Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thoughts on Original Sin and Sanctification

Walter Marshall, in his classic work on sanctification entitled The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, addresses the doctrine of original sin writing, "We are all, by nature, void of all strength and ability to perform acceptably that holiness and righteousness which the law requires, and are dead in trespasses and sins, and children of wrath, by the sin of our first father, Adam, as the Scripture witnesses (Rom. 5:12, 15, 18, 19; Eph. 2: 1-3; Rom. 8:7, 8). This doctrine of original sin, which Protestants generally profess ... " (4). However, according to Marshall, we often fail to apply this doctrine properly, particularly when it comes to sanctification and our ability to be holy: "Men show themselves strangely forgetful, or hypocritical, in professing original sin in their prayers, catechisms and confessions of faith, and yet urging on themselves and others the practice of the law, without the consideration of any strengthening, enlivening means - as if there were no want of ability, but only of activity" (5).

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