THE NATURE OF CHRIST




The Great Controversy, at page 493 reads these words, “Christ, the Word…. One with the eternal Father…. The ONLY BEING in all the UNIVERSE that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God’. I read on, “…. And to Christ, equally with the Father, all heaven gave allegiance.” (GC 493) Jesus, the “only mediator between God and man” (1 Tim 2:5)

CHRIST: The Word Became Flesh

Christ, through Whom all things were created, became like the created (human).

New Living Translation (©2007)
For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see--such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.
Colossians 1:16

John 1.14 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.

Phil. 2:5-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 
And being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross.


Have You Received A MIND Transplant From Christ?

With a 
new hope the sin sick man looks upon Jesus. The expression of His Countenance, the tones of His voice, are like no other. Love and power seem to breathe from His very Presence. The sin-cripple's faith takes hold upon Christ's Word. Without question he sets his will to obey, and, as he does this, his whole body responds!

Salvation is simple. It is so simple that none be lost except those who refuse to “be saved in God’s own appointed way.”  Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 445.

Yet salvation is also splendid. It is a mind transplant. And this means exactly what it says. It is not a mind bypass but a mind transplant. The carnal mind must be excised. Ezekiel 36:26.

Our carnal minds are so corrupt, defiled, and desperately wicked that they must be surgically removed by the sword of God’s Spirit.

In order for us to be saved we must unconditionally accept TWO priceless gifts:

1)      We must accept the free gift of Christ’s sacrificed life to pay the price for our sins. Yet Christ’s dying and death on the cross is not enough to save us from sin. We must accept yet another priceless gift of love.

2)      We must accept Christ’s very own mind that we may live His life of victory over sin.

The apostle Paul clearly understood both of these equally important aspects of salvations. He writes:

1)      “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.” Galations 2:20.

2)      Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:5. The original language clearly shows that this is to be the very same mind as Christ’s mind, his very own attitudes, his very own thoughts.

This is indeed the mystery or secret of Godly living. Unless Christ’s holy mind can control our unholy flesh we cannot have His love, joy, peace, happiness, victory or salvation.

Yet one may ask, Isn’t a mind transplant a very serious matter? Does this mean that a person is to no longer be his old carnal self? This is absolutely correct. What could be better news?! Paul testifies again:

                “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” II Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 2:10 [Read 6T p. 350]

But isn’t there any other way a person can be saved than having to undergo such radical surgery as a mind transplant? No! There are no other options. The cancer of sin is so totally metastasized throughout the human mind that it is totally carnal, dead in trespasses and sins. To retain any part of it means eternal death. This fact is certified by seven unequivocal statements by the Divine Physician himself:

1.       The mind of Christ is to be the mind of every child of God.” Review and Herald, Vol. 4, p. 119.

2.       “A mere profession of godliness is worthless. It is he that abideth in Christ that is a Christian…Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of men, every effort to purify himself will be useless; for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God.” S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 951.

3.       “No one can confess Christ unless the mind and Spirit of Christ are in him. The fruits of the Spirit are manifested outwardly, and these are a confession of Christ.”

“In order to confess Christ, we must have Christ to confess. No one can truly confess Christ unless the mind and Spirit of Christ live in him. If a form of godliness, or an acknowledgement of the truth, were always a confession of Christ, we might say, Broad is the way that leadeth unto life, and many there be that find it. We must understand what it is to confess Christ, and wherein we deny him. It is possible with our lips to confess Christ, and yet with our works to deny him. If we have forsaken all for Christ, we shall manifest in our lives humility, our conversation will be heavenly, our conduct blameless.” SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 49.

4.       “It is wonderful thing for God to create man, to make mind. The glory of God is revealed in the creating of man in God’s image, and in his redemption….God created man that every faculty might be the faculty of the divine mind.”  SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p. 1105.

5.       “We are God’s workmanship, and His word declares that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ He has prepared this living habitation for the mind; it is ‘curiously wrought,’ a temple which the Lord himself has fitted up for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 425-426.

6.       The Lord would teach man the lesson that, though united in church capacity, he is not saved until the seal of God is placed upon him, and he is made complete in Christ.” Manuscript 920, 1898. Christ was MADE equal with God for this great plan of salvation – we are MADE complete in Christ with His mind and His Spirit.  After this plan of salvation is complete, Jesus will give his authority back to God so that all things can be subject under our ONE great and glorious God, our Father and Jesus Father.

7.       “As Seventh-day Adventists, let us be sure that we bear the sign [or seal] of God. Is this something that is seen? –No; it is unseen. It is the consecrated mind, placed wholly on the Lord’s side.” Review and Herald, Vol. 4, p. 449.

The above statements make it clear that salvation is indeed a mind transplant. What more could God do for us to show us how deeply He loves us?

The next question of concern is, what does it mean to receive the mind or attitudes of Christ? No words better describe the basic attributes of Christ’s mind or the mind of a person who has the seal of God than the words of love, humility and obedience. No Bible passages speak to this truth more clearly than:

 “I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father's commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.” John 15:9-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)

”Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped [or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!” Philippians 2:5-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now notice, regarding the above texts, how the Spirit of Prophecy sheds further light on the fundamental attributes of love, humility and obedience as the relate to the seal of God:

                LOVE AND OBEDIENCE VERSUS THE SEAL OF GOD:

The law of God, which is perfect holiness, is the only true standard of character. Love is expressed in obedience, and perfect love casteth out all fear. Those who love God, have the seal of God in their foreheads [minds], and work the works of God. Would that all who profess Christianity knew what it means to love God practically.” Sons and Daughters of God, p. 51.

LOVE AND HUMILY VERSUS THE SEAL OF GOD:

“Many are called, but few are chosen.’ God calls all to be saved, but only a few really want to die to self-exaltation and completely give their wills to God. Many hear the invitation of mercy, are tested and proved; but few are sealed with the seal of the living God. Few will humble themselves as a little child, that they may enter the kingdom of Heaven.

“Few receive the grace of Christ with self-abasement, with a deep and permanent sense of their unworthiness. They cannot bear the manifestations of the power of God, for this would encourage in them self-esteem, pride and envy. This is why the Lord can do so little for us now. God would have you INDIVIDUALLY seek for the perfection of love and humility in your own hearts.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 50-51.

There it is in a nutshell. Man is not saved until he is sealed. This can happen instantly, as Jesus told the woman at the well, “go and sin no more, thy sins are forgiven thee”. The seal of the living God is Christ’s mind or character. Man is sealed when Christ transplants His pure character or mind into His forehead. This transplant can take place only when man’s carnal mind, which is the active principle of rebellion in the soul, has been eradicated through total, intelligent submission to the Divine Physician.

The fundamental attributes of a person who has the mind of Christ or seal of God are love and humility. How natural then it is for loving obedience to God and faithful service to our fellow man to flow through the consecrated agent as he cooperates with Christ, who lives His life through him.

Now how does this take place? Again, the answer is found in Philippians 2:5-8. Her Paul outlines the steps of mind transplant surgery, in which Christ excises the carnal mind, that the sinner may truly receive the spiritual mind and enter into Christ’s life of victory.

It is important to comprehend WHAT Christ gave up to save us. But- it is even more important to understand just how much Christ gave up to save us. Then we can intelligently understand what WE must give up to be saved. Christ gave up EVERYTHING to save us forever. We must give up EVERYTHING forever to be saved. In the same way that Christ was totally emptied of self and died on the cross in His love for us, we too must be totally emptied of self and die to selfishness and pride as a result or because of our love for Him.

It should always be kept in mind that Christ’s love for man was the empowering force which made it possible for Him to so completely humble and empty Himself that He could be obedient unto death. This is the same identical process through which we must pass if we are to be truly converted and die to self at the foot of the cross. In other words, love is the basis of true humility, and love and humility combined are the basis of true obedience.

In principle, as a perfect example for us, what process of emptying Himself of self --did Christ go through –that we too have to go through—that we may know how to be emptied of self? How does His emptying Himself of self, until he died on the cross, show us how to be emptied of self and die to self—that we may receive His mind and overcome even as He overcame?

CHRIST’S EMPTYING OF HIMSELF [GREEK “KENOSIS”] What we have to go through too:

1

He gave up his position

He was “in the form of God,” “equal with God.”

2

He gave up his reputation

He “made himself of no reputation {kenosis}

3

He became a servant.

He “took upon him the form of a servant.”

4

He became a man.

He became a “man.”

5

He took on fallen humanity.

He “was made in the likeness of men.”

6

He was totally humbled.

He “humbled himself.”

7

He was obedient unto death.

He “became obedient unto death.”

8

He died a sinner’s death.

He died, “even the death of the cross.”


Jesus emptied Himself, and in all that He did, self did not appear. He subordinated all things to the will of His Father…He bids us, ‘Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.’ ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself’ (Matthew 11:29; 16:24); let self be dethroned and no longer hold the supremacy of the soul.

“He who behold Christ in His self-denial, His lowliness of heart, will be constrained to say, as did Daniel, when he beheld One like the sons of men, “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption.’ Daniel 10:8. The independence and self-supremacy in which we glory are seen in their true vileness as tokens of servitude to Satan. Human nature is ever struggling for expression, ready for contest; but he who learns of Christ is emptied of self, of pride, of love of supremacy, and there is silence in the soul. Self is yielded to the disposal of the Holy Spirit. Then we are not anxious to have the highest place. We have no ambition to crowd and elbow ourselves into notice; but Jesus, waiting for His hand to lead, listening for His voice to guide. The apostle Paul had this experience, and he said, ‘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.’ Galations 2:20….

“The Lord has a work for us all to do. And if the truth is not rooted in the heart, if the natural traits of character are not transformed by the Holy Spirit, we can NEVER be co-laborers with Jesus Christ. Self will constantly appear, and the character of Christ will NOT be manifested in our lives.” Manuscript 920, 1898.

“How few can say, ‘I AM DEAD…’” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 145.

There are few really consecrated men among us; few who have fought and conquered in the battle with self. Real conversion is a decided change of feelings and motives; it is a virtual taking leave of worldly connections, a hastening from their spiritual atmosphere, a withdrawing from the controlling power of their thoughts, opinions, and influences.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 82-83.

“Why is it so hard to lead a SELF-DENYING, HUMBLE LIFE? Because professed Christian are not dead to the world. IT IS EASY LIVING AFTER WE ARE DEAD.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 131.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: ..Who,…humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5,6,8.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is but gain.” Philippians 1:21.

 

 Yesterday, we were praying about this issue (snare) which the devil seems to have brought upon so many

minds within our fellowship of faith (7th day Adventists). We have asked the LORD (Yehuwah) to help us and make this clear.

For so many are caught on the issues of Christ's nature, and then human nature, and I believe we are missing the most important Truth.
 
     And that is what Satan does not want mankind to realize, nor understand. That Almighty GOD verily desires to dwell in us, just as He did within His Own Son Yehushua (Jesus) while He was here in human flesh. For if we begin to believe what the Scriptures truly say on this matter, we will experience a power above and beyond anything we could have previously imagined, to live a righteous and holy life through Him !
 
"To whom GOD would make known what is the riches of this mystery among the Gentiles;
which is Christ in you the hope of glory !"   Colossians 1:27
 
   "Sanctify them through Thy TruthThy Word is Truth (Verily So)!
 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me (The Word) through their
word (testimony). That they all may be oneas Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be
One in Usso that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me !"
 
     Christ came in human flesh, just like ours. But His Life was one, begotten by the Spirit of the Almighty GOD !
And through His Father's Presence, dwelling ever with Him, He conquered every temptation; He through the Spirit, put to death
the deeds of the body, in every trial. He obtained Victory through faith in His Father's Promises, through the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of GOD (Jehovah, Yehuwah).
     "For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of GOD !"   Romans 10:17
 
"And the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life !"   John 6:63
 
And now to each and every one of us, He is offerring the very same Gift which was manifest in His Son's Life.
The gift of the Spirit !    That we also might be begotten again, by the Word of Truth !
 
"Of His Own will begat He us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of Firstfruits of His creatures !"  James I:18
 
     And "Jesus answered and said unto him (Nicodemus), Verily, verily (without fail), I say unto thee,
Except a man be born (begotten) again, he cannot see the kingdom of GOD . . . . for that which is born(begotten) of
the flesh, is flesh; but that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit !   Marvel not that I say unto thee,
Ye must be born (begotten) again !"   John 3:3-7
 
"Being born (begotten) againnot of corruptible seed, but of Incorruptible,
by the Word of GOD, which liveth and abideth forever !"   I Peter 1:23
 
"That we should be to the Praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ !"   Ephesians 1:12
 
     For "whosoever is born (begotten) of GOD doth not commit sin; for His (GOD's) Seed remaineth in him:
and he cannot sin, because he is born of GOD !"   I John 3:9 and ref: Luke 8:11
 
     "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you . . . !"   Galatians 4:19
 
 
 
In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind cannot comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem's manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race (Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896).

It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good. {COL 384.3}

Christ took upon Himself humanity for us. He clothed His divinity, and divinity and humanity were combined

. He showed that that law which Satan declared could not be kept, could be kept. Christ took humanity to stand here in our world, to show that Satan had lied. He took humanity upon Himself to demonstrate that with divinity and humanity combined, man could keep the law of Jehovah. Separate humanity from divinity, and you can try to work out your own righteousness from now till Christ comes, and it will be nothing but a failure. {FW 71.1}

We must center our hopes of heaven upon Christ alone, because He is our Substitute and Surety. We have transgressed the law of God, and by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. The best efforts that man in his own strength can make are valueless to meet the holy and just law that he has transgressed; but through faith in Christ he may claim the righteousness of the Son of God as all-sufficient. Christ satisfied the demands of the law in His human nature. He bore the curse of the law for the sinner, made an atonement for him, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined. {FW 93.3}

The world's Redeemer, the only-begotten Son of God, by His perfect obedience to the law, by His life and character, redeemed that which was lost in the fall, and made it possible for man to obey that holy law of righteousness which Adam transgressed. Christ did not exchange His divinity for humanity, but combined humanity with divinity; and in humanity He lived the law in behalf of the human family. The sins of every one who will receive Christ were set to His account, and He has fully satisfied the justice of God.

All the plan of redemption is expressed in these precious words: "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." Christ actually bore the punishment of the sins of the world, that His righteousness might be imputed to sinners, and through repentance and faith they might become like Him in holiness of character. He says, "I bear the guilt of that man's sins. Let Me take the punishment and the repenting sinner stand before Thee innocent." The moment the sinner believes in Christ, he stands in the sight of God uncondemned; for the righteousness of Christ is his: Christ's perfect obedience is imputed to him. But he must co-operate with divine power, and put forth his human effort to subdue sin, and stand complete in Christ. {FE 429.3}

Nothing less than perfect obedience can meet the standard of God's requirement. He has not left His requirements indefinite. He has enjoined nothing that is not necessary in order to bring man into harmony with Him. We are to point sinners to His ideal of character and to lead them to Christ, by whose grace only can this ideal be reached. {MH 180.4}

The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us"partakers of the divine nature," and His Life declares that humanity, combined with Divinity, does not commit sin ! 

The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the Word of God. By trusting in God's Promises, He received power to obey God's commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. To every temptation His answer was, "It is written." So God has given us His word wherewith to resist evil. Exceeding great and precious promises are ours, that by these we "might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.

Bid the tempted one look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God's word. All its strength is ours. "Thy word," says the psalmist, "have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." "By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer." Psalm 119:11; 17:4.

Talk courage to the people; lift them up to God in prayer. Many who have been overcome by temptation are humiliated by their failures, and they feel that it is in vain for them to approach unto God; but this thought is of the enemy's suggestion. When they have sinned, and feel that they cannot pray, tell them that it is then the time to pray. Ashamed they may be, and deeply humbled; but as they confess their sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.

Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. By prayer, by the study of His word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold them by a hand that will never let go. {MH 182.1}

Christ had not exchanged His Divinity for humanity; but He had clothed His Divinity in humanity

(RH Oct. 29, 1895).

(Ch. 14:30; Luke 1:31-35; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; Hebrews 4:15.) Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his POSTERITY was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden. {5BC 1128.4}

“It was a difficult task for the Prince of life to carry out the plan which He had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing His divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts, and was familiar with absolute power. It was as difficult for Him to keep the level of humanity as for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures and be partakers of the divine nature.”

Christ’s life on this earth was like the born again Christian’s must be—a life of perfect trust in God. He trusted Himself to His Father; we trust ourselves to Him. He lived without depending upon His perfect nature which He had set aside before He left heaven. We must live, realizing as He did, that of ourselves we can do nothing. We die to our old nature and live by Christ who dwells within us. Christ refused to use His divine (natural) nature! 

pos·ter·i·ty/päˈsteritē/

Noun:
All future generations.
Synonyms:progeny - issue - offspring

Bro. _____, avoid every question in relation to the humanity of Christ which is liable to be misunderstood. Truth lies close to the track of presumption. In treating upon the humanity of Christ, you need to guard strenuously every assertion, lest your words be taken to mean more than they imply, and thus you lose or dim the clear perceptions of His humanity as combined with divinity. His birth was a miracle of God; for, said the angel, "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

pre·sump·tion/priˈzəmpSHən/

Noun:
  1. An act or instance of taking something to be true or adopting a particular attitude toward something, esp. at the start of a chain of...
  2. An idea that is taken to be true, and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.

    Synonyms:assumption - supposition - arrogance - surmise

These words do not refer to any human being, except to the Son of the infinite God. Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called "that holy thing." It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves; for it cannot be. The exact time when humanity blended with Divinityit is not necessary for us to know. We are to keep our feet on the Rock Christ Jesus, as God revealed in humanity.

I perceive that there is danger in approaching subjects which dwell on the humanity of the Son of the infinite God. He did humble Himself when He saw He was in fashion as a man, that He might understand the force of all temptations wherewith man is beset.

The first Adam fell; the second Adam held fast to God and His Word under the most trying circumstances, and His faith in His Father's goodness, mercy, and love did not waver for one moment. "It is written" was His weapon of resistance, and it is the Sword of the Spirit which every human being is to use. "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me"--nothing to respond to temptation. On not one occasion was there a response to his manifold temptations. Not once did Christ step on Satan's ground, to give him any advantage. Satan found nothing in Him to encourage his advances (Letter 8, 1895). {5BC 1129.2}

The world's Redeemer, the only begotten Son of God, by his perfect obedience to the law, by his life and character, redeemed that which was lost in the fall, and made it possible for man to obey that holy law of righteousness which Adam transgressed. Christ did not exchange His Divinity for humanity, but combined humanity with Divinity; and in humanity He lived the law in behalf of the human family. The sins of every one who will receive Christ were set to His account, and He has fully satisfied the justice of God. {SpTEd 21.2}

Victory Assured Through Christ's Sinless Life.--The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity, and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature," and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.

The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the word of God. By trusting in God's promises, He received power to obey God's commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. To every temptation His answer was, "It is written." So God has given us His Word wherewith to resist evil. Exceeding great and precious Promises are ours, that by these we "might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4. {Te 107.2}

Jesus is our atoning sacrifice. We can make no atonement for ourselves; but by faith we can accept the atonement that has been made. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." No man of earth, no angel of heaven, could have paid the penalty for sin. Jesus was the only one who could save rebellious man. In Him Divinity and humanity are combined, and this was what gave efficacy to the offering on Calvary's cross.

At the cross, mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other. As the sinner looks upon the Saviour dying on Calvary, and realizes that the Sufferer is divine, he asks why, this great sacrifice was made; and the cross points to the holy law of God, which has been transgressed. The death of Christ is an unanswerable argument to the immutability and righteousness of the law. In prophesying of Christ, Isaiah says, "He will magnify the law, and make it honourable." The law has no power to pardon the evil-doer. Its office is to point out his defects, that he may realize his need of One who is mighty to save, realize his need of One who will become his substitute, his surety, his righteousness. Jesus meets the need of the sinner; for He has taken upon Him the sins of the transgressor. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with his stripes we are healed." The Lord could have cut off the sinner, and utterly destroyed him; but the more costly plan was chosen. In his great love He provides hope for the hopeless, giving his only begotten Son to bear the sins of the world. And since He has poured out all heaven in that one rich gift, He will withhold from man no needed aid that he may take the cup of salvation, and become an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ. {BEcho, March 15, 1893 par. 3

According to justice and retribution God might have placed in the hands of his angelic ministers the vials of his wrath, to be poured out upon a rebellious world, to punish the inhabitants for their treatment of the Prince of heaven. But he did not do this. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Isaiah tells us who and what our Redeemer is: "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." 

Christ had two natures, the nature of a man and the nature of God. In Him Divinity and humanity were combined. Upon His mediatorial work hangs the hope of the perishing world. No one but Christ has ever succeeded in living a perfect life, in living a pure, spotless character. He exhibited a perfect humanity, combined with deity; and by preserving each nature distinct, He has given to the world a representation of the character of God and the character of a perfect man. He shows us what God is, and what man may become -- godlike in character. {GCB, October 1, 1899 par. 20}

Christ declared that all power in heaven and earth has been given to him, and he gives this power to those who truly believe on him, to his disciples, that they may go forth to proclaim the message of hope and salvation to a fallen race. He takes his position at the head of humanity, covering humanity with divinity. In him humanity and divinity are combined, and he can accomplish for the human race all that is necessary to enable them to overcome as he overcame, and to sit down with him in his Father's throne.

The battle is before us. We can come off victorious; for through Christ we can be partakers of the Divine nature, having "escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." How glad I am that this is so! How glad we all should be! When we had nothing to recommend us to God, Christ gave His Life for us. With His long human arm he encircles the race, while with His Divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. Thus finite man is united with the infinite God. The world, divorced from God by sin, has been restored to favor by the sacrifice of His Son. With His own body the Saviour has bridged the gulf that sin has made. }

In the first chapter of second Peter we read, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His Divine power hath given unto us all thingsthat pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue;that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." {GCB, April 8, 1901 par. 14}

"We are laborers together with God." Bear this ever in mind: Jesus says, "Without me ye can do nothing." It is God Who must accomplish the work. The Saviour declared concerning what He Himself had wrought, "The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works." The laborers are to be partakers of the Divine nature; Divinity and humanity must be combined. Humanity will adapt itself to humanity, and by manly resolves and wise efforts, will set the springs of intellectual life in motion under a tide of divine forces that are powerful, thorough, and permanent. {HM, November 1, 1890 par. 5}

Christ is the originator of Divine Truth.

He knew the height and depth, length and breadth and fullness of the compassion of divine love, as no mortal man can know it. He knows the blessedness that sinners are refusing when they reject divine light, the horrors that will come upon the soul that refuses the truth of heaven. A heavenly feast has been spread for the hungry, but they refuse to eat. Christ alone knows what means the exceeding weight of glory which those who rebel against God, refuse to receive. The work of Christ upon earth was to seek and save that which was lost. Ever before Him, He saw the result of His mission, although the baptism of blood must first be received, although the weight of sins of the world was to gather upon his innocent soul, although the shadow of an unspeakable woe was ever over Him; yet for the joy that was set before him, He endured the cross and despised the shame. He endured all this that sinful man might be saved, that he might be elevated and ennobled, and have a place with Him upon His throne.

Men are contaminated with sin, and they cannot have an adequate conception of the heinous character of the evil which they cherish. Because of sin, the Majesty of heaven was stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. Voluntarily our Divine Substitute bared His soul to the sword of justice, that we might not perish, but have everlasting Life. Said Christ: "I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." No man of earth nor angel of heaven could have paid the penalty of sinJesus was the only One Who could save rebellious man. In Him Divinity and humanity were combined, and this was what gave efficiency to the Sacrifice made on Calvary's cross. Here it was that mercy and Truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other.

Christ is called "the LORD our Righteousness," and through faith, each one should be able to say, "The LORD my Righteousness." When faith lays hold upon this Gift of God, the praise of God will be upon our lips, and we shall be able to say, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Then we shall be able to tell the lost concerning the plan of salvation, that while the world was lying under the curse of the law, meriting death, the Lord presented terms of mercy to the fallen and hopeless sinner, and brought out the meaning and value of his grace. Grace is unmerited favor. The angels, who know nothing of sin, do not understand what it is to have grace exercised toward them; but our sinfulness calls for the exercise of grace from a merciful God. It was grace that sent us our Saviour to seek us as wanderers and bring us back to his fold. {RH, December 20, 1892 par. 11}

The call must be made, Who will be on the Lord's side? let him come over with the loyal and the true. The law of God, which binds us to render firm and undivided obedience to our Maker, tolerates no easy fellowship with the careless, the lax, unconverted, who demonstrate that the truth has no power upon the heart and character, whose influence is not to gather with Christ, but to separate from him. Our churches must be purified from impiety, from many things that have accumulated to hinder the advancement of the work. "By their fruits," said Christ, "ye shall know them."

"We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." God has chosen to bring to perfection nothing in the plan of salvation without the co-operation of the human with the Divine.He could save the human race only through His Son, Who combinedhumanity with Divinity. In His Divine plan of Salvation, God gave His Only Begotten Son that every voice may be silent upon the point that it is not possible for humanity to keep the law of God. In Christ, Divinity and humanity bore every test of temptation; in him, humanity is exalted and honored. In Christ, man is privileged to become a partaker of the Divine nature. {RH, November 29, 1898 par. 12}

The part we are called to act in the work may be small and inferior; but that part is indispensable to the victory we are to gain over the world, the flesh, and the devil, through the intercession of Christ as our Advocate with the Father. The fragrant incense of the merits of Christ gives to the believing soul the virtues of his character. Thus it is that the co-operation of divine energy and merit with man makes him a complete overcomer in every sense, and elevates humanity in the scale of moral value with God. {RH, November 29, 1898 par. 13}

The value of a gift is proportionate to its adaptability to the needs of perishing souls. When Christ gave Himself, He opened up a Spiritual Fountain of Divine Influencethat by faith in Him, man might partake of the Divine nature. In Christ is gathered all the glory of the Father. In Him is all the fulness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God are expressed in His character. Every page of the New Testament Scriptures shines with His Light. Every text is a diamond, touched and irradiated by the Divine rays. The Gospel is Christ unfolded, and Christ is the Gospel embodied. We are not to worship the Gospel, but Christ, the Lord of the Gospel. The Gospel is glorious because it is made up of Christ's righteousness. Our Saviour is a perfect representation of God on the one hand, and a perfect representation of humanity on the other. Thus He has combined Divinity and humanity{ST, November 24, 1898 par. 1}

Christ declared, where stands Satan's thronethere shall stand My cross, the instrument of humiliation and suffering. No single principle of human nature will I violate. Clothing My Divinity with humility, I will endure every temptation wherewith man is beset. I will call to My aid the powers of heaven, that men and women, imbued with My Spirit, may overcome as I overcame. . . . The working out of My purposes in behalf of degraded humanity require that divine and human forces be combined. . . .

In the councils of heaven the cross was ordained as the means of Atonement. This was to be God's means of winning men to Him. Christ came to this earth to show that in humanity He could keep the holy law of God. "I have kept My Father's commandments," He declared. The Saviour proposed to re-establish the principles of human dependence upon God and cooperation between God and man. He proposed to unite God and man by the golden chain of love. {5MR 114.2}

Christ's identity with man will ever be the power of His influence. He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. . . . He clothed His Divine nature with the garb of humanity, and demonstrated before the heavenly universe, before the unfallen worlds, and before the fallen world how much God loves the human race.--Ms 165, 1899, pp. 2-4. ("Words of Counsel to Ministers and Physicians," typed December 26, 1899.)

He Who came from the heavenly courts on an embassage of love, mercy, and Truth to save from sin the people that had been made the repositories of sacred Truth, and to enlighten the world by the knowledge (knowing) of God, was crucified. The One to Whom the Jewish sacrifices pointedclothed His Divinity with humanity, that humanity might become a Teacher of humanity. He revealed Himself as the sent of God, the Hope of Israel. He was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. "I find no fault in Him," was the testimony of an irreligious heathen judge. But Satan and his synagogue were leagued against Divinity. Christ was rejected and dishonored as far as humanity and satanic agencies combined could do the shameful work. They chose a robber and a heathen king in the place of the Prince of Life. "We have no king but Caesar," they shouted. Thus they withdrew from the Divine theocracy, choosing a heathen ruler. {12MR 414.2}

He Who left the heavenly courts and clothed His Divinity with humanity that He might secure the salvation of Israel, and that through them the light might shine to the world, was stigmatized by the highest authorities of the Jewish nation. Heathen rulers confederated with them to put the Redeemer to death. But Christ's word to them is plain and irrevocable, "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" [Matthew 26:64]. {12MR 414.3}

What a sight was this for heaven to look upon. Christ, Who knew not the least moral taint or defilement of sin, took our nature in its deteriorated condition. This was humiliation greater than finite man can comprehend. He was the Majesty of heaven, but in the Divine plan He descended from His high and holy estate to take humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, and Divinitycombined with humanity, take hold upon Divinity.

God (G2316 - Divinity) was manifest in the flesh. ref: I Timothy 3:16. He humbled Himself. What a subject for thought, for deep, earnest contemplation; so infinitely great that He was the Majesty of heaven, and yet He stooped so low without losing an atom of His dignity or glory! Christ stooped to poverty and to the deepest abasement and humiliation among men. "For our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich."

"Ye are God's building." You cannot build yourself. There is a Power outside of yourself that must do the building of the church, putting brick upon brick, always cooperating with the faculties and powers given of God to man. The Redeemer must find a home in His building. God works and man works. There needs to be a continual taking in of the gifts of God, in order that there may be as free a giving out of these gifts. It is a continual receiving and then restoring. The Lord has provided that the soul shall receive nourishment from Him, to be given out again in the working out of His purposes. In order that there be an outflowing, there must be an income of Divinity to humanity. "I will dwell in them, and walk in them." 2 Corinthians 6:16. {1888 818.4}

The soul temple is to be sacred, holy, pure, and undefiled. There must be a co-partnership in which all the power is of God and all the glory belongs to God. The responsibility rests with us. We must receive in thoughts and in feelings, to give in expression. The law of the human and the Divine action makes the receiver a laborer together with God. It brings man where he can, united with Divinity, work the works of God. Humanity touches humanity. Divine power and the human agency combined will be a complete success for Christ's righteousness accomplishes everything. {1888 819.1}

The reason so many fail to be successful laborers is that they act as though God depended on them, and they are to suggest to God what He chooses to do with them, in the place of their depending on God.They lay aside the supernatural powerand fail to do the supernatural work. They are all the time depending on their own and their brethren's human powers. They are narrow in themselves and are always judging after their finite human comprehension. They need uplifting for they have no power from on high. God gives us bodies, strength of brain, time and opportunity in which to work. It is required that all be put to the tax. With humanity and divinity combined you can accomplish a work as enduring as eternity.

When men think the Lord has made a mistake in their individual cases, and they appoint their own work, they will meet with disappointment. {1888 819.2}

 

Sins of the Heart -

   "Create in me a clean heartO GOD; and renew a righteous Spirit within me !"   Psalm 51:10

When Balaam was called to curse the Hebrews he could not, by all his enchantments, bring evil upon them; for the LORD had 
not “beheld iniquity in Jacob,” neither had He “seen perverseness in Israel.” Numbers 23:21, 23. But when through yielding to temptation 
they transgressed God's law, their defense departed from them. When the people of God are faithful to His commandments, “there is 
no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.” Hence all the power and wily arts of Satan are exerted to seduce them 
into sin. If those who profess to be the depositaries of God's law become transgressors of its precepts, they separate themselves from God, 
and they will be unable to stand before their enemies.

Behold, the LORD’s (Jehovah’s, Yehuwah’s) hand is not shortened, that it cannot save (deliver, set free, rescue, heal and make whole); neither 
His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities (perversities) have separated between you and your God (Elohim - Mighty One), and your sins have hid 
His Face (in shame) form you, that He will not hear !” Isaiah 59:1-2

The Israelites, who could not be overcome by the arms or by the enchantments of Midian, fell a prey to her harlots. Such is the power that woman
enlisted in the service of Satan, has exerted to entrap and destroy souls. “She hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.” 
Proverbs 7:26. It was thus that the children of Seth were seduced from their integrity, and the holy seed became corrupt. It was thus that Joseph was tempted. Thus Samson betrayed his strength, the defense of Israel, into the hands of the Philistines. Here David stumbled. And Solomon, the wisest of kings, who had thrice 
been called the beloved of his God, became a slave of passion, and sacrificed his integrity to the same bewitching power.

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom 
the ends of the world are come !

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:11, 12. Satan well knows the material with which he has to deal in 
the human heart
. He knows--for he has studied with fiendish intensity for thousands of years--the points most easily assailed in every character; and through 
successive generations he has wrought to overthrow the strongest men, princes in Israel, by the same temptations that were so successful at Baal peor. All along through the ages there are strewn wrecks of character that have been stranded upon the rocks of sensual indulgence.

As we approach the close of time
, as the people of God stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, Satan will, as of old, redouble his efforts to prevent them from entering the goodly land. He lays his snares for every soul. It is not the ignorant and uncultured merely that need to be guarded; he will prepare his temptations for those in the highest positions, in the most holy office; if he can lead them to pollute their souls, he can through them destroy many. And he employs the same agents now as he employed three thousand years ago. By worldly friendships, by the charms of beauty, by pleasure seeking, mirth, feasting, or the wine 
cup, he tempts to the violation of the seventh (7th) commandment.

