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A Baptist Catechism Adapted by John Piper on The Fall of Man


by Jason Smathers on August 29, 2010

Question 19: What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?

Answer: The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit

Scripture: Genesis 3:6, 12, 13.

Question 20: Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first sin?

Answer: All mankind, descending from Adam by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first sin.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 5:12, 18-19.

Comment: God considered all mankind as being in Adam so that when Adam went bad we all went bad in him. The nature that we have by virtue of belonging to Adam’s race is morally corrupt. We are under the wrath of God “by nature” (Ephesians 2:3) from the time we were conceived in the womb. This is why conversion and salvation must be much more than a “decision” for Christ. It must be a new creation, a rebirth, an exchange of hearts.

Question 21: Into what condition did the fall bring mankind?

Answer: The fall brought mankind into a condition of sin and misery.

Scripture: Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:18-19; 7:18; Isaiah 53:6; 64:6; John 3:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Question 22: What is the sinfulness of that condition into which all mankind has fallen?

Answer: The sinfulness of the condition into which all mankind fell is the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the lack of original righteousness, and the corruption of our whole nature (which is commonly called original sin), together with all actual transgressions which come from this nature.

Scripture: Romans 5:19; 3:10; Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 51:5; Matthew 15:19.

Comment: The Bible says that “in Adam all die” (1 Cor. 15:22) and that “one transgression yields condemnation for all men” (Rom. 5:18) and that “one man’s disobedience made many sinners” (Rom. 5:19). These statements lead us to conclude that God, in a way beyond our comprehension, established a unity between Adam and his posterity which makes it just for us to receive the imputation of his guilt and corruption. He was in some sense our representative head. We sinned in him and fell with him.

Question 23: What is the misery into which all mankind fell through Adam’s first sin?

Answer: All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.

Scripture: Genesis 3:8, 24; Ephesians 2:3; Galatians 3:10; Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41-46; Psalm 9:17.

Comment: Keep in mind that “liable to” means that these miseries will indeed befall all people unless a special work of God’s grace intervenes.

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