WCF 6.2 — Pastoral Comments

Posted on Nov 22, 2018 by admin

6.2 By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion, with God,1 and so became dead in sin,2 and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body.3

1 Gen 3:6–8; Ecc 7:29; Rom 3:23.  2 Gen 2:17; Eph 2:1.  3 Tit 1:15; Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:10–18.

What were the effects and consequences of the sin of our first parents? Our confession provides us the Biblical answer in this and the next two sections. In this section, it tells us how Adam and Eve themselves were affected by their own sin.

First, they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God. When God created Adam and Eve, He made them perfectly righteous, and because of that, they were able to commune freely with their Maker. The entrance of sin, however, changed all of that. They lost their state of original righteousness and they were no longer able to have communion with God.

We see this in the account of the fall in Genesis 3. After they ate of the fruit, they did not become like God, as Satan had promised them. Instead, they became terribly conscious of their sin and shame, and they tried to cover up what they had done by making aprons of fig leaves and by hiding among the trees when they heard the Lord’s voice and by shifting the blame away from themselves when confronted by the Lord. Later, after the Lord had pronounced His Word of judgment upon each of the three parties involved in the fall, He drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden, which served as the place of sweet fellowship between God and man, and He shut the way back to it.  

Next, our confession tells us that they became dead in sin. Their physical bodies began to deteriorate and they eventually experienced bodily death. Meanwhile, their souls experienced spiritual death, which includes the loss of communion with God and the loss of the image of God in man. And apart from God’s grace, they would experience eternal death, which is the everlasting separation of body and soul from God’s comfortable presence.

Finally, we learn that Adam and Eve became wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body. They did not become morally neutral after they lost their original righteousness. Rather, they became totally and radically defiled and corrupted in their whole person, body and soul. Every single part of their being was badly affected by the fall – their minds, emotions, wills, consciences, words, actions etc, and they became sinners through and through.

This is the reason why they could not remain in the Garden of Eden. And this sets the scene for the glorious redemption of the Second Adam, who will bring mankind back into the garden of communion with God.

Extracted and translated from:
Westminster Confession of Faith — With Brief Pastoral Comments
© 2018 by Pilgrim Covenant Church
Translation and posted with permission
Chinese version Copyright © 2018 Gratia Dei Sola Media