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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
of the Westminster Assembly
Explained and Proved
from Scripture

Thomas Vincent

XV. Ques. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eatmg the forbidden fruit.

Q. 1. Why did God forbid our first parents to eat of this fruit?
A. Not because there was any intrinsical evil in the fruit of the forbidden tree, it being as indifferent in itself to eat of this tree as any other tree in the garden; but God did forbid them to eat of the fruit of this tree, to try their obedience.

Q. 2. Could this sin, of eating the forbidden fruit, be very heinous, when the thing in itself was indifferent?
A. 1. Though the eating the fruit was indifferent in itself, yet when so expressly forbidden by God it ceased to be indifferent, but was absolutely unlawful, and a great sin. 2. This sin of eating the forbidden fruit was such a sin as included many other sins, as it was circumstantiated.

Q. 3. What sins did the eating of the forbidden fruit include?
A. The sins included in our first parents' eating the forbidden fruit wereŚ1. Rebellion against God their sovereign, who had expressly forbidden them to eat of this tree. 2. Treason, in conspiring with the devil, God's enemy, against God. 3. Ambition, in aspiring to a higher state, namely, to be as God. 4. Luxury, in indulging so much to please the sense of taste, which did inordinately desire this fruit. 5. Ingratitude to God, who had given them leave to eat of any tree of the garden besides. 6. Unbelief, in not giving credit to the threatening of death, but believing the devil, who said they should not die, rather than God, who told them they should surely die, did they eat of this fruit. 7. Murder, in bringing death, by this sin, upon themselves, and all their posterity. These, and many other sins, were included in this sin of our first parents' eating of the forbidden fruit; which did render it exceeding heinous in the sight of God.

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