Satan seduced Israel into licentiousness 
(sexually immoral longing and desires) before leading them to idolatry. Those who will dishonor God's image 
and defile His temple in their own persons will not scruple at any dishonor to God that will gratify the desire of their depraved hearts. Sensual indulgence weakens
the mind and debases the soul
. The moral and intellectual powers are benumbed and paralyzed by the gratification of the animal propensities; and it is impossible for 
the slave of passion to realize the sacred obligation of the law of God, to appreciate the atonement, or to place a right value upon the soul.

Goodness, purity, and TruthReverence for God, and love for sacred things--all those holy affections and noble desires that link men with the 
heavenly world -- are consumed in the fires of lustThe soul becomes a blackened and desolate wastethe habitation of the evil spirits, and the “cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Revelation 18:2. Beings formed in the image of God are dragged down to a level with the brutes.

It was by associating with idolaters and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress God's law and bring His judgments upon the nation. 
So now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the ungodly and unite in their amusements that Satan is most successful in alluring them into sin. 
Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean.” 2 Corinthians 6:17.

God requires of His people now as great a distinction from the world, in customs, habits, and principles, as He required of Israel anciently. If they faithfully follow 
the teachings of His word, this distinction will exist; it cannot be otherwise. The warnings given to the Hebrews against assimilating with the heathen were not more 
direct or explicit than are those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and customs of the ungodly. Christ speaks to us, “Love not the world, neither the things 
that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15. "

The friendship of the world is enmity with God; whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4. The followers of Christ are 
to separate themselves from sinners, choosing their society only when there is opportunity to do them good. We cannot be too decided in shunning the company of 
those who exert an influence to draw us away from God. While we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” we are to shun temptation, so far as possible.

It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that they were led into sin. They failed to keep God ever before them, they neglected 
prayer and cherished a spirit of self-confidence. Ease and self-indulgence left the citadel of the soul unguarded, and debasing thoughts found entrance. It was 
the traitors within the walls that overthrew the strongholds of principle and betrayed Israel into the power of Satan. It is thus that Satan still seeks to compass the ruin 
of the soul.

A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin. The mind does not come down at once from purity 
and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become 
changed
. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him.

Satan is using every means to make crime and debasing vice popular. We cannot walk the streets of our cities without encountering flaring notices of crime presented 
in some novel, or to be acted at some theater. The mind is educated to familiarity with sin. The course pursued by the base and vile is kept before the people in the
periodicals of the day
, and everything that can excite passion is brought before them in exciting stories. They hear and read so much of debasing crime that the once
tender conscience, which would have recoiled with horror from such scenes, becomes hardened, and they dwell upon these things with greedy interest.

Many of the amusements popular in the world today
, even with those who claim to be Christians, tend to the same end as did those of the heathen.
There are indeed few among them that Satan does not turn to account in destroying souls. Through the drama (theater, acting) he has worked for ages to excite passion
and glorify vice. The opera, with its fascinating display and bewildering music, the masquerade, the dance, the card table, Satan employs to break down the barriers of
principle
 and open the door to sensual indulgence. In every gathering for pleasure where pride is fostered or appetite indulged, where one is led to forget God and lose 
sight of eternal interests, there Satan is binding his chains about the soul.

Keep thy heart with all diligence," is the counsel of the wise man; "for out of it are the issues(springs) of life.” Proverbs 4:23. As man “thinketh in his heart, 
so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. The heart must be renewed by Divine grace (Influence, Spirit), or it will be in vain to seek for purity of life. He who attempts to build up a noble,
virtuous character independent of the grace of Christ is building his house upon the shifting sand. In the fierce storms of temptation it will surely be overthrown. David's 
prayer should be the petition of every soul: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me !” Psalm 51:10.

And having become partakers of the heavenly Gift (Holy Spirit, mind of Christ), we are to go on unto perfection, being “kept by the power of God through faith !” 1 Peter 1:5.

And "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of GOD !" for "the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life !"   Romans 10:17 & 
John 6:63

Yet we have a work to do to resist temptation. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan's devices mustguard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid 
reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls 
may suggest. “Girding up the loins of your mind,” says the apostle Peter.

“Be sober, . . . not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in . . . your ignorance: but like as He which called you is Holy, be ye yourselves also holy 
in all manner of living.” 1 Peter 1:13-15, R.V.

Says Paul, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are 
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8. This will require earnest prayer 
and unceasing watchfulness. We must be aided by the abiding influence of the Holy Spirit, which will attract the mind upward, and habituate it to dwell on pure and 
holy things. And we must give diligent study to the Word of GOD.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his wayby taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.” “Thy Word,” says the psalmist, “have I hid in mine heart, 
that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:9, 11.

Israel's sin at Beth-peor brought the judgments of God upon the nation, and though the same sins may not now be punished as speedily, they will as surely meet
retribution. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.” 1 Corinthians 3:17. Nature has affixed terrible penalties to these crimes -- penalties which, 
sooner or later, will be inflicted upon every transgressor. It is these sins more than any other that have caused the fearful degeneracy of our race, and the weight of disease and misery with which the world is cursed.

Men may succeed in concealing their transgression from their fellow men, but they will no less surely reap the result, in suffering, disease, imbecility, or death. 
And beyond this life stands the tribunal of the judgment, with its award of eternal penalties. “They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” 
but with Satan and evil angels shall have their part in that “lake of fire” which “is the second death.” Galatians 5:21; Revelation 20:14.

The lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” 
Proverbs 5:3, 4. “Remove thy way (footsteps, path)” far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: lest thou give thine honor unto others, and thy years unto 
the cruel: lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labors be in the house of a stranger; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are 
consumed
.” Verses 8-11. “Her house inclineth unto death.” “None that go unto her return again.” Proverbs 2:18, 19. “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” 
Proverbs 9:18.
 
"Lust not after her beauty in thine heartneither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman,
a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life !"     Proverbs 6:25-27

Patriarchs and Prophets p.457- 461

“I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, and Israel is defiled . . . . Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, 
that thy shame may appear. I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighing (sounds of lust), the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in 
the fields.

Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem ! Wilt thou not be made clean ?

Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah); and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you: for I Am merciful (full of mercy), saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger (stay angry) for ever ! Only acknowledge thine iniquity (perversity, mischief), that thou hast transgressed (rebelled) against the LORD thy God (Yehuwah thy Elohim), and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed My Voice, saith the LORD !

Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I Am married unto you . . . . Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings (apostasy). 
Behold, we come unto Thee; for Thou art the LORD our God !” Hosea 6:10, Jeremiah 13:27, 3:12-14, 22

“O Israel, return unto the LORD (Yehuwah) thy God (Elohim); for thou hast fallen (stumbled) by thine iniquity (perversity, mischief). Take with you words, and 
return (repent) to the LORD: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: and so will we render the calves (Praise) of our lips . . . For I will heal 
their backslidings
and I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from them !”     Hosea 14:1-4

“What shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it . . . . Behold for peace (Shalom) I had great bitterness: But Thou hast in love to my soul delivered me from the pit of corruption.For Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back !” Isaiah 38:15-17

Turn us, O God of our Salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease . . . . Shew us Thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us Thy Salvation. I will hear 
what God the LORD (El’ Yehuwah) will speak. For He will speak peace (Shalom - pardon, assurance, reconciliation) unto His people, and to His saints: but let them 
not turn again
 to folly !” Psalm 85:1-8
 You can even do it yourself through this website; www.thewordwasmadeflesh.org

Some of the material your sending has good points in it.  But they are not correct in teaching we did not inherit Adam’s sinful nature.  We certainly did inherit that fallen nature, so did Jesus.  We have the benefit of the SOP, which the other Brethren don’t have.  Just because we inherited sinful nature does not make us sinners at birth. Sinful nature is not sin. [We inherited only the tendencies or propensity (we can be tempted) to sin...not sin itself, to sin is a choice or a habit we do without even thinking of it. Try to break yourself of saying one little negative thing about anything or anybody and you will find how hard a sinful habit is to break. Only with Jesus help can we break the habit of our tongues running loose. With our human tendency to sin without God helping us to be sin free, we cannot be sin-free. But  with humanity and divinity COMBINED --with Jesus we can resist the temptation to sin, and be victorious in Jesus Christ and NOT SIN. The Bible says with Jesus we CANNOT sin. Jesus COULD have sinned, but did not sin. He relied upon His Father to be and stay sin-free, just as we can. Jesus is our perfect example.] Sin is the transgression of God’s law, and when we break God’s law with a knowledge of it , we become sinners in God’s sight. I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me...except be sin-free...no! That's not what it says! It says we can do ALL THINGS...and that we CANNOT sin when we cast ourselves wholly upon Jesus Christ.

 

“He who does not obey the commandments of God is a sinner in the sight of God.”  {ST, June 20, 1895 par. 5} 

 
"The completeness of His humanity, the perfection of His divinity, form for us a strong ground upon which we may be brought into reconciliation with God" (Letter 35, 1894. Quoted also in SDABC vol. 7-A, p. 487).


We are told unequivocally, "The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us" Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 244.


By partaking of His "exceeding great and precious promises," we can be "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). 


Ellen White says: "Christ's work was to reconcile man to God through His human nature, and God to man through His divine nature" (Confrontation, p. 38). 


what are we told here? That it is "Christ's work" to "reconcile man to God through His human nature." Now did I miss something, or is that like, extremely important? The matter, friends of whether we are indeed reconciled to God or not reconciled to God hinges on it! So what are we being told then really? That (supposedly) whether man has or has not been reconciled to God through human nature is an item that's been left hanging. Brothers and sisters, it's not so. It's not so. Through Christ we have received the atonement (Romans 5:10-11), because through His humanity, Christ has reconciled us with God. Through the life of Jesus, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19).

"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted." Jesus carried our sicknesses. He experienced our pains. He took it all to the cross and crucified it on the tree, just as He crucified it in His life, condemning "sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3). Let us not react as did the Hebrews, who thought that a Jesus like this wouldn't be the Savior they were after. He may not have been the savior we were after. But He is all the Savior we need. He carried sin away to the Cross in the crooked nature, and overcame. He came too close for us. He made us responsible. We are responsible because now there is an antidote for sin.

Now His people must take the antidote, the anti-venom. In realization and thanksgiving that Jesus was and still is our Carrier. And that just as He carried sin to the Cross and put it away, so He opens His arms and urges us to roll-off the burden we are carrying, receive largely of His Spirit, and become His children. Sons and daughters of the King, today cast yourself at His feet in worship. He is coming back very soon, "without sin, unto salvation." May we all be there and rejoice that He came here and walked through the hell of our humanity opening wide to us the waiting gates of glory.


 I’m sure you will enjoy this story.



The False Doctrine of Original Sin!

The grand mistake in the "sinful nature" doctrine is an over-looking as to who it is that forms us in the womb. Would He who doesn't even tempt us with sin create us with a nature that is itself sinful or which cannot avoid sin?

Flesh In Itself Is Not Sinful

Original Sin Advocates: Our bodies are made of sin.

Me: Somebody, quick! Hand me a microscope so I can find it.

Will I find it? No, because sin is not a substance.

Sin is a violation of God's law (1 Jn. 3:4). God?s law tells us the types of choices we should and shouldn't make (Exo. 20:3-17), not what type of body or nature we should or shouldn't have.

God is the author of our flesh (Exodus 4:11, Isaiah 44:2, Jer. 1:5).

Our flesh is made out of dirt (Gen. 2:7, Gen. 3:19).

It is true that our flesh is the occasion of our sin, or the source of temptation (James 1:14), but sin itself is a choice (John 5:14, John 8:11, Rom. 6:12; Rom. 6:19 Eph. 4:26). Flesh is nothing but an inanimate conglomerate of biological tissue, it has no moral quality. However, if the SOUL living in the body of flesh gives itself over to exist for bodily satisfaction, the body becomes filled with inordinate lusts. It is then flesh full of sin - in the Bible called, "sinful flesh." The flesh is not sinful by nature. It is sinful by application. WE are the APPLICATORS.

Our body needs to be kept under subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27).

It is sinful to walk according to the flesh (2 Cor. 10:2), or to be living to gratify our flesh in over indulgence, but it is not sinful to walk in the flesh (2 Cor. 10:3.)

Flesh is not sinful in itself. Jesus had flesh (Luke 24:39, John 1:14, 1 Tim. 3:16, 1 Jn. 4:3, 2 Jn. 1:7).

Jesus had the same type of flesh that we have (Heb. 2:14; Heb. 2:17).

Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3), which means Jesus was made in the likeness of men, in the flesh (Philippians 2:7). The word "flesh" at times is synonymous with men (Gen. 6:12, Matt. 16:17).

The Gnostic's taught that the flesh was sinful in and of itself (1 Jn. 4:3, 2 Jn. 1:7).

Our flesh is an INSTRUMENT which we could use for sin or for righteousness (Rom. 6:13, Rom. 6:19).

Our flesh is sanctified when we have ceased to sin when we come to God in faith and repentance (Rom. 12:1, 2 Cor. 7:10-11; 1 Thes. 4:4, 1 Thes. 5:23, 1 Tim. 2:8).

Sarx = flesh, as in body of flesh, and nothing more. "Sinful flesh" is flesh that has been allowed to selfishly indulge. The flesh is sinful or righteous only in its application, that is, as it is used by a moral agent.


Temptation: The Occasion to All Sin

The devil, who was originally one of the holy angels, was tempted and fell from his original perfection, without a sinful nature to make him sin. A third of the holy angels were tempted and fell from their original perfection, without a sinful nature to make them sin. Holy Adam and Eve were tempted and fell from their original perfection, without a sinful nature to make them sin. How absurd is the idea, then, that the universal sinfulness of Adam's descendants can only be explained by a sinful nature inherited from Adam.

The Bible teaches that temptation is the occasion to all sin. Paul tells us that temptation is common to all men. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man..." I Cor. 10:13. James tells us that temptation is the occasion to sin. "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." James 1:14, 15. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that our Lord was "tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15. The following are only a few of the Scripture references which speak of the universality of temptation, of the fact that temptation is the occasion to sin, and of the agency of the devil in tempting men: James 1:14-15; I Cor. 10:13; Heb. 4:15; Luke 4:2-13; Matt. 26:41; Matt. 6:13; I Peter 1:6; II Peter 2:9; I Thess. 3:5; Luke 8:12; Matt. 13:38-39; John 3:8; Rev. 12:9; II Tim. 2:26; Eph. 4:27; Eph. 6:11; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9.

If the doctrine of original sin is true, the devil is in complete ignorance of it. Or if he is not ignorant of it, he is dumb enough to go to the trouble of tempting men for nothing. Would the devil tempt men if he knew that they had a sinful nature which would make them sin without being tempted? How foolish and ignorant the devil must be. If the doctrine of original sin is true, then Jesus and the inspired writers lived in complete ignorance of it, as well. Jesus exhorted his followers to watch and pray that they not enter into temptation, and he taught them to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Matt. 26:41, Matt. 6:12. His Apostles, in their writings, exhorted the believers to be on their guard against the snares of the devil, lest they be tempted and fall into sin. I Peter 5:8-9, Eph. 6:11-12. These would have been useless exhortations if all Christians have a sinful nature which makes them sin without being tempted. In fact, if the doctrine of original sin is true, Jesus and the inspired writers lived under a complete cloud of ignorance. Instead of ascribing the sins of mankind to a physical connection with Adam, they ascribed them to a moral connection with the tempter--the devil. They spoke of sinners as being children of the devil and as being of their father the devil (I John 3:8-10, John 8:44, Acts 13:10). They spoke of the sins of mankind as being the work of the devil and of sinners becoming sinners by the agency of the devil. Matt. 13:38-39. They spoke of Christ as coming to destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8. Finally, they spoke of the sinner as being a captive of the devil, who needed to recover himself out of the devil's snare. II Tim. 2:26. It is hard to understand how they could have been so far off the track if the doctrine of original sin were true.

The Bible teaches nothing about an inherited sinful nature from Adam. It teaches only that all men are tempted and that they sin when they yield to their own desires rather than obey the law of God and reason.

_______________________________________________________ 

Feeling the terrible power of temptation, the drawing of desire that leads to indulgence, many a man cries in despair, "I cannot resist evil." Tell him that he can, that he must resist. He may have been overcome again and again, but it need not be always thus. He is weak in moral power, [175] controlled by the habits of a life of sin. His promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. The knowledge of his broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens his confidence in his own sincerity and causes him to feel that God cannot accept him or work with his efforts. But he need not despair.

Those who put their trust in Christ are not to be enslaved by any hereditary or cultivated habit or tendency. Instead of being held in bondage to the lower nature, they are to rule every appetite and passion. God has not left us to battle with [176] evil in our own finite strength. Whatever may be our inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong, we can overcome through the power that He is ready to impart.


The Power of the Will


The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man—the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. Desires for goodness and purity are right, so far as they go; but if we stop here, they avail nothing. Many will go down to ruin while hoping and desiring to overcome their evil propensities. They do not yield the will to God. They do not choose to serve Him.

God has given us the power of choice; it is ours to exercise. We cannot change our hearts, we cannot control our thoughts, our impulses, our affections. We cannot make ourselves pure, fit for God's service. But we canchoose to serve God, we can give Him our will; then He will work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus our whole nature will be brought under the control of Christ.

Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in the life. By yielding up the will to Christ, we ally ourselves with divine power. We receive strength from above to hold us steadfast. A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to everyone who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God.

Those who are struggling against the power of appetite should be instructed in the principles of healthful living. They should be shown that violation of the laws of health, by creating diseased conditions and unnatural cravings, lays the foundation of the liquor habit. Only by living in obedience to the [177] principles of health can they hope to be freed from the craving for unnatural stimulants. While they depend upon divine strength to break the bonds of appetite, they are to co-operate with God by obedience to His laws, both moral and physical.

Those who are endeavoring to reform should be provided with employment. None who are able to labor should be taught to expect food and clothing and shelter free of cost. For their own sake, as well as for the sake of others, some way should be devised whereby they may return an equivalent for what they receive. Encourage every effort toward self-support. This will strengthen self-respect and a noble independence. And occupation of mind and body in useful work is essential as a safeguard against temptation.


Disappointments; Dangers


Those who work for the fallen will be disappointed in many who give promise of reform. Many will make but a superficial change in their habits and practices. They are moved by impulse, and for a time may seem to have reformed; but there is no real change of heart. They cherish the same self-love, have the same hungering for foolish pleasures, the same desire for self-indulgence. They have not a knowledge of the work of character building, and they cannot be relied upon as men of principle. They have debased their mental and spiritual powers by the gratification of appetite and passion, and this makes them weak. They are fickle and changeable. Their impulses tend toward sensuality. These persons are often a source of danger to others. Being looked upon as reformed men and women, they are trusted with responsibilities and are placed where their influence corrupts the innocent. [178]

Even those who are sincerely seeking to reform are not beyond the danger of falling. They need to be treated with great wisdom as well as tenderness. The disposition to flatter and exalt those who have been rescued from the lowest depths sometimes proves their ruin. The practice of inviting men and women to relate in public the experience of their life of sin is full of danger to both speaker and hearers. To dwell upon scenes of evil is corrupting to mind and soul. And the prominence given to the rescued ones is harmful to them. Many are led to feel that their sinful life has given them a certain distinction. A love of notoriety and a spirit of self-trust are encouraged that prove fatal to the soul. Only in distrust of self and dependence on the mercy of Christ can they stand.

All who give evidence of true conversion should be encouraged to work for others. Let none turn away a soul who leaves the service of Satan for the service of Christ. When one gives evidence that the Spirit of God is striving with him, present every encouragement for entering the Lord's service. "Of some have compassion, making a difference." Jude 22. Those who are wise in the wisdom that comes from God will see souls in need of help, those who have sincerely repented, but who without encouragement would hardly dare to lay hold of hope. The Lord will put it into the hearts of His servants to welcome these trembling, repentant ones to their loving fellowship. Whatever may have been their besetting sins, however low they may have fallen, when in contrition they come to Christ, He receives them. Then give them something to do for Him. If they desire to labor in uplifting others from the pit of destruction from which they themselves were rescued, give them opportunity. Bring them into association with experienced Christians, that they may gain spiritual strength. [179] Fill their hearts and hands with work for the Master.

When light flashes into the soul, some who appeared to be most fully given to sin will become successful workers for just such sinners as they themselves once were. Through faith in Christ some will rise to high places of service and be entrusted with responsibilities in the work of saving souls. They see where their own weakness lies, they realize the depravity of their nature. They know the strength of sin, the power of evil habit. They realize their inability to overcome without the help of Christ, and their constant cry is, "I cast my helpless soul on Thee."

These can help others. The one who has been tempted and tried, whose hope was well-nigh gone, but who was saved by hearing a message of love, can understand the science of soulsaving. He whose heart is filled with love for Christ because he himself has been sought for by the Saviour and brought back to the fold, knows how to seek the lost. He can point sinners to the Lamb of God. He has given himself without reserve to God and has been accepted in the Beloved. The hand that in weakness was held out for help has been grasped. By the ministry of such ones many prodigals will be brought to the Father.

For every soul struggling to rise from a life of sin to a life of purity, the great element of power abides in the only "name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. "If any man thirst" for restful hope, for deliverance from sinful propensities, Christ says, "let him come unto Me, and drink." John 7:37. The only remedy for vice is the grace and power of Christ.

The good resolutions made in one's own strength avail nothing. Not all the pledges in the world will break the power of evil habit. Never will men practice temperance in [180] all things until their hearts are renewed by divine grace. We cannot keep ourselves from sin for one moment. Every moment we are dependent upon God.

True reformation begins with soul cleansing. Our work for the fallen will achieve real success only as the grace of Christ reshapes the character and the soul is brought into living connection with God.

Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to God's law, and in this He set an example for every human being. The life that He lived in this world we are to live through His power and under His instruction.

In our work for the fallen the claims of the law of God and the need of loyalty to Him are to be impressed on mind and heart. Never fail to show that there is a marked difference between the one who serves God and the one who serves Him not. God is love, but He cannot excuse willful disregard for His commands. The enactments of His government are such that men do not escape the consequences of disloyalty. Only those who honor Him can He honor. Man's conduct in this world decides his eternal destiny. As he has sown, so he must reap. Cause will be followed by effect.

Nothing less than perfect obedience can meet the standard of God's requirement. He has not left His requirements indefinite. He has enjoined nothing that is not necessary in order to bring man into harmony with Him. We are to point sinners to His ideal of character and to lead them to Christ, by whose grace only can this ideal be reached.

The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature," and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin. [181]

The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the word of God. By trusting in God's promises, He received power to obey God's commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. To every temptation His answer was, "It is written." So God has given us His word wherewith to resist evil. Exceeding great and precious promises are ours, that by these we "might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.

Bid the tempted one look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God's word. All its strength is ours. "Thy word," says the psalmist, "have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." "By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer." Psalm 119:11; 17:4.

Talk courage to the people; lift them up to God in prayer. Many who have been overcome by temptation are humiliated by their failures, and they feel that it is in vain for them to approach unto God; but this thought is of the enemy's suggestion. When they have sinned, and feel that they cannot pray, tell them that it is then the time to pray. Ashamed they may be, and deeply humbled; but as they confess their sins, He [182] who is faithful and just will forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.

Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. By prayer, by the study of His word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold them by a hand that will never let go.

These precious words every soul that abides in Christ may make his own. He may say:

"I will look unto the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation:
My God will hear me.
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy:
When I fall, I shall arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord shall be a light unto me."
Micah 7:7, 8.

"He will again have compassion on us,
He will blot out our iniquities;
Yea, Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea!"
Micah 7:19, Noyes.


God has promised:

"I will make a man more precious than fine gold;
Even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir."
Isaiah 13:12.

"Though ye have lain among the pots,
Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And her feathers with yellow gold."
Psalm 68:13.

Those whom Christ has forgiven most will love Him most. These are they who in the final day will stand nearest to His throne.

"They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads." Revelation 22:4.

THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN

and

 THIRTEEN REASONS WHY THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN IS FALSE

and

CAN CHRISTIANS LIVE WITHOUT SIN?

The Bible clearly teaches that God's people can and do live without sin. Therefore, the doctrine of original sin, which teaches otherwise, is a myth and a lie. 

It is hard to understand how a thinking person can read the Bible and still believe in original sin. The Bible commands men to depart from all sin, to keep God's commandments, to be holy because God is holy, and to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. The Bible teaches that all men ought to live without sin and that they can live without sin by God's grace and the power of his indwelling Holy Spirit. The Bible also teaches that Christians do live without sin and overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.

the doctrine of original sin contradicts the Bible and teaches that no man, not even the Christian, can live without committing sin:

From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions. Westminster Confession.

The fact is that the doctrine of inability (original sin) turns the whole Bible upside-down. It mocks both the promises and the commandments of God. It blackens God's character, demeans his grace, and excuses the sinner in his sins. It is not just a harmless myth and religious superstition; it is infinitely worse. It is a devilish doctrine that muffles the voice of conscience, corrupts Christian practice, and stumbles Christians into hell. It teaches that the Christian must never expect to be saved from sin in this life, and that he should expect to live more or less in rebellion against his Savior until he dies and goes to heaven. What a lie from the devil! Where can this teaching be found in the Bible? Instead of teaching that the Christian cannot be freed from sin and made holy until he gets to heaven, the Bible warns that the unholy will never get to heaven!

The doctrine of a natural inability to obey God is a devilish doctrine that is stumbling multitudes of professing Christians into hell.

12. The doctrine of original sin adds to and takes from the Bible.

God says, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deut. 4:2. But the whole original sin dogma is an addition to the Bible. 

The doctrine of original sin is false because:

1. It makes sin a misfortune and a calamity rather than a crime.

2. It makes the sinner deserve pity and compassion rather than blame for his sins.

3. It excuses the sinner.

4. It makes God responsible for sin.

5. It dishonors God. It makes him arbitrary, cruel, and unjust.

6. It causes ministers to wink at and excuse sin.

7. It begets complacency and a low standard of religion among Christians.

8. It is a stumbling-block to the unsaved.

9. It makes Jesus a sinner or it must deny his humanity.

10. It contradicts the Bible.

11. It "adds to" and "takes from" the Bible. God warns against this in Deut. 4:2 and Rev. 22:18, 19.

12. It begets false doctrines and false interpretations of the Scriptures.

13. It is ridiculous, absurd, and unreasonable. It contradicts the necessary and irresistible affirmations of every man's consciousness and reason, which is something that no true doctrine of the Word of God could do.

Many Christians who profess to believe in the doctrine of original sin do not know what it teaches. Even more Christians are ignorant of its history and origin: that it had its roots in a heathen philosophy, that it has evolved, and that it was made a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church in the fifth century A.D., primarily by the influence of Augustine.

Finally, most Christians do not know the fact that the doctrine of original sin is really a theory. In fact, there are more than three differing theories of original sin. The admission of A. H. Strong as to the unsatisfactory nature of even the best of these theories is very interesting:

We must grant that no one, even of these latter theories, is wholly satisfactory. We hope, however, to show that the last of them the Augustinian theory, the theory of Adam's natural headship, the theory that Adam and his descendants are naturally and organically one explains the largest number of facts, is least open to objections, and is most accordant with Scriptures.

Now let us see what the advocates of the doctrine (theory) of original sin teach:

1. The whole human race sinned in Adam when he sinned. Adam's will was the will of the race, so that all men sinned in Adam and rebelled with him when he sinned.

2. When Adam sinned, human nature was corrupted, so that now all men are born with a sinful nature.

3. This sinful nature is the fountain and direct cause of all of man's sins. Man sins by nature and cannot help but sin.

4. Because of Adam's transgression, all men are guilty, under the just "wrath and curse of God," and are liable to the "pains of hell forever." eternal death... 

5. Even newborn babies open their eyes in this world under the "wrath and curse" of God. They are guilty and condemned from the moment of their birth.

This is the incredible dogma that is unblushingly taught by those who hold to the doctrine of original sin. (Note: see the end of this chapter for direct quotes from advocates of original sin.)

Up to this point we have spoken of the theory of original sin without distinguishing between the differing theories. But now, let us look at the historical origin of each of the three main theories, along with their distinctive features, as outlined below:

1. The Augustinian Theory. This is also called the Theory of Adam's Natural Headship and the Realistic Theory. This theory was formulated by Augustine in the fifth century A.D. The Augustinian Theory affirms that, by virtue of organic unity, the whole human race existed in Adam at the time of his transgression. It says that Adam's will was the will of the species, so that in Adam's free act, the will of the race revolted against God, and the nature of the race corrupted itself. All men existed as one moral person in Adam, so that in Adam's sin we sinned, we corrupted ourselves, and we brought guilt and merited condemnation upon ourselves.

2. The Federal Theory. This theory is also called the Theory of Condemnation by Covenant and the Immediate Imputation Theory. It had its origin with Cocceius in the 17th century A.D. According to this theory, God made a covenant with Adam, agreeing to bestow upon all his descendants eternal life for his obedience, but making the penalty for his disobedience to be the condemnation of all his descendants. Since our legal representative or federal head did sin, God imputes his sin, guilt, and condemnation to all his descendants. It was thought that this theory was necessary because of the problem in the Augustinian Theory of accounting for the non-imputation of the subsequent sins of Adam and less remote ancestors for if real existence in Adam explained our responsibility for his first sin, why should not real existence in Adam and in subsequent ancestors make us guilty for those sins, too?

3. The Theory of Mediate Imputation. This theory is also called the Theory of Condemnation for Depravity. This is the theory formulated by Placeus in the 17th century A.D. Placeus originally denied that Adam's sin was in any way imputed to his posterity. But when his first view was condemned by the Synod of the French Reformed Church in 1644, he published this later view. According to this view, all men are born with a depraved nature and are guilty and condemnable for that nature. They are not viewed as being guilty because of the sin of Adam, as in the Federal Theory. Instead it is the corrupted nature which they inherit from Adam that is sufficient cause and legal ground for God to condemn them.

It is probably shocking for the Christian who has been taught these theories as Bible truths to be told that not one word of any of them can be found in the Bible. Christians believe these theories to be Bible doctrines because theologians, preachers, and Sunday school teachers teach them as if they were Bible doctrines quoted directly from the Bible, and give them a semblance of credence with Bible texts quoted out of context. However, these theories are not Bible doctrines. Where can you find written in the Bible that "The whole human race existed in Adam at the time of his transgression"? Or that "Adam's will was the will of the species"? Or that "In Adam's free act the will of the race revolted against God and the nature of the race corrupted itself"? Or that "All men existed as one moral person in Adam, so that in Adam's sin we sinned, we corrupted ourselves, and brought guilt and merited condemnation upon ourselves"? Or where can it be found written in the Bible that "Adam was the federal head and moral representative of the race, and God made a covenant with Adam, agreeing to bestow upon all his descendants eternal life for his obedience and making the penalty for his disobedience to be the condemnation of all his descendants"? Or where in the Bible can it be found written that "All men are guilty and condemnable for the depraved nature with which they are born"? Nowhere! These theories are not in the Bible. You can search the Bible through from cover to cover and you will never find a word of these theories on its pages. The fact that mere men have had the boldness to teach these theories as Bible truths is a serious and sobering fact. God has twice warned men not to tamper with his Holy Word, neither adding to it nor taking from it. Deut. 4:2, Rev. 22:18, 19.

There is another sobering fact that should be of interest to every Christian who has ever been an adherent of the doctrine of original sin. The theologians themselves, who advocate the doctrine of original sin, prove conclusively that it is false. For instance, those theologians who advocate the Realistic Theory (the Augustinian Theory) prove conclusively that the Federal and Mediate Imputation Theories are unscriptural and false. On the other hand, those theologians who advocate the Federal Theory prove just as conclusively that the Realistic and Mediate Imputation Theories are unscriptural and false. Each theologian, in his turn, proves all the other theories to be false.

Hodge is an advocate of the Federal theory of original sin. His arguments show conclusively that the Realistic Theory is false:

The realistic theory cannot be admitted. The assumption that we acted thousands of years before we were born, so as to be personally responsible for such act, is a monstrous assumption. It is, as Baur says, an unthinkable proposition; that is, one to which no intelligible meaning can be attached...We did not then exist. We had no being before our existence in this world; and that we should have acted before we existed is an absolute impossibility...The doctrine, therefore, which supposes that we are personally guilty of the sin of Adam on the ground that we were the agents of that act, that our will and reason were so exercised in that action as to make us personally responsible for it and for its consequences, is absolutely inconceivable.

Berkhof is also an advocate of the Federal Theory. These are some of his arguments against the Realistic Theory:

...(3) It does not explain why Adam's descendants are held responsible for his first sin only, and not for his later sins, nor for the sins of all the generations of forefathers that followed Adam. (4) Neither does it give an answer to the important question, why Christ was not held responsible for the actual commission of sin in Adam, for he certainly shared the same human nature, the nature that actually sinned in Adam.

And,

If in Adam human nature as a whole sinned, and that sin was therefore the actual sin of every part of that human nature, then the conclusion cannot be escaped that the human nature of Christ was also sinful and guilty because it had actually sinned in Adam.

