This is the first in a series of papers I hope to offer on the subject of Original Sin. I’m going to work from each of the verses that are claimed to be a support for this Roman Catholic doctrine.
Eph. 2:3 “And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
It is surprising how some, if not most, regard this verse as actually babies being born under the wrath of God. It’s a strange doctrine that accuses God of creating what He hates only to punish it for eternity. I’ve run into this belief on the streets, where God is reproached for His sadistic nature. How is it that this doctrine is not perceived as a doctrine of blasphemy? And yet well meaning souls, even ministers holding office in a Church building, promote such a belief.
Can God be angry with man for possessing the nature that He Himself has given man? It is like saying God hates Himself, for He created man in His Own Image. Genesis 1:27, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
The absurdity of God hating His creation is profound. God is not angry with men for possessing the nature He has given them, but only for the perversion of that nature. The scriptures in question, if one would go into the context surrounding Eph. 2:3, he would find that God is “angry” at the perversion of that nature we were born with, not the nature itself. We have been created in the Image of God.
Rather than taking one scripture by itself, lets look at it in it’s setting:
Verse 1&2 says, “1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”
“And you were dead in trespasses and sins”, how? Because “you formerly walked according to the course of this world,”. Where in these verses does Paul even allude to an idea of original sin as being the culprit? On the contrary, Paul is saying you are children of your father, the Satan, because of the way you walk! Your walk makes you thus. Does God then call Himself Satan by saying I made you this way? This is again, total blasphemy. Paul says it is walking “according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” that renders you dead in trespasses. Trespasses suggest walking, and sins suggest voluntary choice to walk in the way of the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Walking in your sin renders you as “sons of disobedience’.
Paul is talking here, not of infant babes, but only those who walk in disobedience. An infant does not walk in disobedience. It knows not good or evil, right or wrong. A baby is a baby. Messiah says to be like the little children! If babes deserve the wrath of God, why then does the Master use a little child to illustrate the right way to come to Him, if they are fallen?
Proverbs 22 is a very good study to go along with this subject. I hope many of you will take the time to read it. Lets look at one verse in this wonderful chapter, verse 6,
6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
If a baby is born with original sin, and as I’ve heard so much, that he is unregenerate, and unable to choose to do right, then the Bible contradicts itself. But the Bible does not contradict itself, it is those who hold to false doctrine that contradicts the Bible.
Back to Ephesians 2:
3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
Notice Paul, again, does not seek to blame Adam for our sin, but actually explains why he calls our former selves “children of wrath”, it is due to the fact that we lived in our lust, nothing about original sin, but OUR OWN lust. We, not Adam, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and this fact alone he bases his statement of our being children of wrath, even as the rest”. It has nothing to do with inherited sin, but all together to do with our own personal sin. We are children of the Satan if we choose to serve him in our walk, rather than God. God calls man to walk in uprightness, for it is how man was created. Walking in sin is not the normal life of man, but uprightness is the normal walk for mankind.
The nature of a sinner is just that, sin. The nature of an obedient servant of the Most High God is just that, obedience. The nature of a murderer is that of murder. The nature of a liar is just that, a liar. The nature of one who shows self-control is self-control. This has nothing to do with inherited fallen nature.
We do not inherit our propensity to sin from Adam. The nature Paul refers has to do with our character, not what we were when we were babies. The idea is truly a distortion of scripture. This doctrine of original sin not only twists the Word of God, it maims as it twists all who adhere to it’s reasoning.
Nature is indeed voluntary. John 3:3 says it is voluntary by being born again. We cannot birth ourselves into the Kingdom of God. God does this, but it is our voluntary will that God goes by. 2 Peter 1:4 says that we are “partakers of the divine nature.”
2 Peter 1:4-11, “4For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
I should add verse 3 here to explain “For by these” in verse 4.
“3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Now notice where Peter takes us. Not into a doctrine of original sin that says we just can’t help it, that we have no choice, God forces us by our own existence to choose evil, to choose to sin, or that we were created to sin, etc, but on the contrary he suggests the exact opposite. He treats this as if it is our choice. He treats his readers as if it is a voluntary decision on their part. No one can add to another moral excellence, it is a matter of voluntary choice. No one can add to another’s moral excellence knowledge, and so on. We do not inherit a propensity to sin, and a propensity to add moral excellence, and to that knowledge, as a propensity. God doesn’t just impute self-control on anyone, nor does our sinfulness come from another. You either choose self-control, or you choose to live selfish, sinful lives. The idea to press a blasphemous doctrine of original sin into these verses is absurd.
5Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no hint at all that we cannot do this. Peter never suggests the impossibility of his instruction. He never alludes to anything remotely congruent to a doctrine of original sin.
Now notice, Peter deals with those people who lack these qualities he just mentioned. He does not allude in any way to original sin as the culprit. No, not in any way. He treats every man as if he is accountable for his own life. Peter states that the man who lacks these qualities-
9For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”
Also, a sinful nature as original sin suggests, would not cause anyone to keep the law of God. A sinful nature is just that, sinful, and can only produce sin, as the reformers teach. But this is in disagreement with the Apostle Paul, and is why I, as well as all who see this doctrine for what it is, say it is not scriptural, not Biblical, and is completely heretical, and blasphemous.
The doctrine of Original Sin makes the adherents all hypocrites. And here is why,
“1Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”
How can the Gospel be preached, and thereby call for sinners to repent, and turn from sin, when your doctrine says its not possible, but only God will choose who will be saved, and repentance has nothing to do with it? It is better to not preach as a hypocrite, and simply perish as one, than to lead others down the same road.
2And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
I am so thankful God is actually kind to his creation, and not a god who creates to destroy, punish,and hates his Creation. God shows kindness, this is a better God than the one of “original sin”.
Notice here beginning in verse 5. It is because of SELF will, that is, “stubbornness”, and “unrepentant heart”, that wrath is stored up. Nothing at all in any way is this wrath have to do with being born in sin as a little infant.
“5But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
And this verse shows how personal it is, as opposed to the idea of original sin being so impersonal that it simply covers everyone at the same time.
6who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
Now Pauls writes that for those who persevere, that is from a voluntary action, perseverance is voluntary, in doing good, are rewarded. The perseverance isn’t handed down, it isn’t imputed, it isn’t punished, it isn’t hated, it is rewarded.
7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
Again, Paul speaks about voluntary action, “But to those who are selfish”, nothing about inherited sin here, but disobedience alone.
8but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11For there is no partiality with God.
12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
Here is a verse that should shut the mouth of this false doctrine. For those whom the doctrine says it is impossible still, according to the Word of God, do what the doctrine says can’t be done.
14For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
There is no hint in Paul that original sin exists. There is no teaching that original sin affects anyone, or anything, in our lives. It is up to us to choose you this day whom you will serve,
Joshua 24:15, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”