Article 2: Of the Fall of Man
We believe and confess, according to the holy Scriptures, that these our first parents, Adam and Eve, did not continue long in this glorious state in which they were created, but that they, seduced by the subtlety and deceit of the serpent, and the envy of the devil, transgressed the high commandment of God and became disobedient to their Creator; through which disobedience sin has come into the world, and death by sin, which has thus passed upon all men, for that all have sinned, and, hence, brought upon themselves the wrath of God, and condemnation; for which reason they were of God driven out of Paradise, or the pleasure garden, to till the earth, in sorrow to eat of it, and to eat their bread in the sweat of their face, till they should return to the earth, from which they were taken; and that they, therefore, through this one sin, became so ruined, separated, and estranged from God, that they, neither through themselves, nor through any of their descendants, nor through angels, nor men, nor any other creature in heaven or on earth, could be raised up, redeemed, or reconciled to God, but would have had to be eternally lost, had not God, in compassion for His creatures, made provision for it, and interposed with His love and mercy. Genesis 3:6; 4 Esdras 3:7; Romans 5:12, 18; Genesis 3:23; Psalms 49:8; Revelation 5:9; John 3:16.
This is not that very different from the concept of Total Depravity, is it? Regardless of whether or not you like Calvinism or even Calvinists, the depravity of man, the sinful nature, man being condemned and deserving of God’s wrath; that’s what we see. But I love how this article adds in the game changer, the major gash in the timeline of man’s history and trajectory: "had not God, in compassion for His creatures, made provision for it, and interposed with His love and mercy."
God indeed took the initiative so that this depravity could be overcome. That God would not leave things the way they were, with man headed toward only death.