John Frame on Sin

Only God, angels and humans are (or can be) morally and ethically good.
God did NOT create Adam and Eve in a morally neutral state - they reflected His image, which is good.
They knew the law and could keep it, but could also choose not to.  Yet their nature was good.  This is a bit of a mystery, and we should leave it as such, instead of try to explain the fall philosophically.

Part 7 - The Doctrine of Man
Chapter 36 - Sin

The Roman view basically says we had the potential to sin from bodily desires overriding the limits of reason.  This assumes a dualism between body and soul, and between nature and grace.

Sin is not a metaphysical problem, that we have a design flaw in how we are made.  The problem isn't that we aren't smart enough or aware enough, or that our bodily desires overwhelm our more righteous reason.  Sin is ethical - it is one person disobeying Another.

Defining Sin according to Frame's Tri-Perspective View
Normative - sin is disobeying commands.
Situational - sin is glorifying yourself instead of God, pursuing your kingdom instead of His.
Existential - sin is unbelief and hatred of God, instead of loving and trusting Him.
[Would have liked more on Gen 3:6 here]

Origin of Sin
The angels fell first, and Satan tempted Adam and Eve.
His approach is to question God's Word and get Eve to make judgments for herself apart from God's Word.  Creation order is reversed: man submits to woman and woman to beast, instead of beast to men/women and woman to man.
Sin is not a natural part of who we are as humans, or we have no hope.  No, sin was introduced after creation, so it can be undone.

God's Response to the Fall
His curses are mixed with blessings.  Enmity with serpent will be overcome.  Pain in childbirth, but there will be more life.  Frustrating work, but it will still yield fruit.  Adam believes, and names his wife "life."

Effects of the Fall
Sin brings guilt (normative perspective), punishment (situational) and corruption (existential).
Our guilt is inherited as a sinful condition from Adam.  This doesn't seem fair, but we are also given righteousness not our own from Christ.
Our punishment also affects the creation, which groans for redemption (Rom. 8:19-22; Col 1:19-20).
Our corruption is a heart condition, dead or enslaved to sin.  Not that we are as bad as we could be, but that we are unable to please God.

Temptation is not itself sin, but gives birth to it (James 1:13-15).
The world, the flesh and the devil tempt us - both Genesis 3:6 and 1 John 2:16 teach this, in parallel.

Believers should not count themselves totally depraved anymore, since the Spirit is at work in us.  Though Westminster asserts that the works of regenerate believers are still mixed with sin and not able to please God in themselves, still, our "corruption is overcome by God's grace" (869).  We should be careful stating that "there is no health in us," since the redemptive work of Christ and His Spirit are active within us.

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