Now A. H. Strong, who advocates the theory which the above theologians have rejected, in his turn, rejects the Federal Theory which they advocate:

...It impugns the justice of God by implying: (a) that God holds men responsible for the violation of a covenant which they had no part in establishing...We not only never authorized Adam to make such a covenant, but there is no evidence that he ever made one at all. It is not even certain that Adam knew he should have posterity... (b) that upon the basis of this covenant God accounts men as sinners who are not sinners... (c) That, after accounting men to be sinners who are not sinners, God makes them sinners by immediately creating each human soul with a corrupt nature such as will correspond to his decree. This is not only to assume a false view of the origin of the soul, but also to make God directly the author of sin...

Hodge himself, although he is an advocate of the Federal Theory of original sin, still admits that it is somewhat difficult to reconcile his view with the justice and goodness of God:

It may be difficult to reconcile the doctrine of innate evil dispositions with the justice and goodness of God, but that is a difficulty which does not pertain to this subject. A malignant being is an evil being, if endowed with reason, whether he was so made or so born. And a benevolent rational being is good in the universal judgment of men, whether he was created or so born. We admit that it is repugnant to our moral judgments that God should create an evil being; or that any being should be born in a state of sin, unless his being so born is the consequence of a just judgment.

All the above theologians reject the Mediate Imputation Theory. Strong says:

Since the origination of this corrupt nature cannot be charged to the account of man, man's inheritance of it must be regarded in the light of an arbitrary divine infliction a conclusion which reflects upon the justice of God. Man is not only condemned for a sinfulness of which God is the author, but is condemned without any real probation...

Sheldon, who rejects all three of these theories makes this comment on the Mediate Imputation Theory:

An evil which is matter of pure inheritance cannot rationally be made the ground of the moral reprobation of the person inheriting. To him it is calamity, and more properly calls for compassion than for condemnation...If it is irrational cruelty to blame one for a bodily deficit which was thus given, rather than acquired by personal misconduct, it is, in like manner, gross injustice to blame one for a spiritual deficit which was imposed outright and in no part was acquired.

From this, we see that the dogma of original sin is proven false by its very advocates. If, then, it is false, where did it come from and how did it come to be received as a Christian doctrine? I quote again from Finney:

It is a relic of heathen philosophy, and was foisted in among the doctrines of Christianity by Augustine, as everyone may know who will take the trouble to examine for himself.

The above statement by Finney can be confirmed by a simple reading of church history. Church history records that from the second and third centuries A.D. on, both the practices and doctrines of Christianity were corrupted in an ever-increasing way by heathen philosophies with their attendant pagan superstitions and morality. This influence was profound. There was gross licentiousness on the one hand and extreme asceticism on the other; veneration and worship of saints, relics, images, and pictures; the development of a priesthood with priestly rituals and ceremonies; magical and spiritual powers ascribed to water, sacred words, and signs; water baptism for the remission of sins; and the baptism of infants. Heathen mythology was introduced and given a Christian form. The heathen concept of a purgatory was accepted with its doctrine of the purging of sins in the after life, and the saying of masses and prayers for the dead.

Many of the theologians during these first centuries were converts from heathenism, who wedded their pagan philosophical concepts to Christianity. These were literary men, educated in the philosophies, who gave the concepts of their heathen beliefs to Christianity, thereby corrupting its purity. To read the theological writings of some of these early "church fathers" is like reading a fantastic story! And it was these early church fathers, from the second and third centuries on, who made the first allusions to a doctrine of original sin.

Tertullian was one of the first church fathers to allude to a doctrine of original sin. His views on sin harmonize with his stoic philosophy. He believed that the soul was physical and that it was propagated by the parents in procreation. He gives an account of a Montanist prophetess, who professed to have seen a soul and attempted to describe its outward appearance. Because of his materialistic concept (the stoical idea of the essential unity of matter and spirit, i.e., materialistic monism), he could not allow that God himself was immaterial. He taught that sin is a physical taint that is propagated from the parent to the child through procreation.

Origen was another of the church fathers who taught a doctrine of original sin. He was a student of all the current philosophies and far outstripped Tertullian in wild philosophical speculation. His theology bears the unmistakable marks of both Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism. He taught the preexistence of souls and that all men sinned and fell in a former existence. His belief was that men, before their existence in this world, were spirits without bodies, and that the material world was created by God for the disciplining and purifying of these fallen spirits. Fallen man had been banished into material bodies to be disciplined and purified. He taught that this estrangement of fallen spirits would some day come to an end, and all men would be saved. Even the devil and demons would someday be restored to God. Origen believed in a purgatorial fire where souls would be punished and prepared for the presence of God. In the end, all spirits in heaven and in earth including the demons, would be brought back to God, after having ascended from stage to stage through seven heavens. Origen believed that sin is rooted in the human nature of man. He believed that sin is a necessary consequence of man's material nature. Origen later assumed the existence of a sort of hereditary sin originating with Adam and added this idea to his belief in a preexisting fall. And he, like Augustine after him, supposed that there was an inherent pollution and sinfulness in sexual union.

Augustine himself was deeply imbued with the heathen philosophies of his day. He first became a disciple of the Manichaeans. The Manichaeans were a Gnostic-Christians sect, with the Christian elements reduced to a minimum. They taught, among other things, that all matter is inherently evil. Because of this view, they also taught that Christ's bodily manifestations were only apparent, and that he did not actually come in the flesh. They denied the real incarnation of Christ, as well as his bodily resurrection, because of their view of the essentially evil nature of all matter. Augustine's nine years with them accustomed him to regard human nature as essentially evil and human freedom as a delusion.

Augustine next fell under the influence of Neo-Platonism, and his theological views were strongly influenced by this philosophy as well. However, his doctrine of sin shows the obvious influence of the Gnostic teachings of Manichaeism, in which he assumes the most ridiculous teaching of all the heathen philosophies the teaching that matter can be sinful. And this is the source of his doctrine that sin can be passed on physically from one person to another. Harnack says:

We have, finally, in Augustine's doctrine of sin a strong Manichaean and Gnostic element; for Augustine never wholly surmounted Manichaeism.

Albert Henry Newman also remarks:

Augustine, the greatest of the Latin Fathers, was for many years connected with the Manichaeans and his modes of thought were greatly affected by this experience.

Augustine's doctrine of sin, with his belief in the inherent sinfulness of the physical constitution, is wholly Manichaean. His idea that sin is propagated through the marriage union, that sexual desire is sin and that sexual lust in procreation transmits sin is also Manichaean. Augustine built his doctrine of original sin upon this premise that sexual lust in procreation transmits sin. Harnack says:

The most remarkable feature in the sexual sphere was, in his view, the involuntariness of the impulse. But instead of inferring that it could not therefore be sinful and this should have been the inference in keeping with the principle "omne peccatum ex voluntate" he rather concludes that there is a sin which belongs to nature, namely, to natura vitiata, and not to the sphere of the will. He accordingly perceives a sin rooted in natura, of course in the form which it has assumed, a sin that propagates itself with our nature. It would be easy now to prove that in thinking of inherited sin, he always has chiefly in view this very sin, the lust of procreation; but it is impracticable to quote his material here.

And again:

...and Augustine imagined paradisaical marriages in which children were begotten without lust, or, as Julian says jestingly, were to be shaken from trees. All that he here maintains had been long ago held by Marcion and the Gnostics. One would have, in fact, to be a very rough being not to be able, and that without Manichaeism, to sympathize with his feeling. But to yield to it so far as Augustine did, without rejecting marriage in consequence, could only happen at a time when doctrines were as confused as in the fifth century.

Augustine went so far as to say that, although matrimonial intercourse was permitted by the Apostle Paul, it was nevertheless still sinful.

Augustine taught that God makes us sinners and decrees our sinfulness. God punishes sin with sin. He punishes us for sin with original sin. The sin which mankind inherits is both sin and sin's punishment. This has been ordained by God. It is the penalty of sin that we do the evil we would not.

He believed in absolute and unconditional predestination and election, irresistible grace, complete bondage of the will (a necessitated will man is free only to do evil), and natural inability to obey God. He taught that all mankind sinned in Adam when he sinned and is condemned with him. Men are born sinners now and are completely unable to obey God or do anything good.

He taught that those who are elect and saved are to make up for the fallen angels, so that the number of angels will be complete again. The death of Christ was a payment of what was rightly owed to the devil for our redemption. He believed in a purgatory, masses, alms, and prayers for the dead. He believed that all are polluted by original sin except for Mary. Unbaptized infants are damned because of inherited sin and guilt. He believed in the intercession of saints and martyrs in our favor, and the whole superstitious baggage of the Roman Catholic Church. In short, he was subject to all the prejudices and superstitions of his day in forming his religious views. Harnack says:

So also he was implicated in all the prejudices of contemporary exegesis. It is to be added, finally, that, although less credulous than his contemporaries, he was, like Origen, involved in the prejudices, in the mania for miracles, and the superstition of the age...A slave learns to read in answer to prayer, in three days, and without human help; and we have divine judgments, miracle-working relics, etc.

Again:

Even the most cultured Fathers from the fifth century ceased to be capable of distinguishing between the real and the unreal; they were defenseless against the most absurd tales of the miraculous, and lived in a world of magic and enchantment...Two clerics of North Africa were suspected of a scandalous act; both denied the charge; one must have been guilty; Augustine sent them over sea to the grave of Saint Felix of Nola. There they were to repeat their assertions; Augustine expected that the Saint would at once punish the liar.

And again:

At the sixth Council a Monothelite offered to prove the truth of his confession by writing it and placing it on the breast of a dead man, when the dead would rise up. The fathers of the Council accepted the test.

It was from this soil the soil of religious ignorance and superstition, and from the soil of heathen philosophical speculation that the Augustinian doctrine of original sin sprang up.

The following is a compilation of direct quotes from advocates of the doctrine of original sin, beginning with direct quotes from Augustine:

Our nature sinned in Adam. Augustine R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 338.

It was just, that after our nature had sinned...we should be born animal and carnal. Augustine R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 338.

Our nature, there transformed for the worse, not only became a sinner, but also begets sinners. Augustine R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 342.

From this condemnation no one is exempt, not even new-born children. Augustine R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 343.

Unconscious infants dying without baptism are damned by virtue of their inherited guilt. Augustine Albert Henry Newman, Manual of Church History, Vol. I, p. 366.

Children are infected by parents' sins as well as Adam's and the "actual" sins of the parents impose guilt upon the children. Augustine Harnack, History of Dogma, Vol. V, p. 227.

There is in us a "necessity of sinning." Augustine R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 343.

Whatever offspring is born is...bound to sin. Augustine R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 344.

The "nature and essence" of man is, from his birth, an evil tree and a child of wrath. Martin Luther R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. II, p.229.

Even children dying unbaptized are lost. Martin Luther R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. II, p.245.

Original sin is the hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature...which first makes us subject to the wrath of God, and then produces in us works which the Scriptures call works of the flesh. Calvin R. Seeburg, History of Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 399.

This does not excuse man, for he himself has brought on this condition by the part he had in the sin of Adam. Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 230.

The sin of Adam is the immediate cause and ground of inborn depravity, guilt and condemnation to the whole human race. A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 625.

This evil tendency or inborn determination to evil, since it is the real cause of actual sins, must itself be sin, and as such must be guilty and condemnable. A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 611.

It may be difficult to reconcile the doctrine of innate evil dispositions with the justice and goodness of God, but that is a difficulty which does not pertain to this subject. A malignant being is an evil being, if endowed with reason, whether he was so made or so born, and a benevolent rational being is good in the universal judgment of men, whether he was so created or so born...We admit that it is repugnant to our moral judgments that God should create an evil being; or that any being should be born in a state of sin, unless this being so born is the consequence of a just judgment. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 308.

In the sight of God his sin was the sin of all his descendants, so that they are born as sinners...Every man is guilty in Adam, and is consequently born with a depraved and corrupt nature. And this inner corruption is the unholy fountain of all actual sins. L. Berhkof, Systematic Theology, p. 251.

Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression?

A.The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression. Shorter Catechism.

Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto men fell?

A.All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever. Shorter Catechism.

By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. Westminster Confession.

They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation. Westminster Confession.

Original sin is the corruption of man's nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to evil, and that continually. Larger Catechism.

From this original corruption whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions. Westminster Confession.

This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated: and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin. Westminster Confession.

No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed. Larger Catechism.

They deplore their inability to love their Redeemer, to keep themselves from sin, to live a holy life in any degree adequate to their own convictions of their obligations. Under this inability they humble themselves. They never plead it as an excuse or palliation; they recognize it as the fruit and evidence of the corruption of their nature derived as a sad inheritance from their first parents. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 273.

They have corrupted themselves. Deut. 32:5 All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. Gen. 6:12

They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good...They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Psalm 14:1, 3

The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Gen. 8:21

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Eccl. 7:29


Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it. Deut. 4:2

If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. Rev. 22:18

Chapter 7

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN IS FALSE

 

The doctrine of original sin is false because:

1. It makes sin a misfortune and a calamity rather than a crime.

2. It makes the sinner deserve pity and compassion rather than blame for his sins.

3. It excuses the sinner.

4. It makes God responsible for sin.

5. It dishonors God. It makes him arbitrary, cruel, and unjust.

6. It causes ministers to wink at and excuse sin.

7. It begets complacency and a low standard of religion among Christians.

8. It is a stumbling-block to the unsaved.

9. It makes Jesus a sinner or it must deny his humanity.

10. It contradicts the Bible.

11. It "adds to" and "takes from" the Bible. God warns against this in Deut. 4:2 and Rev. 22:18, 19.

12. It begets false doctrines and false interpretations of the Scriptures.

13. It is ridiculous, absurd, and unreasonable. It contradicts the necessary and irresistible affirmations of every man's consciousness and reason, which is something that no true doctrine of the Word of God could do.

Now let us look more fully at each of these points.

1. It makes sin a misfortune and a calamity rather than a crime.

In fact, if the doctrine of original sin were true, sin would be a calamity rather than a crime. Could a sinful nature be the crime of him upon whom it is entailed without his knowledge or consent? If this doctrine were true, the sinner would be the most unfortunate creature in the universe. To blame him or call him criminal for his sins would be absurd, and to punish him for his sins would be a cruel injustice. He would not deserve punishment for his sins, but would rather deserve pity and compassion for the misfortune he had suffered by being born into this world with a sinful nature. And, of course, under these circumstances the Bible would have to be rewritten. For it never speaks of the sinner as unfortunate. It speaks of the sinner's guilt and ill-desert. In the Bible, sin is represented as a crime that deserves the  punishment of hell/death.

2. It excuses the sinner.

The sinner knows he cannot be to blame for his sins if he is born a sinner and sins unavoidably because of the nature with which he is born. The sinner is compelled to excuse himself (secretly at least) if he really believes that he sins because of an inborn sin nature. It is not a matter of whether he chooses to excuse himself or not; he cannot help but excuse himself. If he really believes that he is born a sinner and that he cannot help but sin because of inborn sin, he must and he will excuse himself, even if only secretly.

Over against the fact that this doctrine gives the sinner an excuse for his sins, we have the biblical fact that God does not excuse sin. Sin in the Bible is always denounced in the strongest language possible and under the most terrible of penalties. The letter and the spirit of the whole Bible is against any doctrine that would permit men to excuse themselves in their sins.

3. It makes God responsible for sin.

If men are born with a sinful nature, who is to blame? Surely not the sinner, for he had no choice in being born with a sinful nature. The sinner is no more to blame for being born with his nature than he is for being born with blue eyes. But, who is the author of our nature? Who is our Creator? Who formed us in our mother's womb? Who gave us life and breath and all things? To talk of men being born with a sinful nature is to ascribe sin to God because God is the Author of our nature.

4. It dishonors God and makes his government tyrannical, cruel, and unjust. According to this doctrine, innocent little babies are born with a sinful nature, and because of their nature, are objects of God's wrath. Could anything make God more cruel and unreasonable?

This doctrine is infinitely dishonorable to God. Men know it would be cruel and unjust to condemn them for the nature with which they are born. They know that they cannot justly be worthy of the wrath of God for being born with a nature which they did not choose and which they could not avoid. They know that God would be a tyrant and his government tyranny if this grotesque doctrine were true.

5. It is a stumbling-block to the unsaved.

The sinner could not help but stumble over a doctrine that represents God as being cruel and unjust. According to this doctrine, God created us under such physical laws as would cause us all to be born sinners, and then condemns us for being born sinners! The sinner who really believes this doctrine is compelled to regard God as infinitely cruel and unjust. It is not a matter of whether he chooses to regard God as unjust. His irresistible convictions of justice, given to him in his nature by God, will compel him to regard God as unjust. He may not voice his convictions, but he will still hold them secretly nonetheless.

And as long as he feels that God's government is unjust and that he is not to blame for his sins, he cannot really repent. Repentance implies that the sinner blame himself for his sins. It implies that he admit that God and his government are righteous and that he has been all wrong. It implies that, in this spirit, the sinner turn from his sins and submit himself to God's government. But all of this is impossible while the sinner believes a doctrine that causes him to excuse his sins and to regard God's government as cruel and unjust.

6. It begets complacency and a low standard of religion among Christians.

Christ has two great causes in this world today: the salvation of the lost and the perfection of his church. Every influence of this doctrine is to hinder these two great causes of Christ. If the sinner believes that God's government is unjust and that he is not really to blame for his sins, then he will not and cannot genuinely repent. And if the Christian believes that his very nature is sinful and that it is impossible for him to live without sinning, then he will not aim for Christian perfection, nor will he feel greatly disturbed about sin and worldliness in his life. Every tendency of this doctrine begets an indulgent spirit toward sin and a low standard of religion among Christians.

7. It soothes the conscience of sinning Christians, causing them to stumble into hell. Christians sometimes make the excuse that they cannot help but sin because of a sinful nature inherited from Adam. One brother told me that, before his conversion, he actually prayed to God for clemency and excused his sins by telling God that his sins were the result of his Adamic sin nature. This false doctrine soothes the conscience of unnumbered sinners in the churches and will ultimately stumble them into a sinner's hell-second death.

8. It causes ministers to wink at and excuse sin in their churches. Ministers who believe this doctrine will have a tendency to wink at and excuse sin in their churches. The whole tendency of this doctrine is to beget an indulgent spirit toward sin, and the low, unscriptural standard of religion that actually exists in many churches today.

Where this doctrine is taught and believed there will be little real horror of sinning against God. Christians and ministers will excuse sin with such statements as: "Nobody's perfect," "Even the Apostle Paul had to struggle with 'indwelling sin,'" "God will change us when we get to heaven," "Christians are not perfect, just forgiven," "Be patient, God is still working on me," "I made a mistake," and "God understands our weaknesses and human frailties."

Ministers who really believe this doctrine and have worldly members in their churches will not be inclined to blame them for their worldliness. And, thus, the worldly will be allowed to settle down in their worldliness without feeling any really great danger. After all, God knows and understands that they have the "old Adamic sin nature" dwelling in them and will have until they die and go to heaven. God will not judge them for their human weaknesses, frailties, and faults. So multitudes of people in the churches deceive themselves, and go on in the broad way of worldliness, selfishness, and sin which will finally lead them down into hell.

9. It contradicts all the great doctrines of the Bible.

This doctrine is so out of character with the Bible that it contradicts all its fundamental teachings. This is something that no true doctrine of the Bible could do, but is exactly what would be expected of a false doctrine. We have already seen that it permits the sinner to excuse himself in his sins. But the letter and the spirit of the whole Bible is against any doctrine that would permit men to excuse themselves in their sins. We have seen that it makes sin a misfortune and a calamity rather than a crime. But the Bible speaks of sin as an act that deserves the everlasting  punishment of hell. Also, we have seen that it makes the sinner deserve pity and compassion rather than blame for his sins. But you can search through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will find that God never pities but always blames the sinner for his sins.

The fact is that the doctrine of original sin is so contrary to the Bible that to try to make the two harmonize would be like trying to make light and darkness exist together in one and the same place. Only by completely rewriting the Bible could it be made to agree with the doctrine of original sin.

For instance, the most fundamental doctrines of the Bible are contradicted by the doctrine of original sin:

a. The doctrines of mercy, grace, guilt, pardon, and repentance.

Can a man really be guilty for possessing the nature with which he is born? Can God show him mercy, and pardon his guilt if it is true that he has suffered the misfortune of being born into this world a sinner? What kind of grace would it be that would save a man from the misfortune of being born into this world a sinner? It would not be grace that would save him; it would be justice. And how could a man sincerely repent and condemn himself for his sins if he believed that he was born a sinner and could not avoid sin because of an inborn sin nature? All the fundamental doctrines of the Bible are emptied of their meaning and become contradictory and confusing if the doctrine of original sin is accepted.

b. The doctrine of God's justice and righteousness in his judgment of sinners.

The Bible says that God will "judge the world in righteousness." Psalm 9:8. But could God judge the world and be righteous if this doctrine were true? What of the heathen who are lost without ever hearing the Gospel? If this doctrine is true, the heathen are born sinners and will of necessity live in sin because of an inherited sin nature, and when they die without ever hearing the Gospel and having a chance to be saved, they are doomed to the everlasting punishment of hell. Now if it is true that they are born sinners and cannot help but sin, can God justly send them to hell? Our God-given convictions of justice war against such an idea.

Those who believe in the doctrine of original sin cannot escape the conviction that justice requires that the heathen have a chance to hear the Gospel and be saved. They cannot escape the convictions that it is unjust that the heathen be lost without at least having the opportunity to accept or reject the Gospel. They feel that the heathen are owed the opportunity to hear the Gospel so they might have a chance to be saved.

But where did this idea come from that the heathen are owed the chance to be saved? I answer: It springs up irresistibly from the belief that men are not the authors of their own sin. It springs up from the belief that men are born with a sinful nature and cannot help but sin. So since they are born with a sinful nature and cannot help but sin, they cannot deserve hell without at least a chance to hear the Gospel and be saved. But the idea that any one is owed the chance to be saved is completely foreign to the Bible. God does not owe anyone the chance to be saved. He does not save anyone to satisfy justice. Jesus did not die for wicked men because he owed them a chance to be saved, but because of his love, mercy, and grace.

But those who believe in the doctrine of original sin find themselves with compelling convictions that contradict the fundamental Bible doctrine of God's righteousness in judging the heathen. The doctrine of original sin compels them to believe that it is not just for the heathen to be judged without a chance to be saved. And, in fact, if the doctrine of original sin were true, it would not be just to condemn the heathen without a chance to hear the Gospel and be saved. Moreover, if the doctrine of original sin were true, salvation would be on the grounds of justice rather than grace. The justice of God would require that God not only make sure that all mankind have a chance to hear the Gospel, but it would also require that God provide grace (or justice) of such a magnitude that all men would certainly and irresistibly be saved.

Finney makes the following remarks upon the unscriptural tendencies of a belief in the doctrine of original sin:

I object to the doctrine of constitutional sinfulness, that it makes all sin, original and actual, a mere calamity, and not a crime. For those who hold that sin is an essential and inseparable part of our nature, to call it crime, is to talk nonsense. What! a sinful nature the crime of him upon whom it is entailed, without his knowledge or consent? If the nature is sinful, in such a sense that action must necessarily be sinful, which is the doctrine of the Confession of Faith, then sin in action must be a calamity, and can be no crime...since the will has nothing to do with it.

Of course it must render repentance, either with or without the grace of God, impossible, unless grace sets aside our reason. If repentance implies self-condemnation, we can never repent in the exercise of our reason. Constituted as we are, it is impossible that we should condemn ourselves for a sinful nature, or for actions that are unavoidable. The doctrine of original sin, or of a sinful constitution, and of necessary sinful actions, represents the whole moral government of God, the plan of salvation by Christ, and indeed every doctrine of the Gospel, as a mere farce. Upon this supposition the law is tyranny, and the Gospel an insult to the unfortunate.

It is difficult, and, indeed, impossible for those who really believe this doctrine to urge immediate repentance and submission on the sinner, feeling that he is infinitely to blame unless he instantly comply. It is a contradiction to affirm, that a man can heartily believe in the doctrine in question, and yet truly and heartily blame sinners for not doing what is naturally impossible to them. The secret conviction must be in the mind of such a one, that the sinner is not really to blame for being a sinner, any more than he is to blame for being a human being. This the advocate of this doctrine must know. It is vain for him to set up the pretense that he truly blames sinners for their nature, or for their conduct that was unavoidable. He can no more do it, than he can honestly deny the necessary affirmations of his own reason. Therefore the advocates of this theory must merely hold it as a theory, without believing it, or otherwise they must in their secret convictions excuse the sinner.

This doctrine naturally and necessarily leads its advocates, secretly at least, to ascribe the atonement of Christ rather to justice than to grace to regard it rather as an expediency to relieve the unfortunate, than to render the forgiveness of the inexcusable sinner possible. The advocates of the theory cannot but regard the case of the sinner as rather a hard one, and God as under an obligation to provide a way for him to escape a sinful nature, entailed upon him in spite of himself, and from actual transgression which result from his nature by a law of necessity. If all this is true, the sinner's case is infinitely hard, and God would appear the most unreasonable and cruel of beings, if he did not provide for their escape. These convictions will, and must, lodge in the mind of him who really believes the dogma of a sinful nature. This, in substance, is sometimes affirmed by the defenders of the doctrine of original sin.

The fact that Christ died in the stead and behalf of sinners, proves that God regarded them not as unfortunates, but as criminal and altogether without excuse. Surely Christ need not have died to atone for the misfortunes of man. His death was to atone for their guilt, and not for their misfortunes. But if they are without excuse for sin, they must be without a sinful nature that renders sin unavoidable. If men are without excuse for sin, as the whole law and the Gospel assume and teach, it cannot possibly be that their nature is sinful, for a sinful nature would be the best of all excuses for sin.

This doctrine is a stumbling-block to the church and the world, infinitely dishonorable to God, and an abomination alike to God and the human intellect, and should be banished from every pulpit, and from every formula of doctrine, and from the world. It is a relic of heathen philosophy, and was foisted in among the doctrines of Christianity by Augustine, as every one may know who will take the trouble to examine for himself.

10. It makes Jesus a sinner

The doctrine of original sin makes Jesus a sinner. The advocates of the doctrine of original sin quote Job 14:4 and 15:14 to teach that men are born sinners:

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 that is born of woman, that he should be righteous? Job 15:14

The first of these texts supposedly teaches that a sinner will always produce another sinner. The second is supposed to teach substantially the same thing, that is, that all those who are born of woman are born sinners. But if the doctrine of original sin is true, then Mary, the mother of our Lord, was also born a sinner; and if a sinner always produces another sinner, and if all those who are born of woman are born sinners, then there is no way to escape the conclusion that Jesus also was born a sinner. So in misusing these and other texts to teach that men are born sinners, the advocates of original sin are also making Jesus a sinner because he partook of the same human nature as other men.

Jesus was a man. He was born of a woman. He was the seed of Abraham, the offspring of David, descended from Adam. Matt. 1:1, Rom. 1:3, Heb. 2:16, Rev. 22:16. The humanity of Christ is fully and unequivocably taught in the Bible, and to teach the doctrine that men are born sinners is to teach the blasphemy that "the man Christ Jesus" was born a sinner.

The Bible says, "Verily he took not on him the nature of angels but the seed of Abraham." Heb. 2:16. "In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest." Heb. 2:17. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same." Heb. 2:14. "For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." Heb. 2:11. "For we have not an high priest which can not be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15.

The Bible teaches that Christ was, in all respects, a real man, possessing both a human body and a human soul, and with all the attributes of a man. He was born of a woman. He was nourished and cared for by his mother, as other men are. He was circumcised according to the law of Moses. He was once an infant in knowledge, for he grew both in Wisdom and in stature. He hungered, he thirsted, he ate, he drank, he labored, he slept, he grew tired, and he lived and died like other men. He was recognized as a man and a Jew by other men. "Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be make 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." "For we have not an high priest which can not be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." Heb. 2:17, 4:15, 2:11.

It is a serious error to deny the deity of Christ. One cannot be a Christian and deny his deity. John taught that it is equally serious to deny the humanity of Christ. "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God." I John 4:2, 3. "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. II John 7.

The doctrine of Christ's human nature is fully attested in the Bible. Nevertheless, because of their belief that men are born sinners and that human nature or the flesh is inherently sinful, the defenders of the doctrine of original sin must deny in some way or another the real humanity of Christ and that he came in human flesh like other men. Phil. 2:6-8, I Tim. 3:16, Gal. 4:4, John 1:14, I John 4:2-3, II John 7.

Augustine did this by teaching that sin is transmitted through the lust of procreation so that since Jesus was born of a virgin, he was not born through lust and therefore was not born with the same sinful nature as other men. Harnack says:

The extremely disgusting disquisitions on marriage and lust in the polemical writings against Julian are, as the latter rightly perceived, hardly independent of Augustine's Manichaeism...And the disquisitions are by no means a mere outwork in Augustine's system; they belong to its very center...Children possess original sin, because their parents have procreated them in lust and by this proposition stands or falls the doctrine of original sin. So also Christ has sinlessness attributed to him because he has not been born of marriage, and Augustine imagined paradisaical marriages in which children were begotten without lust, or, as Julian says jestingly, were to be shaken from trees.

This idea of Augustine that lust in procreation transmits sin contradicts the whole spirit of the Scriptures on marriage and the bearing of children. Moreover, the Bible nowhere teaches that the virgin birth of Jesus was to keep him from being born with original sin. The Bible teaches that there was one, and only one, reason for the virgin birth of our Lord. It was so that God could take on human nature, become a man, and dwell among us. Luke 1: 31-35, John 1:14, Gal. 4:4, Matt. 1:1. The reason for the virgin birth is made plain in Luke 1:31-35. This passage gives no hint that the reason for the virgin birth was to keep Jesus free from original sin; what it does tell us is that the reason was so that God's Son could be born.

But we have already seen the Scriptures in Hebrews which show that Christ took upon himself our human nature (Heb. 2:14), that he was in all things made like his brethren (Heb. 2:17), that he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one (Heb. 2:11), and that he was tempted like we are in all points (Heb. 4:15), yet without sin. Could it really be true that he was tempted in all points like we are if he did not have the same nature as we? And is it not true that the word "yet" in the statement "yet without sin" would lose all its force and meaning if Christ had not been tempted in the same human nature as we yet without sin?

Every which way it turns, the doctrine of original sin flies in the face of the teachings of the Word of God. It makes Jesus a sinner, or it must deny his true humanity.

11. It begets other false doctrines.

Many false views on sin and salvation, with their concurrent misinterpretations of the Scriptures, come out of this one fundamental error. Consider the following:

a. The doctrine of the "Immaculate Conception."

This is the doctrine that Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ was "conceived free from any of the corruption of original sin," in order that she might be pure enough to be the mother of Christ. Of course, this doctrine is not taught in the Bible. It is an invention of men, made necessary by a belief in the doctrine of original sin.

b. The doctrine of infant baptism for the remission of original sin.

This doctrine is another invention of men, made necessary to relieve innocent little infants from the guilt of original sin and the wrath of God, which supposedly rest upon them because of being born with a sinful nature.

c. The doctrine of Limbo.

This doctrine is another invention made necessary for infants who die without baptism. Limbo is supposed to be a place where unbaptized infants go instead of hell, "where neither the joys of heaven nor the miseries of hell prevail."

d. The doctrine that men have lost the image of God since the fall of Adam.

This is another unbiblical doctrine made necessary by a belief in the doctrine of original sin. Of course, if men come into this world "dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body," as the Westminster Confession says, they have certainly not been created in the image of God. But the fact that man is created in the image of God is evident from the Scriptures. God told Noah, long after the sin of Adam, that man was "made in the image of God." Gen. 9:16. And, of course, the New Testament Scriptures teach just as clearly that man is created in the image of God. (See I Cor. 11:7, James 3:9, Acts 17:29.) It is amazing how men will ignore the clear teachings of the Holy Scriptures in order to accommodate the doctrine of original sin.

e. The doctrine of a physical, passive regeneration.

Believing, as the advocates of original sin do, that moral depravity is constitutional in nature, they must believe in a physical and passive regeneration, in order to be consistent. Regeneration, according to this school, is a change in the constitutional nature of man. It is a change wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit, in which the sinner is wholly passive, and in which new and holy susceptibilities, dispositions, tastes, and appetites are implanted or created in the soul.

The problem with this is that no such physical or passive regeneration is taught in the Bible. The Bible teaches that the work which the Holy Spirit does in the sinner is moral rather than physical. It is a work of moral suasion, of divine teaching and illumination, of convicting and reproving of sin. John 6:44-45, John 16:8, James 1:18, John 15:3, I Peter 1:22-23. The Bible teaches that the sinner cannot be passive in regeneration, but he must respond to the voice of God. He must repent and make to himself "a new heart and a new spirit." Ez. 18:30-32.

