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#38201 Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:26 PM
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THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN by Jim Denison
Ps 51:5 David says “ Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. This verse seems to be the main verse that the generally accepted doctrine of original sin comes from. It is not absolutely clear what David is trying to communicate here.
One of the basic principles of interpreting scripture is that the unclear passages should be interpreted by the more clear passages. The following are scriptures that are much easier to understand concerning this subject, In other words let scripture interpret scripture.
God commanded us to marry, conceive and give birth., Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number”.

Why then would David say marriage and child bearing is sinful, and that we are born sinful when the whole process is clearly blessed by the Lord?

If children are sinners, why did Jesus say we must become like them to enter into the kingdom of God? Matthew 18:1-3 “unless you become as a little child you cannot enter
The kingdom of God. If children are totally depraved as some say, then Jesus gave a very poor example of how adults must become to enter the kingdom.

Because of the clear meaning of these scriptures could it be that David was simply saying that he was conceived and born into a sinful world? Or was this simply a hyperbolic statement?
This world is made sinful by adults, not babies or God.

Adam and Eve were created with the God given freedom to choose to sin or to choose to trust and obey Him. God knew they would choose to sin but without this freedom love would have been meaningless. Obviously this does not make God the author of sin.

In the same way every child is born with the freedom to choose to sin or to choose not to, and is sure to choose to sin if they live long enough.

This does not mean they are born sinners, any more than Adam and Eve were created sinners.

Original sin simply means that as human beings we are sure to fall into sin if we live long enough just as Adam and Eve did.

Therefore we can see that blaming Adam and Eve for sin and saying we are born sinful is to completely miss the fact that we all become guilty for our own sin the exact same way they did (by disobeying God). This sin is credited to Adam simply because he was first and it is common to all humanity except one, Jesus! Thank God that through Him we have the solution to this problem!
Isaiah 7:16
For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.
(NAS95)

The bible teaches that the children are punished for the sins of their fathers, to the third & fourth generation, if they are guilty of the same sins, Exodus 20:5 (of those who hate me) and if they do not repent, Numbers 14:18 (forgiving sin and rebellion).This is made very clear in Ezekiel 18, when the Jews accuse God of “sour grapes”. Consequently no one is a sinner just because Adam was a sinner, we all become sinners the same way Adam became a sinner, by sinning and not repenting.

Jim_M #38202 Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:24 AM
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Jim_M said:
Ps 51:5 David says “ Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. This verse seems to be the main verse that the generally accepted doctrine of original sin comes from.

Actually, there are many other verses. But two other important verses are Gen. 6:5 and Rom. 5:19.

Quote
It is not absolutely clear what David is trying to communicate here.
One of the basic principles of interpreting scripture is that the unclear passages should be interpreted by the more clear passages. The following are scriptures that are much easier to understand concerning this subject, In other words let scripture interpret scripture.
God commanded us to marry, conceive and give birth., Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number”.

Why then would David say marriage and child bearing is sinful, and that we are born sinful when the whole process is clearly blessed by the Lord?

David is not saying that marriage and childbearing are sinful. He is saying that he was a sinner from the first moment of his existence. He was brought forth in iniquity, not that the bringing forth was itself iniquitous, but he was iniquitous as he was brought forth. His mother conceived him in sin, not that her conceiving him was sinful, but he was sinful when he was conceived.

Quote
If children are sinners, why did Jesus say we must become like them to enter into the kingdom of God? Matthew 18:1-3 “unless you become as a little child you cannot enter
The kingdom of God. If children are totally depraved as some say, then Jesus gave a very poor example of how adults must become to enter the kingdom.

We are to become like children, not because they are sinless, but because they humbly depend on and trust in others, as in Ps. 131:2: "But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me." We are told to emulate a child's humility, never a child's "innocence."

Quote
Adam and Eve were created with the God given freedom to choose to sin or to choose to trust and obey Him. God knew they would choose to sin but without this freedom love would have been meaningless. Obviously this does not make God the author of sin.

Hm. Do you believe that God is free not to love? If He must love us, then is that meaningful love? The meaningfulness of love comes from doing something for the sake of another, not from having the ability to do evil.

