New City Catechism


Question: Did God create us unable to keep his law?

Answer: No, but because of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, all of creation is fallen; we are all born in sin and guilt, corrupt in our nature and unable to keep God’s law.

Commentary: I believe, that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, with all their numerous inhabitants. Last of all, and nobly conspicuous amongst the amazingly diversified productions of his almighty power and infinite skill…he created man, and constituted him lord of this…world. Male and female created he them, after his own image and in his own likeness: upright, innocent, and holy; capable of serving and glorifying their bountiful Creator….

I believe, that man did not long continue in these holy and happy circumstances; but, being left to the freedom of his own will, he transgressed the law which his Maker and Sovereign had given him; in consequence of which he fell into a state of guilt, depravity, and ruin. And as he was not only the natural but federal head and representative of his unborn posterity, he sinning, all his offspring sinned in him and fell with him, the guilt of his first sin being imputed, and a corrupt nature derived, to all who descend from him by natural generation. Hence it is that all men are by nature the children of wrath; averse to all that is spiritually good, and prone to evil; dead in sin, under the curse of the righteous law…. From which state of complicated misery there is no deliverance but by Jesus Christ, the second Adam.