The Bible teaches that regeneration is the work of both God and man: (1) The work of God: Titus 3:5, James 1:18, I John 3:9, John 3:5, John 6:44-45; (2) The work of the sinner himself: Ez. 18:31, I Peter 1:22, James 4:7-8, Acts 3:19, James 1:21, Jer. 4:14; (3) The work of men who preach the Word of God: I Cor. 4:15, Fil. 1:10, James 5:19-20, Prov. 11:30, Dan. 12:3, Mark 1:17, I Cor. 9:22; and (4) The work of the Word of God: I Cor. 4:15, James 1:18, James 1:21, I Peter 1:23.

There is no passive physical change in the sinner when he becomes a saint. The Bible teaches that regeneration is an active, cooperative, moral change, and not a passive physical change.

f. The doctrine of a natural inability to repent.

If man's very nature is sinful, then it is a natural impossibility for him to repent. This fact has led naturally and necessarily to the doctrine that God first changes the sinner's nature in regeneration (passive regeneration), and then the sinner repents. According to this school of thought, repentance and conversion both follow regeneration because the sinner cannot obey God's command to repent and be converted until after he has been regenerated.

g. The doctrines of arbitrary election and reprobation, absolute and unconditional predestination, irresistible grace, and a necessitated will.

All of the above doctrines follow logically from a belief in constitutional sinfulness. Augustine, the father of the doctrine of original sin, taught that salvation depends on God's inscrutable election and predestination, independent of any human agency. He taught that man is born with a corrupt and depraved nature, that he is not free (except to do evil), that he has a necessitated will, that God's love is infused, and that man is by nature absolutely unable to love God, or do anything good. These teachings of Augustine engendered fatalism and despair in the hearts of some in the Catholic Church:

In 426 or 427, it was reported to Augustine that the monks in the cloister of Adrumetum in North Africa were in some cases driven to despair, in other cases moved to careless self-indulgence, by his teaching as to man's helplessness and as to irresistible grace.

Free will, grace, predestination, election, and reprobation are, of course, biblical doctrines. It is only the extreme and fatalistic views of these doctrines, as taught by Augustine and others who believe in the constitutional sinfulness of man, that are unscriptural.

h. The doctrine of a natural inability to obey God.

The doctrine of a natural inability to obey God is at the very heart of the doctrine of original sin. According to the advocates of original sin, all men, even those who are Christians, have a corrupt, sinful nature and are unable to obey God as long as they are in this life:

From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions. Westminster Confession.

This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated. Westminster Confession.

By reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. Westminster Confession.

They deplore their inability to love their Redeemer, to keep themselves from sin, to live a holy life in any degree adequate to their own convictions of their obligations...They recognize it as the fruit and evidence of the corruption of their nature derived as a sad inheritance from their first parents. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 273.

No man is able...by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed. Larger Catechism.

...whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually, which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions. Larger Catechism.

This doctrine opens the floodgates of rebellion against God, for it implies impunity for sin. Surely God would not be so unreasonable as to judge us for sin when he knows that we are by nature unable to obey him. Oh, what a lie the church has embraced! There is not one verse of Scripture in the entire Bible that says men have a sinful nature which makes them unable to obey God. It is true that all sinners are in a moral sense unable to obey God, but they are not naturally unable to obey God. And there is a great difference between a natural inability and a moral inability to obey God. Let us illustrate the difference between the two: A friend of mine is standing next to his brand new Cadillac. I ask him, "Can you lift your car off the ground?"

"No!" he answers. His answer here refers to a natural inability. It is naturally and physically impossible for him to lift so much weight.

Then I ask, "Can you sell me your new car for a dollar?"

Again, he answers, "No!" His answer this time refers to a moral inability. It does not mean that it is really a natural impossibility for him to sell his car, but that he cannot sell it because he is not willing to sell it.

The Bible never speaks of a sinner's natural inability to obey God. When it speaks of the sinner's inability to obey God, it is always speaking of a moral inability. He cannot obey because he is so selfish that he is unwilling to obey. All men can obey if they will. The following are just a few of the many verses from the Bible that teach that the Christian has been freed from his sins by the grace of Christ, and that he now has the power to live a victorious sin-free life:

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

Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom. 6:14

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Rom. 6:17, 18

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Rom. 6:22

Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin...If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:34, 36

Now, who shall we believe? Shall we reject God's Word in order to hold on to a man-made doctrine? Shall we go to God in prayer and say: "Lord, thou hast promised that sin shall not have dominion over me thou hast promised that he whom the Son sets free is free indeed and Lord, thou hast given many other promises, assuring me of thy grace and power to keep me from sin but Lord, I don't believe thy promises; Lord, I don't think thou art able to keep me from sin in this life because I have been taught by men that I still have the remaining corruptions of original sin in me and will not be able to obey thee perfectly until I die and go to heaven."

Now, although you may not voice these very words in prayer, this is the unbelieving spirit that rules your life if you excuse sin by claiming a natural inability to obey God. But again, the doctrine of inability contradicts the very heart of the Gospel the good news that Jesus died to liberate us from our sins:

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. Gal. 1:4

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14

God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:26

Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Eph. 5:25-27

If the doctrine of inability is true, the atonement of Christ was a failure, because he died to "redeem us from all iniquity," to "deliver us from this present evil world," to "turn us from our iniquities," and to make us "holy, and without spot, wrinkle, or blemish."

The doctrine of inability demeans the grace and the power of God. What a low opinion preachers have of the grace and power of God when they say that God cannot enable his people to live without sin. God tells us that "sin shall not have dominion over us because we are under his grace," he tells us that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound," and he tells us that we are "kept by the power of God, through faith." But the doctrine of inability tells us that, with all of God's abounding grace, we are still unable to obey him and live without sin. Listen as the advocates of original sin cast aspersions upon the power of God's grace to free from sin: "No man is able...by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed." Larger Catechism.

The doctrine of inability makes God a liar. He solemnly promises to keep us from being tempted above our ability to obey. He promises to liberate us from all sin, and to preserve us in righteousness and holiness, but according to the doctrine of inability, his promises are all empty. If the doctrine of inability is true, then God is insincere and deceitful because he commands us to do what he knows we cannot do. Surely if the doctrine of inability is true, God knows about it. Yet in the face of all this, he commands: "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" and "As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation." Matt. 5:48, I Peter 1:15. Now if God gives us these commandments, knowing that it is impossible for us to obey them, then he is insincere and deceitful.

The fact is that the doctrine of inability turns the whole Bible upside-down. It mocks both the promises and the commandments of God. It blackens God's character, demeans his grace, and excuses the sinner in his sins. It is not just a harmless myth and religious superstition; it is infinitely worse. It is a devilish doctrine that muffles the voice of conscience, corrupts Christian practice, and stumbles Christians into hell. It teaches that the Christian must never expect to be saved from sin in this life, and that he should expect to live more or less in rebellion against his Savior until he dies and goes to heaven. What a lie from the devil! Where can this teaching be found in the Bible? Instead of teaching that the Christian cannot be freed from sin and made holy until he gets to heaven, the Bible warns that the unholy will never get to heaven!

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Heb. 12:14

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matt. 5:8

Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? I Peter 4:17, 18

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life. Rev. 3:4, 5

The myth that God will transform the character of the sinning Christian when he gets to heaven, and once there, make him a holy Christian, is just that a myth. The decree of God is:

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. Rev. 22:11

God will not change the character of anyone after he dies. He is changing the character of sinners now, in this life, while we are yet in this present world. There will be a change in the Christian when he gets to heaven, but not in his character. His body will be changed. The Bible says, "This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." I Cor. 15:53. This is not talking about a change of character; it is talking about an incorruptible body that will never die. But, oh, how many are deceiving themselves by the false doctrine that suddenly, when they get to heaven, they will be transformed into holy Christians. Hear again the words of the Revelator:

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be...Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Rev. 22:11, 12, 14, 15

The doctrine of a natural inability to obey God is a devilish doctrine that is stumbling multitudes of professing Christians into hell.

12. The doctrine of original sin adds to and takes from the Bible.

God says, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deut. 4:2. But the whole original sin dogma is an addition to the Bible.

For instance, the doctrine of original sin teaches that the whole human race existed in Adam and sinned with him when he transgressed, that we had one common will with Adam, that his will was the will of the race, and that when Adam revolted, the will of the race revolted with him. But you can search your Bible through from beginning to end, and you will never find this taught in it. It is not taught there. It is man's doctrine added to the Bible.

Again, the doctrine of original sin teaches that Adam was our federal head or moral representative, and that God made a covenant with him, agreeing to give eternal life to him and all his descendants if he obeyed, and threatening condemnation upon him and all his descendants if he disobeyed. But is any of this teaching in the Bible? No, the Bible is silent about this imagined covenant made with Adam.

Again, men teach that God created us under such physical laws as would cause us all to be born sinners. They teach that we are born with a corrupt sinful nature which is the fountain and cause of all our actual sins, that we sin unavoidably because of that nature, and that even the Christian sins necessarily because of the "remaining corruptions" of his inborn sin nature. Can these unholy and grotesque teachings be found in the Bible? No. They are all additions to the Bible.

Does the Bible speak of the "Immaculate Conception"? Does it speak of infant baptism for the remission of original sin? Does it speak of "Limbo"? Does it talk about an "inborn sin nature" or an Adamic sin nature"? Does it mention "original sin" or "actual sin," making a distinction between the two? No. None of these doctrines and none of these terms can be found in the Bible. They are all inventions of men and additions to the Bible.

But the doctrine of original sin also takes from the Word of God. It takes away those passages in the Bible that declare that men are guilty and blameworthy for their sins, and makes their sins the unfortunate result of being born with a sinful nature. It takes away all those passages in the Bible that teach that God is loving, good, and just and makes him cruel and unjust, by teaching that God condemned the whole human race for Adam's sin. It takes away those passages in the Bible that teach that men are created upright, with a good nature, and in the image and likeness of God, by teaching that since Adam's sin, men are no longer created in the image of God, but are born defiled in "all the faculties and parts of soul and body." It takes away those texts in the Bible that teach that Jesus had true human nature like other men, by teaching that Jesus could not have had the same human nature as other men without being a sinner.

It takes away the heart and soul of the Gospel, the biblical truth that God saves his people from their sins, by teaching that the Christian cannot live even for one day without sinning in thought, word, or deed. It contradicts and weakens the spirit of holiness that shines from every page of the Holy Bible, when it teaches that God's work of holiness in the church must wait until the church gets to heaven because of the "remaining corruptions of original sin." It destroys innumerable promises that God has given to the church, promises that the church can overcome sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil. And in doing this, it also limits the power of the Holy One of Israel, making sin infinitely more powerful than the power of his sanctifying grace through his indwelling Holy Spirit.

Every which way it turns, the doctrine of original sin either takes away some glorious truth from the Bible, or it adds some grotesque teaching that contradicts the Bible. It brings confusion to Gospel truth, making the doctrines of mercy, grace, guilt, pardon, and repentance unintelligible. It makes the holy, just, and loving God to be cruel and unjust, and it makes the wicked sinner to be the unfortunate recipient of a nature which he could not avoid. It is a stumbling-block to the church, encouraging many who call themselves Christians to live a life so far below the Bible standard of holiness and true Christianity that they will ultimately fall into a hypocrite's hell.

13. It is ridiculous, absurd, and unreasonable. It contradicts the necessary and irresistible affirmations of every man's consciousness and reason, something that no Biblical doctrine could do.

The necessary affirmations of every man's reason testify that the doctrine of original sin is false. But some Christians object that we should not appeal to reason in determining the truth or falseness of doctrines, and that if we do, we will go off into error. There exists, at least among some Christians, the superstition that man's God-given reason cannot be trusted, that it is subversive of the Word of God, and that if we accepted its necessary and irresistible affirmations, the doctrines of the Bible would be overthrown. But just the opposite is true. Man's reason and consciousness are in harmony with the Bible and confirm its teachings.

But how is it that some Christians can actually believe that reason will overthrow the doctrines of the Bible? I answer: by believing doctrines that they know are contradicted by reason, and believing that these doctrines are taught in the Bible. Let's explain: All the truths of the Bible are in harmony with man's reason, his moral nature, and his consciousness. The Scriptures never teach anything which our consciousness and rational moral nature declare to be false, unjust, or impossible. The fundamental truths of Christianity cannot be in manifest contradiction to reason. Yet the doctrine of original sin does contradict reason, reality, and man's irresistible convictions of justice. But Christians have been taught to believe it is a biblical doctrine. At the same time, they are conscious that it contradicts their reason and their convictions of justice. The result is that they think reason is to be distrusted and rejected as an evil that would overthrow the doctrines of the Bible if relied on!

But I repeat what I said in a former chapter: Would those who believe in the doctrine of original sin reject reason if the doctrine of original sin were reasonable? What is the reason that they reject reason when discussing original sin? It is because reason rejects the original sin dogma. If our reason told us that it would be just and righteous for a whole race to be condemned for the sin of one man, they would not object to reason. If our reason told us that the heathen could justly by born sinners, and commit sin necessarily because of an inborn sin nature, and then die in their sins without a knowledge of the Gospel, and go down into hell=eternal second death, they would not object to reason. If reason told us that sin, with its guilt and condemnation, could be passed on in the physical constitution of man, they would not object to reason. If reason told us that a non-moral and non-personal entity called "flesh" could, contrary to its nature, take on personality and moral character, and be sinful, they would not object to reason. No, they object to reason only because they are conscious that the doctrine of original sin is unreasonable.

In effect, the defenders of the doctrine of original sin admit that the doctrine of original sin is unreasonable. For them to say that the testimony of reason should not be admitted is a tacit admission that the necessary affirmations of their own reason testify against the doctrine of original sin.

There are certain self-evident truths, direct perceptions of reason, known to be true to all men. A thing cannot both be and not be. Two contradictory things cannot both be true. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The whole cannot be greater than the sum of its parts. Every effect must have a cause. A creation implies a creator. Moral character is non-transferable. There are no proxies in morals. Sin cannot be imputed where it does not exist without injustice. Perfect justice cannot punish the innocent for the guilt of another. Sin is personal and non-transferable. Now all of the above truths are known intuitively. They do not need to be proved. They are direct perceptions of reason, and cannot rationally be denied by any man.

But the doctrine of original sin does deny self-evident truths. It denies the self-evident truth that there can be no proxies in morals and teaches that Adam committed sin for us by proxy. It denies that moral character is non-transferable and teaches that Adam's sinful character was transferred to all his descendants! It denies that sin cannot be imputed where it does not exist without injustice and teaches that the infinitely holy and just God imputed the sin of Adam to all his descendants. It denies that perfect justice cannot punish the innocent for the guilt of another and teaches that God, who is perfect in truth and justice, condemned the whole human race for the sin of Adam.

To say that the doctrine of original sin is unreasonable is a profound understatement. There really never has existed a doctrine so unreasonable, so absurd, and so ridiculous as this doctrine. It is not only absurd, it is plain superstition to believe that we sinned in Adam thousands of years before we were born and began our existence. No man can torture his consciousness into affirming that he existed and sinned thousands of years before he was born. To believe that man's flesh can be inherently sinful and that men can be born sinners is gross superstition. The whole dogma of original sin is a monstrous superstition and a fantastic fiction that is fit only for the pages of some wild science fiction novel.

The doctrine of original sin is clearly unreasonable, and can only be a doctrine of the Bible if the doctrines of the Bible can be unreasonable. But it is both a foolish and a dangerous idea to think that the doctrines of the Bible can be unreasonable. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and as such, it must be reasonable, consistent, and harmonious throughout. If men propound any theory and try to force it on the church as a doctrine of the Word of God, and that doctrine is absurd, unreasonable, and contradictory with other doctrines of the Bible, then it is foolish and wicked to accept it, while rejecting the arguments of reason which show its error.

The Scriptures never teach anything which our consciousness and moral nature declare to be false, unjust, or impossible. The fundamental truths of Christianity cannot be in manifest contradictions to reason, reality, and justice. And yet the original sin dogma does contradict man's reason, man's knowledge of reality, and man's irresistible convictions of justice.

THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF SIN

 
The Bible teaches that all men originate their own moral depravity. Gen. 6:12, Gen. 8:21, Deut. 32:5, Psalm 14:1-3, Rom. 3:23, Eccl. 7:29. The Bible teaches that men sin and corrupt themselves. In fact, early in mankind's history upon the earth men had become so corrupt that God sent a flood to destroy them.
I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth. Gen. 6:7.

Observe that God was angry with "man whom I have created." Certainly he was not angry with them because of the nature with which he had created them. No, it was because they had corrupted themselves that God was angry with them.

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. Gen. 6:11, 12.

To corrupt means to make morally depraved. It means to pervert what is good and upright. It means to make unclean what was once clean. It means to spoil what was once good and unspoiled. The word corrupt always implies a former state that was unspoiled, clean, good, or upright. It is never used to speak of the original created nature of man. It speaks of what man has become because of spoiling or perverting the nature with which he was created.

Moral beings have never needed a sinful nature to make them sin. The first sin ever committed was committed by the devil. He did not have a sinful nature to make him sin. Then, a third of the angels fell. They did not have a sinful nature to make them sin. Then both Adam and Eve sinned. They did not have a sinful nature to make them sin. Then, why should it be thought necessary for men to be born with a sinful nature to account for their sins? The Bible does not teach that men must have a sinful nature in order to sin; it teaches that men sin in spite of a good nature:

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Eccl. 7:29

The above Scripture is very clear. God has created men upright, but they have sinned in spite of an upright nature. This truth is taught directly, and by implication, throughout the whole Bible.

Acts 17:29 says, "We are the offspring of God." When the Apostle Paul made this statement, he was addressing heathen sinners. We know, therefore, that this verse applies to all mankind, and not just to those who are Christian believers. What, then, does this verse mean?

1. It means that we are all children of God by creation.

2. It means that, since we are the offspring of God, we are created in his image and likeness. (Advocates of the doctrine of original sin teach that men are no longer created in God's image since Adam sinned. This teaching directly contradicts both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. See Gen. 9:6, I Cor. 11:7, James 3:9.)

3. It means that everything we are and have at birth comes to us from God.

4. It means that, since God is the Creator, the Father, and the Author of all that we are and have at birth, we cannot be born sinners. God has created us, and he does not create sinners. He created us in his image and likeness, which is not sinful. We are his offspring, and his offspring do not come into this world as sinners.

5. It also implies and means that every sinner is the author of his own moral depravity. He becomes a sinner after he reaches the "age of accountability," i.e., after he knows right from wrong and after he "knows to refuse the evil, and choose the good." Isaiah 7:16, Deut. 1:39, Rom. 2:15, Rom. 5:14, Rom. 9:11.

The following texts also show that we are created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore with a good and upright nature:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him. Gen. 1:26, 27

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. Gen. 9:6

Man is the image and glory of God. I Cor. 11:7

Therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.James 3:9

The statements in the last three texts were made after the death of Adam, so they refute the teaching that men after Adam are not created in the image of God. If we believe that these texts teach that God has created us in his image and if we believe that it is impossible for God to create men with sinful natures, then we must believe that these texts are teaching that God has created man upright and that man has sinned in spite of an upright nature, as it declares in Eccl. 7:29.

Rev. 22:16 says, "I am the root and the offspring of David." In this verse Jesus is speaking and says that he is both the Creator and the offspring of David. How foolish it is, then, to maintain that man is born with a sinful nature, for Jesus both created human nature and also partook of human nature when he became a man.

God has created man upright and without sin. He has created man in his own image and likeness with sensibility, intellect, reason, conscience, and free will. Man has all the faculties and powers of moral agency. He knows right from wrong. The law of God is written in his heart. He is free and knows himself to be free and able to obey the law of God. His conscience approves his right conduct and condemns his wrong conduct.

All men, everywhere, have these same moral faculties and powers. A heathen man may be ignorant and primitive, but the law of God is written in his heart. His conscience approves his right conduct and condemns his wrong conduct. He has the same moral consciousness of a standard of right and wrong as any man who knows the Bible:

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. 2: 14,15.

All men, everywhere, know themselves to be free and responsible moral agents. They know they are accountable for their deeds. They know this because the moral nature with which God has created them testifies to them of these truths. Some men deny this and claim that man's conscience, his knowledge of right and wrong, and his ideas of responsibility and accountability are not really innate revelations of his nature, but are merely learned and changeable convictions, acquired through reading the Bible, through religious instruction, or through the influence of society and environment.

But in spite of what some men say, the fact remains that all men know intuitively that they are responsible and accountable for their actions. An absolute standard of right and wrong is revealed and apparent to all men. Man's moral agency and his responsibility and accountability are so apparent that he cannot rationally deny them. He can no more deny them than he can deny his existence. This can be shown from the following:

1. Let someone come up to you, and without any provocation, hit you in the face. Would you need to be acquainted with the Bible, or would you need to know that society frowned on such conduct to know that you had been wronged? What man ever needed the Bible or religious instruction to know that it is wrong for someone to forcefully take what is his? Do you need the Bible to know that it is wrong for a person to insult you, lie about you, or abuse you in some way? Could any society convince itself through education that it is really right to hate, lie, steal, and murder or that it is wrong to love and do good to its neighbor? To maintain that hatred, murder, lying, stealing, and every other kind of meanness and injustice are wrong only in the eyes of those who have been taught to frown upon them is sublimely ridiculous.

2. This is because right and wrong are first truths of reason self-evident truths derived or given to us from our nature and relations as moral beings, and not from the philosophy, teaching, or arbitrary will of society. Right and wrong do not even derive from the arbitrary will of God. For if the arbitrary will of God made law right, then God could command any law to be right. He could command: "Thou shalt hate, thou shalt lie, thou shalt steal, thou shalt covet thy neighbor's wife, thou shalt be selfish, and thou shalt seek the misery and unhappiness of thy neighbor." And upon the supposition that God's arbitrary will made law right, it would be right to lie, steal, hate, and do everything possible to make mankind miserable and unhappy. But God's law is declaratory. He has declared to us the law of our nature. He has declared to us the same law of right and wrong that is founded in and revealed to us by our nature, necessities, and relations as moral beings.

3. Jesus recognized that there is a common standard of right and wrong revealed to all men when he gave the Golden Rule: "And whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matt. 7:12 If men did not have a common knowledge of right and wrong revealed to them in and by their nature, they could not obey the Golden Rule because obedience to the Golden Rule depends upon a subjective knowledge, common to all men, of right conduct toward others.

4. The claim that morality is only a changing thing, which is established in each time context by the society in existence, has missed the point. For although it is true that different societies accept or permit things that other societies do not permit, still, man's innate convictions of right and wrong remain the same. What a man or a society will permit and the convictions of conscience are two different things. For instance, a man may himself be a thief and a liar. But does that mean that he has no convictions against stealing or lying? If someone steals from him, will he claim that there is nothing wrong with stealing? What liar ever said, "I see nothing wrong with lying. I love and admire liars. In fact, I just love it when people lie to me." Or what murderer would ever say, "I see nothing wrong with murder; in fact if someone attempted to murder me, I would put up no resistance at all."

5. If there were no common standard of right and wrong revealed to man by his nature, we could have no human government. In fact, human government would be a mere imposition were it not for man's moral nature and would be ridiculous, as ridiculous as a moral government over animals. The very fact that men do have human government shows that men know themselves to be responsible moral agents. It shows that they have innate convictions of right and wrong, and that they have a conscious knowledge of responsibility and accountability.

6. But the fact that human government is judged to be unjust, if it makes arbitrary law or imposes unjust penalty, shows that there is an ultimate standard of right and wrong a law revealed in our nature which all men know and appeal to. For instance, let a judge decide that he wants to sentence a convicted murderer to only one day in jail, and see if society does not rise up as one man to denounce the injustice of the sentence! But what does society appeal to in pronouncing the sentence unjust? Of course, it appeals to that self-evident standard of right and wrong which is revealed to all men in their moral nature. Or let us imagine that all the laws of our land are repealed overnight, and new laws are imposed such as the following: "It is a felony, punishable by life imprisonment to do anything good for your neighbor. All citizens are required by law to seek the misery and hurt of their neighbor. Therefore, all citizens are required to lie, steal, kill, and in other ways abuse their neighbors and seek to deprive them of their rights. In keeping with this new law (which cannot violate any absolute standard of righteousness and justice, since there is no natural law of justice, but all of man's convictions of right and wrong are merely the result of education and environment, and so can be changed at will without infringing upon anyone's rights) all men who have been imprisoned for past crimes will now be set free. (For there is no such thing as a self-evident standard of criminal action, because our convictions of wrong-doing are wholly dependent upon environment and education, and so can be changed at will.) Therefore, any citizen who does right and who does not do wrong will be sentenced to life imprisonment, and those citizens who will devote their lives to being selfish and seeking the misery of others will have the favor of this government."

Now, this supposition is ludicrous. But it would not seem ludicrous at all were it not for the innate knowledge of right and wrong in all men which makes them see it as ludicrous. The very fact that it is so obviously ludicrous to everyone shows that everyone has the same innate knowledge of right and wrong.

7. Language shows that all men have the same innate ideas of justice, right and wrong, and accountability. Words such as sin, wickedness, justice, injustice, right, wrong, good, evil, obligation, accountability, innocence, and guilt are just a few of the words which men use to express innate moral concepts that all men have. Man's language is a mirror of his rational moral nature.

8. Novelists know that all men have the same standard of right and wrong revealed to them in their nature. They do not write different novels for the wicked than they do for the righteous. The reason is that both wicked men and good men have the same standard of right and wrong revealed to them in their nature. It is not necessary for a novelist to write two versions of his novel, one for good men and another for bad men. For to write a novel in which the hero is evil and unjust would offend the conscience of both wicked and good men. The hero of the novel is never described as a bad man. He is always described as a good man, a just man, and a courageous man. And when the reader (even the reader who is wicked and unjust) sees that he is just and fights against evil, he will identify with him and experience satisfaction when he finally triumphs. Wicked men do not identify with the villain because of their irresistible convictions of justice, which by a law of necessity cause them to take sides with righteousness, justice, and goodness. The truth is that all men, whatever their character, have a common awareness of right and wrong. God has written his law in the hearts of all men!

9. All men, without exception, know that doing good to others rather than evil is their obligation. They know that kindness ought to be repaid by gratitude and not by hatred. If a man were to repay a kind deed with a hateful deed, his act would be considered wrong by all men. All men, without exception, know that they are under an obligation to govern their own conduct by the same rules as they think binding upon other men. There is only one adequate explanation of all this: man is a rational moral being created in the image of God, with the law of God written in his heart, and he cannot escape the testimony of that law!

10. The fact that men will deny the wrong they have done shows that they recognize an absolute standard of right and wrong. For instance, a man is accused of lying, cheating, or stealing. If the accusation is true, why does he deny it? It can only be that he recognizes that what he has done is wrong, for he would have no reason to hide or deny what he has done if he did not recognize it to be wrong.

11. The fact that men blame other men for wrongdoing shows that all men have the law of God written in their hearts. For instance, if someone's car is stolen, he would never say, "Oh, I don't blame whoever stole my car. After all, there is nothing wrong with stealing. People just think it's wrong to steal because society has educated them that way." The employee who is cheated out of his wages by his employer doesn't say, "Oh, he hasn't done anything wrong. He just learned a different set of ethics than most of us." All men resent unjust treatment when they are treated unjustly. If anyone abuses them with degrading or filthy language, they will be offended and blame the one who has abused them. And if anyone were to attempt to explain to them that they have not really been wronged and that they just think they have been wronged because of their religious education or environment, they will judge that person a fit candidate for the crazy house. The truth is that all men blame other men for wrongdoing, and this is true even if they know that they themselves are guilty of the same things. A man may be a liar, a thief, and a cheat himself, but he still judges those attributes as wrong in others. Whoever heard of a liar who was happy to be deceived by another liar? What liar would ever say, "I just love and admire liars; they are so noble"?

12. There is no escaping the fact that men have a common awareness of right and wrong and that they have this awareness without ever having read the Bible, and without the shaping or teaching influence of society. Man's knowledge of right and wrong is not the product of society. On the contrary, it is because of man's innate knowledge of right and wrong that an ordered society can and does exist with some degree of cohesion and decency. In fact, it is only man's common awareness of right and wrong, given him in his nature, that keeps society half-way on the track of decency and order. I say "half-way" because, although our moral nature forces irresistible convictions of right and wrong upon us, it cannot force us to do the right. We, as free moral agents, are able to obey or disobey the law of our nature.

13. Man's whole system of human government with its law and its penalty for the broken law is founded and built upon his common awareness of responsibility and accountability. Without this awareness, human government would not and could not exist. Therefore, human government with its laws, penalties, police forces, courts, judges, etc., gives mute testimony to the fact that all men know themselves to be moral agents and fully responsible and accountable for their deeds. Otherwise, moral government would be an imposition and senseless, as senseless as a moral government over the beasts of the field.

Man is created as more than one of the dumb beasts of the field. Man is an intelligent rational spirit. He is created in the image and likeness of God. He is able to know God, commune with him and have fellowship with him. How noble is the nature that God has given man! How glorious are his powers and faculties as a moral being, created in the image and likeness of God! How holy his possibilities and how lofty his position by creation, but how criminally low he has fallen! He has fallen from the glorious position of a child of God to the perverted position of a devil. Man is a child of God by creation, but a child of the devil by choice! "We are his offspring." Acts 17:29. "Ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes." Psalm 82:6, 7. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." John 8:44. "He that committeth sin is of the devil." I John 3:8.

The Bible represents man to be just exactly what he knows himself to be and that is why men cannot escape the conviction that the Bible is the Word of God it represents him as being a responsible, rational moral being, with moral faculties and powers which enable him to know and do right, but who has sinned against the light of his nature. It represents him as having resisted his God-given reason, trampled on conscience, and abused free moral agency. In short, it represents man as being under God's just wrath, not for being born with a sinful nature, but for resisting, abusing, and perverting the faculties and powers with which God created him. It should be forever remembered that obedience to God's law is in accord with the moral nature that God has given us, but that disobedience to God's law resists and abuses the moral nature that God has given us.

The Bible doctrine of sin is this: men have been created upright, in the image and likeness of God, with the law of God written in their hearts, with a conscience, with the dazzling light of a rational nature, and with all the faculties and powers of free moral agency. But men have corrupted themselves. They have sinned against their God-given nature, and have come short of the glory of God. "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." Eccl. 7:29.

Finally, it should be emphasized that sin is never spoken of as a calamity or a misfortune in the Bible. It is spoken of as a crime and rebellion. But there could be no greater calamity or misfortune in heaven or in earth than that of being born sinners! If men were born sinners and could not help but sin, they would never be treated as criminals and rebels against the government of God. Instead, they would be considered of all the creatures of God, the most worthy of pity, sympathy, and compassion. They would be considered supremely unfortunate, and their sin the greatest misfortune and calamity in the universe.

If the sinner really were unfortunate, the Bible would have to be rewritten, because it never speaks of the sinner as unfortunate or worthy of pity, but rather as being wicked and worthy of everlasting punishment. Remember how God judged wicked sinners in the days of Noah. He overthrew them with a flood and sent them quickly down to hell. Gen. 6:5-13. Now, it is absolutely unbelievable that God would do such a thing, if it were true that those sinners were born morally depraved and could not help but commit sin. Look how God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He rained fire and brimstone out of heaven upon them and sent their wicked inhabitants down into hell. But if the filthy wickedness that was committed in those cities was the result of an inborn moral depravity, how could God possibly have sent them down into hell for their sins? Then, think of the multitudes upon multitudes of heathen who have died in their sins and gone down into hell, without a knowledge of the Gospel. It is incredible beyond imagination that God would send them to hell if they were born sinners and committed sin because of the nature with which they were born! No, the whole Bible would have to be rewritten if the doctrine of original sin were true because it contradicts the letter and the spirit of every page of the Scriptures.

I will call attention to two more passages from the Bible which show that men are created upright, with a good nature, and in the image and likeness of God:

He called them gods unto whom the Word of God came. John 10:35

I have said, ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the most high. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Psalm 82:6, 7

These passages, like the verse that says, "We are the offspring of God," are speaking of all mankind. They show that men are created as gods, that is that they "are made in the image of God" (Gen. 9:6), that they "are the offspring of God" (Acts 17:29), and that they "are the children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6). In showing the exalted state of men as gods, they also show the boundless guilt and ill-desert of men in corrupting themselves and falling from this exalted state. But if men are born into this world as sinners, they have not fallen at all, and there is no way that they can be guilty for their sins. It would be absurd to speak of the boundless guilt and ill-desert of sinners if they were born sinners. But if, as the Bible teaches, we are "the offspring of God," we are "the image and glory of God," we are "gods," and we are "the children of the most High," and we have sinned against the image of God and the nature with which he created us, then we have a true idea of the enormity of our sin, the boundlessness of its guilt, and the greatness of God's mercy toward us in giving his Son to die for our sins.

It is a solemn fact that sinners will be punished by fire and die the second death. This fact is a fearful illustration of the boundless guilt and ill-desert of sinners. But if it were really true that men were born sinners, they could not be guilty in the least for their sins. They would be unfortunate, yes, but not guilty. However, sin is not a misfortune. It is the greatest outrage in the universe. It is a crime against man's nature and rebellion against the Creator of our nature. God has measured the crime, the outrage, the guilt and the ill-desert of sin by its awful penalty:  punishment in hell's fire and eternal death to all who transgress God's law=sin!

