Q. But who now is that Mediator, who in one person is true God and also a true and righteous man?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is freely given unto us for complete redemption and righteousness.
(Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 18)
Christians believe that the human race is fallen in Adam. It is not as though the human race is sick and faces imminent demise because of the effects that sin will have upon us if we do nothing about it; rather, Scripture teaches that we are already dead in sins and trespasses (Rom. 5:12–19; Eph. 2:1). This means that we do not need a cure for the disease of sin before that disease kills us — it is too late for that. Instead, we need someone to pay for our sins, resurrect us from the dead, and give us new life. Unless and until this happens, we remain dead in sin, unable to do anything to help ourselves.
The Bible does not tell us how much time elapsed between the time God created Adam and the first man rebelled against Him in Eden. But the Bible does say that as soon as the human race fell into sin and received its wage, which is death (Gen. 3:14–19), God immediately promised to send a redeemer who would save His people, crush the serpent (Satan), and yet suffer in the process (v. 15). This wonderful promise is called the proto-evangelium (the first gospel announcement), and it is the basis for all of what follows in the Bible. In fact, from the third chapter of Genesis forward, all of what follows in redemptive history is the unfolding of God’s plan to save His people from both the guilt and the power of sin in fulfillment of this very promise.
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