Thursday, November 8, 2018

What is Original Sin?

"Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5).

When we speak of Original Sin, we are not talking about the sin that Adam and Eve committed. Rather, we are talking about the result of that first sin. Original Sin refers to our sinful condition, from which actual sins flow. We sin because we are sinners; we are not sinners because we sin.

We sin because, since the Fall, it is the nature of human beings to be drawn to sin. David says that he was born in sin, and in sin he was conceived (Psalm 51:5). The Bible teaches that we are not only persons from the moment of conception, but sinful persons.

We deceive ourselves about our sinfulness. A case in point is Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler, recorded in Matthew 19:16–22. This man asked Jesus, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus replied that to enter life, he would have to keep the commandments, which Jesus specified by citing some of the Ten Commandments: “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said that he had kept all of these. “What do I still lack?” he asked. Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Jesus, knowing the sinful man’s heart, simply started with the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and made a practical application to this man’s life: “Sell all and follow me.” This man’s unwillingness to follow unmasked his fallen nature as opposed to his external “religious” activities. Jesus showed that the rich young ruler had not even begun to keep the Commandments. His self-righteousness was only self-deception.

Man is the only animal that can blush—we blush from the embarrassment of sin and guilt. God made us with a conscience that recognizes sin, but like the prostitute in Jeremiah 3:3, we are able to sear our conscience and no longer blush at sin. Ask God to give you eyes to recognize your sin and its gravity. Pray for courage to face your sin and strength to begin changing with God’s help.