They have corrupted themselves. Deut. 32:5

All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. Gen. 6:12

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Psalm 14:3

The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Gen. 8:21

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Eccl. 7:29

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. Rom. 7:17

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing. Rom. 7:18

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. Rom. 7:20

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Rom. 7:23

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. Rom. 8:3


Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Gen. 18:25

He shall judge the world with righteousness. Psalm 96:13

He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness. Acts 17:31

JESUS WAS A MAN

 
If the doctrine of original sin is true, one of two things must be true: either Jesus was born a sinner, or he was not a man. Now, the Bible is clear on both points. Jesus was a man, and he was without sin. We know, therefore, that the doctrine of original sin cannot be true. It is a myth and a lie.

John denounced those who denied that Jesus came in the flesh as deceivers and antichrists. What does it mean to deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh? It means to deny that Jesus was a man, with a flesh and blood body like other men. Are there any people today who deny that Christ has come in the flesh? Yes, all those who believe in the doctrine of the sinfulness of human flesh must either believe that Christ, who came in human flesh, was born a sinner or they must deny that he came in the flesh.

It is a serious error to deny the deity of Christ. One cannot be a Christian and deny his deity. John taught that it is equally serious to deny the humanity of Christ:

Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come. I John 4:3

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. II John 7

John wrote his epistles, condemning those "who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" because of the teaching of the Gnostics. The Gnostics had a syncretic religion that combined Christianity with eastern religion, pagan philosophies, and the doctrines of mysticism and gnosis. They denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh because of their philosophical belief that matter is evil. So according to their belief, if Jesus had come with a real human body, he would have been sinful. They denied the real incarnation of Christ, his bodily sufferings on the cross, and his bodily resurrection because of their view that man's material body and all material things are polluted and sinful. They denied that he came in the flesh to save him from sin. His fleshly manifestations were not real but only apparent.

It was from the teachings of gnosticism, with its pagan philosophical belief that all material things are essentially evil, that the doctrine of original sin was born. Augustine, the father of the doctrine of original sin, was for many years a disciple of the Manichaeans, which was a Gnostic sect. His doctrine of physical moral depravity and of inherited physical sinfulness had its roots in the teachings of gnosticism.

Why is all of this important? Because the Bible teaches that Jesus was a man and that he came in the flesh. However, the doctrine of original sin teaches that man, his flesh, and his bodily nature are corrupted and sinful because of Adam's transgression. It is impossible to believe the doctrine of man's inherited bodily sinfulness without either believing that Jesus was born a sinner or that he was not a man. For if the doctrine of original sin is true, either Jesus was born a sinner or he was not a man! Jesus was a man. He did come in the flesh, and he was without sin. Therefore the doctrine of original sin cannot be true. It is a myth and a lie.

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. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. II John 7-11

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. I John 4:2-6

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:14

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. I John 3:6

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. I John 5:4

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. I John 5:18

THE GREAT PROBLEM OF ORIGINAL SIN

 

The one great problem of original sin is that it clashes with man's irresistible convictions of justice. These innate, God-given convictions affirm to us irresistibly that it is impossible to hold a man responsible for a deed that he did not commit and that was committed thousands of years before he was born and came into existence. So the theologians who defend the theory of original sin have the impossible task of justifying God for doing what their own conscience affirms he could not be just in doing.

The theologians who work so hard to resolve this problem still find it impossible to escape their God-given convictions that the doctrine of original sin does, in fact, involve God in a monstrous injustice. Charles Hodge both recognizes this injustice and evades it in the same sentence:

It may be difficult to reconcile the doctrine of innate evil dispositions with the justice and goodness of God, but that is a difficulty which does not pertain to this subject. A malignant being is an evil being, if endowed with reason, whether he was so made or so born, and a benevolent rational being is good in the universal judgment of men, whether he was so created or so born. We admit that it is repugnant to our moral judgments that God should create an evil being; or that any being should be born in a state of sin, unless his being so born is the consequence of a just judgment.

This, then how to reconcile the justice and goodness of God with the doctrine of original sin is the great, omnipresent problem of original sin, a problem that remains to haunt the advocate of original sin even after he has hurriedly dismissed it. Sheldon also calls attention to the problem of the injustice of God involved in the doctrine of original sin. He says:

The same God whose penetrating glance burns away every artifice with which a man may enwrap himself, and reaches at once to the naked reality, is represented as swathing His judgment with a gigantic artifice, in that He holds countless millions guilty of a trespass which He knows was committed before their personal existence, and which they could no more prevent than they could hinder the fiat of creation. If this is justice, then justice is a word of unknown meaning.

Strong admits quite frankly that he is not completely satisfied with the theories of original sin. He says:

We must grant that no one, even of these later theories, is wholly satisfactory. We hope, however, to show that the last of them the Augustinian theory, the theory of Adam's natural headship, the theory that Adam and his descendants are naturally and organically one explains the largest number of facts, is least open to objections, and is most accordant with Scripture.

The fact is that the irresistible convictions of justice in the hearts of all men reject the teachings of the doctrine of original sin. Consider the following:

1. If Eph. 2:3, "By nature the children of wrath," means born with a sinful nature and under the wrath of God because of that nature which the advocates of the doctrine of original sin teach then it follows that every child who dies in infancy goes to hell where he must forever suffer the awful punishment and wrath of God.

But Christians will not accept this. I have not found a Christian yet who will accept that babies who die go to hell. But this text, which they themselves use to prove original sin, could not help but teach that babies who die go to hell where they will suffer God's wrath in never-ending punishment. If babies really are born "by nature the children of wrath," then they must go to hell if they die in such a state. But why is it that Christians cannot accept that babies who die go to hell? Because they know it would be a monstrous and cruel injustice to send innocent little babies to hell. And, of course, they are right. God would never send innocent little babies to hell. However, this is what Eph. 2:3 necessarily teaches if it teaches the doctrine of original sin. This problem with Eph. 2:3 points up once again the insurmountable problem with original sin, which is that it conflicts with our God-given convictions of justice, making God unjust.

2. If Psalm 51:5, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me," means that even unborn children in their mother's womb are sinners, then it follows that all the multiplied millions of children who have been aborted, along with all stillbirths, are in hell where they will suffer its torments throughout all eternity for "their part" in the sin of Adam.

3. If Heb. 7:9-10, "Levi...paid tithes in Abraham, for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him" means that in Adam all mankind sinned because they were in his loins when he transgressed, which is the teaching of the advocates of original sin, then it follows that the Lord Jesus Christ also sinned in Adam. This is a blasphemous thought, which no Christian can allow, but something that would have to be true if all of human nature was corrupted in Adam when he sinned.

But if this theory is true, then we might suppose that there will be myriads of souls who will never be born, but who nevertheless existed as seed in the loins of Adam, and who will go to hell because they sinned in Adam, even though they never will be born! Why not! Is this so astonishing? If the advocates of original sin can believe that all of humanity sinned in Adam before they were born and began their existence, why can they not see that all the souls who never will be born and never will exist also sinned in him, because they were seed in his loins and potential souls when he sinned? There is no greater problem with the latter than with the former! And if the later is impossible and absurd, so is the former!

4. Another problem is man's idea of an "age of accountability." This idea is completely inconsistent with the idea of original sin. Yet I have never known a Christian who believed in original sin who did not also believe in an "age of accountability." But the two cannot exist together because the doctrine of original sin forbids that children wait until they reach a certain age before they become accountable. According to original sin, we are accountable and guilty for Adam's sin at birth! This leaves no room for a child to come to the "age of accountability" because he is already accountable, guilty, and under the wrath of God from birth. In other words, he has reached the "age of accountability" when he is only an innocent little baby.

The idea of an "age of accountability" is completely inconsistent with the doctrine of original sin. Those who have the idea of the one must give up the idea of the other. The two cannot consist together.

But Christians will not give up the idea of an "age of accountability." Why? Because of their irresistible convictions of justice. The conviction that a child cannot be accountable for his actions until he knows the difference between right and wrong is the universal judgment of all men, and this judgment repudiates the doctrine of original sin, which teaches that babies are accountable, guilty, and under the wrath of God from birth.

5. The idea of free moral agency is also inconsistent with the doctrine of original sin. Men cannot sin unavoidably because of an inborn sin nature and be free at the same time. If we are born with a sinful nature which makes sin unavoidable, then we are not free. Nor are we moral agents because moral agency implies freedom. Yet I have never known a Christian who believed in original sin who did not believe also that he was a free moral agent. But to be consistent, those who believe in the doctrine of original sin must give up the idea that they are free moral agents, for if we sin unavoidably because of an inborn sin nature, we cannot be free. But Christians will not give up the idea that they are free moral agents. Why? Because of their irresistible convictions that they must be free, meaning able to obey God and do right, or they cannot justly be held accountable for their actions.

6. The doctrine of original sin so clashes with man's irresistible convictions of justice that, even when men believe and teach the doctrine, they cannot escape the fact that it is unjust.

I remember that, soon after I was converted, I began testifying and preaching in missions, jails, and on street corners. I preached that men are born sinners because that is what I had heard others preach, and I remember that at the time I felt uneasy telling people that they were sinners because they were born sinners. Why? It was because I knew intuitively that we could not be to blame for being born sinners. I was preaching that men were born sinners, even though it conflicted with my irresistible convictions of justice.

Also, recently I heard an old preacher preaching on original sin. He preached the standard sermon, using the standard proof-texts. Then he concluded his sermon almost facetiously with the words, "When I get to heaven, I'm going to ask God all about this." In this way, he tacitly acknowledged his consciousness of the obvious injustice of the original sin doctrine. The very advocates of this doctrine cannot escape their God-given convictions that it is unjust.

7. It is a remarkable fact that there are several conflicting theories of original sin instead of just one. Why is this? The reason is founded in the great problem of original sin: Man's reason testifies that it is unjust. And so, several different theories have been formulated, and have come down to us, each one proposing to have the best legal basis upon which God might be just in condemning the whole human race for the sin of one man. This brings us to the discussion of a theory we have not mentioned up until now, the Arminian Theory of original sin. This theory was formulated by Arminius in the early part of the 17th century and was a reaction to the injustice perceived in the Augustinian theory of original sin. Arminius taught that babies are not guilty for the sin of Adam. They inherit a depraved nature from Adam, but God bestows upon each individual at the dawn of consciousness a special influence of the Holy Spirit sufficient to counteract the effect of their inherited depravity and make obedience possible. So that men are able to obey God if they will cooperate with the special influence of the Holy Spirit. Under his theory, men are guilty only when they consciously and voluntarily commit sin.

Like Arminius did, preachers, Sunday school teachers, and Christians in general make up their own brand of original sin because of compelling convictions of its injustice. For instance, Augustine taught that infants who die without baptism are damned, but this teaching is too offensive to the conscience of most Christians. So they teach a different brand of original sin or remain silent upon this point that is so repulsive to the conscience. They use all the standard proof-texts, such as Eph. 2:3, "By nature the children of wrath," to prove the doctrine of original sin, but are either unaware of the implications this has for infants who die or come up with a brand of original sin in which babies are not accountable and guilty for original sin until they reach the "age of accountability." They invent a new brand of original sin because their convictions of justice tell them that children cannot be guilty before they actually sin. They are ignorant that the doctrine of original sin makes children "by nature the children of wrath" from the time they are born. They are unaware of the implications and inconsistencies of what they believe and teach. They are teaching what they have been taught, and since they can quote some proof-texts from the Bible, they feel they are on firm ground. They are unaware of the fact that their irresistible convictions of the unjustness of the original sin doctrine has compelled them to come up with a brand new kind of original sin that could only be true if the dogma of original sin were false!

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. II Peter 3:9

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. I Tim. 2:4

-- CAN CHRISTIANS LIVE WITHOUT SIN?
 

It is hard to understand how a thinking person can read the Bible and still believe in original sin. The Bible commands men to depart from all sin, to keep God's commandments, to be holy because God is holy, and to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. The Bible teaches that all men ought to live without sin and that they can live without sin by God's grace and the power of his indwelling Holy Spirit. The Bible also teaches that Christians do live without sin and overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.

But the doctrine of original sin contradicts the Bible and teaches that no man, not even the Christian, can live without committing sin:

From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions. Westminster Confession.

This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated. Westminster Confession.

They deplore their inability to love their Redeemer, to keep themselves from sin, to live a holy life in any degree adequate to their own convictions of their obligations...They recognize it as the fruit and evidence of the corruption of their nature derived as a sad inheritance from their first parents. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 273

...whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually, which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions. Larger Catechism.

No man is able...by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed. Larger Catechism

Anyone who has read much of God's Word knows that the above declarations are altogether foreign to the Bible. The Bible teaches that the believer can live without sin. Its pages are filled with promises to the believer that he can live a holy life and have victory over sin, temptation, the world, the flesh, and the devil:

Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matt. 1:21

Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin...If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:34, 36

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. I John 5:4

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. I John 3:6.

And we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. I John 5:18

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9

Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom. 6:14

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 24, 25

Now, who are we going to believe? Will we accept the uncertain declarations of mere men or will we accept the sure Word of God? If, after all that God has said and promised in his Holy Book, it is still impossible to live without sin, then God is a liar, deceitful, and insincere. Surely, if it is impossible to live without sin, God knows it! Yet he promises victory over sin. He commands holiness and Christian perfection. "Be ye holy, for I am holy." I Peter 1:15. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as you father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt. 5:48. Would God command us to walk in Christian holiness and Christian perfection if he knew it was impossible for us? I cannot believe it! Do those who propagate the evil doctrine of original sin know its implications on the character of God? If God knows that we can't obey him, if he knows that we are born with a corrupt sinful nature which makes obedience impossible, then he is insincere and deceitful in commanding us to do what he knows is impossible. And if God knows that we are born with a sinful nature that makes sin necessary, then all his promises of grace and power to keep us from sin are lies.

God cannot lie. It is the doctrine of original sin which is a lie! For the Word of God reveals that God has always had his saints. He has always had a people that feared him, loved him, and kept his commandments. He has always had a people that did not break his commandments daily in thought, word, and deed: There was Job, of whom God said, "A perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil." There was Enoch who "walked with God" and "was not, for God took him." There was Zacharias and Elizabeth who "were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." There was John the Baptist who was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb. There was Joseph who was sold into Egypt, but who loved his brethren who sold him into Egypt, and kept himself pure in the matter of Potiphar's wife. There was Daniel who was taken captive to Babylon, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and all the holy prophets and holy apostles, and all the saints of both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible clearly teaches that God's people can and do live without sin. Therefore, the doctrine of original sin, which teaches otherwise, is a myth and a lie.

The four Scripture verses quoted earlier in this chapter (I John 3:6, I John 3:9, I John 5:4, I John 5:18) clearly teach that Christians do not have to commit sin. They show that there is no original sin, no corrupt sinful nature that makes sin necessary in the life of the Christian. Two of these verses have been very difficult for Christians to understand. They are I John 3:6 and I John 3:9. I John 3:6 seems to teach that anyone who commits sin never really knew God in the first place, and I John 3:9 seems to teach that it is absolutely impossible for the Christian to commit sin. An understanding of the tenses of the Greek verb does away with this misunderstanding.

In I John 3:6 the verb form menon is a present participle which emphasizes continuing action. It means is abiding or is remaining. The verb form hamartanei is the present active. It can denote either continuous or simple action. It means sins or is sinning. Next, the verb form hamartanon is used. It is a present participle which denotes continuous action. It means is sinning. The last two verb forms in I John 3:6 are heoraken and egnoken. They are both perfect active. The perfect denotes completed action in the past with results that continue into the present. So that heoraken means seen and continued to see and egnoken means known and continued to know. I John 3:6, then, has the following meaning:

"Whosoever is remaining in him sins not; whosoever is sinning has not seen him and continued to see him, neither known him and continued to know him."

So the fact that a Christian may commit sin does not mean that he never really knew God. What it does mean is that by committing sin, he is not continuing to abide in Christ, and by committing sin, he does not continue to see and know Christ, whom he once saw and knew. You cannot sin against God and remain in him at the same time. You cannot sin against God and continue to see and know him at the same time.

In I John 3:9 the verb form gegennemenos is a perfect passive participle which emphasizes completed action in the past with results that continue into the present. It means has been born and continues to be born. The verb forms poiei, menei, and dunatai are all present active which denotes continuous or simple action in the present. The meaning of each one, respectively, is: do or is doing, remain or is remaining, and can or is able. The verb form hamartanein is a present infinitive which emphasizes continuous action. It means to continue to sin or to go on sinning. The verb form gegennetai is the perfect passive. It denotes completed action in the past with results that continue into the present. It means has been born and continues to be born. I John 3:9, then has the following meaning:

"Whosoever has been born of God and continues to be born of God does not do sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot continue to sin, because he has been born of God and continues to be born of God."

This verse does not teach that it is impossible for the Christian to sin. What it does teach is that it is impossible to stand begotten of God and go on sinning. The born-again experience and the committing of sin are self-excluding. One cannot exist where the other exists. If you have the seed of God in you and if you stand begotten of God, you cannot commit sin. If you commit sin, you cannot stand begotten of God.

These two verses militate mightily against the doctrine of original sin. They teach that the Christian who remains in Christ and continues to see and know Christ and continues to stand begotten of God both does not and cannot sin. Surely if it is true that "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not," then there is no original sin, no corrupt Adamic sin nature in the Christian that makes it necessary for the Christian to commit sin. If it is true that "Whatsoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God," then surely there is no indwelling sin in the Christian that makes sin necessary and obedience to God's commandments impossible.

God testifies that "His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world." I John 5:3, 4. If "The commandments of God are not grievous..." and if "Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world..." then there can be no original sin that makes God's commandments grievous and that makes them so impossible to keep that believers cannot overcome the world. The commandments of God are not grievous. They are not more than we can bear. They do not require what is impossible for us to do.

No, God is not a hard taskmaster. He requires of us only what we are able to do. If we had a sin nature which made it impossible for us to serve and obey him, he would not command: "Be ye holy, for I am holy." He would not say, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." But God does command us to be holy. He does require us to be perfect. So either God is requiring impossibilities and he has commandments that are grievous, or there is no original sin.

I John 3:6 and 3:9 also militate mightily against the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" and "once a child of God, always a child of God." Those who believe that once you are saved, you can never be lost equate physical birth and spiritual birth, and say, "I may be a disobedient child of my father, but I will forever remain my father's child." They seem not to realize that everything that is true about physical birth is not true about spiritual birth. There is an analogy between physical and spiritual birth, but no equation. If there is an equation between physical and spiritual birth, then we must forever remain the children of the devil. Isn't that true? Doesn't the Bible teach that all sinners are children of the devil? We should realize that we were all children of the devil before we ever knew God and became his children. John 8:44, I John 3:8, 10, 12. Must we, therefore, forever remain the children of the devil because we were once his children? There is no equation between physical and spiritual birth. One cannot continue in sin and remain a child of God. "He that committeth sin is of the devil" and not of God. I John 3:8.

I John 3:6 and 3:9 show that the Christian who remains in Christ and stands begotten of God does not and cannot commit sin. This shows that it is a myth that there is a corrupt sinful nature inherited from Adam in Christians that makes sin in their lives a necessity as long as they are in this life. Nevertheless, men still plead a sinful nature as an excuse for their sins. They plead a sinful nature as an excuse for lukewarm and partial service to God. Then, even though they know they are defrauding God, they will say, "I may be a disobedient child of my Father, but I will always remain my Father's child." Oh, how men deceive themselves who think they can disobey God in some things and still remain the children of God for their obedience in other things! Such a religion is motivated by selfishness and is the religion of devils.

The doctrine of original sin is an evil doctrine and a doctrine of lies. It makes men deny that they are able to obey God and makes them excuse themselves while they commit sin. But there is no excuse for sin. If there were, God could not and would not command men to turn from all sin. But God does command men to turn from all sin and because God commands men to turn from sin we know that men can live without sin and that the doctrine of original sin is a lie.

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. I John 3:6

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. I John 5:4

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. I John 5:18

But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Rev. 2:6

So has thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Rev. 2:15


The "Age of Accountability"

The term "age of accountability" is not used in the Bible. Nevertheless, the doctrine of an age or a time when men become accountable for their actions is clearly taught in the Bible. What is meant by this term is that children cannot be accountable for their actions until they have a knowledge of good and evil, until they know to refuse the evil and choose the good.

We know that children are not sinners at birth; for if they were, there could be no such thing as an "age of accountability." If babies are guilty and condemned for the sin of Adam from birth, then there is no room for them to reach a certain age before they become accountable. They are guilty and under God's wrath from birth. However, the Bible teaches that babies do not inherit sin and guilt from Adam. "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil..." Rom. 9:11. Jacob and Esau had no original sin; they did not sin with Adam when he transgressed. We know this because they were not sinners while in the womb of their mother, Rebecca. Since the Bible says they had done nothing good or evil up to this time, we must assume that they became moral agents at some later time, after they were born. There are numerous verses like this in the Bible which show the doctrine of original sin to be false, and which also teach, either directly or indirectly, the doctrine of an "age of accountability." Let us look at some of them:

Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it. Deut. 1:39

For before the children shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. Isaiah 7:16

I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Gen. 8:21

Deut. 1:39 speaks of the "little ones" and the "children" who "in that day had no knowledge between good and evil." Isaiah 7:16 speaks of a child coming to an age when he knows to "refuse the evil, and choose the good." Both of these texts speak of children coming to a time in their lives when they have a knowledge of the moral character of their actions and know there is evil which they ought to refuse and good which they ought to choose. Neither of these verses gives a certain age at which moral agency begins. This is because there is no fixed age at which children become accountable, since reason will develop earlier in one child than another according to his gifts and circumstances. But when a child's reason has developed to the point that he knows to "refuse the evil and choose the good," he becomes a moral agent and is accountable for his deeds.

This possession of moral knowledge or understanding is absolutely necessary before there can be accountability. A child must know the moral character of his actions before he can be responsible for them.

Some advocates of original sin have objected that the government of God would be unjust if children were made accountable for their actions at a tender age when they would not be able easily to withstand temptation. They have used this objection as an excuse for maintaining the doctrine of original sin. This kind of logic is absurd. For, according to the doctrine of original sin, children are guilty and under the wrath of God from birth, without any probation. It is hard to understand how the advocates of original sin can swallow whole the injustice of being born in a state of guilt and condemnation, and yet quibble over the supposed injustice of becoming accountable at a tender age. This amounts to swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat.

With God, there can be no such thing as a "tender age" in the sense of an unjust age at which children become responsible. God alone knows and is the judge of when a child reaches the "age of accountability." He alone knows the thoughts and the intentions of the heart. And, knowing that God is just, we know that God will not work unrighteousness in this respect. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Gen. 18:25. Those who make this objection seem to feel that God cannot be trusted with what is unknown to us. But he can be trusted. God is just in all his judgments. The accountability or non-accountability of every child is perfectly known to God. He "searches the reins and hearts" of all men. He discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart." He will bring to light the "hidden things of darkness" and judge the "secrets of men" in truth and righteousness.

The advocates of original sin need not fear that God will unjustly make children accountable at too early an age. He can be trusted to judge righteously with the hidden things of the heart. Truth, justice, and equity are the foundations of his throne. I Cor. 4:5, Rev. 2:23, Heb. 4:12-13, Eccl. 12:14, Rom. 2:15-16.

 GOD HATES FALSE DOCTRINE

 
"I hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans." Rev. 2:15. The Bible does not tell us who the Nicolaitans were. But most Bible scholars believe they were one of the Gnostic sects. Gnosticism began to have a corrupting influence upon Christianity as early as the first century A.D. John, in two of his epistles, refuted the doctrine taught by them that Christ did not come in the flesh, in a physical body. I John 4:2, 3; II John 7. This Gnostic doctrine was taught to preserve Christ from the pollution of sin, since they believed that man's flesh was inherently sinful. Whether the Nicolaitans were or were not one of the Gnostic sects cannot be conclusively proved. They probably were, but that is not the important point. What is important is to know that they taught false doctrine and that God hates false doctrine because all false doctrine works evil.

One of the veiled objections I have heard to the question of whether men are born sinners or not, is: "What difference does it make? We are all sinners and need to be saved anyway." This objection implies that it doesn't make a difference whether we were born sinners or not, as long as we recognize we are sinners and need to be saved. However, what we believe does make a difference. We need to do away with this friendly, cozy attitude toward false doctrine that says, "What difference does it make?" Doesn't what we believe concerning the origin of our sin have an effect upon our conduct and how we view sin, God and the Bible? Doesn't it make a difference in our attitude toward our sin, our guilt, and our ill desert whether or not we believe that we are condemned for a sin which we did not commit, and which was committed thousands of years before we had our existence? Doesn't it make a difference in our attitude toward God whether or not we believe that the heathen, who have never heard the Gospel and had a chance to be saved, were created by God with a corrupt sinful nature which makes sin unavoidable and their damnation inevitable? Doesn't it make a difference in our attitude toward living a separated and a holy Christian life whether or not we believe that we are born with a morally depraved physical constitution that makes sin unavoidable and holiness impossible?

Doesn't this false doctrine make a difference in our thinking concerning all the true doctrines of the Bible? John had to denounce the false teachers of his day who would not accept the biblical doctrines of Christ's incarnation, i.e., that Christ came in the flesh, because they believed the false doctrine that the physical nature of man was polluted and inherently sinful. And now, those who believe in the doctrine of original sin are compelled by this false belief to believe that Christ was not really a man with a nature like other men, as the Bible teaches, but that he was somehow different in his humanity, with a different human nature than all the rest of mankind. A belief in this false doctrine does make a difference. It affects how we view and interpret all the true doctrines of the Bible. It affects our attitude toward God, the Creator of our nature. It affects our attitude toward our sin and our guilt. It affects our attitude toward everything that is connected with the doctrine of sin. God hates this Nicolaitan doctrine because it has a corrupting influence on the Christian's conduct, attitudes, and thinking. No other false doctrine has so profoundly warped the Christian's understanding of the biblical doctrines of sin, holiness, and God's grace to deliver from sin. This false doctrine makes sin necessary, holiness impossible, and the power of God's grace nothing but a feeble, empty promise. Listen to what the doctrine of original sin promises the Christian:

This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated..." Westminster Confession

By reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. Westminster Confession

They deplore their inability to love their Redeemer, to keep themselves from sin, to live a holy life in any degree adequate to their own convictions of their obligations...They recognize it as the fruit and evidence of the corruption of their nature derived as a sad inheritance from their first parents. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 273

No man is able by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed. Larger Catechism

But the Word of God promises something completely contrary to the false teaching of original sin. It promises a new birth, a new life, and total deliverance from all sin. Paul said, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." I Cor. 5:17. The angel said to Joseph: "Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. 1:21. Jesus said, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin...If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:34, 36 Paul repeated again and again in Romans that the Christian is made free from sin through the grace of God in Christ Jesus:

How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? Rom. 6:2

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

Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom. 6:14

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine that was delivered unto you. Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness. Rom. 6:17, 18

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Rom. 6:22

Is God telling lies when he makes these promises? If the doctrine of original sin is true, he is, and he is also powerless to destroy the dominion of sin in the heart of those who put their trust in him. Such a low concept of God's grace does not bring much honor and glory to him. In fact, those who really believe the doctrine of original sin gravely dishonor him by believing the doctrine that his grace and the presence of his indwelling Holy Spirit are infinitely less powerful than sin.

The doctrine of original sin is a grossly false doctrine that demeans the power of God's grace and soothes the conscience of worldly professors of religion. Great evil has been done in the church by this false philosophy of sin. It should be banished from pulpits, and the truth of the liberating power of God's grace preached to those who hunger for God's righteousness and holiness in their lives.

What are you going to do with the doctrine of original sin? Randolf S. Foster makes some penetrating comments on the moral turpitude of clinging to error once we know the truth:

The known and willful support or perpetuation of an error is a crime against humanity and a sin against Him who is Truth. To cling to error or defend error when one has reason to suspect it may be error reveals a heart that does not fully love the truth for the truth's sake.

To strenuously support and shield from scrutiny what we believe when we are aware that its truth is questionable reveals a heart that is not completely candid. We are supposed to be children of light, and to be afraid to shine light upon what we believe shows a love still for darkness.

To stop short in curable error is criminal; to cherish delusions after we have been forced to suspect them is debasing to our moral nature.

To persist in a belief against evidence, to refuse evidence, or avoid proof...shows insincerity and lack of moral integrity.

Slavish adherence to inherited traditions, merely on the ground of their wide acceptance and long continuance, would forbid the overthrow of error and the acceptance of redeeming truth. If a doctrine cannot bear the light of the Scriptures and reason If it is shown to be false and unreasonable under their burning light, it must consent to shrivel up and perish with all other error.

One more passage from Randolf S. Foster's Studies in Theology states:

Although all men have an innate and genuine thirst after truth and a corresponding disgust for error, there may exist, strange as it may seem, extreme opposition to the acceptance of certain truths an absolute hatred of them, because they differ from what we now believe, because they require changes in us which we do not want to make, because they require the confession that we have been mistaken and have held error so the mind will not give them fair treatment It hardens against them and imposes unjust tests and will not give them the courtesy of fair and respectful attention. Prejudices, vicious habits of thought, pride of opinion and of denominational belief, ignorance, suspicion, bigotry, blind following of religious and denominational leaders so becloud and benumb the mind that it cannot and will not see its own errors, or the truth of others when with a little unprejudiced examination the truth could be seen.

To cling to a doctrine which we know to be false is sin. God hates false doctrine, and as Christians, we cannot take neutral ground respecting the things that God hates. With God, there is no neutral ground.

The doctrine of original sin has corrupted Christian theology and spawned a false teaching of inability that excuses sin in the Church of Christ. It is difficult to find a Christian today who believes it is possible to live without sin. "The key of knowledge" has been taken away by this doctrine. Ministers "have not entered in themselves" and they have "hindered them that were entering in." Matt. 23:13, Luke 11:52. With this grossly false doctrine men have been taught that they can never expect to fully obey their Lord until they die and go to heaven. They have been taught that they will live more or less in rebellion against God as long as they are here on earth. What a low opinion this doctrine permits men to have of God's power and sanctifying grace! The church's idea of the grace of God is only that it forgives us while we continue in sin. God hates this Nicolaitan doctrine! Can we go on giving place to such a God dishonoring doctrine? Can we accept a doctrine that allows men to believe that they will go to heaven without holiness? Can we coddle a doctrine that excuses sin in the churches and that stumbles professing Christians into hell/death? Can we any longer embrace a doctrine that God hates?

Bible Texts Can Be Used to Prove Lies

By taking Bible texts out of their context and isolating them from the rest of the Bible, it is possible to prove almost any lie. In this way, false cults have used the Bible to prove the lie that there is no everlasting punishment for the wicked, but that the wicked will be annihilated or destroyed. Malachi 4:1, 3; Isaiah 1:28; Psalm 145:20; Rom. 9:22. False cults have used the Bible to prove the lie that after death men cease to exist. Eccl. 3:19, Eccl 9:5-6. They have used the Bible to prove the lie that Jesus was created by God and was not the divine and eternally existing Son of God. Col. 1:15, Rev. 3:14.

The Bible can be used to prove the most frightening of lies. It can be used to prove the lie that God is the creator and originator of evil and that men sin because God hardens their hearts and makes them sin. Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6; Ex. 4:21; Ex. 10:1, 20, 27; Ex. 11:10; Ex. 14:17; Deut. 2:30; Rom. 9:18.

The Bible can be used to prove the lie that the Christian who turns from God and commits just one sin is hopelessly doomed--that he can never be forgiven and restored to God again.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Heb. 6:4-6

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Heb. 10:25-27.

Now the above two texts, standing alone and without reference to their context and the teaching of the whole Bible, would teach conclusively that the Christian who willfully sins or backslides is doomed to judgment without any chance of forgiveness or restoration.

Another lie that can be proved with the Bible is that it is impossible for the Christian to sin, and that if he does commit sin, it shows that he never really was a Christian and never really knew God.

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. I John 3:6

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9

The above two verses, when taken by themselves, and without reference to the rest of the Bible, clearly teach that a Christian cannot sin, and that if he does sin, it shows that he never really knew God in the first place.

So, by ripping texts from their context and isolating them from the rest of the Bible and thus breaking the two most fundamental rules of sound Biblical interpretation--that texts must be interpreted in their context and that no text can be interpreted in such a way as to be in manifest contradiction with the clear teachings of the rest of the Bible--it is possible to prove any lie, even the lie of original sin.

 OBJECTIONS ANSWERED

 
Several objections have been made to the Bible doctrine of sin, which is the doctrine that men are created upright, and that they sin and corrupt themselves. Eccl. 7:29. The following is an attempt to answer these objections:

1. OBJECTION: We know from observation that babies are born with a sinful nature, because they fuss and scream, refuse to eat, go into a rage, throw tantrums, etc.

ANSWER: It is both morally and physically impossible to be born with a sinful nature. First, it is a moral impossibility because a baby cannot justly be a sinner by birth that a baby can be a sinner and guilty and condemned at birth is morally unthinkable! Second, it is a physical impossibility because sin is not a substance and so cannot be transmitted physically.

