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Are We Born Sinners?
Part 7

How Does Original Sin Affect Other Important Bible Doctrines?

Bro. Mike Miller

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I have always been shocked at the extreme reactions when people hear the doctrine of original sin questioned for the first time in their lives. Many even get rather violent in their defense of this tenant of the Catholic Church. You would think that to deny original sin was to deny one of the fundamentals of the faith.

I have also noticed that any doctrine that promotes the helplessness of sinners and makes excuses and explanations for their sin is very gently accepted with open hearts and minds. It doesn’t matter if it blatantly contradicts well-known Scriptures; there is no violent reaction and generally no resistance to such teachings. Doesn’t that seem a little strange?

What are the effects of denying original sin? What other doctrines depend on original sin? What Bible doctrines are put in jeopardy by rejecting original sin? Does throwing out the doctrine of original sin upset the whole biblical idea of forgiveness and atonement for sin? According to one reformed theologian everything depends upon original sin. He said, "Were this Article of faith (Original Sin) taken away, there would be no Original Sin; the promise of Christ would become void, and all the vital force of our religion would be destroyed." Wow! This doctrine really is the foundation for everything to him!

How can they look around them at this world filled with iniquity and say that there is no need of redemption and no need of a Saviour? Why must the doctrine of original sin, as prescribed by the Catholic Church, be true or there is no need for redemption? “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” is a very obvious fact, with or without the doctrine of original sin. Sin is a reality in the world we live in. It is pure absurdity to say that unless we accept the doctrine of original sin there is nothing that needs fixing. This world is full of sin and in need of a Saviour, but what it needs is a Saviour that will save them from sinning – not just give them a free ticket to heaven while they continue to live in sin, which is exactly what the doctrine of original sin makes provision for.

For some strange reason these people cannot see sin as a willful transgression against God. They see sin ONLY as something long ago and far away, of which they had no part or knowledge, but of which they are guilty in God’s eyes nonetheless. Their conception of sin is that it is some mystical unseen entity or substance that possesses their bodies and acts completely separate from their own will. This mystical, invisible evil is somehow passed from one generation to the next and is the real reason they commit their evil deeds. They had no choice at all in whether they wanted this evil thing in them – God himself made them with this inherent evil and now He blames them for it and intends to judge them and punish them forever for it. No wonder the educated skeptics mock Christianity! How could anyone with any sense of justice accept such a perverted idea of God? It is utter foolishness!

There are no true Bible doctrines that require that the doctrine of original sin be true. Without the doctrine of original sin ALL the major doctrines of the Bible, including sin, the Atonement, redemption, and sanctification, take on such a deeper and more clear meaning. The only doctrines that depend upon original sin are those that encourage or excuse sin. For example, without the doctrine of original sin the idea that sin is a calamity of nature rather than an act of the will against God must be disposed of. This puts the responsibility for sin on man rather than God, and this is exactly what the Scriptures teach:

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Rom. 14:12

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: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Ezek. 18:20

The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. Deut. 24:16; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chron 25:4

In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Jer. 31:29-30

The Bible couldn’t be clearer about this matter.

If you throw away original sin, the idea that Romans 7 represents the normal Christian experience must be discarded. Romans 7 then must be explained in light of Romans 6 and 8, as well as the rest of the Bible, instead of the man-made doctrine of original sin. This will present a completely different picture of the Christian walk. The only reason anyone would look at Romans 7 and believe living in sin and defeat to be the highest expectation of a Christian in this world is because he is clinging to the doctrine of original sin. Somehow, original sin so blinds the minds of people that they can completely put Romans 6 and 8 out of their mind while they wallow in self-pity and glory in Romans 7 as their experience. Many people are going to wake up in the pits of hell because they have believed a lie and been damned because of this matter. You better know that the Christian experience is not defeat and habitual sin! If you believe that it is, you have been deceived! What will you do with these verses?

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Rom. 8:37

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

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. Heb. 7:19

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8 (speaks of continual, habitual sin)

If we get rid of the doctrine of original sin we will have to stop calling ourselves a sinner after we are saved. That would be a good thing, because that is an idea that is wrong, misleading, and leads to many other false teachings and misunderstandings about what salvation is and what it does for a person. We have all heard it a thousand times: “I am just a sinner, saved by grace.” People think it sounds more spiritual and humble to say that about themselves. Apparently, they don’t stop to consider how God feels about such a testimony. After all that He has done for them to save them and give them life and they wallow in self pity and phony humility! They should be giving God glory by rejoicing in the victory, thanking God for deliverance from the bondage of sin.

If you are saved, you are a saint of God – not a sinner! Nowhere in the Bible does God refer to saved people as sinners after they are saved! A sinner is a sinner and a saint is a saint. Again, we’re not saying that a saint cannot sin, but he cannot practice habitual, continual sin. He cannot be classified as a sinner. The only way you can justify such a thing is if you think we are physically, constitutionally sinful. You must think that the body is sinful in and of itself. You must think of sin as something besides an act of your will against God. You must think of it as something you cannot help. You must think of it as something beyond your control. This is the result of believing in the doctrine of original sin. Instead of being grieved for their sin they glory in it. “We are such sinners, yet God loves us anyway.” Hogwash! That is a total misrepresentation of sin, of salvation, and of God’s attitude and disposition! Sin is a crime – it is not an accident, it is not a tragedy, it is not unavoidable! God loves the sinner and desires for him to repent. God works in his heart to draw him to Christ so that he can see what God has done to redeem him. But if he continues in his sin and refuses to turn he will face the judgment and wrath of God. He is much more likely to repent when he understands his sin is HIS FAULT and not something that was imposed upon him without his consent.

