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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q.15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the state wherein they were created?
A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the state wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.

1. Did our first parents eat the forbidden fruit? Yes: Thou hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it, Gen. 3: 17. Was their doing so disobedience? Yes: for it was by one man's disobedience that many were made sinners, Rom. 5:19. Did the woman eat forbidden fruit first? Yes: the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 1 Tim 2:14. Did the serpent tempt her to it? Yes: the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, 2 Cor. 11:3. Was that serpent the devil? Yes: The old serpent is the devil and Satan? Rev. 20:2. Did he aim to make man as miserable as himself? Yes: he was a murderer from the beginning, John 8:44.

2. Did the tempter teach them to question the command? Yes: he said to the woman, Hath God said ye shall not eat? Gen. 3:1. Did he promise them safety in sin? Yes: he said, Ye shall not surely die, Gen. 3: 4. Did he promise them advantage by the sin? Yes: In the day ye eat thereof your eyes shall be opened, ver. 5. Did he feed them with high thoughts of themselves? Yes: Ye shall be as gods, ver. 5. Did he suggest to them hard thoughts of God? Yes: for he said, God doth know this, ver. 5. Did Eve do well to parley with him? No: for we should cease to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge, Prov. 19:27.

3. Did the devil prevail in the temptation? Yes: for she took of the fruit, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat, Gen. 3:6. Was there in this sin the lust of the flesh? Yes: for she saw that the tree was good for food. Was there in it the lust of the eye? Yes: for she saw that it was pleasant to the eyes. And the pride of life? Yes: for she saw it was a tree to be desired to make one wise. Was unbelief of the word of God at the bottom of it? Yes: It is the evil heart of unbelief that departs from the living God, Heb. 3:12. Was there in it an opposition to the divine law? Yes: for sin took occasion by the commandment, Rom. 7:8. Was disobedience in a small matter a great provocation? Yes: for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry, 1 Sam. 15:23. If Adam fell thus, have we any reason to be secure? No: Wherefore let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall, 1 Cor. 10:12.

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