But we know that babies fuss and scream, refuse to eat, and throw tantrums before they know the difference between right and wrong. Do those who advocate the doctrine of original sin want to advance the argument that an inherited sin nature makes little babies sin before they even know what it is and before they know that they are sinning? This makes sin such a completely necessary, involuntary, and impersonal thing that there could never be any blame or guilt for it. If it is true that little babies sin because of a sinful nature and before they even know they are sinning, then it follows that they are completely automated and that their sin is completely necessary, involuntary, and impersonal. If all this were true, you could no more blame sinners for being sinners than you could blame a clock for striking the hour something it does impersonally, involuntarily, and necessarily because it was built to do so.

But babies fuss and scream, refuse to eat, throw tantrums, etc., not because of a sinful nature, but in response to pain and discomfort, the likes and dislikes of appetite, and the urges and desires of the sensibility. True, they do things which we think are selfish and sinful, and things which would in fact be selfish and sinful if they did them knowing them to be wrong. But while they have no knowledge of right and wrong, their actions have no moral character, and therefore their actions are not and cannot be "sinful." It is only when a child's reason has developed and he has a clear understanding of right and wrong (an understanding of his accountability and the moral nature of his actions) that he becomes a moral agent and is responsible and accountable for his actions.

2. OBJECTION: We know from observation that sin is inherited because we see children inherit the sinful traits of their parents.

ANSWER: Children do inherit physical traits from their parents but they do not and cannot inherit moral traits or sin from their parents. Children only appear to inherit the moral traits of their parents. The whole home environment, with the continual example of parents and other family members, has an enormous influence upon a child's behavior; and it would be astonishing if children did not seem to inherit the moral traits of their parents, whether good or bad.

But those who will insist that the moral traits of the parents are inherited by the children must answer the questions: Why is it that many children "inherit" traits that are the exact opposite of their parents? Why is it that brothers and sisters in the same family will have moral traits the exact opposite of each other? Is the "inheritance" of sinful traits a hit or miss thing? The answer is that there is no such thing as inheritance of sinful traits. And, of course, we know that it is impossible to inherit either the good or bad moral traits of parents. There is nothing physical about sin; sin is a voluntary and personal act, and is non-transferable.

3. OBJECTION: But why is it always easier to sin than to do good? And why is it that all men do in fact sin? Doesn't this show that men are born with a sinful nature?

ANSWER: First, this objection assumes that since it is so easy to sin, and since sin is universal, this has to be explained by an inherited sin nature. But the Bible gives another explanation for the universal existence of sin: universal temptation.

But why is it so much easier to sin than to do good? It has always been easier to sin than to do good. Adam and Eve did not have a sinful nature, but they sinned just as easily as any of their descendants. What was it that caused them to sin so easily? It was not a sinful nature, it was temptation. Adam and Eve were tempted and they sinned so easily, so naturally, so spontaneously that it would almost seem that they had a "sinful nature" before they sinned.

It has always been easier to sin than to resist temptation. James 1:12 says, "Blessed is he that endureth temptation." Heb. 2:18 says, "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted," and Heb. 12:4 says, he "resisted unto blood, striving against sin."

Christ "suffered" under temptation, not because of a sinful nature, but because resisting and overcoming temptation involves suffering. Adam and Eve did not resist temptation. That is why they sinned so easily. They took the easy way of pleasure and self-indulgence, which is always easier than the path of obedience to God.

But if the fact that it is easier to sin than to do right implies that men are born with a sinful nature, we would be left with the unscriptural conclusion that both Adam and Christ had sinful natures Adam, because he sinned so easily, naturally, and spontaneously; and Christ, because it was necessary for him to "endure," "suffer," "resist," and "strive" to overcome sin.

James tells us how all men are tempted. "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." James 1:14, 15. James explains here that all men are tempted through the desires of their sensibility. These constitutional desires and appetites are not sinful in themselves. They are merely the occasion to temptation, and it is only when they are gratified contrary to the law of God and reason that they become sinful. Adam and Eve had them before they sinned, or they could not have been tempted. Christ had them, or he was not a man and could not have been tempted as other men. But the Bible affirms that Christ was a man and that he was tempted in all points as other men, and yet without sin: "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15.

Sin is universal, not because of an inherited sin nature, but because temptation is universal, and, because when men are tempted, they choose to indulge their own desires, rather than obey the law of God written in their hearts.

4. OBJECTION: But if men were not born sinners, it might be possible for someone to live their whole life absolutely free from sin, and they would not need to be saved by Christ, but could be saved by their works.

ANSWER: This objection reveals the sinister and ungodly nature of the original sin dogma. What does this objection imply? It implies that it would be criminal, wicked, and sinful for anyone to live a life without sin. It implies that men ought to be born with a sinful nature, lest it be possible for someone to live a life without sin! It implies that God wants men to be depraved sinners, that he wants them to be born with a sinful nature so that he can have the honor and glory of saving them. It implies that it would be impudence, arrogant pride, and high treason against God to live a life in humble obedience to God and never rebel against him. It implies that God would be insulted and dishonored if someone obeyed God all his life and never sinned against him. It implies that to please and glorify God we must be forced to displease and dishonor him. In a word, it implies that it would be sinful to be free to obey God. And why? Because if we were free to obey God, someone might do it and would not need to be saved. What logic! But this is an example of the type of reasoning that must be resorted to in order to defend the dogma of original sin. But we have already seen that if men are not free, and if they sin by a necessity of their nature, they cannot be responsible for their actions and their actions cannot have moral character anymore than a gun that is used to commit murder can have moral character. What? A man who must sin necessarily because of an inherited sin nature responsible and guilty for what he cannot avoid? If it were true that we were born with a nature that deprived us of the liberty and ability to obey God (which is the doctrine of Augustine and original sin), if it were true that we were born with a nature that made us disobey God, and if it were true that we were created by God under a law that made us by nature sinners and rebels, we could never in justice be blamed or punished for our sins. If we were unable by nature to obey God, sin would not be a crime, but rather a calamity. Words in the Bible like pardon and mercy would have no meaning. God would be cruel and a tyrant for condemning the unfortunate sinner to hell for what he could not avoid. The offer of mercy and pardon to the sinner would be an insult. The truth is that the doctrine of natural inability to obey God makes all the doctrines of the Bible absurd and irrational.

But the objection we are considering both assumes and demands that men be born with the natural inability to obey God, and it imputes the onus of pride, self-righteousness, and even the despising of God's gracious plan of salvation to the person who will not swallow all the absurdities of the original sin dogma. One form of this objection is put in the following insinuating question: "So you think that a person is able to live his whole life without sinning and that he can be saved by his good works?" But the stigma of pride and self-righteousness does not belong to the one who rejects the dogma of original sin, for to recognize and admit that one is the author of his own sins, that he is guilty for them, and that he is worthy of being sent to hell for them is not self-righteousness, nor is it despising God's gracious plan of salvation. It is just the opposite. It is humbling one's self in view of the guilt of one's sins, and it is acknowledging one's need of God's mercy and salvation in view of one's deserved punishment for his sins.

How ridiculous and absurd, then, is the objection that "men cannot be free and able to obey God, because if they were able, there would always be the possibility that someone might do it and would not need to be saved"! How foolish is the notion that God would be insulted, profoundly humiliated, and his government subverted and overturned if men could and did obey him! What supreme foolishness is the objection that "Someone might possibly live his whole life without sin." What! Would it really be a sin to not sin? Would it be wicked to be free and have the ability to obey God? Would God be insulted, dishonored, and confounded if someone in his kingdom lived all his life without sinning against him? Would he consider it a catastrophe of the first magnitude if someone actually did love and obey him perfectly from the cradle to the grave? It is impossible! God does not have that kind of character.

5. OBJECTION: But Paul taught that the flesh is sinful and that sin dwells in the flesh. He spoke of "sin that dwelleth in me." Rom. 7:17. He said, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing." Rom. 7:18. And he spoke of "sin which is in my members." Rom. 7:23.

ANSWER: It is true that Paul uses language in these texts that appears to teach the doctrine of a sinful, physical constitution. But the language that Paul uses is not literal; it is figurative. When the Apostle speaks of the flesh in the sense of being sinful, he is never speaking of the flesh in its literal or physical sense. This is evident from the following verses in Romans:

For when we were in the flesh... Rom. 7:5

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom. 8:8

But ye are not in the flesh. Rom. 8:9

Paul teaches in these verses that the Christian is no longer "in the flesh." This makes it clear that when Paul spoke of the "flesh" in the sense of sin, he was not referring to the physical flesh because if he were, the only way that we could no longer be "in the flesh" would be to no longer be in the body. But Paul was not teaching some strange new doctrine that Christians were now disembodied spirits. He was rather teaching that they were no longer living to gratify their fleshly desires. They were no longer living in sin.

Our flesh and our bodies are not sinful in themselves, but they can be the occasion to temptation, and we can give in to temptation and present our bodies as instruments to sin, but it is we ourselves, living in our bodies, who are sinful or righteous, according to the use we make of our bodies. Rom. 6:12, 13, 19; Rom. 12:1; I Cor. 6:12, 15, 19, 20.

Paul did not condemn the flesh of man. He did not in any way condemn the physical nature of man. This is evident because he thought of our Lord Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, as a real man with human flesh. He believed in the resurrection and a life in the body afterwards. He taught that the body of man is properly the temple of the Holy Ghost, and that the body is an offering acceptable and holy to God when consecrated to his service. He taught, also, that the body is an instrument of righteousness for the Christian, and finally, he said that those who are now new creatures in Christ Jesus are no longer "in the flesh," making us understand that when he condemned the flesh and spoke of it in a derogatory way, he was not speaking of the physical flesh. Paul uses the word "flesh" to mean something very different from the physical flesh. He uses it to speak of the sinful condition of men who are completely given over to worldly and fleshly desires. And the fact that he uses the word "flesh" to speak of a past state for the Christian, telling the Christian that he is no longer "in the flesh," shows that he is not speaking of the "flesh" in its literal, physical sense. Rom. 7:5; Rom. 8:8-9.

The Apostle Paul uses this kind of figurative language throughout his epistle to the Romans. He personifies both sin and grace in Rom. 5:21 and has both sin and grace reigning at different times. He has the believer crucified and dead with Christ in Romans chapter six, and then in the same chapter, he has the believer resurrected to new life after his death and burial with Christ. But Paul did not intend for any of this to be understood in a literal or physical sense. The Christian is not literally and physically crucified with Christ. He does not literally die. He is not literally buried with Christ. Nor is he afterwards literally raised from the dead. Paul was speaking of spiritual realities and not physical realities here, and he uses the language of figure to express these spiritual realities. And so, likewise in the verses that speak of sin dwelling in his members (Rom. 7:17, 18, 23), Paul is using figurative language and does not at all mean to teach the doctrine of constitutional sinfulness.

The language of figure is used throughout the Bible. Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:17, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee." Paul said in Galatians 1:16, "I conferred not with flesh and blood." Jude said, "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted by the flesh." Jude 23. Again, Jesus said, "Take up the cross and follow me." Mark 10:21. The writer to the Hebrews refers to "the blood that speaketh better things than that of Abel." Heb. 12:24. These are just a few of the numerous texts of the Bible that contain figurative language. We all know that Christ was not speaking of a literal wooden cross when he commanded us to take up our cross and follow him. We know, therefore, that Christ was speaking of it in a figurative sense. We all know that blood cannot speak. We know, therefore, that the blood of Abel and Christ speak in a figurative sense.

In the same way we know that blood does not speak, we also know that sin is not a substance or a virus or anything physical. We know that sin is not something that lives or has personality. We know that sin is a wicked choice or a wicked act committed by the sinner. It is an act or a choice that transgresses God's law and, apart from the sinner who commits the act or makes the choice, sin does not exist. Therefore, when the Bible speaks of sin as if it existed with a personality all its own and was living and dwelling and reigning in the body of the sinner, we know that the language is figurative. Its meaning is that the sinner is a slave to his lusts, that he is ruled by his passions and desires. But to teach from such texts that sin is a virus, a physical thing that can be transmitted from parents to offspring, is to ignore reality and the teaching of the Word of God on the nature of sin. Every kind of foolish and superstitious belief can be proved from the Bible if it is not interpreted according to the demands of context, language, common sense, and reality. (An illustration of this is the passage in Romans 7:24-25, which is wrongly used to teach that the Apostle Paul himself was in bondage to sin at the time he wrote his epistle to the Romans.)

Finally, those who insist that the phrases "sin that dwelleth in me" and "sin which is in my members" speak of a literal, physical fact, to be consistent, must interpret all the language of chapters 6, 7, and 8 of Romans as literal, physical fact. They must, to be consistent, teach that the Christian literally is "not in the flesh," that is, they must teach that the Christian has no body and that since the time of his salvation, he has been a disembodied spirit. To be consistent, they must teach that the Christian literally and physically was "crucified with Christ" and was "buried with Christ" and was raised from the dead to live again. And to be consistent, they must teach that all Christians are literally living in dead bodies: "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin..." Rom. 8:10

But of course, all those who plead for the doctrine of original sin know that these verses are figurative and are used to speak of moral and spiritual changes in the believer. Then why will they not be consistent enough to take the verses in chapter 7 which speak of "sin that dwelleth in me" and "sin which is in my members" as being figurative? It can only be because of a prepossessed belief in the man-made doctrine of original sin.

6. OBJECTION: The Bible says that Levi paid tithes while yet in the loins of his father Abraham. Heb. 7:9-10. This shows that we sinned in Adam; for we were yet in his loins when he sinned.

ANSWER: But in what sense did Levi pay tithes while yet in the loins of his father Abraham? It was not in an absolute sense, which would have been impossible, because Levi had no personal existence at the time, but only in a typical sense. The point that the writer to the Hebrews wanted to make was that the Levitical priesthood was inferior to, and superseded by, the priesthood of Christ, who had an unending priesthood "after the order of Melchisedec," and to prove that the Levitical priesthood was inferior to that of Christ, he points out that Levi had descended from Abraham, who, as great as he was, had still paid tithes to Melchisedec, so that Levi also, as a descendant of Abraham (yet in the loins of Abraham when he paid tithes), was also inferior and subservient to Melchisedec and his priesthood. And in this typical sense only, as a descendant of one who had shown he was inferior and subservient to Melchisedec by paying tithes to him, had Levi paid tithes to Melchisedec.

The writer to the Hebrews shows that he is speaking of Levi paying tithes in Abraham in a typical sense by the language he uses. He says, "And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham." Heb. 7:19. The phrase "as I may so say" is a limiting or qualifying phrase, which means "I could say," or "I might say." The writer to the Hebrews never gave to his statement about Levi any other than a typical sense, otherwise he would not have limited his statement with the words, "And as I may so say..." Heb. 7:19.

To teach from this passage that either the good or the evil that our ancestors have done is actually done by us is to wrest this passage from its context and to torture it into teaching utter nonsense. For instance, such an idea would make all the descendants of a Christian automatic Christians if his children were yet in his loins when he believed. Also, it would seem to make all the descendants of one who rejects the Gospel automatic unbelievers for coming out of the loins of an unbelieving father. In fact, if this theory is true, every good act of a man or every evil act of a man is counted as done by all of his offspring. But the problem with all of this is that we know that many godly men have had descendants who were enemies of God and vice versa. Abraham is an example of this. The Bible says that Abraham believed God and that his faith was counted unto him for righteousness, and Abraham is called the father of the faithful because of his faith. But Abraham has had millions upon millions of descendants who have not believed and have been lost. Yet according to the theory under question, all of Abraham's descendants should have been justified by his faith, for they were all yet in his loins when he believed God and was justified. Esau was a descendant of Abraham but God said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Rom. 9:13. God destroyed the children of Israel (who were descendants of Abraham) in the wilderness for their unbelief, even though they were "yet in the loins of Abraham" when he believed.

The problems with this nonsensical theory multiply when you realize that everyone of us have been "in the loins" of numerous ancestors going all the way back to Adam. This means that we actually participated in all the good and evil not only of Adam, but also of all our intervening ancestors as well. What an awful lot of good and evil we have done. We have all been busy for thousands of years in the loins of our ancestors doing good and evil!

Now, do we get to pick and choose among our ancestors, choosing the ancestors whose deeds we like most, or must we heap them all together and take what they all have done? I am afraid that to do the latter would make our character quite a confused and conflicting thing. What if some of our ancestors were Christians and others were unrepentant sinners? Would we balance the good ones out against the bad ones and come up with what was left over?

But the whole idea of sinning in Adam is a theological fiction that has been perpetuated to a large extent by Jerome's erroneous translation in the Latin Vulgate of Romans 5:12. He translated the Greek phrase eph o pantes hemarton by the Latin phrase in quo omnes peccaverunt, which means in whom all have sinned. This translation was in error, and Greek students agree that it was. Nevertheless, this error has helped to form and perpetuate the false doctrine that men actually sinned in Adam when he sinned.

The teaching that men sinned in Adam directly contradicts the Bible's plain teaching that men sin in themselves and not in someone else, and there is no other way that men can sin. Paul spoke in Romans 5:14 of "them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression." Paul referred here to those who had sinned before the giving of the law and so had not sinned against a positive precept as Adam had, but only against the law of conscience and reason. Paul said they were sinners, but the fact that he said they had "not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression" shows that Paul did not consider the sin of Adam to be their sin. Then in Romans 9:11, Paul, speaking of Jacob and Esau in the womb of their mother Rebecca, says, "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil..." Now here were two very remarkable children who for thousands of years had been in the loins of ancestors all the way from Adam through Abraham and Isaac, and during all those thousands of years of being in the loins of different ancestors, they had never done anything good or evil. This astonishing fact is hard to reconcile with the idea that every human being was supposed to have actually sinned in Adam, and that Levi actually paid tithes in Abraham.

7. OBJECTION: But the Bible does teach that God condemns the children for the sins of the fathers. It says, "I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." Ex. 20:5.

ANSWER: It is true that this text would seem to teach that God condemns the children for the sins of their fathers, but the text itself shows that God does not visit the iniquity of the fathers upon innocent children. It is only upon those children who hate and disobey him that he visits the iniquity of the fathers.

First, we have many direct statements in the Bible which teach that God does not punish the children for the sins of the fathers. Since we have these statements, they should alert us to the fact that, if there is another scripture that seems to contradict them, somewhere we have either taken the scripture out of its context or in some other way misinterpreted it. Let us look first at some of the direct statements teaching that God does not punish the children for the sins of their fathers:

What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sours grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? As I live, sayeth the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel...Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father?...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. Ez. 18:2, 3, 19, 20

Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like...he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. Ez. 8: 14, 17

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

But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law of the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin. II Chron. 25:4

From the above passages we know that it is contrary to the character of God to visit the iniquity of the fathers upon those who are innocent. When God said in Ex. 20:5 that he would visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, he was not talking of innocent or godly children. He was talking of wicked and ungodly children who were following the wicked example of their fathers. This is seen directly from the text itself, which says, "unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." The iniquity of the fathers is visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate God, and not upon children who are innocent and obedient to God.

Other Scriptures testify to this as well. God did not judge the innocent children of the Israelites for the sin and unbelief of their fathers. Deut. 1:39. There were wicked kings who had godly sons, and God did not judge their sons but blessed them. II Chron. Chapters 28-35. Also, Ez. 18:14, 17 declare: "Now, lo, if he beget a son that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like...he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live." All of chapter 18 of Ezekiel is written to show that the godly do not have the iniquity of their fathers visited upon them, and that every man is condemned and judged only for his own sins. The only way that the iniquity of the fathers can be visited upon the children is for the children to walk in the sins of the fathers, for to follow in the steps of our father's sins is to approve what they have done. Jesus himself taught this:

Wherefore be ye witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Matt. 23:31-35

Jesus makes the amazing statement in this passage that the scribes and Pharisees would be guilty of all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the righteous blood of Abel right on down to the righteous blood of Zacharias, whom they slew between the temple and the altar. Now, the scribes and Pharisees did not actually slay Zacharias the son of Barachias, but they had the heart of a murderer, and in a few short days they crucified the Son of God. The man who willfully takes the life of another man is giving tacit approval to every murder that has ever been committed or that ever will be committed. The rapist gives his approval to every act of rape committed, just as much as if he had committed those acts. And Jesus taught the compounded guilt of those children, who, knowing the guilt of their fathers, go on and break the same commandments. To commit the sins of our fathers is to justify their sins. It is to give tacit approval to their wickedness, and so to justly deserve that the iniquity of our fathers should be visited upon us. God never visits the iniquity of the fathers upon those who are innocent. God is just and so cannot condemn the children for the sins of their fathers, except when they willfully follow the wicked example of their fathers.

8. OBJECTION: But God can condemn the whole human race for the sin of Adam if he wants to. God is sovereign and can do anything he wants.

ANSWER: It is true that God is sovereign, but it is not true that he is sovereign in the grotesque sense in which the advocates of original sin make him out to be. To say that God is sovereign in the sense that he can work injustice, unrighteousness, and sin is to slander the holy name of God.

The idea that God's sovereignty gives him the liberty to work unrighteousness is blasphemous and contrary to scripture: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Gen. 18:25. God is not sovereign and has never claimed to be sovereign in such a grotesque sense. But the doctrine of the above objection is that God can do what all men know to be unjust that is, condemn the whole human race for the sin of one man and still be just and righteous because he is sovereign. It is unbelievable that Christians, in order to defend the doctrine of original sin, would so demean the character of God. Sheldon says:

The same God whose penetrating glance burns away every artifice with which a man may enwrap himself, and reaches at once to the naked reality, is represented as swathing His judgment with a gigantic artifice, in that He holds countless millions guilty of a trespass which He knows was committed before their personal existence, and which they could no more prevent than they could hinder the fiat of creation. If this is justice, then justice is a word of unknown meaning. Sane men condemn the savagery of the tribe which treats all of a nation as enemies because one or more of its representatives has offended. Shall sane men, then, think of the holy God as condemning a race in advance of its existence because of the sin of one? God's ways are indeed above man's. But they must be supposed to lie in the direction of man's best conceptions of justice and righteousness. To impute an unethical arbitrariness to God is to assail faith in the very idea of a perfect being.

Those who heartily believe in the doctrine of original sin and believe that God condemned the whole human race for the sin of Adam "because he is sovereign and can do whatever he wants to" must have about the same concept of God as the heathen had of their false gods. They must fear him because he is sovereign and has infinite power over them. However, it must be difficult to love him with the overflowing love that comes from a confidence and a delight in his moral perfections, since they believe a doctrine that requires them to make the excuse that "God can do anything he wants because he is sovereign."

God cannot make evil become good and good become evil by a sovereign decree. He is not sovereign in the sense that his "might makes right." He cannot make a law that says, "Thou shalt lie, steal, blaspheme my holy name, commit adultery, work evil, and hate your fellow man." God is sovereign, but he cannot do anything sinful or unjust just "because he is sovereign." The universal law of love and righteousness is his law as much as it is the law of all his creatures. God does not make evil right by an arbitrary decree, and for him to sovereignly decree a law which were contrary to his nature and the nature of his creatures would be as much sin in him as it would be in any of his creatures. God cannot and will not sin against the righteousness of his nature. He will not put darkness for light, falsehood for truth, evil for good, or unrighteousness for righteousness.

To defend the obvious unrighteousness of the original sin dogma by saying that "God can do whatever he wants because he is sovereign" is to demean the holy name of God. The doctrine of original sin is infinitely dishonorable to God. It makes him arbitrary, tyrannical, unjust, and cruel in his sovereignty. God has never claimed to be sovereign in an arbitrary sense, in the sense that he can do whatever he wills, even if it is unholy, unjust, or unrighteousness. God is sovereign, and justly so, because all his ways conform to truth, holiness, and righteousness.

9. OBJECTION: You depend too much on reason. You should only use the Scriptures to prove the doctrines of the Bible. If you depend on reason, you will be led into error.

ANSWER: Would the advocates of the doctrine of original sin object to reason if the doctrine of original sin were reasonable? Why do the advocates of original sin object to reason? It is because the dogma of original sin contradicts reason! If our reason told us that it would be just for a whole race to be condemned for the sin of one man, would they then object to reason? If our reason told us that the heathen could justly be born sinners, commit sin because of an inborn sin nature, die in their sins without a knowledge of the gospel and a chance to be saved, and then be justly condemned to the everlasting punishment of hell, would they then object to reason? If our reason told us that moral character or sin, with its guilt and condemnation, could be passed on in the physical constitution of man, would they then object to reason? If our reason told us that a non-moral and non-personal entity called "flesh" could, contrary to its nature, take on personality and moral character and be sinful, would they then object to reason? No. They object to reason because they know the original sin dogma is absurd and unreasonable.

In regard to using only the Scriptures to prove the doctrines of the Bible, almost any false doctrine can be proved by quoting texts from the Bible, if those texts are quoted without paying attention to context and language. We can confirm this fact by pointing to the many false cults which appeal to Bible texts in order to verify their false teachings. So, should we object to reason when it tells us that a doctrine cannot be true that is supported by proof-texts from the Bible which have been taken out of context, and which are used without any regard to literal or figurative language or the general theme of the passage from which they are taken, and which then "prove" a doctrine that directly contradicts many other clear texts and fundamental doctrines of the Bible? Must we throw out reason when we come to the Bible? Is there something inherently evil about the faculty of reason? Are ordinary common sense and the understanding that God has given us to be despised and rejected when we come to the Bible? No! The Scriptures never require us to believe anything which the constitution of our own nature as created by God forces us to reject as false, unjust, or impossible. The fundamental truths of Christianity cannot be in manifest contradiction to reason, and yet the original sin dogma does contradict reason and man's irresistible convictions of justice.

10. OBJECTION: In the Bible, the word sin in the singular refers to a sin principle that dwells in us, or to original sin; and the word sins in the plural refers to "actual sins" that flow from the sin principle we have inherited from Adam.

ANSWER: Some advocates of original sin try to make out a distinction in the Bible between "sin" in the singular and "sins" in the plural. According to them, the word sin in the singular refers to the "sin principle," the "Adamic sin nature," "inbred sin," or "original sin," but the word "sins" in the plural refers to the acts of sin that flow from the "Adamic nature" or the "principle of sin" that dwells in man's flesh. This distinction between "sin" in the singular and "sins" in the plural is completely artificial and unbiblical. There is no mention of such a distinction in the Bible.

There is a biblical sense in which sin is and must be a principle. It is a principle because it flows from a single ruling choice of the heart or will. Rom. 7:17; Rom. 7:23; Rom. 8:2, 6, 7, 10. Both Jesus and the Apostles taught that there can only be one ruling choice of the heart or will at a time. If the choice or principle that controls the life is selfishness, all the volitions and acts of the life will be selfish. If the ruling choice of the heart is love to God and others, all the volitions and acts of the life will be virtuous. Two opposing choices or principles cannot control the life at the same time. One must be given up for the other. "No man can serve two masters." "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matt. 6:24. The following verses of the Bible teach the truth that all the acts of men proceed from one single governing choice of the heart, and that, therefore, there cannot be a divided or partial service to God:

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matt. 12:33-35 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit, a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matt.7:17,18

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either the vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. James 3:11, 12

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matt. 6:22-24

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust in much. Luke 16:10

Whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10

All sin and all virtue flow from the fountainhead of the heart or will. When the heart is committed to the supreme and ultimate choice of selfishness, all the outworkings of that one ruling choice will be to gratify self in the various forms that selfishness may take. A selfish person cannot please or obey God because all his acts, even though many may be outwardly righteous, are motivated by a heart consecrated to self. Paul said, "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Rom. 8:7, 8. The "carnal mind" in this passage is speaking of a ruling preference of the heart that is carnal, selfish, or sinful. While a man has a "carnal mind" it is impossible for him to obey God, please God, or do anything good.

All sin is a unit and all virtue is a unit that flows from one supreme and ultimate choice of the will. There cannot be two opposite choices ruling the life at the same time. There cannot be a mixed or a partial consecration and service to God. There can only be one single governing choice of the heart; either love to God and others rule the life, or selfishness rules the life.

Many people in the churches today are deceived on this point. They believe that God can and does accept a partial consecration of their life to him. but God will accept nothing less than a total dedication of ourselves to him, according to our knowledge of his will. James 2:10; Luke 14:26, 27, 33. Anything less than a total dedication of what we know to be the will of God is motivated by selfishness, and "if therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness." Matt. 6:23. 11. OBJECTION: The doctrine of original sin has been believed by the Church Universal for almost 2000 years. How could you and a few others be right, and everyone else be wrong?

ANSWER: This objection is considered by many to be conclusive "How could the Church Universal be in error for almost 2000 years? How could you be right and everyone else be wrong?"

The multitudes have been wrong before while the few have been right, and the Church Universal has been wrong before, protecting and giving sanction to error while resisting and persecuting the few who have proclaimed the truth. Copernicus and Galileo are well-known examples of this. Galileo taught the truth that the sun does not go around the earth, but that the earth goes around the sun, and that the earth spins upon its axis, giving the illusion that the sun is going around the earth. But even though he taught the truth, the church resisted it and persecuted him because from the second century A.D. on, the church had believed the theory of Ptolemy that the earth was the unmoving center of the universe, and that the sun moved around the earth. Copernicus had already proven that the theory of Ptolemy was wrong, but the church rejected his proof because it did not fit in with what it had believed for 1400 years. Galileo then constructed a telescope and was able to demonstrate that Copernicus was right and that Ptolemy had been wrong all those 1400 years. Instead of saying, "Thank you for correcting our wrong beliefs," the Church Universal promptly put Copernicus' work on its index of prohibited books and warned Galileo to abandon his opinions and to abstain from teaching, defending, or discussing them anymore. Galileo invited some scientists and members of the Catholic clergy to look into his telescope and prove for themselves that what he had said was the truth, but some of them refused because they were afraid that their beliefs would be proven wrong. Galileo was persistent and wrote a book proving the falseness of the view which had been held by the Church Universal for 1400 years. This brought him under the wrath of the church. His book was banned by the church, he was tried and found guilty by the Church Inquisition, he was compelled to recant of all his Copernican doctrines, and he spent the last eight years of his life under house arrest. It was 200 years later, in 1835, that the works of Copernicus and Galileo were finally removed from the Church's index of prohibited books.

So the idea that the many are always right, and the few are always wrong is false and invalid. If the argument that "the many must be right and the few must be wrong" is valid and conclusive, then Martin Luther and the other Reformers were totally deceived, and the whole Protestant Movement is a false movement built upon error. For Martin Luther and a few other Reformers stood alone against the whole Church Universal to overthrow errors that had been taught and believed for almost 1,500 years. There are other examples, as well. Jesus stood alone against the man-made traditions and prejudiced teachings of the whole Jewish Ecclesiastical Body of the Scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the High Priests. Also, the idea that the earth was flat and that sailors were in danger of sailing off the edge of the world was a universal belief for hundreds of years.

The idea that "the majority must be right" or that "long held tradition is proof of truth" is not a logical conclusion. And when evidence is presented which shows that a long held view is in error or that a view held by the majority is in error, it should not be rejected by appealing to the false logic that "a belief held by the majority for a long time is proof of its truth."

12. OBJECTION: The Jews believed in the doctrine of original sin at the time of Jesus. They said to the man born blind: "Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?" John 9:34. This verse shows that the doctrine of original sin is true.

ANSWER: This verse does not teach that there was a belief in the doctrine of original sin at the time of Jesus, nor does it teach that the religious leaders believed in original sin. If anything, it teaches the exact opposite, because if the religious leaders had believed in original sin, they would have been forced to say something like this: "Well, you have as much right to teach us as we do to teach you, since we are all, altogether born in sins." But they were not, in any way, including themselves in this thing of being "altogether born in sins." They were excluding themselves and limiting it only to the man born blind.

What they really were saying was this: "You're a vile, despicable sinner, and you presume to teach us? We are holy and righteous before God and will you who was altogether born in sins presume to teach us?" They were not teaching the doctrine of original sin anymore than David taught it when he said of himself, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." In fact, they meant to say the same thing about the man born blind that David meant to say about himself. David meant to say that he was a vile and despicable sinner and guilty before God, and they meant to say the same thing about the man born blind. But they, in no way, meant to include themselves with the man born blind and teach that they also were "altogether born in sins."

The above text no more teaches the doctrine of original sin than the question the disciples asked Christ teaches it. "Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Christ answered their question with the words, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents." John 9:3.

We must be careful not to make doctrines out of either the statements of false religious leaders or the speculative questions of Christ's disciples.

In darkness it lurks behind a mask of decency and respectibility fashioned of biblical proof-texts.

It cringes and pulls away when the brilliant light of Bible truth falls upon it.

It retreats to the shadows when the dazzling light of reason and common sense approaches.

It flees and hides from the glaring gaze of close scrutiny.

And there in the darkness it skulks, fearful that its mask be torn away, and it, at last, without its covering, wither and die under the burning light of truth.


