery lies in man's willful disobedience. This we are taught in Question 7: "Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature?" Answer: "From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise; hence our nature is become so corrupt that we are all conceived and born in sin." As we speak of man's fall, we must notice: (a) the work of God in His decree and government, (b) the work of the devil in his dreadful temptation, (c) the work of man in his willful disobedience. The fall was not outside of God's decree. God not only knew from eternity that man would fall, but He decreed it. He knows all things by virtue of His decree, and with assurance that it shall be so. Augustine already held over against Pelagius that sin was preceded by God's decree. Has God then willed the fall? Yes, although He hates and punishes sin, He has willed its manifestation, so that He would glorify himself in rational creatures both in His righteousness, and in His mercy. With holy caution we tread into this realm, and we firmly aver above all that God did not work sin, but man freely fell away from God and to Satan. And yet what man freely did was not outside of God's counsel but was determined by Him in eternity. "It is wicked to say that God did foreknow the fall of Adam but had not foreordained it by an eternal decree. The most insignificant things in nature do not occur without God's will and decree. (Matth. 10:30) God has also decreed such works as are sin." (W. Perkins Works, p. 416.) Or did the crimes of Judas Herod, and Pontius Pilate occur without God's decree? Certainly not. In Matth. 26:24 Christ Himself says not only that He is going to die, but that He is going "as it is written of Him." The prophets had described His death and the description was made by the revelation of God's counsel to them. Judas had to betray Him; the Sanhedrin had to lay hold on Him; Pontius Pilate had to violate justice. All this had to happen for God had determined all the details unchangeably in His decree from eternity. Who can still have any doubt regarding God's decree determining sin? When Peter was released by the Sanhedrin he said, "For of a truth against Thy holy Child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done." (Acts 4:27, 28) All the dreadful things therefore committed against the holy Child Jesus, which placed an eternal burden of guilt upon its perpetrators, were done according to the determinate counsel of God. If so, would not the fall of Adam also be included in that determinate counsel? God not only foreknow, but also decreed it. Yea, even in the fall we see God's permission and guidance, for without these the devil could not have tempted Eve, nor have made use of the serpent. The counsel of God determined how and in which ways and by what means God would in His perfect sovereignty glorify Himself in His creatures in time. His glory is the main purpose; but fallen man rebels with all his might against giving God the glory. We cannot and will not let God be God. Nevertheless He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. Who has resisted His will? Would we find fault with God's eternal decree, or challenge His sovereignty which decided to glorify His justice in man, who, regardless of God's decree, willingly fell away from Him, and His mercy in Christ in those whom He predestined to salvation, and draws out of their fall in the time of His good pleasure? Nay, but, O man, who art thou that replies against God? He is sovereign in His work and in His decree. He decreed, I repeat, the fall of man and did not allow it to come to pass without Him. Nevertheless, not God, but the devil tempted man to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let us then notice the work of the devil in his dreadful temptation. Devils are fallen angels. God has created all the angels in one moment, probably on the first day. They stood before God with their thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousands, each for himself, not represented in a covenant head. Not all, but a part of the angels fell, and those fallen angels, the rejected ones, are the devils whose leader is Satan. In order to strike at God he cast himself upon man who was created after God's image. It would have been easy to turn aside this attack, for the devil could use only simplest means. In the form of a serpent over whom man had complete dominion, Satan could come with his attack upon the testing commandment, which was not heavy and which was known to man both as to its content and its threat. Certainly the devil's position was weak compared to that of God's image-bearer. A serpent was Satan's tool, a real created serpent, which was more subtle than any beast of the field. It was not subtle in an evil sense as we sometimes use the word, for the earth had not yet been cursed, but it was subtle in the sense that it was not easily surprised. This characteristic of the serpent was well-known to both Adam and Eve, and made it a useful tool for Satan. The devil, then, in the serpent, turns to Eve. Not Eve, but Adam was the head of the Covenant of Works. Even before Eve was created Adam had received the testing command, and Eve knew it through Adam. Although Eve had the ability and the necessary gifts to remain standing, the devil chose her as the most suitable prey, to cause Adam to fall through her. Satan first sought to stir up doubt regarding God's command by asking, "Has God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" His first attempt seemed to have some success in that Eve in answering him omitted the words "of the knowledge of good and evil" which were necessary for the maintenance of God's justice. Upon Eve's answer the devil dared to respond to God's expressed threat with the brazen lie, "Ye shall not surely die," and he cast upon God the accusation of uttering threats merely to keep man in submission, saying, "For God does know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." What? Would man be as God? Independent of his Creator? He himself the lord and master? And that to attain higher bliss? Impossible! Loosed from God he must die. The devil's word is entirely a lie. God knew what was good and evil for Adam and Eve, and their greatest happiness lay in submitting to Him in perfect obedience. They already knew good as distinct from evil; Eve knew what God had commanded and forbidden, even of the punishment threatened upon sin she was not ignorant. The word of the devil does not simply mean, "Then you shall know also what evil is," but "ye shall be as God, loose from His authority, you shall yourself determine what is good and what is evil." But the temptation to be himself is the seduction to man's deepest misery. Not being