Quote
In the same way every child is born with the freedom to choose to sin or to choose not to, and is sure to choose to sin if they live long enough.

This does not mean they are born sinners, any more than Adam and Eve were created sinners.

Original sin simply means that as human beings we are sure to fall into sin if we live long enough just as Adam and Eve did.

And where is this teaching in Scripture? Where does Scripture say that all men choose sin given a long enough period of time? And how long is long enough?

Quote
Therefore we can see that blaming Adam and Eve for sin and saying we are born sinful is to completely miss the fact that we all become guilty for our own sin the exact same way they did (by disobeying God). This sin is credited to Adam simply because he was first and it is common to all humanity except one, Jesus! Thank God that through Him we have the solution to this problem!

If we all become sinful only in the same way Adam and Eve do (by disobedience), then we can be righteous only in the same way the Last Adam, Jesus Christ, is: by perfect obedience. And if that's the case, Jesus isn't much of a solution to the problem. Not to mention, apparently you think babies don't need Jesus.

Quote
Consequently no one is a sinner just because Adam was a sinner, we all become sinners the same way Adam became a sinner, by sinning and not repenting.

We are all sinners because we inherit Adam's guilt and his corruption. We all sin because we are all sinners.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
CovenantInBlood #38203 Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:34 AM
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Jesus did not make a distinction of what aspect of a child was good or bad, so i take it to be the whole child."God is forced to love us" This kind of reasoning is called"setting up a straw man,so you can easily knock him down" and is not credible reasoning. The scripture is replete with the teaching that all men sin, does it teach anywhere that babies sin? "After how long" after they know to choose to do good or evil, the same as Adam. "Perfect obedience", another straw man. Babies do not need forgiveness, but basically this is some more"straw man" reasoning. Gen.6:5 offers no clarity to this discussion at all. We are created in Gods image and at the same time we are "distorted", i think we distort ourselves later on when we choose to do evil. Romans 5: All have sinned. To sin is to transgress the law of God; to do wrong. The apostle in this expression does not say that all have sinned in Adam, or that their nature has become corrupt, which is true, but which is not affirmed here; nor that the sin of Adam is imputed to them; but simply affirms that all men have sinned. He speaks evidently of the great universal fact that all men are sinners. He is not settling a metaphysical difficulty; nor does he speak of the condition of man as he comes into the world. He speaks as other men would; he addresses himself to the common sense of the world; and is discoursing of universal, well-known facts. Here is the fact—that all men experience calamity, condemnation, death. How is this to be accounted for? The answer is, "All have sinned." This is a sufficient answer; it meets the case. And as his design cannot be shown to be to discuss a metaphysical question about the nature of man, or about the character of infants, the passage should be interpreted according to his design, and should not be pressed to bear on that of which he says nothing, and to which the passage evidently has no reference. I understand it, therefore, as referring to the fact that men sin in their own persons, sin themselves— as, indeed, how can they sin in any other way?—and that therefore they die. If men maintain that it refers to any metaphysical properties of the nature of man, or to infants, they should not infer or suppose this, but should show distinctly that it is in the text. Where is there evidence of any such reference? Hey guys feel free to jump in here, this is an open forum, at least i hope it is, i would like to know what everyone thinks!

Jim_M #38204 Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:46 AM
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Isaiah 7:16
"For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.
(NAS95)

We are born with a spiritual nature, a fleshly nature and a freedom to choose which we will serve, which are you choosing today? John 3:6 flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit. Philippians 3:3 we who worship by the spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.


We do not fall because Adam fell, we fall the same way he fell, by disobedience and not trusting in God. We all fall, but we fall because of our choices not Adams.

Jim_M #38205 Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:51 AM
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Romans 5:12: "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." Verse 15: "For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." Verse 16: "And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgement was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification." Verse 17: "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." See also verses 18-19 and 1st Corinthians 15:21.

The mere fact that all humans are mortal is proof that the Fall has effected all mankind. Even babies die. They are mortal, though they never sinned in your view. We are all born in Adam's likeness, after his image (as with all living things), inheriting his nature - which was corrupted by his sin.

That human depravity is the center of this debate! See Romans 5:6, 7:18, 8:7Genesis 6:5 and 8:21, and Romans 3:10-12, 7:14-23.

Scripture speaks of three imputations:

Adam's sin and guilt and corruption and death [1]imputed to us.[/i]

Our sin and guilt and corruption imputed to Christ,

Jesus' righteousness and purity imputed to believers.

-Robin

Jim_M #38206 Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:16 AM
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Jesus did not make a distinction of what aspect of a child was good or bad, so i take it to be the whole child.

Try again. Jesus specifically points to the child's HUMILITY: "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:4).

Quote
"God is forced to love us" This kind of reasoning is called"setting up a straw man,so you can easily knock him down" and is not credible reasoning.

It's a perfectly legitimate response. You say that if God made man to love Him without also giving man the freedom to sin, then that love would be meaningless. If God loves all men, as you seem to believe, then it's fair to ask whether God can commit sin. If He cannot commit sin, what makes God's love meaningful? The real problem is not with my reasoning, but with yours, which is both unscriptural and irrational.

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The scripture is replete with the teaching that all men sin, does it teach anywhere that babies sin?

Ps. 58:3: "The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth." Besides which, babies are a category of "men," just as women are a category of "men." "Men" refers to mankind generally, not to adults exclusively.

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"After how long" after they know to choose to do good or evil, the same as Adam.

Adam knew what to do before he ate from the tree. God had already commanded him and told him the punishment for disobedience.

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Gen.6:5 offers no clarity to this discussion at all.

What do you mean it offers no clarity? It says: "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Seems pretty clear to me that since the Fall man has an evil heart all the time. Not just after he has gotten big enough.

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We are created in Gods image and at the same time we are "distorted", i think we distort ourselves later on when we choose to do evil. Romans 5: All have sinned. To sin is to transgress the law of God; to do wrong. The apostle in this expression does not say that all have sinned in Adam, or that their nature has become corrupt, which is true, but which is not affirmed here; nor that the sin of Adam is imputed to them; but simply affirms that all men have sinned. He speaks evidently of the great universal fact that all men are sinners. He is not settling a metaphysical difficulty; nor does he speak of the condition of man as he comes into the world. He speaks as other men would; he addresses himself to the common sense of the world; and is discoursing of universal, well-known facts. Here is the fact—that all men experience calamity, condemnation, death. How is this to be accounted for? The answer is, "All have sinned." This is a sufficient answer; it meets the case.

You seem to be ignoring about half of the passage in question. Rom. 5:15 has, "by the transgression of the one the many died." The many died because of Adam's sin. In v. 16, "for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation." One transgression resulted in condemnation (which results in death to all, so the condemnation is upon all). In v. 17, "by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one." Death reigned over all men through the sin of one man. In v. 18, "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men." Through Adam's one sin, all men were condemned! Then v. 19, "through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners." The many were made sinners because of Adam's disobedience! The conclusion: In Adam's fall, we sinned all. Adam's sin is our own sin.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Jim_M #38207 Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:39 AM
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Jim said:
The scripture is replete with the teaching that all men sin, does it teach anywhere that babies sin?

Now, please give me a break. The Scripture does not teach that babies sin, it teaches that babies are born kicking and screaming rebelious sinners and that they have inherited a condemned original sin from Adam.

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The philosopher's reasoning is excellent except that God's revelation of the changed or corrupted natue of man is withheld from them.

