Question 21d – Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” – Jas 1:14-15 ESV
But every man is tempted, To sin, and he falls in with the temptation, and by it,
when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed; the metaphor is taken either from fishes, who are enticed by the bait, and drawn out by the hook; or from a lascivious woman, who meeting with a young man, entices him, and draws him away after her to commit iniquity with her: by “lust” is meant the principle of corrupt nature, which has its residence in the heart of man; is natural and hereditary to him, and therefore is called his own; he is conceived and shapen in it; he brings it into the world with him, and it continues in him, and is called his own heart’s lust, Rom 1:24. Now this meeting with some bait, which entices and draws it out, or with some external object, which promises pleasure or profit, a man is allured, and ensnared, and drawn away by it, and so the temptation begins: thus, for instance, covetousness was the predominant lust in Judas; this meeting with an external object, or objects, which promised him profit, he is at once enticed and drawn away to betray his Lord and master for the sake of it: so sin often promises pleasure, though it is but an imaginary, and a short lived one; which takes with a man’s own lust, and corruption within him, and so he is allured and drawn aside; and to this, and not to God, should he attribute temptation to sin.
Then when lust hath conceived, A proposal of pleasure or profit being made, agreeable to lust, or the principle of corrupt nature, sinful man is pleased with it; and instead of resisting and rejecting the motion made, he admits of it, and receives it, and cherishes it in his mind; he dallies and plays with it; he dwells upon it in his thoughts, and hides it under his tongue, and in his heart, as a sweet morsel, and forsakes it not, but contrives ways and means how to bring it about; and this is lust’s conceiving. The figure is used in Ps 7:14 on which Kimchi, a Jewish commentator, has this note; “he (the psalmist) compares the thoughts of the heart להריון, “to a conception”, and when they go out in word, this is “travail”, and in work or act, this is “bringing forth”.” And so it follows here,
it bringeth forth sin; into act, not only by consenting to it, but by performing it:
and sin, when it is finished: being solicited, is agreed to, and actually committed:
bringeth forth death; as the first sin of man brought death into the world, brought a spiritual death, or moral death upon man, subjected him to a corporeal death, and made him liable to an eternal one; so every sin is deserving of death, death is the just wages of it; yea, even the motions of sin work in men to bring forth fruit unto death. Something like these several gradual steps, in which sin proceeds, is observed by the Jews, and expressed in much the like language, in allegorizing the case of Lot, and his two daughters; “the concupiscent soul (or “lust”) stirs up the evil figment, and imagines by it, and it cleaves to every evil imagination, שמתעברת, “until it conceives a little”, and produces in the heart of man the evil thought, and cleaves to it; and as yet it is in his heart, and is not “finished” to do it, until this desire or lust stirs up the strength of the body, first to cleave to the evil figment, and then הרעה תשלום, “sin is finished”; as it is said, Gen 19:36.” [Gill]
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. – Mat 15:19 ESV
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, Of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of fellow creatures, and of all sorts of wickedness. The thoughts of sin are evil, are to be hated, forsaken, and for which men are accountable to God. All wicked imaginations, carnal reasonings, lustful desires, and malicious contrivances, are here included; which take their rise from, and are devised, and forged, in the corrupt heart of man.
Murders; inveterate hatred of men’s persons, malice prepense, schemes to take away life, all angry and wrathful words, and actual effusion of man’s blood.
Adulteries; uncleanness committed between married persons, both in thought, and deed:
fornications; unlawful copulations of persons in a single state:
thefts; taking away from others by force or fraud, what is their right and property:
false witness: swearing falsely, or exhibiting a false testimony to the hurt of his neighbour, either his name, person, or estate:
blasphemies; evil speakings of God or men. To which Mark adds “covetousness”; a greedy and insatiable desire after the things of the world, or the neighbour’s goods: “wickedness”; doing hurt and mischief to fellow creatures: “deceit”; in words and actions, in trade and conversation: “lasciviousness”; all manner of uncleanness, and unnatural lusts: “an evil eye”; of envy and covetousness: the vitiosity, or corruption of nature, is, by the Jews, called עין רע, “the evil eye”: “pride”; in heart and life, in dress and gesture; and “foolishness”; expressed in talk and conduct. [Gill]
Answer – The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin, together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
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