The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 8
I hope your celebration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s birth was stupendous, and will continue to be… for all time and eternity!
Today’s Plank of the Faith, The Creation and Fall of Man, comes at the perfect time: It is the key to be reminded of the vital importance of our Savior’s and Lord’s birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return one day soon to make all things new!
Come Lord Jesus. Amen. And Amen.
Article 14: The Creation and Fall of Man
“We believe that God created man from the dust of the earth and made and formed him in His image and likeness—good, just, and holy; able by his own will to conform in all things to the will of God.
But when man was in honor he did not understand it (Ps. 49:20) and did not recognize his excellence. But he subjected himself willingly to sin and consequently to death and the curse, lending his ear to the word of the devil.
For man transgressed the commandment of life, which he had received, and by his sin he separated himself from God, who was his true life, having corrupted his entire nature. (Jeremiah 17:9)
So he made himself guilty and subject to physical and spiritual death, having become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all his ways. He lost all his excellent gifts which he had received from God, and he retained none of them except for small traces which are enough to make him inexcusable.
Moreover, all the light in us, mankind, is turned to darkness, as the Scripture teaches us: “The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not receive it.” (John 1:5) Here John calls men “darkness.”
Therefore, we reject everything taught to the contrary concerning man’s free will, since man is nothing but the slave of sin and cannot do a thing unless it is “given him from heaven.” (John 3:27)
For what man can boast of being able to do anything good by himself, since Christ says, “No one can come to me unless my Father who sent me draws him”? (John 6:44)
What man can glory in his own will when he understands that “the mind of the flesh is enmity against God”? (Rom. 8:7 ) Who can speak of his own knowledge in view of the fact that “the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit of God”? (1 Cor. 2:14)
In short, who can produce a single thought, since he knows that we are “not able to think a thing” about ourselves, by ourselves, but that “our ability is from God”? (2 Cor. 3:5)
And therefore, what the apostle says ought rightly to stand fixed and firm: “God works within us both to will and to do according to his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
For there is no understanding nor will conforming to God’s understanding and will apart from Christ’s involvement, as He teaches us when He says, “Without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be Just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26).
May God richly bless your New Year, one blessed and precious day at a time (Psalm 95:7-8)!!
Whatever Became of Sin