LBCF 1689 Reflections (part 74)

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. 23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. This will be my personal reflections on this beloved written codification of the Christian Faith which is according to a Baptist flavor.




Chapter 6.4: “From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.”


Here we find affirmed what’s been known throughout most of church history as “Original Sin”. One of the most profound statements regarding this doctrine that I’ve ever heard sums up this brief article in its entirety well. It’s this: “We are not sinners because we break God’s Moral Law; we break God’s Moral Law because we are sinners.” Think about it.

Men would tend to praise God far more biblically if only they accurately appropriated the extent of man’s Fall in Adam. The Fall was not as from the 2nd, but the 92nd floor of the building. Mankind is not found merely wounded after this fall, we’re taken up dead. We are fallen. We’re literally born “dead” in trespasses and sins. Romans 6:13; 1 Corinthians 15:21; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 1:21, etc. (See also the passages besides these cited in the confession). This isn’t just a quantitative type of accountability condemnation that we will all certainly face at our judgment with God as a result of the sins we’ve committed. That’s a reality too for all accountable persons, but this is far more than just that. We’re qualitatively dead in SIN. We are literally under SIN. As R.C. Sproul once taught me: “we’re born DOA”.

Actual transgressions are what condemn us in the end. From the fallen nature we inherited “…proceed(s) all actual transgressions”. Actual transgressions are our disobediences of God’s Moral Law. This is us failing to represent the God whose image we bear. These are those numbered sins committed by us as a result of our fallenness. 1 John 3:4 says, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Sin is breaking God’s Moral Law. We do it by nature.

The phrase “made opposite to all good” is important. There is an assumption among many, likely because they’re simply too busy these days to study their Bibles, that man still has a free will post the Fall. That man is somehow “neutral” in his nature toward God. No, the fallen nature of man makes him the very opposite of friendly toward God. He is hostile toward God. He hates God. Romans 3:9-18 is God’s anthropology of all mankind…unless he saves us, quite literally, from ourselves. Scripture calls this natural non-neutrality “enmity” in many translations. See Romans 8:17. Our nature makes us “wholly inclined to evil”. If man was given the choice to choose between God or Satan, he’d choose Satan 10 times out of 10.

In the new birth, the enmity is removed from the inner man, Ephesians 2:16. Christians still have sin “in their members” (Romans 7:23) meaning it’s still a part of their lives via their un-conformed mind, but they’re spiritually a completely new creature in Christ, Hebrews 10:14. Scripture says clearly that “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. The Christian has been made new in his spirit, and is being conformed to that Christ-like newness in his mind, his affections, and his practice.

In short, as the confession will affirm, in Christ, the enmity from the Fall seen from the very beginning in Genesis 3:15 is entirely reversed.

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