“The Erroneous Doctrines of

‘The Sinful Nature’ and ‘Original Sin’ “

 

 

In examining Romans 5:12, one must, of course, not only read the entire chapter (then re-read the chapters both preceding and succeeding it), but must carefully and prayerfully study 5:12-19, as discussion of the subject of sin and righteousness continues through the chapter's end.

 

 

From Romans 5:12 until the end of the chapter, sin and righteousness are juxtaposed. Adam and Christ are also juxtaposed, compared, contrasted, paralleled, as exhibited in 5:14: "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him (Christ) that was to come." Perceiving this correlation or parallel made between Adam and Christ is crucial to a proper understanding of the chapter, especially verses 12-19.

 

 

Because Adam and Christ are compared, contrasted, correlated, paralleled, verse by verse, what is attributed to one must be attributed to the other. For example, if we choose to claim that Adam's sin literally, directly, and causally, made every person, constitutionally, a sinner, we must also choose to claim that Christ's Sinless-ness literally, directly, and causally, made every person, constitutionally, sin-free. To use mathematics, briefly, to illustrate, if a=b, then if I choose to add 1 to a, I must also add 1 to b, thus developing the original equation of a=b, to 1+a=1+b.

 

 

In other words, Adam’s sin, or disobedience, is paralleled by Christ’s Sinless-ness, or obedience. If I, therefore, assert that Adam’s sin was and is  causational to all being sinful, or having a “sinful nature”, I must, of a necessity, therefore, also assert that Christ’s Sinless-ness was and is causational to all being sin-free.

 

 

Keeping this principle of the necessity of treating both sides of both a mathematical equation and/or a spiritual correlation/parallel equally, let us contextually analyze verse 19 of Romans 5:

 

 

"For as by one man's (Adam's) disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One (Christ) shall many be made righteous."

 

 

As above-mentioned, if Adam's sin was causational to everyone being made a sinner, independent of their choosing to sin, then Christ's Sinless-ness must be causational to everyone being made sinless, independent of their choosing to be sinless or sin-free. Again, if Adam's sin has made everyone a sinner, independent of their free-will choice to sin, then Christ's sinless-ness has made everyone sinless, independent of their free-will choice to live sinless or sin-free. But does Scripture anywhere claim that everyone is sinless, independent of their choice to be so?

 

 

We know from Romans 6:1-2, 7, 11, 18, 22, 1 John 3:9; 1 John 5:18, and a host of other Scriptures, that those who are Biblically born of God (born-again) exercise their free-will choice, through Biblically repenting from sin, and placing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to live lives of loving, complete, sin-free obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. But does God's Word, in any place, declare that every person –even those who are not Biblically born of God- has been made, manifestly, sin-free, by Christ's sin-free Life, independent of their free-will choice to be made so?

 

 

The answer to the question above, of course, is “no, Christ’s Sin-free life does make everyone (or anyone, for that matter) sin-free, independent of their choice to be so.

 

 

 

Because:

 

 

a. Christ's Choice to live a Sin-free Life did not cause anyone to be sin-free, but was an occasion by which as many as choose to live sin-free can live sin-free;

 

 

and

 

 

b. Adam and Christ are paralleled, compared in Romans 5:12-19; and, in a comparison, parallel, or, an equation, one must do to one side of the equation or parallel what one does to the other side of the equation or parallel;

 

 

We must now, as we examined the effect of Christ's Sinless-ness on others, examine the necessary nature of the effect of Adam's sin on others:

 

 

 

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)

 

 

 

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17)

 

 

“Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto to them will I give it, and they shall possess it” (Deuteronomy 1:39)

 

 

“Yet ye say, Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear shall not bear the iniquity if the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:19-20)

 

 

“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16)

 

 

“But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (2 Kings 14:6)

 

 

The above-mentioned Scriptures, analyzed in light of the previously-discussed rule of correct Biblical interpretation –in which, when two subjects are paralleled/equated/compared, one must apply the same principle of interpretation to both of the said subjects- tell us the following:

 

 

 

  1. Adam was the first man. Adam chose to sin. Because Adam chose to sin, Adam died, because one choosing to sin causes death to come upon the one who chooses to sin. Because death comes only upon the individual who chooses to sin, as eternal life comes to only upon the individual who chooses to no longer sin and instead life in sinless obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, death came upon all men

because all men chose, individually, chose to follow Adam’s example and sin. Adam’s sin was not causational to all men sinning, just as Christ’s Sinless-ness was not causational to some men choosing to live a sinless life, through Christ.  Rather, Adam’s sin was an “occasional” or “influence” for men to choose to follow and sin, just as Christ’s Sinless-ness was an “Occasion” or “Influence” for men to choose to follow to live without sin, through Him.

