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#38304 Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:46 PM
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I have a question that's troubling me.

Was Original Sin just imputed to Adam and his children after the fall, or was it imputed and infused, therefore creating a "sinful nature" in men?

What exactly happened or changed in Adam, or was it a change not in Adam, but a change in Adam in his relationship to God and God's guiding and protecting Spirit?

The theological implications in this questions are immense.

Sorry, I forgot to add this. I realize that there is another thread going on on this subject, but I wanted this thread confined to my single question.


Denny

Romans 3:22-24

Last edited by Adopted; Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:44 PM.

Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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Adopted said:
I have a question that's troubling me.

Was Original Sin just imputed to Adam and his children after the fall, or was it imputed and infused, therefore creating a "sinful nature" in men?

What exactly happened or changed in Adam, or was it a change not in Adam, but a change in Adam in his relationship to God and God's guiding and protecting Spirit?

The theological implications in this questions are immense.

Sorry, I forgot to add this. I realize that there is another thread going on on this subject, but I wanted this thread confined to my single question.


Denny

Romans 3:22-24



Denny.

I believe that when Adam fell and became responsible to God for his action his whole nature turned immediately around and he became totally depraved, a lover of iniquity and a hater of God.

Although Adam could not sin very much yet, adultery, steal, get drunk he was still totally depraved.

Original sin in his descendents I believe is imputed and yet man develops in time more and more ways to sin yet all men are equally totally depraved by nature.

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.


The word infusion seems to imply something gradual.





OK so I'm not a theologian.
Williams <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/my2cents.gif" alt="" />

.

William #38306 Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:39 AM
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Thanks William for your contribution and I think it's a very good start on this subject.

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William said:
Although Adam could not sin very much yet, adultery, steal, get drunk he was still totally depraved.

This is exactly what I believed until I recently read an article by A.W. Pink from the The Sovereignty of God. The following comments are from appendix 2 in that book.

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Once more, it needs to be carefully borne in mind that God did not decree that Adam should sin and then inject into Adam an inclination to evil, in order that His decree might be carried out. No; "God cannot be tempted, neither tempteth He any man" (James 1:13). Instead, when the Serpent came to tempt Eve, God caused her to remember His command forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and of the penalty attached to disobedience! Thus, though God had decreed the Fall, in no sense was He the author of Adam's sin, and at no point was Adam’s responsibility impaired. Thus may we admire and adore the "manifold wisdom of God", in devising a way whereby His eternal decree should be accomplished, and yet the responsibility of His creatures be preserved intact.

And later in the same appendix:

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To affirm that God decreed the entrance of sin into His universe, and that He foreordained all its fruits and activities, is to say that which, at first may shock the reader; but reflection should show that it is far more shocking to insist that sin has invaded His dominions against His will, and that its exercise is outside His jurisdiction: for in such a case where would be His omnipotency? No; to recognize that God has foreordained all the activities of evil, is to see that He is the Governor of sin: His will determines its exercise, His power regulates its bounds (Ps. 76:10). He is neither the Inspirer nor the Infuser of sin in any of His creatures, but He is its Master, by which we mean God’s management of the wicked is so entire that, they can do nothing save that which His hand and counsel, from everlasting, determined should be done

Note Pink's words that if God had injected or infused into Adam or His children a "depraved" nature, God would legally be accountable or responsible for Adam's sins and the sins of his children.

Something else is going on here and this is the point of my confusion.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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Denny,

Is it possible you are confusing what Adam's and Eve's condition was BEFORE the Fall with that AFTER the Fall? Pink was focusing upon the relationship of God, man and the Fall before Adam's transgression, i.e., God cannot be found guilty of making or forcing Adam to sin just because He ordained that he would. Pink makes it very clear that God did not alter Adam's nature so that he had no choice to not sin but did so under irresistible compulsion out of his own corrupt nature. No... Adam was created upright, aka: very good; perfect. Our first parents had the ability to sin (posse peccare) and the ability to not sin (posse non peccare) but they were not guaranteed that they would not sin (non posse non peccare).

Now, after the Fall, what God promised in His warning took place, "And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17) Thus, on that very day, Adam and Eve "died", which we understand as being a 3-fold death: spiritual (immediate), temporal (gradual), and eternal (final condemnation). This "curse" or punishment that came upon Adam and all his posterity, we call "Original Sin". It consists of two parts: 1) Depravity/corruption of nature and 2) Guilt. All descendants of Adam are born with a corrupt nature (Total Depravity); it is inherited. And, all descendants of Adam have his guilt imputed to them; i.e., all are guilty before God in Adam, just as if they had been the one to eat of the fruit of that tree. (cf. Rom 5:12-18)

Does this help?


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Pilgrim,

Thanks for your answer but it still does not answer my fundamental question.

