Q: What is the misery of that estate into which man fell?
A: All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.
Galatians 3:10: For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them."
We talked a lot about this already, at least the first point here about losing communion with God. In earlier editions of this blog, I wrote about how, after the Fall, mankind lost perfect communion and fellowship with God, with each other, with creation, and how the effects of the Fall have ruined every single relationship that mankind was supposed to have and enjoy. This week, the question focuses in on the ramifications of the worst of these broken relationships-our communion with God. What has happened to mankind now that we've lost communion with God? We no longer are under God's loving care, but rather, are cursed and under his wrath.
Yes, God does have wrath. Much has been said lately, even by those who would call themselves "Christians", in attempts to portray God as not having wrath. Many make attempts to make God all love, or grace, or mercy, and God IS those things, but above all else, God is "Holy, Holy, Holy"! His holiness is the root and fountain from which all of his attributes flow. His holiness is what makes him God. And God, being perfectly holy, has holy reflexes towards sin and evil. Holiness cannot tolerate that which is not holy.
It was a terrible thing for man to lose perfect communion with his fellow man. A terrible loss when we lost communion with the created world. But all of it pales in comparison to losing fellowship with God. Because we chose to rebel, because we chose our will and desires over God's will, because we decided to cloth ourselves in the rags of sin, a holy God had no choice but to remove his beautiful face from us in anger. And the life we were given, a life that was meant to be enjoyed, a life that was meant to be lived in perfect fellowship with God, now has become a life of mourning and sorrow. The catechism talks about us being made "liable to all miseries". All the hardships of this life, the toil and turmoil of the world, of living in this world, even death itself, is a result of our fall. The life God intended to be full of peace and fellowship and rejoicing has become a life of hardship, war, disease, famine, pain, isolation, and death. It is misery upon misery.
And as hard as this message seems, as hard and terrible as this life is for us, and as terrible as God's wrath may seem, it is all the more heartbreaking, hard, terrible for God. And we will see that in the person of Jesus Christ, when we realize just how far God will have to go to restore us to communion with himself. But for now, we must recognize our condition before a holy God, and recognize what awaits us in this life.
But God is merciful. And praise God that he is holy, holy holy! Praise him for his wrath and his justice. And praise him for his grace and his mercy. He has spared us, his children, from the wrath we justly deserve, at much cost to himself, and he has not abandoned us to the miseries of this life.