WCF 6.6 — Pastoral Comments

Posted on Mar 10, 2019 by admin

6.6 Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto,1 doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner,2 whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God,3 and curse of the law,4 and so made subject to death,5 with all miseries spiritual,6 temporal,7 and eternal.8

1 1 Jn 3:4.  2 Rom 2:15; 3:9, 19.  3 Eph 2:3.  4 Gal 3:10.  5 Rom 6:23.  6 Eph 4:18.  7 Rom 8:20; Lam 3:39.  8 Mt 25:41; 2 Th 1:9.

In this final paragraph of this chapter, we are taught two things with regard to sin. First, we learn about the nature and essence of every sin, namely, that sin is a violation of the righteous law of God. As such, every sinner stands guilty before God, who alone is the righteous judge of all men. 1 John 3:4 says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” And again in Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

It is important to recognize that both sin and guilt should be defined and understood objectively rather than subjectively. So for example, sin is not based on mere conventional morality or majority opinion, which can change over time. Rather, sin is based objectively on the law of God, which is a reflection of God’s righteous character and thus does not change with time. Similarly, guilt is not merely a subjective feeling about or an emotional response to some action or event. Instead, guilt is an objective reality based on a person’s legal standing before the Most Holy God.

The second thing we learn from this paragraph is that the consequences of sin are the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and death, with all miseries – spiritual, temporal and eternal. That is what every sinner deserves, and there is nothing in this whole universe that is worse than coming under God’s wrath, the law’s curse, and death in all its aspects and dimensions.

If a person truly knows himself to be a sinner and if he truly believes what God’s Word says about the awful punishment and consequences for sin, then he would do all that he can to flee from the wrath to come, and he would have no peace in his heart until he knows that he will surely escape all these things. And most of all, he would be very grateful in his heart to the One who alone can rescue him from sin and its consequences.Does this describe you? If not, would you not seek to be saved from sin while there is still time?

Extracted and translated from:
Westminster Confession of Faith — With Brief Pastoral Comments
© 2019 by Pilgrim Covenant Church
Translation and posted with permission
Chinese version Copyright © 2019 Gratia Dei Sola Media