HOW A FALSE DOCTRINE COULD PERSIST SO LONG

 

How could it be possible for the doctrine of original sin to persist so long if it were false? Would not God long ago have purged his church from such an error? No, God permits men to cling to darkness and error for as long as they will. The Dark Ages and the visible church are a sad testimony to that fact. The church should have been a light to the world, but instead it was filled with darkness, superstition, and error; a heathen doctrine of purgatory; an unbiblical papacy and priesthood with its priestly rituals; the selling and buying of indulgences for sin; the worship of Mary, saints, pictures, images, and relics; the ascribing of magical powers to water, to sacred words, to signs and places, to amulets and relics, and to certain rites and ceremonies; works of penance for forgiveness of sins; and water baptism for the remission of sins. Darkness, superstition, and error reigned in the church, and when a little light did spring up, it was resisted and put down as heresy. Throughout the Dark Ages, the church sanctioned and protected the grossest kinds of superstitions and errors. And God permitted this superstition and error to exist and continue in the visible church for well over a thousand years.

I have already referred to the church's stubborn rejection of truth in the forgoing chapter, and it bears repeating in connection with this chapter. Copernicus and Galileo brought to the church the truth that the earth was not the center of the universe and was not without motion, and that the sun did not go around the earth, but that the earth rotated on its axis and went around the sun. However, the church had believed and taught for well over a thousand years that the earth stood still, and that the sun went around the earth. So they rejected the truth that these men taught and persisted in their long-held error.

Then Martin Luther stood up against the ecclesiastical corruption and false teachings of the church. He wanted reformation in the church, but the church rejected the light that Martin Luther tried to bring to it and Luther was forced to work for reform outside the Catholic Church. So God permitted the church to go on in its error. The idea that God will not permit false doctrine to exist in the church is just not true and is repudiated by both church history and the Bible.

It is regrettable that Martin Luther did not perceive all the errors that existed in the Catholic Church. For he, along with Calvin, still believed in the dogma of original sin, and he, as well as Calvin, still believed that the earth stood still and that the sun went around the earth every 24 hours.

Martin Luther called Copernicus an 'upstart astrologer' and a 'fool who wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy.' Calvin thundered: 'Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?' Do not Scriptures say that Joshua commanded the sun and not the earth to stand still? That the sun runs from one end of the heavens to the other?

So while Martin Luther and Calvin both rejected many of the errors of the Catholic Church, they also both still clung to some of its errors. Why? Because of their ignorance.

Both Calvin and Martin Luther were completely ignorant about astronomy. They did not think they were ignorant. They professed to know much more about it than Copernicus. They thought that their false views were true because they were supported by long-held tradition, and they could quote Scripture texts to support them. And Christians today also think that the doctrine of original sin is true because it is supported by long-held tradition, and they can quote proof-texts from the Bible to prove it. Because of their ignorance, they will stand with righteous indignation against those who declare the dogma of original sin to be false, just like Calvin and Luther, because of their ignorance, stood with righteous indignation against the truth as taught by Copernicus.

There is grave ignorance among Christians respecting the doctrine of original sin. Most Christians would have to admit that they are completely ignorant about the following facts:

1. That the doctrine of original sin is a historical doctrine. It became a doctrine of the Catholic Church in the 5th century A.D.

2. That it has evolved as a doctrine and that it had its roots in a heathen philosophy.

3. That it is really only a theory, and further, that there is not one, but several contradicting theories of original sin.

4. That there is grave disagreement among the theologians who support the different theories of original sin, and that they are all able to prove each other's theories to be false.

5. That, although the doctrine of original sin was foisted on the church by Augustine, much of the credit for the acceptance of the doctrine must go to the changing winds of church politics and power. Not only the doctrine of original sin, but several other doctrines of the church see-sawed back and forth in their acceptance or rejection according to the caprices of politics, power, and influence of the state and church.

6. Most Christians are ignorant of the fact that Pelagius and Celestus were inadvertently a great help to Augustine in foisting his doctrine of original sin on the church. In fact, without their role, it may never have taken hold in the church. Pelagius and Celestus withstood Augustine's views on original sin, natural inability, and a necessitated will. But in rejecting original sin, they had to teach that infants are without sin, which meant that there was no need of infant baptism. Churchmen at that time were strongly prejudiced for infant baptism, so the implication involved in a denial of original sin (that there was no need for infant baptism) shocked them, raising opposition to the teachings of Pelagius and Celestus and making Augustine's doctrine of original sin, natural inability, a necessitated will, and irresistible grace much more palatable. Although the position of Celestus on the lack of a need for infant baptism was Scriptural; nevertheless, the churchmen's strong prejudice for infant baptism caused the controversy to erupt. And this point in which Celestus and Pelagius were right drew much more attention in the controversy than several other points in which Celestus and Pelagius decidedly took unscriptural positions. Therefore, the Augustinian doctrine of original sin was not made a dogma of the Catholic Church because of its truth or merits, but because Pelagianism rejected infant baptism and was in gross error in its denial of the need of a special divine grace if men are to be saved and delivered from sin. Pelagius and Celestus held such ridiculously unbiblical views of sin and of man's ability to obey God without grace that it was actually easy for Augustine to show that their views were false. Thus the rejection by Celestus and Pelagius of infant baptism, and their rejection of the need for a special divine grace if men are to be saved and delivered from sin captured all the attention of the churchmen's minds and diverted their attention from the absurdities of the original sin doctrine as taught by Augustine.

7. Most Christians are ignorant of exactly what Augustine taught as the doctrine of original sin, as well as what Cocceius, Placeus, and Arminius taught as their doctrines of original sin. If they were told exactly what Augustine taught, they would be shocked and would refuse to believe it.

8. Most Christians are ignorant of the fact that the doctrine of original sin is a patently unbiblical doctrine. It directly contradicts scores of Biblical texts and both the spirit and the letter of all the fundamental doctrines of the Bible.

9. Most Christians are ignorant of the fact that it is both morally and physically impossible to be born a sinner.

10. And finally, most Christians would have to admit that they are ignorant of the shocking teachings and implications that grow out of the doctrine of original sin. For instance, the teachings that God creates sinners, that infants who die go to hell, and the logical implication that if all men are born sinners, then Jesus himself was born a sinner.

The fact is that Christians are woefully ignorant of the origin and evil nature of this doctrine, and it is this ignorance that protects and perpetuates it. There are several factors that work together to make this ignorance possible. I will name five.

First, the spirit of the new Christian is receptive. He does not have a spirit of debate about things he may not understand. New Christians naturally tend to accept everything they are taught as gospel truth because they have a pliable and teachable spirit. They may not understand this new doctrine, and they may question its justice; nevertheless, their receptive and teachable spirit prevents them from objecting and arguing about it. They are not prone to question or reject authority. Their pliable and teachable spirit makes them receptive even to a doctrine that contradicts their convictions of justice.

Second, the doctrine of original sin is made believable to the new Christian because of proof-texts from the Bible. He does not know that these proof-texts are taken out of context or misinterpreted. He probably has little knowledge of the Bible and deep trust in those who teach him. Add to this his love of God and his trust in God's Word, so that when proof-texts from the Bible are given in support of the doctrine of original sin, the question is settled for him if the Bible teaches it, then it has to be so.

Third, once confirmed in a belief it is almost impossible to change that belief. Who has not experienced or observed how Christians, once taught to believe a certain way, are strongly prejudiced for the view they have first been taught? An illustration of this is the blind zeal with which Christians of different denominations will argue over doctrinal differences. A Baptist is not likely to give a fair hearing to Pentecostal doctrine. Neither is a Pentecostal likely to give a fair hearing to Baptist doctrine. To change the beliefs of one who has once been indoctrinated is almost impossible. He may be in error, but he is prejudiced against every argument that he hears. This prejudice against any teaching that contradicts what we have already been taught protects and perpetuates any error that we may hold.

Fourth, the very fact that the doctrine of original sin is almost universally believed and that it has been believed for so long tends strongly to perpetuate it. Universal adherence to error throws up an almost impenetrable barrier against light and truth when they are offered. Moreover, universal adherence to error presents an almost overwhelming restraint to the person who would defect and stand alone against the masses to speak for truth. There is a feeling of safety and assurance in numbers. No one likes to stand alone. It is because of this that, even in the church, universal adherence to error has had an overwhelming tendency to perpetuate itself. Add to this the entrenched ignorance and superstition that truth must expose before it can be received and embraced as truth.

Fifth, a deficient ministry helps to perpetuate ignorance and error among Christians. Ministers are certainly more blameworthy than laypeople for ignorance, superstition, and prejudicial beliefs, because their very calling is to preach and teach the truth to others. But often there is a conceit among ministers that does not exist among laypeople. Because they are ministers, they feel they do not need to be taught, and they resist more firmly than laypeople any idea that they might be in error. A true Christian spirit, and a spirit that would be in accord with their responsibility to preach the truth would, it seems, cause them to hear the arguments and to investigate the question until they might be sure of either the truth or falseness of the original sin dogma. But, sadly, there is generally such a prejudiced opinion and such self-satisfaction that ministers do not investigate, and they continue to perpetuate a false doctrine in the church of Jesus Christ.

The idea is erroneous that, if the doctrine of original sin were false, God would long ago have purged it from his church. Martin Luther could easily have said the same thing about the errors that existed in the Catholic Church. These were errors that had been universally believed and practiced in the church for well over a thousand years. Martin Luther knew they were errors and unbiblical practices, and he cried out against them and was finally used by God to bring light and truth to the church, where before there had been darkness, superstition, and error.


The Folly of Taking Text out of Context

In answering the objection in chapter five that "Paul taught that the flesh is sinful and that sin dwells in the flesh," I made the statement that "Every kind of foolish and superstitious belief can be proved from the Bible if it is not interpreted according to the demands of context, language, common sense, and reality." As an illustration of this, I referred the reader to the passage in Romans 7:14-25, which is used to teach that the Apostle Paul was himself in bondage to sin at the time he wrote his epistle to the Romans.

Let us look at this passage and see how it is misinterpreted by not paying due regard to language, context, common sense, and reality:

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Rom. 7:14-25.

If we read this passage without paying any attention to its context, it looks like Paul the Apostle was a total slave to his lusts and passions at the time he wrote this epistle. But if we give attention to its context, we know that the Apostle was not describing his own experience at all in the above passage. He spoke in the first person, and uses the word I, not to describe his own personal experience, but as a literary device to illustrate the total bondage of the convicted sinner to his fleshly desires and passions. That Paul used himself as an example or illustration of one who was in carnal servitude to the law, and not to describe his own personal experience, is seen, first of all, by the language he uses:

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. Rom. 7:14

Now Paul was a Christian, and Christians are not "carnal, sold under sin." Instead, they are spiritual and redeemed from sin. Paul was describing the experiences of someone who did not yet know Christ, who was still in bondage to his sins (carnal, sold under sin), and was face to face with a spiritual law. And he speaks in the first person, using himself to illustrate the bondage of this convicted sinner, who was trying to obey a spiritual law without Christ and the liberating power of God's grace.

But Paul's conclusion in verses 24 and 25 shows that what he was illustrating was not a Christian experience because he declared that Christ delivers from it:

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Many Christians have stumbled over the last part of verse 25, which says "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin" and have concluded that after all the Apostle had said about being delivered through our Lord Jesus Christ, that he was still in bondage to sin. But the last part of this verse is merely his summing up of all he had said before about the bondage of the convicted sinner who is struggling to keep the righteousness of a spiritual law without Christ. This is a recapitulation to emphasize one more time that, without the deliverance that comes through the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinner will forever remain a slave to his fleshly lusts. He may be convicted by the law, he may see the exceeding sinfulness of his sins, he may make resolutions in his mind to do what is good and right, but he will forever remain a slave to his fleshly lusts unless delivered from sin by our Lord Jesus Christ.

To teach from this passage that the Apostle Paul was living in bondage to sin when he wrote this epistle is to completely take his words out of context. For example, look at chapter six. It does not teach that Paul or any other Christian is in bondage to sin. Paul teaches in this chapter that Christ completely delivers from the power of sin:

verse 2 "How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

verse 6 "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."

(The "old man" that was crucified with Christ and the "body of sin" that was destroyed here in the sixth verse was not our literal body of flesh, but rather the sinful moral person we were before wecame to Christ. Paul uses figurative language inthis verse to speak of the moral and spiritual change wrought in us by the grace of Christ.)

verse 14 "Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law but under grace."

verse 17 "Ye were the servants of sin..."

verse 18 "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."

verse 20 "When ye were the servants of sin..."

verse 22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."

Paul shows in chapter six of Romans that Christ completely frees the believer from the dominion of sin. He continues in chapter seven to show that the law has no such power. Those who are familiar with the Bible will know that in chapter three of Romans, Paul shows that no one can be justified by the law, since all, both Jews and Gentiles, have sinned and are condemned by the law. Then, in chapter seven of Romans, he shows that the law cannot sanctify. It cannot deliver the sinner from the awful bondage of his sins and make him holy. The law is holy, just, and good (Rom. 7:12) but it is powerless to make the sinner himself holy, just, and good. The law gives no life; it only brings conviction of the "exceeding sinfulness" of sin (Rom. 7:13) and pronounces judgment upon the sinner for his sins. The Apostle's argument is that the law is absolutely powerless to break the power of sin or inspire holiness. It is only through our union with the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 7:4-6) that we receive life and grace and are set free from the bondage of sin.

It was after showing the glorious power of Christ to deliver from the bondage of sin, and the utter inability of the law to do anything more than judge and convict of sin, that the Apostle uses himself as an illustration of one who is in the bondage of a carnal servitude to the law--one who is convicted by the law of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, but still unable by the motives of the law to free himself from his fleshly passions and lusts. But, if Paul were describing in Rom. 7:14-25 his own Christian experience or the experience of any other Christian, it would directly contradict everything he said in both chapters six and eight about the Christian being freed from sin. It is impossible that the Apostle could be inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach the contradiction that the Christian is both gloriously saved by Christ from his sins and at the same time a total slave to them. This is the folly of interpreting a text without giving attention to its context.

It is sad that many who call themselves Christians have misused this text in Romans 7:14-25 to excuse their sins, saying that even the great Apostle Paul could not overcome sin, and that they don't consider themselves to be any greater or more spiritual than he. They say that they are having the same experience that the Apostle Paul had in Romans seven, that sin dwells in them the same as it dwelt in Paul, and that we all have inherited the same old Adamic sin nature. They will say that if the Apostle Paul could not overcome sin, they don't see how they can expect to live without sin. I heard one preacher's comment in the Sunday morning service after having read this passage. His comment was "I'm glad this is in the Bible; it makes me feel a lot better." He assumed that Paul was describing his own Christian experience, and it relieved his conscience to know that the Apostle Paul was in bondage to sin just like other Christians. But the person who uses this passage to relieve his conscience and to convince himself that he is a Christian while living in bondage to sin is deceiving himself. He is not a Christian. No man is a Christian who is a slave to sin. Christ sets his people free from their sins.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Rom. 8:1-4

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Rom. 8:7-10

If Rom. 7:14-25 were a description of Paul's own Christian experience, it would directly contradict the Christian experience he describes above. He says, "There is now no condemnation"; "Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death"; and "The righteousness of the law" is "fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." The experience he described in Romans seven was a woeful experience, filled with condemnation, bondage, sin, and death. Is it conceivable that all the Christians to whom Paul wrote were victorious, sin free, uncondemned Christians, and that Paul alone was a condemned, sin enslaved Christian? That would have to be the fact if Paul were truly describing his own Christian experience in Rom. 7:14-25. Let's compare the experience Paul describes in Rom. 7:14-25 with what he taught to be the Christian's victory over sin through Christ. First, Paul said of the experience of one under the law without Christ:

--I am carnal, sold under sin. Rom. 7:14

--Sin dwells in my flesh. Rom. 7:14, 20

--I am in the flesh. Rom. 7:18

--There is absolutely nothing good in me, and I can do absolutely nothing good. Rom. 7:18

--I can't do good, and I can't refrain from evil. Rom. 7:15,18

--Although I recognize the law to be holy, just, and good, it is absolutely impossible for me to obey it. Rom. 7:22,23

--I war against sin but I am continually overcome by sin and made its slave. Rom. 7:23

--I am condemned, I am wretched, and I need deliverance from the dominion of this body of sin and death. Who can deliver me? Rom. 7:24

None of the above verses describes the experience of a Christian. Paul taught that for the Christian:

--There is now no condemnation. Rom. 8:1

--Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2

--The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us. Rom. 8:4

--The Christian is not carnal and not in the flesh, but in the spirit; and that the Spirit of Christ and of God dwells in him. Rom. 8:7-10

--That the Christian's body is dead because of sin, and that his mortal body has been quickened by the Holy Spirit that dwells in him. Rom. 8:10, 11

We can be certain that Paul was not describing his own Christian experience in Rom. 7:14-25, for we find that he said he was carnal, that he was sold under sin, that he had a carnal mind (which, he says later in chapter eight) was enmity against God, not subject to the law of God, and that neither indeed could be. He said that he was definitely in the flesh, and that he still had a sinful body, a body of death, or a sinful body condemned to death, which he cried out to be delivered from.

On the other hand, he told the Christians in chapters six and eight that they were not carnal, but spiritual; that they were no longer walking after the flesh; that they were not sold under sin, but gloriously delivered from the bondage of sin; that they did not have a carnal mind, but a spiritual mind; that they were not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; and that they did not have a sinful body, but that their body was dead. Now, if Paul was describing his own bondage to sin in Rom. 7:14-25, then he was describing his own bondage and slavery to sin at the same time that he declared all the Christians to whom he wrote to be gloriously liberated from the bondage of sin. Such an inconsistent conclusion can only be reached as a result of ignoring context, language, common sense, and reality in interpreting the Scriptures.

No one can come to the Bible with a sincere heart, and read all of chapters six, seven, and eight of Romans, comparing chapter seven with chapters six and eight, and then come away believing that Paul was describing his own Christian experience in Rom. 7:14-25. It is impossible. The contradictions involved in such an interpretation are too obvious.

 The Nature and Attributes of Sin

Man must sin to be a sinner.

The foregoing statement may seem too obvious to need stating, and something that no one could deny. But those who advocate the doctrine of original sin both ignore what is clearly obvious and deny what is palpably undeniable. They teach that an infant who has never sinned is not only a sinner, but is guilty, condemned and under God's wrath.

But, what is sin? The Bible says, "Sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4. But what law does a newborn baby transgress by being born? Has God given a law that makes it a sin to be born? But if children violate no law in being born, then they are surely not sinners. One might as well call a man a drunkard who has never tasted drink, or a man a thief who has never stolen, or a man a murderer who has never killed, as to say that an infant who has never sinned is a sinner.

Or does God's law legislate over our nature, requiring us to be born with a certain nature? No, God has given no law requiring us to be born with a certain nature. The fact is that God is satisfied with the nature he has given us. He legislates only over the use we make of our nature. Since sin is the transgression of the law, an understanding of the nature of law will give us a clearer understanding of the nature of sin.

1. Law, in its generic sense, is any rule of action.

2. Physical law is a rule of necessary or involuntary action. The law of gravity is a physical law. The law of gravity is a rule of action that operates by a law of necessity or force as opposed to freedom and voluntary choice.

3. Moral law is a rule of free and intelligent action as opposed to involuntary or necessary action.

It is the rule for the government of free and intelligent action, as opposed to necessary and unintelligent action. It is the law of liberty, as opposed to the law of necessity--of motive and free choice, as opposed to force of every kind. Moral law is primarily a rule of the direction of the action of free will and strictly of free will only.1

We see then what must be the necessary attributes of sin. They must be liberty, voluntariness, and intelligence. By the word intelligence, it is not meant that sin is a good or reasonable choice. It is meant that the choice to sin is made with the full knowledge that it is wrong. It is an intelligent choice because the sinner knows the moral character of his actions before he sins. He knows that he is doing wrong, and if he had no knowledge of right and wrong, he could not sin. Moral law, then, cannot govern the actions of infants, who have no knowledge of right and wrong. A moral agent is a moral agent only because he has an understanding of the moral character of his actions. Infants, therefore, cannot be sinners.

Liberty, or freedom, is another attribute of sin. Without liberty there could be no such thing as sin. It is affirmed that babies are born sinners. Have they had the liberty to make a choice about this? Are they free to choose not to be born sinners? If not, then they cannot be born sinners. To speak of them being sinners involuntarily and by a law of necessity is to talk utter nonsense. Liberty, or freedom to choose (free moral agency), is a necessary attribute of sin, and if there is no liberty, there can be no sin.

The very idea of sin implies free choice. It implies that the sinner is free to do good instead of evil, and that he is able to avoid sin. If his actions are not free, and if his actions are necessitated, his deeds cannot have moral character and he cannot be a sinner. To talk of being born a sinner is the same nonsense as to talk of a wicked gun. If man is a sinner by birth, he can no more be wicked or sinful than the gun which is used to commit murder can be wicked or sinful. A sinner is a sinner only because his actions are free. Without free choice, sin cannot exist.

Voluntariness is an attribute of sin. Children cannot be born sinners because their birth is involuntary. They do not choose to be born. Their birth is completely involuntary. An involuntary sinner, a sinner by birth, is a contradiction because one of the attributes of sin is voluntariness. It is a contradiction of terms to speak of being born a sinner. The term sinner implies liberty, voluntariness, and intelligence. So to speak of being born a sinner is to speak of an impossibility. It is to use terms which contradict each other.

By necessity the attributes of sin are liberty, intelligence, and voluntariness. Any doctrine that assumes, as does the doctrine of original sin, that sin can be predicated of unfree, involuntary, and unintelligent action is absurd. There can be no unfree, involuntary, and unintelligent sin. All of these attributes pertain to physical law, rather than moral law, and completely negate the idea of sin.

 The Rational Moral Nature of Man

That man is responsible and accountable for his deeds is so obvious that to try to prove it would be something like a teacher of first graders trying to prove to them that the sun exists. The class might well interrupt: "But teacher, we know that the sun exists. See, there it is in the sky."

When God gave the law on Mount Sinai, he did not try to prove first to his people that they were responsible and accountable moral agents. They already knew this because of the testimony of their rational nature. They were as conscious of their responsibility and accountability as they were that the sun existed. The law of God was already written in their hearts before God gave them the law written upon tables of stone. They already knew right from wrong before God said, "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not." They already had a conscience and knew themselves to be accountable for their deeds before God warned them of judgment for disobedience. They did not need proof of their accountability, for this they had by the constant testimony of their rational moral nature. No one needs the Bible in order to know right from wrong. Murder, adultery, lying, and stealing are not wrong just because the Bible says they are wrong. They are wrong by nature. They are wrong because they violate the demands of the rational moral nature with which God created us.

The law that God has given us is not arbitrary or imposed; it is declaratory. God has declared to us the same law that is revealed in our nature, the same law that is written in our hearts, a law that harmonizes with our nature, necessities, and relations as moral beings. Had God given us a law that contradicted our nature--had he commanded us to be selfish, to work evil to our neighbor, to lie, steal, and hate our fellow man--we would all know by the testimony of our rational, moral nature that such a law was wrong and unjust. It is only because the law of God does agree with the law written in our hearts that we can and do judge it to be a just and righteous law.

This agreement between the rational moral nature of man and the teachings of the Bible gives compelling testimony to the truth of the Bible. Men do not need to have proved to them that the Bible is divinely inspired anymore than they need someone to prove that the sun exists. Their own moral nature is in such agreement with the holy teachings of the Bible, that it is a battle for wicked men to resist and smother the convictions they have when they hear the preaching of God's Word.

 The Bible and Man's Rational Moral Nature

If the Bible taught things which were out of harmony with man's rational moral nature and if the Bible taught things which the constitution of our nature as created by God forced us to reject as false, unjust, or impossible, we would have irresistible convictions that it was not the Word of God, and it would be impossible for us to rationally believe it.

It is because the Bible is in harmony with man's rational moral nature and his knowledge of truth and reality that men have compelling convictions that it is the Word of God. It is so in harmony with the revelation and convictions given to us by our nature, it describes us so faithfully--our moral relations, our lost condition, and our necessity as lost sinners--that we have compelling evidence that it is not a man-made book, but is divinely inspired.

Christians are not gullible because they believe the Bible. They are reasonable and rational. They are living in accordance with the testimony of their rational moral nature, which affirms that the Bible is in harmony with truth, justice, and reality, and is therefore from God, just as it says it is.

On the other hand, those who refuse to believe the Bible are irrational. They are rejecting the testimony of their rational, moral nature which affirms the truth of the Bible. The impenitent sinner is not impenitent because his reason does not testify to him of the truth of God's Word; he is impenitent because he refuses to listen to reason. He does not want to repent, submit himself to God, and obey his Word. Both sin and unbelief are a voluntary resistance and abuse of the dazzling moral light given to man in his moral nature.

If the Bible were in manifest contradiction to reason, no man could believe it without being irrational. But when we look into the mirror of our nature and see the exact same image pictured there as is pictured for us in the Bible, we know that the Bible is the Word of God. If the image in the mirror of our nature were different than that pictured in the Bible, we would know that the Bible was false and not the Word of God. However, our nature agrees in every aspect with the revelation given to us in the Bible. This harmony between the Bible and our own moral nature is supernatural. The harmony is so complete, so exact, and so faithful--it mirrors man's nature and condition so faithfully--that such a harmony would be impossible upon any other supposition than that the Bible is indeed a supernatural book, inspired by God.

 Temptation: The Occasion to All Sin

The devil, who was originally one of the holy angels, fell from his original perfection, without a sinful nature to make him sin. A third of the holy angels were tempted by Satan/Lucifer and fell from their original perfection, without a sinful nature to make them sin. Holy Adam and Eve were tempted and fell from their original perfection, without a sinful nature to make them sin. How absurd is the idea, then, that the universal sinfulness of Adam's descendants can only be explained by a sinful nature inherited from Adam.

The Bible teaches that temptation is the occasion to all sin. Paul tells us that temptation is common to all men. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man..." I Cor. 10:13. James tells us that temptation is the occasion to sin. "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." James 1:14, 15. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that our Lord was "tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15. The following are only a few of the Scripture references which speak of the universality of temptation, of the fact that temptation is the occasion to sin, and of the agency of the devil in tempting men: James 1:14-15; I Cor. 10:13; Heb. 4:15; Luke 4:2-13; Matt. 26:41; Matt. 6:13; I Peter 1:6; II Peter 2:9; I Thess. 3:5; Luke 8:12; Matt. 13:38-39; John 3:8; Rev. 12:9; II Tim. 2:26; Eph. 4:27; Eph. 6:11; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9.

If the doctrine of original sin is true, the devil is in complete ignorance of it. Or if he is not ignorant of it, he is dumb enough to go to the trouble of tempting men for nothing. Would the devil tempt men if he knew that they had a sinful nature which would make them sin without being tempted? How foolish and ignorant the devil must be. If the doctrine of original sin is true, then Jesus and the inspired writers lived in complete ignorance of it, as well. Jesus exhorted his followers to watch and pray that they not enter into temptation, and he taught them to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Matt. 26:41, Matt. 6:12. His Apostles, in their writings, exhorted the believers to be on their guard against the snares of the devil, lest they be tempted and fall into sin. I Peter 5:8-9, Eph. 6:11-12. These would have been useless exhortations if all Christians have a sinful nature which makes them sin without being tempted. In fact, if the doctrine of original sin is true, Jesus and the inspired writers lived under a complete cloud of ignorance. Instead of ascribing the sins of mankind to a physical connection with Adam, they ascribed them to a moral connection with the tempter--the devil. They spoke of sinners as being children of the devil and as being of their father the devil (I John 3:8-10, John 8:44, Acts 13:10). They spoke of the sins of mankind as being the work of the devil and of sinners becoming sinners by the agency of the devil. Matt. 13:38-39. They spoke of Christ as coming to destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8. Finally, they spoke of the sinner as being a captive of the devil, who needed to recover himself out of the devil's snare. II Tim. 2:26. It is hard to understand how they could have been so far off the track if the doctrine of original sin were true.

The Bible teaches nothing about an inherited sinful nature from Adam. It teaches only that all men are tempted and that they sin when they yield to their own desires rather than obey the law of God and
reason.

The Nature of Christ

1.    DID JESUS TAKE MAN’S FALLEN NATURE?

Though He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity. By thus taking humanity, He honored humanity. Having taken our fallen nature, he showed what it might become, by accepting the ample provision He has made for it, and by becoming partaker of the divine nature.--Letter 81, 1896. (3SM - 134)

 

What love! What amazing condescension! The King of glory proposed to humble Himself to fallen humanity! He would place His feet in Adam's steps. He would take man's fallen nature, and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. He would overcome Satan, and in thus doing He would open the way for the redemption from the disgrace of Adam's failure and fall, of all those who would believe on Him  (1BC - 1085)

 

Christ assumed our fallen nature, and was subject to every temptation to which man is subject.--Ms 80, 1903, p. 12. (Manuscript Releases Volume Seventeen - 29)

2.    DID JESUS TAKE MAN’S SINFUL NATURE?

Daily the Saviour's compassion must be revealed. The example He has left must be followed. He took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature, that He might know how to succor those that are tempted. (Medical Ministry - 181)

 

Christ did in reality unite the offending nature of man with his own sinless nature, because by this act of condescension he would be enabled to pour out his blessings in behalf of the fallen race. Thus he has made it possible for us to partake of his nature. By making himself an offering for sin, he opened a way whereby human beings might be made one with him.  (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald - 07-17-00-PR- 08)

3.    DID JESUS PARTAKE OF MAN’S SINFULNESS?

In the fullness of time He was to be revealed in human form. He was to take His position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man." (The Signs of the Times - 05-29-01)

 

In taking upon Himself man's nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. He was subject to the infirmities and weaknesses by which man is encompassed..."  (5BC - 1131)

 

Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.

 

.... let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves; for it cannot be. The exact time when humanity blended with divinity, it is not necessary for us to know. We are to keep our feet on the Rock Christ Jesus, as God revealed in humanity.  {5BC 1128.6} (S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5 - 1128)

4.    IN WHAT WAY DID JESUS PARTAKE OF MAN’S FALLEN NATURE?

In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan singlehanded! Since the Fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ's advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him. (Selected Messages Book 1 - 268)

 

It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life. (The Desire of Ages - 48)

 

The Son of God humbled Himself and took man's nature after the race had wandered four thousand years from Eden, and from their original state of purity and uprightness. Sin had been making its terrible marks upon the race for ages; and physical, mental, and moral degeneracy prevailed throughout the human family.  When Adam was assailed by the tempter in Eden he was without the taint of sin. . . . Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam's place to bear the test he failed to endure. (S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7A - 448)

 

Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then He could not have been placed in Adam's position; He could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us. But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured. (The Desire of Ages - 117)

 

He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from His Father. (God's Amazing Grace - 167)

 

He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions. As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil. He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin.  (Testimonies for the Church Volume Two - 202)

5.    DID JESUS RETAIN HIS DIVINITY IN THE INCARNATION?

But although Christ's divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions "human" and "divine" were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own. His deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty. Surrounded with sorrow, suffering, and moral pollution, despised and rejected by the people to whom had been intrusted the oracles of heaven, Jesus could yet speak of Himself as the Son of man in heaven. He was ready to take once more His divine glory when His work on earth was done. (5BC- 1129)

 

Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, that human beings might be raised from their degradation and placed on vantage-ground. Christ could not have come to this earth with the glory that he had in the heavenly courts. Sinful human beings could not have borne the sight. He veiled his divinity with the garb of humanity, but He did not part with His divinity.  A divine-human saviour,  He came to stand at the head of the fallen race,  to share in their experience from childhood to manhood. That human beings might be partakers of the divine nature, He came to this earth, and lived a life of perfect obedience. (S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7A- 444)

 

He "was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death." He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity, which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration, of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He laid aside His glory and His majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for a while relinquished. (S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 5- 1126)

6.    WHAT ASPECT OF DIVINITY DID JESUS RETAIN?

In His human nature He maintained the purity of His divine character. He lived the law of God, and honored it in a world of transgression, revealing to the heavenly universe, to Satan, and to all the fallen sons and daughters of Adam that through His grace humanity can keep the law of God. He came to impart His own divine nature, His own image, to the repentant, believing soul.  (My Life Today - 323)

 

Think of Christ's humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united Himself with the temple. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," because by so doing He could associate with the sinful, sorrowing sons and daughters of Adam (YI Dec. 20, 1900).  {4BC 1147.4}

.

Jesus looked for a moment upon the scene,--the trembling victim in her shame, the hard-faced dignitaries, devoid of even human pity. His spirit of stainless purity shrank from the spectacle. Well He knew for what purpose this case had been brought to Him. He read the heart, and knew the character and life history of everyone in His presence. . . . The accusers had been defeated. Now, their robe of pretended holiness torn from them, they stood, guilty and condemned,  in the presence of Infinite Purity. (S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7A - 456 )

7.    WAS JESUS JUST LIKE OTHER PEOPLE?

No one, looking upon the childlike countenance, shining with animation, could say that Christ was just like other children. He was God in human flesh. When urged by his companions to do wrong, divinity flashed through humanity, and he refused decidedly. In a moment he distinguished between right and wrong, and placed sin in the light of God's commands, holding up the law as a mirror which reflected light upon wrong. It was this keen discrimination between right and wrong that often provoked Christ's brothers to anger.  (The Youth's Instructor- 09-08-98)

8.    WHY COULD NO OTHER BEING HAVE ACCOMPLISHED CHRIST’S WORK?

The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan's deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world's dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, "with healing in His wings." Mal. 4:2. (The Desire of Ages - 22)

We cannot explain the great mystery of the plan of redemption. Jesus took upon himself humanity, that he might reach humanity; but we cannot explain how divinity was clothed with humanity. An angel would not have known how to sympathize with fallen man, but Christ came to the world and suffered all our temptations, and carried all our griefs. (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald-- 10-01-89)

9.    How many natures did Jesus possess?

The apostle would call our attention from ourselves to the Author of our salvation.  He presents before us His two natures, divine and human.  Here is the description of the divine: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." He was "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person."    

