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Repentance and Original Sin


Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

—Luke 13:3

Must we repent of original sin? This is a difficult question for many, but the consensus of orthodox theologians has always been affirmative. The following is one of the best arguments to that effect that I have read.


We are bound to rejoice in imputed righteousness, and therefore to mourn for imputed sin. Adam’s sin is ours, the same way as Christ’s righteousness, viz., by imputation, Rom. v. 19 . . . If we must rejoice in Christ’s righteousness, we should bewail Adam’s sin. And indeed great cause of joy in that it is the marrow, the quintessence of the gospel ; the most gladsome part of . . . those glad tidings which are published in the gospel; the sweetest strain of that message, which, the angel says, was good tidings of great joy to all people, Luke ii. 10. Imputed righteousness is that blessed design which the Father from eternity contrived, which Christ published and performed, into which the angels desire to pry, that lost man, who could not be saved without righteousness, who had no righteousness of his own to save him, should have a righteousness provided for him, whereby he is freed from wrath, and entitled to heaven. Sure this is, this will be, an occasion of eternal joy ; and if so, imputed sin is a just ground of sorrow.

—David Clarkson, Of Repentance, Works (Banner of Truth, 1988), 1:40.


For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

—1 Corinthians 15:21–22

Posted 2017·08·24 by David Kjos
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Posted in: David Clarkson · Repentance · Works of David Clarkson

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