For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom. 8:7-8)
Question 18: What is the misery of that state whereunto man fell?
Answer: All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.
Ultimately, the most grievous condition that was the result of the fall of man is not that he died physically, but that he died spiritually. Not long after the fall, we read in Genesis 6:5 that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” What a sad commentary on the human condition. “Every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The Bible makes clear that the unbelieving heart only desires sin. That is not to say that all unbelievers are as evil as they can be. It is to say that even when unbelievers do good things, they always do them for sinful reasons—for selfish reasons—to look good to others, to feel good about themselves, to move up the ladder, so that others might owe them. Put simply, the Bible makes clear that everything we do should be done from a heart of faith and for God’s glory (Rom 14:23; 1 Cor 10:31). Thus, any good deed we do that does not proceed from a heart of faith in God and is done for his glory is sin. But even worse, the Bible makes clear that because of the fall of Adam, all unbelievers are blind to the things of God (2 Cor 4:3-4), at enmity with God, unable to obey God’s commands, unable to even please God (Rom 8:7-8), are spiritually dead in their sins, and completely non-responsive to the things of God (Eph 2:1, 5). This is the state of the human soul apart from the transforming power of the gospel.
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