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Are We Born Sinners?
Part 3 - Objections

What about our sinful nature?

Bro. Mike Miller

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Second most common objection:

Are you saying that we do not have a sinful nature, or that we aren't prone to sin?

No! Of course the fact that mankind is prone to sin is very obvious. It is a foolish person indeed who would deny that fact. The natural man is much more inclined to sin than to righteousness. However, the problem doesn’t lie in our genes, our blood, or our physical makeup. Our physical body is not the problem – the HEART is the problem! We cannot blame our tendency to sin on a bad gene we inherited from our parents because that simply isn’t true! Jesus said:

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: – Matt. 15:18-19

Your body is not really you. Your body is the temporary house you live in while on this earth. It is made of dust and it will return to the dust when you are finished with it. The body is simply the means God gave us to function in and experience this physical world. The body has no will of its own. The body does not make decisions and choices. However, the body does need some things. It needs food and water. It needs to be cleaned and comforted. It needs rest. God created a mechanism for the body to let us know when it needs something. It is called natural desire or “lust.” These are natural desires that God gave us so that we can respond and take care of the needs of the body. These desires work through the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. The soul that lives in the body is the one who makes the decisions and choices about what the body gets to look at, to consume, to listen to, or to experience. Your soul finds pleasure in fulfilling these natural desires. Everyone likes to eat. Everyone likes to be comfortable. Everyone likes anything that “feels good.” God made us that way and then He designed all of creation so we could take care of those physical needs, and enjoy it while we did it. But for our own good, and also to show forth the order and pattern of the Godhead, God put boundaries around all of these desires and their fulfillment. The problem arises when the desire for these things becomes so consuming that we disregard God’s boundaries (law).

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. – Heb. 13:4

And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Prov. 23:2

James 1 tells us that when lust hath conceived, or has taken control, it brings forth sin. When our lusts run out of control sin will be the result.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. – James 1:15

Lust is a matter of the heart. The body is the vehicle through which we experience it. It isn’t that your body is demanding it – it is the fact that the affections of your heart are set on it. People eat when they aren’t even hungry. They buy things they do not need. They seek for that in which they can take pleasure because they are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. It isn’t sinful to meet your needs, but when lust goes beyond that and becomes the driving force of your life you are in trouble. Scripture bears witness to the fact that lust is an issue of the heart:

So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. – Psa. 81:12

Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. Prov. 6:25

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Rom. 1:24

Many other Scriptures could be given to prove this. There are verses that refer to the “lust of the flesh” but again, the body is the only means by which we experience life in this world. Therefore, the clear meaning is the lusts of our heart that we experience through the body. The “lust of the eyes” doesn’t mean that the eyes themselves lust, but it speaks of the things we see with our eyes that our soul lusts after. It is very evident that without the soul the body will not lust. A body lying in the casket does not lust anymore, even though it retains every molecule and gene that it possessed while it was alive. The only thing missing is the soul – that’s YOU, and that is the part that did the lusting! That dead body is simply an empty shell – like a discarded garment that has been taken off and dropped on the floor. The body has no more of a will of its own than the clothes that you wear.

Many seem to think of the desire itself as sin, but a natural desire is given by God and cannot be sinful as long as it is fulfilled within the boundaries God prescribes. The desire can lead us to temptation, but being tempted is not sin either. Jesus himself was tempted in all points as we are, but yet without sin. Sin is not a physical substance in your blood, or your genes, or your body. Sin is willful transgression against God’s law. Sin is a matter of the heart and it is a moral issue – not a physical issue. It is not a physical trait passed from parent to child like the color of your eyes or hair.

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son …– Ezek. 18:20

The Bible is very plain in the above verse that guilt cannot be passed from one person to another either. This verse totally contradicts the doctrine of original sin. It teaches the same truth found throughout the Bible – that every man will give account of HIMSELF to God. A just God will not charge anyone with someone else’s sin. He will never transfer someone else’s guilt to you. What an ungodly doctrine! If we are guilty of Adam’s sin, then why aren’t we guilty of the sins of every one of our ancestors since Adam? Why is it ONLY Adam’s sin that we inherited? If it is a physical matter and in our blood then we should be guilty of all the accumulated sin of every generation since Adam. What a ridiculous idea! What blasphemy against God and his Word! If sin is physical then there are many other verses of Scripture that simply cannot make sense.

You may say that we are making a mountain out of a molehill, but this issue is very important. If this tendency to sin is simply the result of our physical makeup and we were born that way, then there is no way we can rightly feel guilty about it. No matter how hard you try to twist it and make me feel guilty I still know that I had no say in it. My will was not involved. I didn’t make the choice, and by my very constitution I know that a holy and just God cannot blame me for it. HOWEVER, if the problem is NOT physical then I must bear the responsibility for being a sinner. It was MY CHOICE and MY DECISION! It was MY HEART that chose to “go astray.” Because of my selfishness I have “become filthy.” I had a choice and I made the choice to disobey God and I am without excuse!

Does man have a sinful nature? Man is certainly prone to sin, but referring to that as a sinful nature is confusing, to say the least. To say that he is BORN with a sinful nature is just totally wrong, unscriptural, and a terrible teaching that without a doubt has taken away from many sinners the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It was exactly what they needed to hear to take the heat off.

Man DEVELOPS the tendency to sin through his own lusts. That should be so obvious to any person who will lay aside the dogma they have been indoctrinated with and just think sensibly. It gets easier to sin if you keep doing it. The first time a person commits a particular sin his conscience troubles him. The second time it isn’t so bad. The voice of conscience gets quieter and quieter until eventually it isn’t even heard anymore.

For example, take the use of drugs and tobacco. The first time you use it your body rejects it and it might even make you physically sick. The only way you can become addicted to drugs or tobacco is to keep using them. After a while it them becomes your NATURE or habitual behavior. You MUST have it! But you have developed that “nature” yourself AND created an un-natural desire. God did not give you that desire – you developed it by yourself. Now you are in bondage and controlled by your un-natural desire. Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are good examples of the way ALL sin becomes a part of your life. ALL sin works the same way. When you are a sinner, sin controls your life. You are in bondage and must be delivered if you are ever going to be free from it. That is why God sent a Saviour! He came to “take away the sins of his people.” He came to “set the captives free!” He came to deliver you from yourself and the mess you've made of the clean vessel God gave you to start with.

It’s bad enough that so many teach and believe we are born with a physically sinful nature, but what is even worse is the teaching that we retain that nature after we are saved! If that is the case then what on earth is salvation all about? Just a home in the sky by and by with no real deliverance here and now? The Bible is too clear that there is much more to it than that.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Titus 2:11-12

The Bible is clear that those who are saved are made partakers of the “divine nature.” They are overcomers and not practicing sinners any longer.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. – 2 Pet. 1:4

We are not denying that man is prone to sin. We are saying that the tendency to sin is of your own making. It is not something in your physical makeup that you were born with. It is a matter of the heart and not a matter of the physical body.

Next Part: What About All Those Scriptures That Teach We Are Born Sinful?


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