It is of great importance that all understand the doctrine of Original Sin.
By original sin is meant man’s total condition of sin.
Perhaps you wonder why the name “original sin.” One theologian points out that it is fitting because: 1) It came from the original root of the human family – Adam. 2) It is present in the life of every individual from the time of birth. 3) It is the inner root of all other sins and defilement in each life.
Thus man’s over-all condition of sin, known as original sin, includes both GUILT (a bad record before God) and POLLUTION (a stained life on earth).
None gain forgiveness and true holiness without getting at least some insight into this staggering problem of sin. Our text, Romans 5:12 will surely help here. Turn to it and read carefully. Now, let us lift from it the basic facts about sin.
I. THE BEGINNING OF SIN
The often-asked question is how can we escape implicating the Creator if man has original sin? But, 1) Sin was not originally in the nature of man. (The term “original sin” does not mean that!) Man was created both holy and free. Fallible but as yet unfallen. 2) The corruption of sin came from man’s sin, not from God! 3) Thus, having broken fellowship with their God, men are left to both the natural consequences of their sin and also the legal consequences. We suffer the whole consequences and are plunged into a condition known as original sin.
Our text says, “sin entered the world through one man.” Genesis bears this out. God made all things “good,” 1:31. Adam was given his responsibilities in Eden, 2:15 and warned not to eat the fruit of one tree, 2:17. Chapter three tells the sad story of his fall into sin and the resulting curse that came upon man and all nature.
II. THE INTENSITY OF SIN
Notice that our text, Romans 5:12, uses the word “death.” Through sin, death is seen as passing upon all men. Actually, this death means much more than physical death. The terrible condition of death which came on Adam and on us all is that of original sin leading on to eternal damnation. Thus, the over-all condition of sin in which we find ourselves is the first installment of the death penalty!
God warned Adam that on the day he dared disobey, “you will die.” How vast that death proved to be! Study Genesis 3. See their innocence destroyed. Fellowship with God ruined. Continuous struggle with Satan begun. Female sorrows. Male sorrows. Physical death promised. Shut out of Paradise.
The children of men are therefore all born away from vital fellowship with God. Lost. God makes one door back into His Presence. Jesus Christ His Son says, “I am the door.”
Parents should keep ever in mind this deeply intense problem of sin. There must be constant discipline, supported by regular teaching of Bible truth. Only the living truth of God can overcome the seeds of decay in man’s nature.
III. THE EXTENSITY OF SIN
Our text says death has now passed on all. The rest of the Bible agrees with this. See I John 1:8, 10.
The godly scholar Jonathan Edwards amassed many proofs for the vast problem of original sin. He points to the following:
- The prevailing propensity (capacity and tendency) to evil. That is, in each life we see the effects of sin – none are perfect – therefore, there must be a cause for all this. Original sin is that universal rot of evil.
- The persistency with which evil develops in each life. Adults are not as innocent as children. All incline to worsen with age.
- Sin appears even in the best of men. God’s rod of correction is ever busy. Even saints, then, prove original sin is a fact.
- A study of man’s deficiencies also shows the universality of sin. For example, who loves God as he ought?
- Man’s willful ignorance, disregard and neglect of spiritual matters. The vast rejection of the salvation offer, Matthew 7:13f.
- Consider God’s great efforts to gain man’s hearts, yet….Psalm 14:2f.
- The multiplied means used to restrain vice. How little avail! Rather, see men resist and ridicule effort to maintain law and order.
- The very nature of salvation, if studied, shows a deep, universal problem. Man not only requires a blood atonement, but then the Holy Spirit must work with each man and virtually draw him to it or he will not accept and cling to God’s gracious offer. Redemption must be virtually carried into each life.
Thus, it is seen that the cause of sin is fixed and internal in man’s very nature and very powerful indeed. There is a universal bondage to sin. Men agree on nothing else, but sin.
“But can it not all be explained by the many bad examples in the world which mislead the good?” someone objects. Let the valiant Dr. Edwards answer that with his famed questions: 1) What is there in men that lead them all to follow the evil examples rather than God and the good. 2) Where did all the evil examples come from? The answer is ever the same. Men are all in a condition of sin, original sin.
A rather searching truth lies hidden in the authorized version of our text, Romans 5:12. The concluding “all have sinned” should read simply, “all sinned.” That says that when Adam sinned all sinned. Adam was acting as our “Public Head.” A family lives in the condition in which the family head leads it. He acts on behalf of all.
The human race is like one plant. Adam was the root and stock, we are the branches. Death at the root means death to all. This is how God created things. Evil smote Adam, so all his posterity feels it. All are born outside paradise. We enter the world in this condition of sin, threatened with physical death and certain of spiritual defeats – very much needing the gracious salvation of God.
What a dark picture! An abyss of invincible black. Yet, God is love. Sending His Son into this staggering, fallen world, He opens the door to life eternal…back into fellowship with Him.
A criminal is no longer guilty once the penalty is paid. In our stead, Christ died for our sin. The price is paid. Then, arising from the dead, He ascended back to heaven. Now, the Holy Spirit has descended to sanctify us, to make us holy again.
Bow your head just now. Open your heart in faith and ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. Romans 6:23.