Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Psalms 51:5
It is amazing the ideas that can be developed from scriptures when men expound on them. Everyone has a problem sin especially the recurring sin they try to conquer but felt compelled to commit. Is it denial or just plain easier to point fingers at others to justify yourself than to seek the answer to why we sin? At the same time Christians need solid answers to build a spiritual foundation for their life and hold their position in Christ and the ground they stand on. So lets see if the bible says anything about being born in sin. The passage (Psalms 51:5) comes the closest but it doesn’t say anything about being born in sin. Instead it simply says that I was sinful from the time I was conceived.
We have a doctrinal issue that needs to be addressed simply because the concept of being born in sin is taught in the church, but not discussed in the bible. I believed this doctrine for a time and I got caught up in the doctrine. Then I look for inherited sin that too was not found in the bible. What do we do about this problem?
The origin of “born in sin” is a doctrine of man and then has become traditional. So what do we mean by these terms? The term doctrine of man simply speaks of its origin, and the traditional teaching is the doctrines passed down from one generation to the next. What makes these doctrines so believable is the person teaching them and the way they interpret the bible. However, when several men teach a doctrine of tradition, they make the doctrine more believable. Regardless of what and how a doctrine is taught in the Christian community, everything we hear should be confirmed by God’s word before we anchor our beliefs in it.
The reality that God has an enemy called Satan who specializes in separating you from our Savior makes more sense. It’s not that man naturally rebels against the laws of God, but man makes a number of bad choices originating from Satan’s influence. Let’s make this point clear, Satan is not responsible for every sin but he is known to provoke men to sin. No matter how you attempt to explain sin, sin is a choice that matures into sin caused by your selfish desires. I suspect that all of us have heard “I know but I want it anyways”. We need to understand that your desires can overcome reasoning and common sense.
The story of Cain whom became disgruntle over the acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice brings out a specific point we need to see. Its evident that Cain wanted to please God with the sacrifice he made but the story tells that God wasn’t impressed. Cain had hoped to please God but his brother got the praise he desired. Cain had plans that went down the tubes, he was disappointed and stewed for soma time, which made him angry.
This story is just one of the ways man can speculate what was going on in Cain mind and makes sense with the story. As I thought about this story I wondered if God knew of Cain’s plan to kill his brother. The story as I have speculated may have set the background for what God said to Cain. God said,
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Genesis 4:7
Within this passage God brings out that Cain had a choice. If Cain had made the choice to do right he would be accepted, but if he made the wrong choice sin would have him. God warned Cain what would happen if he made the wrong choice. When you think about the words that God spoke you can see a picture in your mind of an athlete crouched ready to run the hundred-yard dash as he waits for the shot to be fired. He has the goal in sight as he prepares to cross the threshold and into your life. This picture gives a picture of sin waiting on your permission to enter you life. To master sin you must know how to avoid the sin crouching at your door.
Sin is like a lion that works in stealth and stays hidden until the last moment, then the lion like sin pounces on you unexpectedly. The lion wants you for his lunch but the reality of your decision will make you a slave of sin with the shame of sinning. The serious consequences of sin can be avoided but avoiding sin is our responsibility and according to God we can avoid sin.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Sin interferes with our lives just as Paul said, when he wanted to do good something impressed him to stop the good he planned and he committed the sin he hated. Sin is committed and the word commit refers to an act that you have chosen to do. In addition James spoke of sin as a desire in its infancy when it was conceived that grew and matured with a deadly outcome.
When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15
Understanding that sin is the outcome of a choice and learning to control and limit our decisions to godly actions will help us to rule our lives and master sin. Sin is committed and it comes from making a selfish decision solely for the benefit received specially when it is not a choice for what is just and right. God is just. Sin can not transferred from one person to another and sin is not inherited for there is no justice in being found guilty for another person’s sin. The bible clearly states that you will die for your own sin. There is one exception, Christ chose to accept the penalty of sin and die for our sins and carrying our sins to the cross. Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God without spot or blemish, a substitute lamb for our sins that were placed on him. Then he died in your place for our sin.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Whether sin is inherited or transferable to another person is in doubt.
'The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.' Numbers 14:18
Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16
Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes — his own teeth will be set on edge. Jeremiah 31:30
You will not be put to death for your children’s sin, nor will your children be put to death for your sin. Each person will die for the sin they committed. Then God said that he did not want anyone to perish, but to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Sin is not transferred to you nor can you inherit sin, however there is a guarantee that your sin can be forgiven through Jesus Christ. That is the good news from God and it is well worth the effort to seek the forgiveness and gift of life he gives freely.