 

 

  1. James 4:17 informs that sin is when one “knoweth to do good, and doeth it not”, thereby, specifically defining sin as a choice, made when one has knowledge of good and evil but chooses to do evil instead of choosing to do good. Deuteronomy 1:39 reveals that children “have no knowledge of good and evil”. Because sin is Biblically defined as a choice which requires one to have knowledge of good and evil, because everyone begins life by being born as a child, and because every child is born with no knowledge of good and evil, we must logically deduce that no child is born a sinner, or one who has a “sinful nature” or “sinful native constitution; no person is born in a state of moral depravity. Because no child is born a sinner, or with a “sinful nature”, and because every adult begins life by being born as a child, it follows that no adult is born a sinner, or with a “sinful nature”, or with “original sin”.

 

 

  1.  Romans 3:23 states that “all have sinned”, meaning that all have chosen to sin, as –as has been earlier examined, sin is Biblically defined as a choice of one’s free moral agency or volition, not a causation force or substance in back of the will, or lodged in the human spirit. Ezekiel 18:4 declares “the soul that sinneth, it (the individual soul who chooses to sin) shall die. Deuteronomy 24:16 says that “every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” Ezekiel 18:20 says “the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” These Scripture state, clearly, that one person’s choice to sin is not imputed, attributed, or, accounted, to anyone else. For example, if a civil judge charged an innocent child with the crime of its grandfather, justifying his action with the claim that the child had inherited a “criminal nature” from its grandfather, the judge would be charged with being unjust. And if God were to charge every individual with the sin of Adam, and justify this by claiming that every individual inherited a “sinful nature” from Adam, because of Adam’s choice to sin, God would justly be charged with injustice, and would be no longer fit to act as the Moral Governor of the Universe, and govern justly. Because God is Just, however, the doctrine of men being born with and having a “sinful nature” is, necessarily, unjust.

 

 

  1. Genesis 1:27, 31 states: “So God created man in His own Image, in the Image of God created He him; male and female created He them…And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Leviticus 11:45 declares “For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” God is Holy, Innocent of sin, Sin-less. Because of this, when God created man in God’s Holy, Innocent, Sinless Image (“similitude, resemblance, representative figure”, in Hebrew) in God’s Holy, Innocent, Sinless Likeness, man, necessarily was innocent of sin. God saw man and evaluated man as “good”. When man, Adam, chose to sin, his choice to sin marred or corrupted his moral character. But that choice to sin did not change his nature or his “native constitution” (“nature” is defined in Random House College Dictionary as “the particular combination of qualities belonging to a person, animal, thing, class by birth, origin, or constitution”). For example, it is natural for a human to walk, it is natural for a bird to fly, yet a human does not change its nature into that of a bird by choosing to fly. God created man in God’s Image, Likeness, Nature. God’s Word never states that God ever re-created man in sin’s image, likeness, nature. Every human individual is still born into God’s Image, Likeness, Nature. Unfortunately, every human individual chooses to misuse their God-given Image, Likeness, Nature –possessing free choice/free moral agency/free volition, as God Himself possesses- by choosing to sin (acting selfishly, to gratify one’s desires at the expense of the highest good of all) instead of choosing to live benevolently (acting to promote the highest good of all, at the expense of one’s desires). Because the majority of human individuals choose to sin regularly, habitually, it becomes normal or natural for them to sin. But this is not because they have inherited a “sinful nature” which causes them to sin. It is simply because that, by regularly misusing their God-given faculties of volition (will), intellect (mind), sensibility (emotion), they have been accustomed to, or developed a habit of, sinning. Biblically, then, nobody has a “sinful nature”. Biblically, people simply have created a “sinful lifestyle or habit.” Just as one is born morally innocent and chooses to develop a habit of sin by choosing to follow Adam’s sinful example, one can be Biblically “born of God/born from above/born again’ and choose to develop a habit of sinless-ness by choosing to follow Christ’s Sinless Example, and appropriate the means of His Grace as elucidated in Scripture (faith in His Death, Burial, Resurrection, Heavenly Intercession, Blood, Holy Spirit, Word, etc…).

 

 

  1. If human begins actually possessed a “sinful nature”, and, therefore, by definition, were beings natively, originally, constituted and created in sin who could never do anything, therefore, besides sin, then God would be unjust to command human beings to “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14), “go and sin no more” (John 8:11), “awake to righteousness and sin not” (1 Corinthians 15:34). Again, because God is Just, however, the false doctrines of “original sin” and a “sinful nature” must, necessarily, be, Biblically, logically, and morally, unjust.

 

 

