Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #16

Doctrinal Standards WSC #16

  • Q. Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first disobedience?
  • A. Since the covenant was made not only for Adam but also for his natural descendants, all mankind sinned in him and fell with him in his first disobedience.

Memory Verses

  • “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5, ESV).

Study Passage: Romans 5:12-21

Support Passages: Genesis 8:20-21; Job 14:1-6; Psalm 51:5; John 3:3-6; Ephesians 2:3

Bible Story: Genesis 6-8


  • Scripture teaches, and many times assumes, the position that that Adam and Eve were the only two human beings created without sin. Once their “fall” took place sin entered into the nature of man and is passed down to each generation.
  •  Below are a few scriptures that teach that mankind has inherited a sin nature from their parents:
    • 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, (ESV) “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
    • Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
    • Ephesians 2:1–3 (ESV) “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.“
    • Genesis 8:21 (ESV) “And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.”
    • Psalm 14:2–3 “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”
    • “If we are born innocent and good, why aren’t there at least some people who have continued in this state and remained sinless? The fact that everybody sins needs some explanation. The best explanation is that we are sinners by nature. Someone might argue that the reason all people sin is because society is sinful, and thus society renders it impossible for anybody to keep themselves entirely pure. But that only pushes the question back one step. How did society get sinful in the first place? If people are born morally good, then how did it come about that they congregated into societies that influence all people to sin?” (Matt Perman –

Discussion Questions

  • What was the covenant God made with Adam and Eve?
  • What does it mean that the covenant was “not only for Adam but also for his natural descendants?”
  • Are we able to keep the covenant that God made with Adam and all mankind? Why?
  • Are you and I born a sinner or is it something we have to learn? Explain.
  • Think about your own feelings or thoughts when you have the choice to do what’s right or wrong. Which choice does your heart prefer to choose? How does this prove sin nature?
  • If we are born a sinner and are unable to keep the covenant that God made with Adam and all of mankind what hope do we have?
  • A couple weeks ago we talked about covenants of work and covenants of grace. Explain the two types of covenants.
  • Because of our sin nature what covenant must we be a part of in order to please God? Explain.
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"Him we proclaim,
warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ."
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

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