Augsburg Confession Article 2: Original Sin
Article 2: Original Sin
Our churches teach that since the fall of Adam, all who are naturally born are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with the inclination to sin, called concupiscence. Concupiscence is a disease and original vice that is truly sin. It damns and brings eternal death on those who are not born anew through Baptism and the Holy Spirit.
Our churches condemn the Pelagians and others who deny that original depravity is sin, thus obscuring the glory of Christ’s merit and benefits. Pelagians argue that a person can be justified before God by his own strength and reason.
Turn on the news and your senses will be assaulted with brutal, violet, and disgusting stories. A little girl is kidnapped and forced to do terrible things. A little boy is assaulted and abused in a locker room by a trusted mentor. A young man is sprayed with bullets because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A man who actually enjoys stalking and killing people as if they were deer is finally found and put in jail.
The local, national and worldwide news are often depressing. Every time I hear one of these stories the thought naturally goes through my mind, “How could they?” What is wrong with people? How can humans commit such terrible atrocities as the holocaust? What happened to that man to make him enjoy taking the life of another human? How could that man’s moral compass be so off that he molests a little girl and thinks nothing of it?
The teaching of the Bible found in Article 2 of the Augsburg Confession is the answer to the question, “What is wrong with humans?”
We all are infected. Ever since Adam first sinned, Original Sin has worked its way into the very nature of humanity. Original sin is the reason why I cannot be awake for even five minutes without being impatient toward my new born son. Original sin is the reason I cannot even do a good work without wondering who is noticing how nice I am. Original sin is the reason I cannot sit in church without judging the way other people look and act. Original sin is the filthy river which is the origin of all humanities filthy outward sins. Original sin, the inborn hatred of God and desire to do what is wrong, is the reason people are murdered, young woman are assaulted, and money is stolen.
Sinners sin. We all are sinners, we all sin.
By nature we like to think that we are better off in God’s eyes because we are not pedophiles or murderers. By nature we like would like to think that because original sin is inescapable God would not hold our little sins against us. God’s word makes it clear, however, that each and every one of us is by nature an object of God’s wrath. Because of the original sin that has infected us from the moment we were conceived we are destined to die and once dead to be judged for all our sinfulness.
Similar to modern day news, the state of our souls is depressing. Thankfully God has provided an antidote to the sin that so thoroughly infects us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We were born once as sinful human beings. God now offers a second birth, a new birth, a chance to enter God’s family cleansed of the sin that has tarnished our souls.
In a way it is kind of neat to see Jesus from the depth of our hopelessness, in the way that a light shining in an otherwise dark, scary and dangerous alley is neat. It gives us that much more to praise him for. We were completely and utterly lost, without hope, and then because of Jesus our hope was restored. Only those who have gone through dark days can truly appreciate the light. We who understand our corrupt nature can truly appreciate all that Jesus has done for us.
It should not surprise us that sinners continue to find new and disgusting ways to sin. It can and should make us sad to see how horrible sin is… not only Hitler’s sins but also our sins. Fall on your knees before the Lord of Life, he has given you a hope in your darkest hour.