14 These were the reasons why we also mentioned concupiscence in our description of original sin, and why we deny to human nature the ability to fear and trust in God. We wanted to show that original sin contains these diseases: ignorance of God, contempt for God, not having fear and trust in God, the inability to love God. These are the chief faults of human nature because they conflict with the First Table of the Ten Commandments [Exodus 20:3-11]. 15 We have not said anything new. The ancient definition of original sin, understood correctly, says precisely the same thing. "Original sin is the absence of original righteousness." But what is righteousness? Here the Scholastics wrangle over philosophical questions. They do not explain what original righteousness is. 16 In the Scriptures, righteousness consists not only in obeying the Second Table of the Ten Commandments ‹which are about good works in serving our fellowman›, but also the First Table, which teaches about fearing God, faith, and loving God. 17 Therefore, original righteousness includes not only physical health in all ways, as they contend, but also these gifts: a sure and certain knowledge of God, fear of God, confidence in God, and the desire and ability to give God these things. 18 Scripture testifies to this when it says in Genesis 1:27 that man was made in the image and likeness of God. What else was this image and likeness other than that man was created with wisdom and righteousness so that he could apprehend God and reflect God? Mankind was given the gift of knowing God, fearing God, and being confident in God. . . . 23 The ancient definition of original sin is that it is a lack of righteousness. This definition not only denies that mankind is capable of obedience in his body, but also denies that mankind is capable of knowing God, placing confidence in God, fearing and loving God, and certainly also the ability to produce such things. . . . From these facts it appears that the ancient definition says precisely the same thing that we say, denying fear and confidence toward God. It denies not only the actions, but also the gifts and ability to produce these acts.
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen