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Doctrine Of Original Sin

QUESTION: Is the doctrine of original sin biblical?


The doctrine of original sin is the identification given to the concept of the entrance of sin into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. God had prepared a perfect place for man and then gave them the gift of volition (the act of practicing free will). Volition comes with responsibility and consequences. God had placed trees in the midst of the garden. Adam and Eve could freely eat the fruit from any tree except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. “But the LORD God gave him this warning: 'You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die' (Genesis 2:16-17).

The Hebrew literally says, "dying you shall die." Adam and Eve did not physically die when they ate of the tree but they were spiritually separated from God, which meant an eternal separation -- death. With the choice to disobey God's command came the first sin, and the consequences of that sin was spiritual separation and eventually physical death. Because of their sin, all those who were born into their union were sinners and that has continued to the present. The only offspring that human beings can bring into the world are children with the sin nature and that requires a remedy. God in His grace provided Adam and Eve a covering (Genesis 3:21) made from animal skins as the first picture of the sacrifice that had to be made continually to cover sin looking forward to that day, in the fullness of time, when the promised Redeemer would come (Genesis 3:15).

This doctrine of original sin is cemented in the New Testament through the writings of the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth. “So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

“The Scriptures tell us, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living person.’ But the last Adam -- that is, Christ -- is a life-giving Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

What is being taught here is the "headship of Adam" versus the "headship of Christ." All in Adam are born dead or separated from God spiritually and eventually die physically. However, the remedy for original sin and the consequences of separation are found in the "second Adam"; the Lord Jesus Christ. When the sinner trusts in Christ and in His "once for all sacrifice" then we are "crossed from death unto life." "I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

The sin of all those who trust in Christ are not just covered, but paid for once and for all. There is no other sacrifice needed to satisfy a just and holy God. The believer's "headship" is changed and we are no longer spiritually separated from God. Because of Christ's victory over physical death in the resurrection, so shall all born again believers receive victory over death in our resurrection from physical death. “When this happens -- when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die -- then at last the Scriptures will come true: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

The question, "Is the doctrine of original sin biblical?” is answered by a confident yes. Our thanks is to God that His love and grace did not leave us in our original state, but gave us an opportunity to use the gift of volition to choose eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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