27 April 2003
Romans 5:12, Galatians 3:10 & Psalm 40:2
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.17. What happened to man in the fall?
A. Man fell into a condition of sin and misery.
1. What do we call the estate of mankind before the fall?
The estate of mankind before the fall is called the estate of innocency, the estate of original righteousness.
2. Why is man’s state, by the fall, called an estate of sin?
Because man is now under the guilt of sin, which has dominion over him.
3. Why is man’s state, by the fall, called an estate of misery?
Because, according to the penalty of the law, death and the curse involve him in all manner of misery.
4. Why is sin mentioned before misery in describing the estate into which mankind fell?
Because sin came first, and misery followed afterwards as the result of sin. Sin is the cause of misery; misery is the effect of sin.
5. How did man come into this state of sin and misery?
Man came into this by the abuse of his free will, by disobedience. The scripture tells us that mankind destroyed himself. (Hosea 13:9).
6. What happened to man in the Garden because of his sin?
Man’s heart was changed and man’s abode changed. The heart became evil and man was forced to leave the place of perfection (the Garden) and was cast into the world where evil was.
7. How does the Scripture describe man’s state of sin and misery?
Scripture describes it by “darkness”, “condemnation and wrath”, and by “death”.
8. What popular false religion of this day denies the teaching of sin and misery?
The religion of Christian Science denies the reality of sin and misery.
9. Can man help himself out of this state of sin and misery?
No. Man is totally unable to help himself out of this state. His very nature is “enmity against God” and he can not save himself from this state.