  1. Texts often used to support the idea of humans having a “sinful nature”, when exegetically examined syntactically and contextually, actually are found to neither support, nor substantiate the erroneous doctrine. In fact, the very verses used, out of context, as evidence of the universally-accepted false doctrine, actually, when properly, contextually, syntactically, logically, analyzed, prove the opposing view. Psalm 51:5, for centuries, has been such a verse. Unfortunately, in analyzing this particular verse, theologians have forgotten a basic syntactical and linguistic principle and practice, utilized throughout God’s Word. Often, in Scripture, the inspired writer of a particular verse will state a fact, then restate the same fact, using another set of words, for emphasis. This is the case with the text under consideration. David states, in the portion of Psalm 51:5 before the semi colon, “Behold, I was shapen (“chuwl” or “chiyl” in Hebrew, meaning “to writhe in pain [especially of parturition {“the act of bringing forth young; childbirth}) in iniquity”. Syntactically, or, concerning the parts of speech included in the portion examined, “I” is the subject of the phrase. But “I”, the subject, is referred to as a passive subject, or a direct object, one that is being acted upon by another, as opposed to one that is acting upon another. “Shapen” is the verb in the phrase, pertaining to the active or passive action of the subject. Because “shapen” is modified by “was”, indicating that the subject, “I”, “was shapen”, it is apparent that the subject “I” was passively acted upon –“was shapen” (or, was birthed) - by another active agent who did the “shaping” (the bringing forth of the child in birth).  “In iniquity” serves as the prepositional phrase, indicating the environment in which the subject, “I” was “shapen” or “birthed. The portion of the Scripture that follows after the semi colon, let it be remembered, is simply a restatement of the preceding phrase. In the latter phrase, David, therefore declares that “and in sin did my mother conceive me”. “In sin” corresponds with “in iniquity” in the preceding phrase, indicating the environment in which David was born. “Did conceive”, correlates with “was shapen” in indicating the action which took place (however, it should be noted that “did conceive indicates an active subject acting in the second phrase, whereas “was shapen” implies, as previously discussed, a passive subject, in the first phrase, which was acted upon). It refers to the active action of the subject in conceiving, or, giving birth to, David. “My mother” is the explicit subject of the latter phrase and the implied subject of the former. Based on this, because it is clearly stated that David’s mother was, naturally, the one who actively chose to shape, or give birth to, David, of a necessity, she was also the one who chose to conceive (“yacham”, in Hebrew” meaning, literally, “to be hot”, “ to conceive”) David. Because the prepositional phrase “in sin” refers to the environment in which the active subject and agent (David’s mother) conceived and birthed the passive agent or direct object of the subject’s action (David), it follows that David’s mother chose the engage in the sexual intercourse necessary to conceive and give birth to the infant David, while in a state of sin. Historically, it is believed that David’s mother was a concubine of Nahash the Ammonite. Of course, intercourse between a Jew and an Ammonite would be sinful. Additionally, because, as we have already proven, sin is a choice requiring the knowledge of good and evil, and children (let alone new born infants) do not possess knowledge of good and evil (until the intellectual and moral faculties develop and mature to the point that the individual child cogitatively understand these concepts), David, as a new born infant, was incapable of knowing good and evil, and therefore was in a state incapable of committing sin, or being “in sin”. Obviously, this verse does not at all state that David was born a sinner or possessed a “sinful nature”. The verse simply states that David, though morally innocent at birth, was born into an environment in which sexual sin was, or had been, prevalent. This is consistent with the tenor of the rest of the Psalm, as well. Throughout the Psalm, David laments his sexual sin. Based on this, the 5th verse of the Psalm emphasizes that the sexual sin that he chose to commit in his later years was, perhaps, influenced by the sexual sin of his mother (which may or may not have continued after he was born; interestingly, though mothers are mentioned in the lives of many of the Bible’s great men –Abel, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Solomon, John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, Timothy- David’s mother is not mentioned –possibly as a result of her sin).

 

 

 

Now that you have read the aforementioned documents, some of the essential, but oftentimes neglected, rejected, or not rightly divided doctrines, that it is crucial that we discuss (because incorrect understanding of these subjects has resulted in multitudes being given incomplete, eternally-devastating, and erroneous, Biblical information) are:

 

 

1. Rightly divided, God's Word teaches that people are not born "sinners", with a "sinful nature" or with "original sin" (inherited sin from Adam). Throughout church history, the erroneous doctrines of "original sin", the "inherited sinful nature", or what is theologically known as the doctrine of "constitutional moral depravity", have deceived billions into believing that they must "sin everyday in word, thought and deed", though God's Word says "go and sin no more" (John 8:11), "sin no more lest a worse thing come unto you" (John 5:14), "he that is born of God doth not commit sin" (1 John 3:9), "whosoever is born of God sinneth not" (1 John 5:18), "whosoever abideth in Him (Christ) sinneth not" (1 John 3:6), "awake to righteousness and sin not" (1 Corinthians 15:34), "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee" (Psalms 119:11), "that His (God's) fear be before your faces, that ye sin not" (Exodus 20:20), inmany more places than I am able to cite at this time. Sadly, it is certain that multitudes are in Hell, because they were incorrectly taught, by the "traditions of men", that they had to continue in sin, when the Word of God said that they were to live "dead to sin, but alive through Jesus Christ" (Romans 6:11).

 

 

2. After initially repenting from sin and surrendering to Christ, Biblical believers must continue living in loving, faith-filled, sin-free, Biblical obedience to Christ, "continuing in His Word" (John 8:30-31) in order to maintain their Biblical Christian status.

 

 

3. Believers must be Biblically filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)

 

 

4. Believers must be Biblically baptized in water (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38)

 

 

5. Believers must witness or preach the Gospel to "every creature" (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 24:45-49, Ezekiel 3:17-20)

 

 

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you, as you Biblically obey Him.