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Pilgrim said:
it is inherited. And, all descendants of Adam have his guilt imputed to them;

The word "impute" (credited) is my problem!

Now, if we Reformed use the word "impute" (credited in the eyes of God with the righteousness of His own son) to slay the RCC dragon of infused righteousness, how may we by using the same concept and word, give life to a dragon of infused depravity or a "sinful nature"?

As I said, this fundamental question "imputed guilt" is no small theological matter.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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Adopted said:
Thanks for your answer but it still does not answer my fundamental question.

The word "impute" (credited) is my problem!

Now, if we Reformed use the word "impute" (credited in the eyes of God with the righteousness of His own son) to slay the RCC dragon of infused righteousness, how may we by using the same concept and word, give life to a dragon of infused depravity or a "sinful nature"?

As I said, this fundamental question "imputed guilt" is no small theological matter.
Denny,

I'm sorry to say that I'm confused at this point.

1) "Inherited" corruption of nature is not synonymous with "Infused" corruption, nor "Infused" righteousness. The Reformed Faith holds to no doctrine of infused anything. All of Adam's race are born with a corrupt nature.

2) What does this have to do with "Imputation"; guilt or righteousness? If there is no imputed guilt, then there is no salvation since it depends totally upon Christ's righteousness being imputed to the sinner upon repentance and faith in Christ.

Can you clarify what you are having a problem with? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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Pilgrim said:
Can you clarify what you are having a problem with?

I'll try to say this again, as clearly as I can.

Do we Reformed not know and affirm from Scripture that the RCC has violently missinterpreted the words "imputed righteousness" to mean an actual or in fact "infused" righteousness? Yes, of course we do and rightfully so.

What I am struggling with is whether or not the Reformed have missinterpreted "imputed guilt" as an actual or in fact "infused" corruption of the nature of men by God. Or, is it possible by reasoning from the Scripture that the only thing that really changes in our world, by reason of obedience in Christ or disobedience in Adam, is the withdrawing or the bestowal of God's favorable and gracious administration of our world. Does our corrupted world now deliver thorns and thistles to us because it no longer reflects God's administration but the unrighteous administration of Adam and his children?

Was the monstrous sin of Adam not simply a wish for his own deification, a disbelief in God's righteous goodness and a fateful wish to "go it" by his own unrighteous administration? Thus, the expulsion from God's Garden.

The bottom line of my present struggle is as Pink says, and if I might paraphrase, that if God had infused a corrupted nature into Adam or his children, God would then be legally accountable and responsible for their sins.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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I tend to think of it in terms of a genetic disease. God's law of creation is that all creatures reproduce after their own kind. Adam, made in the image of God, marred that image with his rebellion and contracted the "disease" of the corruption of his nature - a false image of God if you will - and passed it along to all of his posterity. It is inherited like diabetes, not "infused" from some outside source.

Is that helpful?

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Robin said:
"I tend to think of it in terms of a genetic disease. God's law of creation is that all creatures reproduce after their own kind. Adam, made in the image of God, marred that image with his rebellion and contracted the "disease" of the corruption of his nature - a false image of God if you will - and passed it along to all of his posterity. It is inherited like diabetes, not "infused" from some outside source."


Robin, thanks for your reply but what you have just said is what I’ve always believed myself until recently challenged by the Scripture.

I would never argue that a disease cannot be inherited as well as caught by the individual somewhere in a jungle. In fact this proves my point. Inherited disease is often passed to one son but not to another.

IMO, the truth is that God still holds men responsible for their "disease" of sin, as any good Calvinist will tell you. This is regardless of whether they live in a world of good and evil or not. He could not hold us responsible for our sin even if He had allowed sin to be passed on in an inherited manner. We do not hold anyone morally responsible who has inherited a disease.

We do, or should know that in God’s administration before the fall of Adam that the choice of evil was forbidden and forbidden with the penalty of death. Adam rejected His beautiful government’s administration by his willful sin in the garden of our gracious God. We should also know that true free will, and therefore freedom itself, does not lay in our libertarian choice between good and evil but the righteous ability to chose only that which is good.

Perhaps we might consider that what we inherited is not sin or a "sinful nature" but the corrupt and condemned political administration of good and evil (our present world) of Adam and his children that allows deception and often, if not always, encourages the choice of evil.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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Inherited traits are always inherited. Humans produce humans. Adam's corrupted nature is inherited by all his descendants. It is the inability to not sin that is inherited by Adam's posterity.

Before the Fall, Adam had the ability to not sin. Following the Fall, Adam and his descendants are unable to not sin. Only the regenerate are restored to Adam's state before the Fall. The Bible calls it being "dead in trespasses and sins," not "sick." The natural man is helpless, a slave to his inherited nature - a slave to sin.

