A Jagged Contention: Sin and Its Fruits

Here we must confess what St. Paul says in Rom. 5:12, namely, that sin had its origin in one man, Adam, through whose disobedience all men were made sinners and became subject to death and the devil. This is called original sin, or the root sin.

The fruits of this sin are the all the subsequent evil deeds which are forbidden in the Ten Commandments, such as unbelief, false belief, idolatry, being without the fear of God, presumption, despair, blindness—in short, ignorance or disregard of God—and then also lying, swearing by God’s name, failure to pray and call upon God, neglect of God’s Word, disobedience to parents, murder, unchastity, theft, deceit, etc.

This hereditary sin is so deep a corruption of nature that reason cannot understand it. It must be believed because of the revelation in the Scriptures.

– Martin Luther, The Smalcald Articles. Part III, Article I: On Sin


This past week, a number of evangelical leaders put out a document called the Nashville Statement in which they took a stand on the Biblical view of sexuality, specifically against the popular doctrines put forth by the LBGTQ community. In response, another document called the Denver Statement was released. It was an effort by some in the LBGTQ community to both condemn the Nashville Statement and to affirm a place of the LBGTQ stance within the realm of Christianity. How does Luther’s assertion that our sinfulness runs so deep that it must “be believed because of the revelation in Scriptures” help us speak to those who don’t believe their sexuality is in violation of God’s Word? How does such a “high” view of sin help us minister to those who struggle with their sexuality but cannot seem to overcome their desires (no matter how many “gay” camps they have been to)? More broadly, how does such a “high” view of sin result in an even “higher” view of the Gospel?