Sin And Death (Calvin)

In Scripture, sin means both that perversity of human nature, which is the source of every vice, and the evil desires which are born from it, and also the unjust and shameful acts which spring from these desires: murders, thefts, adulteries and other things of this sort.

Wittenberg Door 3We then, sinners from our mother’s womb, are all born exposed to the anger and retribution of God.

Having become adults, we pile up on ourselves — ever more heavily — the judgement of God.

Finally, throughout the whole of our life, we accelerate towards death.

For there is no doubt that God’s righteousness finds all iniquity loathsome. What, then, can we expect from the face of God — we miserable people who are loaded down with such a weight of sin, and polluted by numberless impurities — except that His righteous indignation will most certainly put us to shame?

It is necessary for us to know this truth, although it strikes man down with terror and crushes him with despair. Stripped of our own righteousness, drawn away from all trust in our own strength, turned away from all hope of ever having life, the understanding of our own poverty, misery and disgrace thus teaches us to prostrate ourselves before the Lord.

By recognizing our iniquity, powerlessness and utter ruin, we learn to give Him all glory for His holiness, power and salvation.

John Calvin, Truth For All Time, pp. 7, 8

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