13 April 2003
Genesis 3:6, 2 Corinthians 11:3 & Psalm 49:12
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.15. By what sin did our first parents fall from their original condition?
A. Our first parents' sin was eating the forbidden fruit.
1. Why did God forbid our first parents to eat this fruit?
He forbade them because He was making a test of their obedience. It was not that the fruit had in itself any evil. It was God’s method of seeing whether or not they recognised His Lordship over them.
2. Were our first parents guilty of sin before they tasted of the fruit?
Yes, they were guilty of listening to the devil. But when they tasted of the fruit they completed the act of sin.
3. Where was the first sin committed?
The first sin was committed in Paradise where God had placed man and created woman.
4. Was Adam deceived in this first sin?
The Bible tells us that he was not deceived. Probably his love for Eve motivated him to join her in this transgression. But he suffered the consequence of this sin just the same and betrayed the whole human race whose representative he was.
5. What was involved in the eating of the forbidden fruit?
There were many sins involved in this act of disobedience. By eating they rebelled against their Sovereign God. By eating they were guilty of treason as they were in league with the devil. By eating they were gratifying ambition, to be as God. By eating they were guilty of unbelief because God had said it was wrong. By eating they were bringing death upon themselves and all their posterity.
6. If one word had to be used in describing this first sin, what word would be best?
Probably the word ‘pride’ would come closer to describing it than any other word. Calvin states, “Augustine is more correct, who says that pride was the beginning of all evils, and that by pride the human race was ruined... ”