The act of the first parents of our raceby which they sinned, through which, by imputation, all men were constituted sinners, and which had the result that thereby their nature and the nature of all descended from them became corrupt and subject to sin, having lost the divine image of perfect holiness and true knowledge of God (Gn 3; Ro 5:1219). Man had been placed in a state of probation, possessing the ability not to sin (Lat. posse non peccare). The test of this probation was obedience to the divine law. While in this state, man was tempted by the devil*; the temptation accomplished its intent when man, exercising free will, ate of the forbidden fruit. Separation from God resulted, since man now had become alienated from the life of the Spirit, seeking in self and in the world that whereby he might live. Thus man had been brought to know good and evil, though in a different sense from that which he had desired. Only through the second Adam, Christ, were the ravages of the fall and its consequences (God's wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation) abundantly made good and the means of pardon and grace provided for all men. See also Sin;Sin, Original.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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