Chapter 13 - The Sinfulness of Sin
Sin involves guilt and corruption.
God made man upright. Adam had God's image by nature, but also needed God's grace to obey Him. They had the power to avoid sin, but also the ability to choose sin.
Imputed from Adam. Romans 5:12 makes clear that all men sinned when Adam sinned. We were all accounted guilty immediately in his sin, not just as we copied Adam ourselves. "What Adam did we did" (207), just as Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek while still in the loins of Abraham (Heb. 7:9).
The puritans saw sin as pervading every aspect of our being. Our original sin, inherited from Adam, causes our actual sins. The unregenerate are prone to different sins, based on their constitution,social standing, and opportunities. Their intellect is sinful, not just their will. Any natural gifts and abilities they have "do not compensate for the damage done by sin."(211).
For the believer, a "formidable struggle" remains with sin (Rom 7:21; Heb 12:1). Sin remains rooted in the heart, which is deceptive and wicked. But we are free from sin's dominion (Rom 6:11; 8:1). We get rid of sin in our lives day by day (mortification). This is a consequent condition of the covenant: "if people claim to be Christians but do not mortify their sins, they are lost" (215). This does not mean we can be perfect in this life, but we must be killing sin, or it will be killing us. We need more studies of sin today.