Original and Gifted Righteousness

Genesis 2:16-17

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'”

Luther’s Commentary
“From this same original righteousness also it arose that Adam loved God and his works with all purity of affection; that he lived among the creatures of God in peace without any fear of death or any dread of disease, and that he enjoyed a body also the most obedient to the will of God, without any evil desires and utterly free from that impure lust, which we continually feel. So that a most beautiful and most certain picture of original righteousness may be portrayed from its entire contrast to that deep corruption, which we now feel throughout our whole nature…it is evident that original sin is the essential and entire loss and deprivation and absence of original righteousness; just as blindness is the privation or absence of sight.”
“God fulfils his original blessing pronounced upon male and female when he created them. And thus men, though in sin and with sin, generate and are generated. But this would not have been the case in paradise, had man continued in the innocency of his original creation. Children would have been born in original righteousness and rectitude. They would have known God immediately at their birth, without any instruction or admonition. They would have spoken of his holy name, praised him and given him thanks. But all these glorious things are now lost. Yet it is profitable to us to think upon them deeply, that we may hold fast some sense of the real state in which we now are; namely, under all the effects of original sin; and that we may rightly contemplate also the original condition of Adam, a state of perfect righteousness, which state we hope again to enjoy in all its blessedness at the ‘restitution of all things,’ Acts 3 :2.”
“Who is there, then, so stupid or so insane, who will after all conclude that a law was not given to Adam because he hears us affirm that Adam was a righteous man? For no other conclusion can follow than that the law, which was. made for the unrighteous, was not the law that was given to the righteous Adam; and on the converse it must follow that as a law was given to righteous Adam, that law was not the same as the law which was afterwards made for the unrighteous… the righteous man before sin and the righteous man after sin are each righteous, but in a different sense; that the one is righteous bv nature the other by new-creation and justification.”
Martin Luther. Luther on the Creation: A Critical and Devotional Commentary on Genesis [1-3] (Kindle Locations 3432-3545, 3608-3619).

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