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Are We Born Sinners?
Part 8

How Does Original Sin Affect Other Important Bible Doctrines - Part 2?

Bro. Mike Miller

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As we have previously pointed out, the doctrine of original sin contradicts, confuses, and makes a mess out of all other true Bible doctrines. It is totally out of character with the rest of what the Bible teaches about sin, salvation, depravity, guilt, mercy, and judgment. It is impossible to reconcile the doctrine of original sin with the major doctrines of Bible believing Christianity.

As another example let’s look at the doctrine of regeneration. The term means to renew. It refers to the new birth, which is a spiritual birth. Just about any dictionary or commentary will agree with that definition of regeneration. It is that change that happens at salvation in which the will and the enmity of man toward God and his law are subdued, and in it’s place a supreme love for God and his law is shed abroad in his heart. He has been born again or regenerated. He is a NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor. 5:17

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal. 6:15

Those who believe the doctrine of original sin run into problems trying to understand and teach the Bible doctrine of regeneration. Since they believe that moral depravity is part of your physical constitution it follows that a physical change must take place in regeneration. I have heard some of them refer to regeneration as being literally “re-gened,” or in other words being made new – physically. They are completely outside of the Scriptures with this idea because there is no such thing even hinted at in the Bible. Sin is always referred to as a matter of the soul, or the heart of man. The new birth is a spiritual birth – not another physical birth. It is circumcision of the heart – not of the flesh.

If our very nature is sinful, and that from birth, then is naturally impossible for us to repent and believe the Gospel. According to those who believe in original sin, God must regenerate us BEFORE we can repent. Therefore, the sinner is totally passive and God does everything. Here’s how it works: God chooses someone He wants, regenerates them, and then they repent and believe the Gospel. They are totally passive and just a very lucky person because God happened to choose them.

Because they believe that sin has as its cause your physical body, they reason that God must do something to the physical body when we are regenerated. For this reason we see people coming up with doctrines like “eradication of the sinful nature,” or “sinless perfection.” We are often falsely accused of believing these doctrines. Every time I hear that accusation I have to laugh, because our critics who believe in original sin are the ones who are obliged to believe these doctrines. They are the ones who believe that regeneration is a physical thing God does to you. These are just a couple of the misunderstandings that naturally follow and spring forth from the idea of original sin.

When a person gets saved and suddenly realizes that they are still tempted to sin they run to these spiritual leaders who believe in original sin for help. They are told that they have a sinful nature and will have it until they die because this sinful body is the problem. But the new convert is confused because they were told by these same people before they were saved that the sinful nature is what condemned them to hell. It wasn’t the sins of the flesh, but that wicked nature they were born with that needed salvation. Now they are saved, but still have this sinful nature! Not only that, but they need not expect to be free from sin. Everyone sins every day in “word, thought, and deed.” What kind of salvation is that? What IS salvation if after we are saved we still have the thing for which we were condemned?

So they have a real dilemma on their hands. From here spring forth all kinds of false teachings and doctrines intended to explain this difficulty while holding fast to the doctrine of original sin. They couldn’t dare question the foundation! In their minds original sin is the basic truth of the Bible, and to it is totally unacceptable to question it at all. Everything else MUST be made to conform to the doctrine of original sin! It HAS to! They can’t give up their basic, fundamental doctrine!

So they explain it this way: after we are saved we are really two separate people – the old man, and the new man. The old man is wicked and sinful, while the new man CANNOT sin. Life is a constant battle and there is never any peace because that old man just won’t die. What happened at salvation was that a new man was born, but now must share the same body with the wicked “old man.” This “old man” seems to be much more wicked than the person was before they got saved. He can’t ever do right, but that same person before they were saved did do right once in a while. They were selfish and sinful, but not nearly as bad as this mysterious “old man” that now runs the show. The new man is weak and sickly and unable to take control away from the “old man.” Bless his heart, the new man WANTS to, but he just CAN’T. He is trapped in a body that is out of his control and he must simply bide his time until the creature dies. Then, and only then, will he be truly set free. DEATH is really his only true saviour. DEATH is the only thing that can deliver him from his bondage of sin. God created this new man but He just wasn’t able to make him stronger than the “old man.”

Isn’t that a wonderful picture of salvation? How many sinners would jump at the chance for a new life like that?

Isn’t original sin a wicked doctrine? It makes salvation so empty and meaningless. It is such an insult to what Jesus really did do for us. It makes being saved so unappealing that it is a wonder that anyone ever gets saved. Instead of peace and victory it offers only struggle and defeat. Instead of true deliverance from bondage it leaves you in a worse state than you were before!

The true Bible teaching on this matter is that the old man is DEAD. He has been BURIED. And the new man has risen with Christ and …

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Rom. 6:6

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Col. 3:9

Thanks be to God, the old man is dead!

So the proponents of original sin run into a problem with the Bible every time they try to explain the inconsistencies and contradictions with the other major doctrines of the Bible. Maybe that is why the new Pope said in 1985:

"The inability to understand 'original sin' and to make it understandable is really one of the most difficult problems of present-day theology and pastoral ministry."

This is from the man who was the guardian of doctrine for the Catholic Church for years under Pope John Paul II, and is now the Pope himself. He admits that it is impossible to understand or explain. But still, it is the basis for all other doctrine concerning sin and salvation – for Catholics and most Protestant denominations. And multitudes of souls continue to be deceived and die in their sins because they are taught by the religious leaders that there really is no victory in this life.

No wonder Jesus said, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:8

Next part: Spiritual Death?

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