"Total depravity" does not mean that the man is immersed totally in depravity, but that the man himself - the total man - is depraved, body and soul. He is capable only of evil. His nature must be changed first (through death and rebirth - accomplished for us by the second Adam, Christ - before he is capable of anything else.

Is that helpful?

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Robin said:
Inherited traits are always inherited. Humans produce humans. Adam's corrupted nature is inherited by all his descendants. It is the inability to not sin that is inherited by Adam's posterity.

Before the Fall, Adam had the ability to not sin. Following the Fall, Adam and his descendants are unable to not sin. Only the regenerate are restored to Adam's state before the Fall. The Bible calls it being "dead in trespasses and sins," not "sick." The natural man is helpless, a slave to his inherited nature - a slave to sin.

"Total depravity" does not mean that the man is immersed totally in depravity, but that the man himself - the total man - is depraved, body and soul. He is capable only of evil. His nature must be changed first (through death and rebirth - accomplished for us by the second Adam, Christ - before he is capable of anything else.

Robin,

My precious Brother,

I already know what you believe, as I believed the exact same things but a short time ago. My question and struggle is with that very belief.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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Adopted said:

Robin,

My precious Brother,

I already know what you believe, as I believed the exact same things but a short time ago. My question and struggle is with that very belief.

Denny

Denny,

I think we're all struggling with what your struggle here is. How does God become legally accountable for Adam's sin which results in spiritual death to all mankid??


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
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I guess I don't understand what you are struggling with. Rather than try to state the doctrine in different ways without really understanding the question, I will withdraw until you can articulate questions I can reply to without simply restating the familiar.

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Kyle said:
I think we're all struggling with what your struggle here is. How does God become legally accountable for Adam's sin which results in spiritual death to all mankid??

We both know that God became legally accountable and responsible for our sins by becoming incarnate man and sacrificing Himself for His people.

My trouble is that I now know our broken world may be looked at in two ways.

The first way is by believing that it is populated by people who are sinners by nature. I now believe that the consequences of this belief cannot help but take its toll in our attitude and respect towards our God, our neighbors or ourselves.

The second way is by looking at our world as being populated by people who are sinners by an oppressive administration of deceit and evil. There is no truth in it but the truth of our spiritual need which the world deceitfully provides at the expense of our own ignorance. A world where all men cry out like lost dogs, without a master for food and discipline. Many even regress to becoming unpardonable spiritual or literal wolves. A world where nature itself does not care, with a single tear, whether someone lives or dies forever. All of this except by the grace of God.

When I first heard and believed the Biblical doctrine of Justification by Faith (in the work of Christ) Alone, my knees nearly buckled with joy. I now believe my joy was so intense,... that I soon believed if the Reformed could show me this absolutely liberating truth they could do no wrong elsewhere. This was my idolatry.

Kyle, please pray for me.

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
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Adopted said:
The second way is by looking at our world as being populated by people who are sinners by an oppressive administration of deceit and evil. There is no truth in it but the truth of our spiritual need which the world deceitfully provides at the expense of our own ignorance. A world where all men cry out like lost dogs, without a master for food and discipline. Many even regress to becoming unpardonable spiritual or literal wolves. A world where nature itself does not care, with a single tear, whether someone lives or dies forever. All of this except by the grace of God.
Denny,

What you are considering, or perhaps you have already embraced is indefensible from Scripture. To deny the inherent corruption of an individual's nature/soul is of necessity to deny the perfect righteousness of Christ and the need to have it imputed unto salvation. In short, the entire doctrine of salvation is brought into question for all its various parts are inseparable. Looking at this second way it makes all men victims of a sinful world to which they would rather not be associated with and which is oppressing their seemingly inherent good nature. Thus there is no need for regeneration of the individual soul but rather a liberation from a wicked and evil world that encompasses them. I would challenge you to present a biblical argument in its defense. And, have you had the opportunity to read this: The Sinfulness of Original Sin?

Quote
Adopted said:
When I first heard and believed the Biblical doctrine of Justification by Faith (in the work of Christ) Alone, my knees nearly buckled with joy. I now believe my joy was so intense,... that I soon believed if the Reformed could show me this absolutely liberating truth they could do no wrong elsewhere. This was my idolatry.
And where is this "elsewhere" which you now believe historic biblical Protestantism has erred? And what group, philosophy, religion has convinced you otherwise? My dear brother, what you are now proposing, i.e., what you now know is so seriously contrary to biblical truth that my heart is struck with fear for your soul. Let me allow the apostle Paul's own words express my present state of concern:


Galatians 1:6-9 (ASV) "I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another [gospel] only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema."

3:1-4 "O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified? This only would I learn from you. Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh? Did ye suffer so many things in vain? if it be indeed in vain."

Romans 8:9-10 (ASV) "But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness."



In His grace,


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