XII. WSC Law And Gospel Q & A 82-90
Q & A 82-84 The Law Convicts Of Sin.
Q. 82 Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. 82 No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but does daily break them in thought, word and deed.
One of the uses of the law is to convict people of their sinful condition, that they might seek after a remedy (Eccl. 7:20). Our sinful condition goes to the very core of who we are (Gen. 8:21). We all offend in many ways, including in our speech (Js. 3:2, 8).
Q. 83 Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
A. 83 Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.
He that delivered the Lord up to be crucified had the greater sin (Jn. 19:11). It has always been the case that covetousness was every bit as important as the other nine, and it shows the internal nature of the corruption of sin. However, it is also true that people were never given a law or mandate to punish people based on what they thought, which of course only God, and perhaps the offender, alone would be able to know. Certain sins impact the social fabric of society, and the church corporate, that are clearly more heinous in their scope and impact. Also, we know that murder is on a different level than stealing, for example. Some sins could be addressed with repentance and restitution to injured parties. Furthermore, the biblical record overflows with constant examples of God’s grace, where judgment comes only after great patience on God’s part.
Q. 84 What does every sin deserve?
A. 84 Every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come.
All have sinned in Adam, to which we all add our own personal iniquities, so that all deserve the sentence of death, physical and spiritual. The real wonder is grace, that the LORD would redeem any.