We could go on and on about the false teachings and doctrines that encourage sin and how they all depend upon the false doctrine of original sin. But let’s take a look at another aspect of this matter. Is the doctrine of original sin in harmony with the other major doctrines of the Bible? Absolutely not! Here are a few examples to consider:

Salvation is by grace through faith.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph. 2:8

Salvation is available because “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

God has no desire to see anyone perish, but neither does He owe salvation to any man. God didn’t provide the means for us to be saved out of obligation, but out of love, mercy, and goodness. It is such an obvious fact to anyone who is acquainted with the Bible that it would be a waste of time to keep laboring to prove this point.

If the doctrine of original sin is true then salvation cannot be of grace, but of justice. If God formed us in the womb and so constituted us that sin is natural and righteousness is unnatural, then He cannot condemn us for sin and still be just. The only way He can maintain his justice is to offer salvation, and if man takes it, well, but if he rejects it, then God is clear in the matter. Salvation then is based on justice rather than grace, and one of the major doctrines of salvation is turned on its head.

Another major doctrine that is fundamental to the faith is the sinlessness of Christ. The doctrine of original sin necessarily makes Jesus a sinner or it denies his humanity. If it is a true doctrine then at least one of these major fundamentals of the faith must be denied. To deny the humanity of Jesus Christ is a serious error that the Bible mentions in particular. The person who denies that Jesus is come in the flesh is marked as “antichrist” in the Word of God.

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 2 John 1:7

Allow me to explain: Original sin says that flesh is evil, and that this evil is passed from generation to generation. Defenders of this doctrine use these verses out of Job to prove that a sinner always produces another sinner naturally:

Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. Job 14:4

What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Job 15:14

The humanity of Jesus Christ is very plainly taught in the Bible. Without the humanity of Christ all the promises of God concerning salvation are empty and meaningless.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Jesus was made flesh – the same flesh that we are made of. His was not some special kind of flesh that was invincible to sin, but the same as ours in all points.

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Heb. 2:14

Jesus didn’t just lower himself a little and become an angel – He came all the way down to where we are. He didn’t have the nature of an angel, but of a normal man.

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Heb. 2:16

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Heb. 2:17

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb. 4:15

The Bible teaches plainly that Jesus was in all respects a man. He had a human body and was born of a woman, who offered her sin offering as prescribed by Moses after He was born. He hungered, He thirsted, He wept, He laughed, He grew weary, He rested, and He slept. He was angry, He felt compassion on others, He loved, and He lived and died just like other men live and die. Just as we are partakers of flesh and blood, “he also himself likewise took part OF THE SAME.” He was IN ALL THINGS …made like unto his brethren.” Now, either Jesus was born with a sinful nature, just like we are – or we ARE NOT born with a sinful nature. He was made like us IN ALL THINGS. The defenders of original sin refuse to give up the idea that we are born with a sinful nature, yet they say Christ was not. In order to do this they must deny the humanity of Christ. According to them, his body was NOT like ours. Besides contradicting all the above Scriptures they are clearly guilty of what 2 John 7 warns - that people who promote this teaching are antichrist.

Baptist and others outside the Catholic Church who believe in the doctrine of original sin have no answer to this dilemma. The Catholic Church realized the corner they had painted themselves into long ago and came up with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Somehow, Mary was born without a sinful nature and that is how Jesus could be born without one. Never mind that no such thing is found anywhere in the Bible, but original sin MUST be protected and defended.

There are those who try to say that since Jesus had no earthly father his blood was God’s blood. There are many problems with that, the first one being that God is a spirit and a spirit has no blood. God is not flesh and blood – He is spirit. (John 4:24) He BECAME flesh through the virgin birth of Jesus. God doesn’t have 46 chromosomes – that is flesh, and God is a spirit. GOD WAS MADE FLESH and dwelt among us. He WAS MADE like unto his brethren in all things. Nothing about the fleshly body of Jesus was different than anyone else ever born on the earth. We have heard a lot about the sinless blood of Jesus, but the fact is, He was entirely sinless; his hands, his feet, his eyes, his tongue, He was the sinless Saviour, but it wasn’t because his flesh was somehow different than ours. He was tempted “in all points” as we are, but He overcame temptation with the same things available to us – the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The big difference was that He was GOD in a body of flesh – just like the body you and I have. The virgin birth was simply the means for God to become flesh – not a miracle to produce some different kind of fleshly body for God to live in.

He was the “second Adam.” He came to undo what Adam had done – in all points. Where Adam failed Jesus succeeded. Adam brought sin into the world and death because of sin. Jesus brought life by overcoming sin and the world, while living in a body of flesh.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Blood always represents life in the Bible – not death. Jesus shed his blood (and gave his life) so that we might have eternal life. That blood represented the sinless, victorious life that Jesus lived while on earth in a body of flesh just like ours, and the resurrection proves it.


Away with a doctrine that would take away the humanity of Christ! Only the devil could be the author of such a dishonor to our Saviour!

Next Part - How Does Original Sin Affect Other Bible Doctrines - Part 2

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