Calvin, The Institutes, 1-15-8

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Jim_M #38208 Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:30 PM
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Jim_M said:
Jesus did not make a distinction of what aspect of a child was good or bad, so i take it to be the whole child."God is forced to love us" This kind of reasoning is called"setting up a straw man,so you can easily knock him down" and is not credible reasoning. The scripture is replete with the teaching that all men sin, does it teach anywhere that babies sin? "After how long" after they know to choose to do good or evil, the same as Adam. "Perfect obedience", another straw man. Babies do not need forgiveness, but basically this is some more"straw man" reasoning. Gen.6:5 offers no clarity to this discussion at all. We are created in Gods image and at the same time we are "distorted", i think we distort ourselves later on when we choose to do evil. Romans 5: All have sinned. To sin is to transgress the law of God; to do wrong. The apostle in this expression does not say that all have sinned in Adam, or that their nature has become corrupt, which is true, but which is not affirmed here; nor that the sin of Adam is imputed to them; but simply affirms that all men have sinned. He speaks evidently of the great universal fact that all men are sinners. He is not settling a metaphysical difficulty; nor does he speak of the condition of man as he comes into the world. He speaks as other men would; he addresses himself to the common sense of the world; and is discoursing of universal, well-known facts. Here is the fact—that all men experience calamity, condemnation, death. How is this to be accounted for? The answer is, "All have sinned." This is a sufficient answer; it meets the case. And as his design cannot be shown to be to discuss a metaphysical question about the nature of man, or about the character of infants, the passage should be interpreted according to his design, and should not be pressed to bear on that of which he says nothing, and to which the passage evidently has no reference. I understand it, therefore, as referring to the fact that men sin in their own persons, sin themselves— as, indeed, how can they sin in any other way?—and that therefore they die. If men maintain that it refers to any metaphysical properties of the nature of man, or to infants, they should not infer or suppose this, but should show distinctly that it is in the text. Where is there evidence of any such reference? Hey guys feel free to jump in here, this is an open forum, at least i hope it is, i would like to know what everyone thinks!

By the way, Jim, you need to make clear when you are quoting another author. The entire section I have underlined above is from Barnes' Notes on the New Testament.

Last edited by CovenantInBlood; Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:34 PM.

Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
CovenantInBlood #38209 Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:41 PM
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This is very interesting to me, how differently you and i think. Its nothing unusual though, men have disagreed about the word of God ever since Adam, i think it may have to do with among other things, literal and liberal and all the room in between. I will make a deal with you and anyone else though, i will not call you bad names if you do not me. Any way i am learning that Christianity is probably 10% theology and 90% about loving others, can we agree on that?

CovenantInBlood #38210 Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:25 PM
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This is very interesting to me, how differently you and i think. Its nothing unusual though, men have disagreed about the word of God ever since Adam, i think it may have to do with among other things, literal and liberal and all the room in between. Any way i am learning that Christianity is probably 10% theology and 90% about loving others, it is very easy to get this backwards, can we agree on that? Thanks for pointing out Ps.58:3, this gives me something to chew on, this sounds like a contradiction to the scriptures i have been pointing out, and we know the scripture does not do that.

CovenantInBlood #38211 Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:00 PM
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I must have misunderstood you about posting other views, anyway when i edit and post other views they become mine by adoption and editing.

Jim_M #38212 Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:59 PM
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Jim_M said:
This is very interesting to me, how differently you and i think. Its nothing unusual though, men have disagreed about the word of God ever since Adam, i think it may have to do with among other things, literal and liberal and all the room in between. I will make a deal with you and anyone else though, i will not call you bad names if you do not me. Any way i am learning that Christianity is probably 10% theology and 90% about loving others, can we agree on that?

I don't think I've called you bad names, Jim. But the truth is that Christianity is 100% theology (love of God), and as a result it is also 100% love of others. "The great commandment is this: Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it: Love thy neighbor as thyself."


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Jim_M #38213 Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:07 PM
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Jim_M said:
Thanks for pointing out Ps.58:3, this gives me something to chew on, this sounds like a contradiction to the scriptures i have been pointing out, and we know the scripture does not do that.

It's definitely not a contradiction to the verses you have been pointing to. But it does contradict your interpretation of those verses. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Jim_M #38214 Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:16 PM
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Jim_M said:
I must have misunderstood you about posting other views, anyway when i edit and post other views they become mine by adoption and editing.

Just make it clear when you are quoting someone and who it is your are quoting. Thanks! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
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I would agree that Calvinism is a description of how people get saved rather than "the gospel itself." It isn't necessary to understand the "technical schematics" in order for them to be effective. The gospel is the message about Jesus and His work on behalf of sinners, not the tech manual on how He did it and how the process works from start to finish.

<font size="4">However:</font>

No one can seek His aid without admitting one's need for aid (thus Holy Spirit "teaching T," if you will), and no one comes to the Father unless the Father draws him (no one can), and no one hears without having his ears opened (because we were dead - not just "sick" - in trespasses and sins), and no one calls Jesus Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

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