as God, not standing beside, not being our own, but being under God, perfect obedience to God, that is happiness for men. It is as the Catechism says, "That I am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ." Satan first tempted Eve by stirring up doubt regarding God's law, then by speaking a lie and finally by casting a false accusation upon God's love. And he still works thus. What happened in Paradise will never be repeated, man fell away from God only once. But the devil still goes about with the same devices and lies; he still portrays the service of God as tyranny. Many fell into his snares and went into the public service of sin. Into many hearts he still whispers, "Your eyes shall be opened," just to shut them for God's Word and to draw them away from the pure doctrine of God's testimonies. The devil is a murderer from the beginning. But how could God permit the devil to attack Eve, and that by using a serpent, one of His creatures? Was God not setting a snare for man into which he fell? No, the opposite is true. Unconsciously all irrational and lifeless creatures obey God's will. Man stood above them all. How would man's superiority above the rest of creation be seen? In obeying his Creator, not because he could not do otherwise, but freely, because of love to God. And that willing obedience could only be shown when man was placed before a choice of submitting to God or falling away from Him. Now then, man was given that choice and he freely and willingly broke away from God and chose Satan for his lord and master. That is the work of man in the fall. "The depravity of human nature," says the instructor, "proceeds from the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve in Paradise." Eve gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. Instead of correcting her, Adam committed the same disobedience, willingly, against better knowledge. But was not the fall decreed? Yes, but this decree did not influence Adam nor Eve to transgress, for they did not know about the decree, nor did it take away man's responsibility for his actions. Esau was a reprobate, but did not that profane person, mocking about his salvation, willingly sell his birthright for a pottage of lentils? Of Judas it had been prophesied that according to God's eternal decree he should betray Christ, but did he not confess in his despair, "I have betrayed innocent blood? I, I have done it!"? According to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel crucified Christ, but Peter said openly to the rulers of the people, "This (Christ) is the stone which was set at nought of you builders." God's decree does not remove man's responsibility for his deeds nor did it remove the responsibility from Adam and Eve when they ate from the forbidden tree. Moreover, we hope to mention it again in the fourth Lord's Day, God had given man all the powers necessary to remain standing. He willingly fell away from God. Do not think the eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a minor sin; "a narrow split," as Pelagius ridiculed it, by which sin came upon all men. No, indeed, it was not. In transgressing God's command man made God a liar. Satan's word, "Thou shalt not die", was in direct opposition to God's sentence, "Thou shalt surely die." One of the two must be a lie, and now man believed Satan, thereby making God a liar. Furthermore, man drew himself away from God. "But being in honour, he understood it not, neither knew his excellency, but willingly subjected himself to sin, and consequently to death and the curse, giving ear to the words of the devil." (Belgic Confession, Art. 14.) Our whole nature is corrupt; we are all conceived and born in sin. The sin committed in Paradise did not affect only Adam and Eve. The woman ate and fell for herself, but Adam was the head of the Covenant of Works, in which he represented all his posterity. In him they all stood, in him they all fell. Not by two, but by one man sin came into the world, and death by sin, by one sin, as Paul says many times in Rom. 5. Not all the sins of Adam's lifetime are imputed to his posterity, but the one sin of one man. Therefore the imputation of the fall is due to the covenant relationship. Our relationship to Adam is two-fold, a natural and a covenantal relation. If the imputation were because of the first relationship, then Eve's sin would also be ours, and then sin would have come into the world not by one man, but by two. Paul, however, teaches us it came by one man, and in that one man our nature is corrupted, so that we are all conceived and born in sin. It is very important to understand this for thus the imputation of righteousness is also because of the covenant relationship. Where then are they who deny Christ as the Head of the Covenant of Grace? Yea, where are they? From the covenant relationship comes the imputation of sin, as the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the elect also comes from the covenant relationship. Our nature is corrupt; we are all conceived and born in sin; we are the objects of God's wrath; yea, from the time of our conception, we lie under the curse of God and in the power of sin, and thus we are born. And when the Holy Spirit leads His people into Adam's breach of the covenant, and teaches them more about it through deeper discoveries of their state of misery, they lose all hope of improving themselves to which end they were working day after day; but their hope was continually put to shame. They are cut off from the expectation of being saved by their works; they learn to know themselves as condemnable before God and have no more expectation. Oh, they are now totally lost. And still, as we shall finally consider: III The cause of man's misery does not exclude the possibility of his being saved out of that misery. We are incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness. Already in the second Lord's Day we considered that "the carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." They who urge men to accept Jesus should consider that John calls men darkness, and man is but a slave of sin and can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven. All our thoughts and words and deeds are enmity against God; we will not and can not come to Christ to be saved in Him. And yet deliverance out of our deep misery is not impossible, for the Catechism says, "except we are regenerated by the Spirit of God." Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a new creation, a resurrection from the dead, which God works in us, without our aid. (Canons of Dordt.) God wants to raise His elect again out of their deep fall in Adam. He calls them from death. This work of God is not done without man's knowledge. An unconscious regeneration of which no one, not even the subject himself knows anything, does not exist. Sin works in us, and we are aware of that, "and would man then be unaware," asks Calvin, "of that great work of God, by which he becomes a new creature in Christ?" That is impossible. But that true regeneration without which no man shall see or enter the kingdom of God is indispensable. It enlightens the mind darkened by sin, it renews the will; it is a recreation according to the image of Him Who has created us. With the renewed faculties of the soul, God's people shall hate sin and flee from it to be pleasing to God in Christ Jesus. Totally lost and miserable, without any hope of improvement, brought to an end of his own attempts to please God, they must cry out with the poet of Psalm 25: (Psalter No. 415, st. 8) "Turn Thou unto me in mercy; Have compassion on my soul. I am sore distressed and lonely; Waves of trouble o'er me roll." Application My beloved, has the fall of Adam ever become your fall? You all agree that God has made man upright, according to His image and likeness, perfectly good, and by establishing with him a Covenant of Works opened the way for him to obtain eternal life that can never be lost, that salvation which would be no less than the salvation now prepared for the elect in Christ. Man would then not be saved by grace, but his perfect knowledge and his abiding in the immediate presence of God would have caused him to partake of perfect bliss, to the glory of God. It is true that some have denied that man could attain to a higher plane of glory than that in which he was created, but the promise of life in the covenant with Adam, given to him and his posterity, shows the fallacy of denying the possibility of attaining higher and incorruptible glory. It is our confession in which we have been instructed according to the Word of God from our youth, that the cause of our deep misery does not lie in God, but in our willful disobedience. We all execute God's will, but we bear the responsibility for our actions, also for our fall. For Adam's fall is our fall; he was our covenant head, and we stood, but also fell in him. I beg of you, hold to the true doctrine delivered to us by our fathers. I would urge our young men and women especially to do so. Search the old writers, become familiar with them. It is not too much trouble and will benefit you greatly. Do not use your time reading books that require no thought, that draw you away from the truth instead of confirming you in it. The clamor for light literature, either so-called Christian or non-Christian, has entered the church. It is one of the signs that the quest for the old and tried truth, and hence also for the salvation of our souls is disappearing. Have we not a doctrine that not only teaches us death in Adam by our own sin, but also the possibility to be delivered from our misery? God will by means of His Word regenerate children of Adam to life eternal. Peter calls this living and everlasting Word, the incorruptible seed of regeneration. May the Lord bless it to your soul. Although no one is too old to be converted, and no one has sinned against God too long, it usually pleases the Lord to draw His people from their deep fall in their youth and to work the new life within them. Do not spend your precious time in the service of sin. Consider always your guilt, your fall in Adam, so that you will not rest in your works and historical faith, but may the realization of the need of regeneration cause you to set your heart upon the truth. May the Lord by the working of the Holy Spirit cut you off from Adam, and give you an interest in Christ. That is His work in regeneration and the great privilege of those that cannot keep alive their own soul. That regeneration is not unconscious as we have shown in that sense that it has no noticeable fruit, but it is difficult for some children of God to know whether or not they are regenerated. Perhaps there are some among us who, when the characteristics of that new life are set forth, open their hearts before the Lord, and admit that they are not strangers to godly sorrow for sin acknowledging the justice of God in imposing three-fold death as the punishment of sin, and love to God's people, though they be despised by the world. They cannot humble themselves deeply enough before God because of their sin. But how shall they be delivered from their sin and misery? They cannot pay the ransom, and no man can save them. Is this not the burden of your life, your worry that exceeds the cares of life, and causes you to cry day and night for a way of salvation? Ask the Lord for discovering grace. He will show you your fall in Adam, for there lies the cause of your troubles and your wandering outside of Christ, that you never saw yourself as cut off in your deep fall. Certainly it is not possible to plant a graft into a stock before it is cut off from the old stock. Likewise, no soul can be grafted into Christ if it is not cut off from Adam. This act is done by the Lord in the quickening; but for the consciousness of the soul the discovering work of the Holy Spirit is indispensable. God's people can not live on inferences nor determine their state by marks they find within themselves. On the contrary, it becomes more and more impossible to be saved. Even those to whom the way of salvation in Christ was revealed, and to whom He gave His promises, so feel the lack of their conscious assurance in Christ that they often lose the ground upon which they could rest to meet God. Believe me, beloved, the doctrine of the fall is an article of great importance, doctrinally, but also experimentally. The church stands or falls with this doctrine, and that which is confessed according to the Scriptures, is experienced by God's people. Thus it is necessary to know we are cut off from Adam. Then Adam's fall becomes our fall, and Adam's willful disobedience becomes our willful breaking of the Covenant of Works. Seek for the cutting off of your life that you may be built up in Christ. Let the strict preaching that says you are guilty in Adam please you, and the Lord grant you to glory for your salvation in Him Who was dead and lives forever; the last Adam, in Whom all shall live who are given Him by the Father; although, reckoned in their first covenant head Adam, they are children of wrath. May He make you perfect and establish you and cause you by faith with gladness and appropriation to testify, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all (that is all that are reckoned in him) die, even so in Christ shall all (that is all that are reckoned in Him) be made alive." Amen. 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