Now, of the human: He "was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death." He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent.   He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity, which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration, of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man.  {5BC 1126.8}

In clothing His divinity with humanity,  He became possessed of two natures, the divine and the human.  And because of this, He was fully able to accomplish for the human race their complete redemption, and their restoration to the privileges of the higher life.  {UL 196.3}


Christ had two natures, the nature of a man and the nature of God.
 In him divinity and humanity were combined. Upon his mediatorial work hangs the hope of the perishing world. No one but Christ has ever succeeded in living a perfect life, in living a pure, spotless character. He exhibited a perfect humanity, combined with deity; and by preserving each nature distinct, he has given to the world a representation of the character of God and the character of a perfect man. He shows us what God is, and what man may become--godlike in character.  {GCB, October 1, 1899 par. 20}

 

 The Nature of Christ

1.    What do we mean when we speak of nature?

 

1  the essential character of a thing; quality or qualities that make something what it is; essence

2  inborn character; innate disposition; inherent tendencies of a person 

2.    What two aspects are there to man’s nature?

Mark 14:38; Matt. 26:41; James 2:26:- Body and spirit

3.    How fully did Jesus take man’s nature?

Heb 2:17:- 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. {18} For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

4.    Did Jesus take man’s fallen nature?

(Heb 2:16-18)  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

5.    Did Jesus take man’s sinful flesh?

(Rom 8:3)  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Note: In the likeness here, does not mean that He merely resembled sinful flesh but that he actually took it on Himself. See the following verse as an illustration of this fact.

(Phil 2:7-8)  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Here we see that Jesus was made in the “likeness of men.” But this does not mean that He merely resembled men, but that He did indeed become a man.

6.    In what way Did Jesus partake of man’s sinful/fallen nature?

(Luke 3:23)  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son (actually, the Son-in-law - see margin) of Heli,

(Note: This was his lineage on Mary’s side. This lineage is given to show what Jesus’ inheritance was on His human side.)

(Gal 4:4)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

(John 4:6)  Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

Rom. 1:3:- The seed of David according to the flesh.

(Heb 10:5)  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

He took man’s degenerate, sin-weakened body.

7.    Did Jesus partake of man’s sinfulness?

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:    (1 Pet 2:22)

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.    (1 John 3:5)

He only partook of the sinful (sin-weakened) flesh, not actual sin.

8.    Did Jesus take man’s sinful mind?

Phil. 2:5:- Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Rom. 8:7:- The carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God ...

9.    What was Jesus’ true identity?

John 3:17; John 16:28:- God sent His Son into the world.

This did not refer to Christ’s flesh, but to His spirit.

10.  Did Jesus retain His divinity in the incarnation?

(Luke 1:35)  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Matt. 1:23:- Emmanuel - God with us.

11.  What aspect of divinity did Jesus retain?

John 6:51:- The bread which came down is my flesh ...

John 6:63:- The flesh profits nothing - it is the spirit.

John 6:54:- Whoso eateth my flesh hath eternal life.

Was it Christ’s spirit or His body which was God’s Son?

12.  Was Jesus just like other people?

John 1:14:- 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.

Matt. 4:16:- The people in darkness saw a great light.

13.  Why could no other being have accomplished Christ’s work?

John 1:18:- No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

14.  In what way was Jesus the Son of God? In what way was He the Son of man?

Prov. 8:22-30:- He was “brought forth” (born) from “everlasting” (before time began).

John 1:14:- He was begotten of the Father and possessed His life in unlimited measure. (John 5:26)

Rom. 1:3:- made of the seed of David

Gal. 4:4:- Made of a woman

 

 

 

The Gospel truth, 100 scriptures that refute original sinPDFPrintE-mail

The GOSPEL TRUTH

OVER ONE HUNDRED

TEXTS FROM THE BIBLE

THAT SHOW THE DOCTRINE OF

ORIGINAL SIN

IS UNBIBLICAL AND FALSE

[Author's New Title: "Over One Hundred Texts From The Bible That Show that Babies are Born Innocent and Without Sin"--The text is virtually the same as before.]

 

by

Alfred T. Overstreet

Copyright © 2005 by Alfred T. Overstreet

All rights reserved

_________________

No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without written permission

__________________

All Bible quotations are from the authorized King James Version

 


 

Very mistaken men teach a monstrous doctrine: that little babies open their eyes in this world as sinners, under the wrath of God, and condemned to the everlasting punishment of hell. They teach that new born babies who die without baptism will go into the "torments of hell forever." They take Bible texts from their context in order to teach this. One of the Bible texts that they use to support this horrible dogma is Ephesians 2:3: "…and were by nature the children of wrath."

We will examine this text in its context later (along with other texts that they take out of context); but now I want to present more than one hundred texts from the Bible that show that little babies are created upright and in the image and likeness of God, and that it is impossible for them to be sinners until they have reached the "age of accountability" and know the difference between good and evil.

 

Jesus Taught That Little Children Are Without Sin

Jesus taught that little children are without sin and belong to the kingdom of heaven:

"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:3

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

"And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them and blessed them." Mark 10:13-16

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is thekingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." Luke 18:16-17

Mark 10:16 says: "And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." These were innocent little children and not sinners under the wrath of God. And Jesus did not say that they were sinners and enemies of God, but he said, "of such is the kingdom of God."

 

The Bible Says That Men Are Created Upright And Without Sin

The Bible says that God has created man good and upright, in his own image and likeness, and without sin:

"God hath made man upright." Ecclesiastes 7:29

"God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…And God saw everything that he had made, and…it was very good." Gen. 1:26, 31

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:27

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Genesis 9:6

"Man…is the image and glory of God." I Corinthians 11:7

"Men, which are made after the similitude of God." James 3:9

 

It Is Impossible For God To Create A Sinful Being

Throughout the Bible God affirms that he is our Creator. It is impossible for God to create a sinful being!

"Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?" Job 31:15

"Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?" Malachi 2:10

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…And God saw every thing that he had made, and , behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:26, 27, 31

"Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100:3

"Thy hands have made me and fashioned me." Psalm 119:73

"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." Ecclesiastes 12:1

"Man…is the image and glory of God." I Corinthians 11:7

"Men…are made after the similitude of God." James 3:9

"The Lord…formeth the spirit of man within him." Zechariah 12:1

"The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Job 33:4

"God that made the world and all things therein…seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men…For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God…" Acts 17:24-26, 28-29

"I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." Revelation 22:16

"Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." Ecclesiastes 7:29

This last text not only afirms that God has created man, but also affirms that man is created upright. If man is created upright, he cannot be born a sinner; if man is born a sinner, he cannot be created upright. Either one or the other may be true, but they cannot both be true for the two are contradictories. But when God says he has created us "in his image," and has given us "life and breath and all things," are we to understand that he created us as sinners? When he says, "We are his offspring," are we to understand that his offspring are born sinners? And when Jesus said, "I am the root and the offspring of David," are we to understand that David sprang forth from the root Christ Jesus with a sinful nature? Or, are we to understand that Jesus, as the offspring of David, was born with a sinful nature? We know that Jesus did not create David a sinner, and we know that Jesus was not born a sinner as the offspring of David--which would have to be true if the doctrine that men are born sinners were true. The doctrine that men are born sinners is false!

 

Men Sin Against The Good Nature With Which God Created Them

The Bible declares that men, having been created upright and in the image of God, have corrupted themselves and sinned against the good nature that God created them with:

"Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." Ecclesiastes 7:29

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him…And God saw every thing that he had made, and,behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:27, 31

And, then:

"Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?…she gave me…and I did eat." Genesis 3:11-12

"And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth…for all flesh had corrupted his wayupon the earth." Genesis 6:7, 12

"They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 14:1-3

"Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 53:3

"Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men (because of your sins), and fall like one of the princes." Psalm 82:6-7

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth…And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." Genesis 6:5-7, 11-12

"(They) have corrupted themselves; They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it." Exodus 32:7-8

"For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you." Deut. 31:29

"They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?…Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee." Deuteronomy 32:5-6, 18

 

Children Have No Knowledge Of Good And Evil At Birth

The Bible teaches that children cannot be sinners and guilty and condemned at birth, for they do not yet know the difference between good and evil, and have not yet come to the "age of accountability":

"Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it." Deuteronomy 1:39

"Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." Isaiah 7:15-16

"For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." Genesis 8:21

These verses prove that babies are born innocent. Everybody knows that babies know nothing when they are born. They do not know right from wrong. They do not know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. They do not have evil imaginations of the heart. The Bible says that the "imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth," not from his birth. It is only when children know to refuse the evil and choose the good that they can have evil intentions, evil purposes, or evil choices of the heart. Until they know right from wrong, their actions have no moral character, they can do neither good nor evil, and they are innocent before God. The Bible teaches that children must reach the "age of accountability" before they can commit sin.

 

No Man Can Be Guilty For A Sin He Did Not Commit

The Bible says that man is guilty for his own sins and for his own sins alone. He is not guilty, and cannot be guilty, for the sin of Adam or any other man:

"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." Ezekiel 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." Deuteronomy 24:16

"Far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked. That be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25

"What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: 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." Ezekiel 18:2-4, 20

"He shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did all that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die for his iniquity. Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 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." Ezekiel 18:17-20

"But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin." II Chronicles 25:4

"Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?…Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin." Ezekiel 18:25, 29-30

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4

"I will judge every one according to his ways." Ezekiel 18:30

The Nature We Are Born With Teaches Us To Reject Evil And Choose Good

The Bible teaches that the nature God has created us with is a good nature that teaches us the difference between good and evil and urges us to choose the good and refuse the evil:

"That he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good." Isaiah 7:15

"Before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good…" Isaiah 7:16

"When the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another." Romans 2:14-15

This last text describes the good and upright nature that God has created us with. It describes the rational moral nature that God has given us. It tells us that, having been created in the image and likeness of God, we are not like the dumb beasts of the field. We are like God; we are rational moral beings with "the law of God written in our hearts." Every human being, when he has come to the "age of accountability" and has a knowledge of good and evil, and knows to choose the good and refuse the evil, has the law of God written in his heart. He has a conscience that bears witness to him of the moral character of his actions, he has thoughts that accuse him when he does evil, and thoughts that excuse him when he does good:

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law (the written law), do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men (the hidden evil thoughts and intents of the hearts of men who have trampled the voice of conscience and reason) by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." Romans 2:14-16

This text describes the rational moral nature that God has endowed all mankind with: a rational moral nature that teaches us the difference between good and evil, that urges us to choose the good and refuse the evil, and that men must go against in order to sin. Men do not sin by nature. They obey God by nature:

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law (the written law), do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves, which show the work of the law written in their hearts." Romans 2:14-15

 

Men Must Go Against Their Nature To Sin

Now we will look at texts from the Bible that teach us that all disobedience to God's law goes against the nature God has created us with. We must repeat Romans 2:14-15 because every time we sin, whatever that sin may be, we are sinning against the law of God written in our hearts. And this is a sin against our nature. All sin is against our nature. All righteouness conforms to our nature:

"(They) do by nature the things contained in the law." Romans 2:14

(They) show the work of the law written in their hearts." Romans 2:15

"For even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature." Romans 1:26

"And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lusts one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly." Romans 1:27

"But what they know naturally (know by nature)…in those things they corrupt themselves. Jude 10

 

Homosexuals Are Not Born Homosexuals

Homosexuals often cover and excuse their evil acts of perversion by saying they were born homosexuals. And if the teaching is true that men are born with a sinful nature, homosexuals are right to say they were born homosexuals. For they were born homosexuals if they were born sinners. Also they are right to excuse their evil acts of perversion. For if they were born sinners, they were born homosexuals; and if they were born homosexuals they can no more be blamed for their evil acts of perversion than the brute beasts can be blamed for being born brute beasts. Likewise the alcoholic cannot be blamed for his drinking if it is true he was born with the "disease of alcoholism." In fact the murderer, the rapist, and all other sinners have a perfect and legitimate excuse for all their sins if they were born with a sinful nature. But God never excuses the murderer or the drunkard or the rapist or the homosexual or any other sinner for his sins. For God created all men with a good nature, and for men to sin they must go against their nature: they must sin against nature. All sin is a corruption of man's nature, it is a perversion of man's nature. It is rebellion against our nature--it is rebellion against the "law of God written in our hearts" and against the God who has written his law in our hearts. No man is born a sinner. No man is born with the "disease of alcoholism." No man is born a homosexual:

"Even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature." Romans 1:26

"Also the men leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lusts one toward another." Romans 1:27

"Neither shalt thou lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion." Leviticus 19:22-23

"God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." Ecclesiastes 7:29

 

All Sin Is Voluntary. There Is No Involuntary Sin.

The Bible teaches that every sin is a free and voluntary act. There is no involuntary sin. Man must will evil and choose evil before he can be a sinner. He cannot be born a sinner, for he has no choice in his birth. The idea that man can be a sinner without a voluntary act of his own will is completely contrary to the Bible. Man must voluntarily choose evil before he can be a sinner:

"That he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good…"Isaiah 7:15-16

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve…" Joshua 24:15

"Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations…they did evil before mine eyes, andchose that in which I delighted not. Isaiah 66:3-4

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart(that which he thought and chose to do in his heart) was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

"For the imagination of man's heart (that which he thinks and chooses to do in his heart) is evil from his youth." Genesis 8:21

 

It Is Blasphemy Against The Character Of God

The very idea that God would create man a sinner is a monstrous blasphemy against the holy and righteous character of God. God is perfect in justice, holiness, and love. And it would be the greatest injustice possible to create men sinners and then condemn them to hell for the nature that he himself had created them with. God is perfect and could never work such injustice:

"I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee and established thee?…Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee." Deut. 32:3-6, 18

This text affirms that God has had nothing to do with the sins of his people: he did not create them sinners; he is holy, just, and righteous and cannot work evil, falsehood, or injustice: "His work is perfect, all his ways are judgment, he is a God of truth and without iniquity, he is just and right." He has not created his children with sin. His children have corrupted themselves!

SIX PROOF-TEXTS EXAMINED

Now, I am going to turn aside for a while from the more than 100 Bible texts that show the doctrine of original sin to be unbiblical and false, and respond to six texts that are taken out of context to support the doctrine that men are born sinners. These texts, when they are taken in their context, do not teach that men are born sinners. On the contrary, they agree with and teach what the whole Bible teaches, that men are created good and upright and in the image and likeness of God.

 

First Proof-text Examined

1. Psalm 51:5: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."

 

This text is not literal, it is figurative. For example, let us compare Psalm 5l:5 with Job 1:21: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither."

If Psalm 51:5 can be interpreted literally to teach the doctrine that David and all other men are born sinners, then Job 1:21 can also be interpreted literally to teach the doctrine that Job and all other men will go back into their mother's womb: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither."

Neither Psalm 5l:5 nor Job 1:21 should be understood literally. Both texts are figurative expressions. The same rules of interpretation that would permit Psalm 51:5 to teach that little babies are born sinners, if they were also applied to Job 1:21 (or if they were applied to many other passages from the Bible), would permit every kind of perverted and absurd interpretation of the Word of God.

David was not teaching in this passage that he was born a sinner (which would have been an excuse for his sins in a Psalm which was clearly a Psalm of confession). On the contrary, he was confessing the great magnitude and guilt of the sin he had committed; and he broke out in the language of strong feeling and emotion--the language of figure and symbol--to express themonstrousness of his sin: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."

The Psalmist David uses figurative language throughout his Psalms; and he uses several figurative expressions in Psalm 51. Verses five, seven, and eight of Psalm 51 are all figurative expressions. So that if verse five can be used to teach the doctrine that babies are born sinners, then also verse seven can be used to teach the doctrine that hyssop cleanses us from sin:

"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean." Psalm 51:7

Also, verse eight can be used to teach the doctrine that God breaks the bones of the Christian when he sins, and that his broken bones rejoice when he is forgiven:

"Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice." Psalm 51:8

And another Psalm, Psalm 58:3, can be used to teach the astonishing doctrine that all babies talk and tell lies from the very moment of their birth:

"The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." Psalm 58:3

But, who would teach from this last text the doctrine that babies really do speak as soon as they are born? None of these passages should be taken literally. They are all figurative expressions. If they were taken in their literal sense, they would all teach what we know to be contrary to reality and impossible: Men do not enter again into their mother's womb. Hyssop does not purify our sins. Babies do not start speaking as soon as they come out of the womb. And babies are not born sinners!

 

Second Proof-text Examined

2. Psalm 58:3: "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies."

 

This text is supposed to teach that babies are born sinners; but like Psalm 51:5 it is figurative and not literal. If it were literal, it would teach that babies speak and tell lies as soon as they are born, and that they alienate themselves from God and go astray from him immediately upon coming out of the womb.

But all of this is clearly contrary to reality. We know that babies do not do any of these things at birth. Therefore it is clear that this language is not to be understood literally. If this verse taught that Babies literally came forth from their mother's womb "estranged from God," it would contradict other passages from the Bible that teach that babies are not "estranged from God" at birth. John the baptist was not "estranged from God from his mother's womb." On the contrary, the angel who announced his birth said, "He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." Luke 1:15. This fact is hard to reconcile with a literal interpretation of Psalms 51:5 and 58:3. Job also testified that he was a guide to the widow "from his mother's womb." Job 31:18. Job obviously did not mean that from the moment he was a helpless newborn infant that he had been ministering to the needs of the widow. Also, the Psalmist David himself testified that God had been his help "from the womb." Psalm 71:6. It is easy to see that the phrase "from the womb" is often used in a figurative sense and should not always be understood in its literal sense.

 

Third Proof-text Examined

3. Ephesians 2:3: "And were by nature the children of wrath."

 

This text is torn completely from its context to teach the horrifying doctrine that little babies are sinners, and condemned and under the wrath of God from birth!

But the word "nature" in this text has nothing to do with "birth" and neither does it have anything to do with "babies." It is speaking of adults and it is speaking of the wicked character of adults. This is clearly evident from its context. The context of Ephesians 2:3 shows that Paul was not speaking of the "birth" of children at all when he used the word "nature." On the contrary, he used the word "nature" to describe the wicked character and the wicked works of men before they were converted.

For example, he calls the attention of the believers in Ephesians 2:1-2 to the fact that before their conversion they had lived in trespasses and sins, and walked in every kind of wickedness, in company with other sinners: "Ye were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Then, he continues in verse three speaking of their participation with other sinners in carnality and wickedness: "Among whom also we all had our conversation in time past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature (were by our past wicked works) the children of wrath even as others."

It was only after he had described their past life of wicked works that he summed up the guilt and ill desert of their past lifewith the words: "And WERE by nature the children of wrath, even as others."

We know by the immediate context of this text (as well as the context of the whole Bible) that Ephesians 2:3 is not speaking of being born a sinner or being born under the wrath of God. The immediate context and the context of the whole Bible teaches us that we Christians "were by nature" (were by our past wicked works) the children of wrath, just like the rest of the world that is still living in sin." Eph. 2:3

The word "nature" in the Bible, when it refers to what we are by birth, never refers to a sinful nature. This is made manifest by Romans 2:14:

"The Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law." Romans 2:14

Now the word "nature" in the above text does refer to the nature that we receive at birth. But it is evident that the word "nature" here is not a sinful nature. For, how could a sinful nature cause us to do the things contained in the law? A sinful nature would not cause us to do the things contained in the law--a sinful nature would only cause us to do evil!

The word "nature" is used again in II Peter 1:4, and it is used just like it was used in Ephesians 2:3, speaking of character and life. We saw in Ephesians 2:3 that it spoke of the evil character or the wicked works of men; but we will see in II Peter 1:4 that it speaks of the good character and life of God--it speaks of the life and moral perfections of his divine being:

"That by these (promises) ye might be partakers of the divine nature." II Peter 1:4

Men use Ephesians 2:3 to teach that the "nature" has to refer to being born a sinner. But we see in II Peter 1:4 that the word "nature" is not speaking of a birth at all. It is speaking of the life and moral character of God.

The Bible teaches us that the nature that God has given us is not a sinful nature. It is a good nature that teaches us the difference between good and evil, and a nature that urges us to obey the "law of God written in our hearts." Also the Bible teaches us that all sin and wickedness is against the nature we are born with. But if we were born with a sinful nature not one sin would be against our nature but every sin would agree with and be in harmony with our nature. So the fact that all sin is against our nature proves that we are not born with a sinful nature.

We see, then, that Ephesians 2:3 does not teach that babies are born sinners, and condemned, and under the wrath of God. What it does teach is that all we Christians, who are presently saved from our sins by the marvelous grace of God, were before our salvation, wicked, abandoned sinners, and dead in our trespasses and sins, and under the wrath of God for our sins, just like the rest of the world that still lives in sin and rebellion against God: "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…we all had our conversation in time past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Ephesians 1:1-3

 

Fourth Proof-text Examined

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

 

This text is supposed to teach that sinful parents cannot help but bear sinful children. But this interpretation completely ignores the context of this text. The context shows that Job had his eyes wholly on the frail and dying state of man, and not at all upon his moral state. The whole sense of what Job was saying was that "no one can bring other than frail and dying offspring from frail and dying parents." (See the context in Job 14:1-6)

If this text teaches that a sinner invariably produces another sinner, it teaches blasphemy. For if the doctrine of original sin is true, Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus was also born a sinner. And if Job 14:4 really does teach that a sinner must produce another sinner, there could be no way of escaping the blasphemous conclusion that our Lord also was born a sinner.

 

Fifth Proof-text Examined

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

 

First, these are the words of Eliphaz, and cannot be quoted as inspired truth. God himself testified that Job's comforters did not hold the truth. (See Job 42:7) But suppose we did accept this verse as inspired truth, what does it teach? It teaches nothing at all about a morally depraved physical constitution. It merely implies the sinful condition of all mankind without saying anything about how man got that way.

But again, this text, like the last, if used to teach the constitutional sinfulness of men, would teach the blasphemy that our Lord Jesus was born a sinner, because he was a man and was born of a woman.

 

Sixth Proof-text Examined

6. Rom. 5:12, 18-19:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

 

This passage is supposed to teach that all men are born sinners, and born under the condemnation and wrath of God because of Adam's transgression.

But this passage does not teach that men are born sinners. It does not teach that they are born under the condemnation and wrath of God. It does not teach that they inherit a sinful nature from Adam. It does not teach that sin is transmitted physically or any other way from Adam to his descendants. It does not teach that the sin of Adam was imputed to his descendants. And it does not teach that men have sinned "in Adam." On the contrary, Romans 5:14 teaches that Adam's descendants did not sin"in him."

"Them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression." Romans 5:14

The fact that Paul says there was a body of people "that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's sin" shows that Paul did not consider Adam's sin to be their sin.

It is true that Paul connects the sin of Adam with the sin and condemnation of all mankind. But it is also true that he connects the obedience of Christ with the salvation and righteousness of all mankind:

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Romans 5:18

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Romans 5:19

To interpret the phrase "made sinners" to mean that men are born sinners and become sinners involuntarily and necessarily by receiving a sinful nature from Adam, is a forced and inconsistent interpretation of this passage, for this passage not only says that all men are "made sinners" because of Adam's transgression, it also says that all men are "made righteous" by the obedience of Christ, and that the free gift of life "came upon all men" by Christ Jesus. So for the advocates of the doctrine of original sin to arbitrarily give to the phrases "made sinners" and "came upon all men" the meaning of physical force when these phrases refer to Adam's sin, without giving the same meaning of physical force when they refer to Christ's righteousness, is an example of a forced and inconsistent interpretation of this passage dictated by a prepossessed belief in the doctrine of original sin.

Paul does not affirm an involuntary, necessary, or irresistible connection between either the sin of Adam and mankind or the righteousness of Christ and mankind. Otherwise, Romans 5:18 would teach the universal salvation of mankind:

"The free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Romans 5:18

We know that universal salvation is not taught in the Bible. Men are not saved involuntarily, automatically, and necessarily because of the obedience of Christ. Nor are they "made sinners" involuntarily, automatically, and necessarily because of the transgression of Adam. But the context of Romans 5:12-21 (and the context of the whole Bible) shows that men are "made sinners" in the same way they are "made righteous," that is, voluntarily or willingly.

Paul did not teach that men are "made sinners" involuntarily, by an act of physical force; because he would have been teaching at the same time that all men are "made righteous" involuntarily, by an act of physical force. In other words he would have been teaching that every human being upon the face of the earth is saved involuntarily and necessarily whether he believes the gospel of salvation or not!

"By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Romans 5:18

It is true that Adam brought sin and death into this world by his transgression; but his sin and his death did not pass upon his descendants. The Bible (Romans 5:12) says that "death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Men are sinners because they have sinned. Sin is an individual, voluntary choice. No human being can sin for another human being. Adam did not sin and could not sin for anyone but himself.

The purpose of the Apostle Paul in this passage is to show that, although the transgression of Adam has been a powerful force to bring sin, death, and condemnation upon all men, the righteousness and obedience of Christ in his work of atonement for sinners has been much more powerful to bring grace, reconciliation, righteousness, and eternal life upon all men. (See the overall context in Romans 5:6-21). The following Scriptures show that no man can be guilty or condemned for the sin of Adam--Adam could sin only for himself:

"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." Ezekiel 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." Deuteronomy 24:16

"But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin." II Chronicles 25:4

"He shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity." Ezekiel 18:17-18

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4

"I will judge…everyone according to his ways, saith the Lord God." Ezekiel 18:30

"That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Gen. 18:25

 

MORE THAN 100 TEXTS FROM THE BIBLE CONTINUED

Now I will continue with the more than 100 texts from the Bible that show the doctrine of original sin to be unbiblical and false:

 

It Makes Sin To Be A Misfortune And Not A Crime

The doctrine that babies are born sinners is not true, for it makes sin to be the misfortune and the calamity of the sinner rather than his crime. But the Bible never excuses sin. The Bible never speaks of sin as a misfortune or a calamity, but always speaks of sin as criminal and inexcusable and deserving of the everlasting punishment of hell! It speaks of God's anger and wrath toward sinners for their sins, and tells us that "God is angry with the wicked every day."

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men." Romans 1:18

"Thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil." Romans 2:5-9

"For because of these things (the sins he had listed) cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:6

"The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:8

"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night. Rev. 14:11

"God is angry with the wicked every day." Psalm 7:11

 

It Gives The Sinner An Excuse For His Sins

The doctrine that babies are born sinners is false because it excuses the sinner. The sinner knows he is not guilty, and can never truly feel guilty for his sins if he really believes he was born a sinner and sins by nature:

If the sinner truly believes that he was born a sinner and truly believes he cannot live without sin, he will (at least secretly) excuse his sins. Over against the fact that this false doctrine gives the sinner an excuse for his sins, we have the biblical fact that God never excuses sin but warns of an awful judgment that awaits sinners:

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:41-42

"So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:49-50

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:14, 15

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Rev. 21:7-8

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matthew 25:41, 46

 

It Makes The Sinner Deserve Pity And Compassion

The doctrine that babies are born sinners is false because it makes the sinner deserve pity and compassion rather than condemnation for his sins:

If the doctrine of original sin were true, all sinners would deserve pity and compassion instead of condemnation. And to call them criminals who deserve the condemnation of hell's fire would be to speak pure foolishness! What? A sinful nature the crime of him upon whom it is imposed without his knowledge or consent? Shame on sane men, created in God's image, and endowed by God with the blazing light of a rational moral nature for ever believing and teaching such an absurd and monstrous doctrine!

If this grotesque doctrine were true, the sinner would be the most pitiful and unfortunate creature in all the universe! To blame him for his sins or call him a criminal for his sins would be a grave injustice. He would not deserve punishment for his sins, but instead would deserve the most tender sympathy, pity, and compassion for the misfortune he had suffered of being created and born with a sinful nature--a nature that makes him sin!

But the teaching, that the sinner deserves sympathy and compassion for his sins, clashes with all the clear teachings of the Bible--it clashes with both the letter and the spirit of the whole Bible: The Bible never speaks of the sinner as unfortunate for his sins. The Bible never speaks of the sinner as deserving pity, sympathy, and compassion for his sins. On the contrary, the Bible represents the sinner as deserving everlasting punishment and torment in hell!

"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments." Luke 16:23

"Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." Luke 16:24

"And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:43-48

"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tor- mented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night." Rev. 14:10-11

"These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." Revelation 19:20

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, andshall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:12-15

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8

"These shall go away into everlasting punishment…." Matthew 25:46

The everlasting torment described above cannot describe or be the condemnation of men who deserve compassion and pity for being born with a sinful nature! No! This is the condemnation of men who have sinned against the good nature they were created with!

 

It Makes God Responsible For Sin

The teaching that men are born sinners is not, and cannot be, true because it makes God responsible for the sinner's sin:

For if men are born with a sinful nature, who is to blame? Not the sinner. The sinner did not choose to be born with a sinful nature. The sinner can no more be to blame for the nature he was born with than he can be to blame for the color of his hair or eyes. But, who is the Author of our nature? Who is our Creator? Who formed us in our mother's womb? Who gave us life, and breath, and all things? To affirm that men are born sinners is to make God responsible for our sins, for God is our Creator:

"Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves." Psalm 100:3

"Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? Malachi 2:10

"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." Ecclesiastes 12:1

"God that made the world and all things therein…seeing he giveth to all, life and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth…For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God…." Acts 17:24-26, 28-29

 

It Makes God Unreasonable, Cruel, And Unjust

The doctrine that men are born sinners is false. For if our nature were a sinner, if God had created us a sinner and our nature were a sinner because God had created us a sinner, it would make God the most unreasonabe, cruel, and unjust being in the universe. Not only would it make God unreasonable, cruel, and unjust for making our nature a sinner; it would make him doubly cruel and unreasonable for first making us sinners and then condemning us to hell for the nature he created us with:

I wonder if Christian men really know that God is holy, just, and good! I wonder if they know that GOD IS LOVE and that he could never create men sinners and then condemn them to everlasting punishment for the nature that he himself had given them! Christian men ought not to ascribe such cruelty, wickedness, and injustice to God. God is good and perfect and could never work such injustice.

"Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25

"Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves." Deuteronomy 32:3-5

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:13-15

"God is light and in him is no darkness at all." I John 1:5

"In him is no sin…he is righteous." I John 3:5, 7

"God is love." I John 4:8

No! God could never create man with a sinful nature! God is light and in him is no darkness at all! God cannot be tempted with evil and neither tempteth he any man! He is perfect in all his ways. He is just and righteous and without iniquity. Only good and perfect gifts come down from him. How wrong it is for men to charge him with creating sinners!

 

It Causes Ministers And Church Members To Wink At Sin

The false doctrine that men are born sinners causes ministers to wink at sin and excuse it. If ministers really believe that we are born sinners and cannot live without sin they will very often have an indulgent spirit toward sin among their church members. Where this false doctrine is taught and believed there will be no real HORROR OF SINNING AGAINST GOD. Ministers and church members will excuse sin with statements such as: "Nobody's perfect." "Even the great Apostle Paul spoke of being in bondage to sin in Romans chapter seven." "We will all be changed, when we get to heaven." "Christians are not perfect, just forgiven." "Be patient, God is still working on me." "God understands our weaknesses and human frailties." "I made a mistake. We all make mistakes." Also, ministers who really believe that men are born sinners will very often refrain from preaching and even reading passages from the Bible that could be a public embarrassment to certain sinners in their congregations. But this is a mistake, for the Bible teaches that religious sinners will be lost and go to hell, and that "without holiness, no one shall see God"; it teaches that ministers have a responsibility to watch for the souls of those in their charge; and God commands his ministers to publicly rebuke sin, and call on sinners to repent and turn from their sins:

"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account." Hebrews 13:17

"I Charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT…." II Timothy 4:1-2

"Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezekiel 33:7-8

"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins." Isaiah 58:1

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." I Corinthians 6:9-10

"Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:1-6

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my Son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abomi- nable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8

 

It Begets Worldliness And A Low Standard Of Conduct In The Church

The false doctrine that we are born sinners with a sinful nature that is the direct cause of all our sins, begets an indulgent spirit toward sin, a tendency toward worldliness, and a low standard of conduct in the church:

If the Christian really believes that his very nature is sinful and that it is impossible for him to live without sin, then it is not likely that he will aspire to a holy sinless life; neither will he be greatly troubled and greatly convicted by sin and worldliness in his life. Every tendency of this false doctrine is to beget an indulgent spirit toward sin and the low standard of conduct that actually exists among Christians in many churches--and this will cause many to go into perdition:

"…ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though once ye knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 4-7

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matt. 5:8

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The Spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double- minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James 3:4-10

"Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgresssions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." Ezekiel 18:30-32

"Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not." I John 3:6

 

It Contradicts What The Bible Says Sin Is: Transgression Of The Law

The doctrine that babies are born sinners cannot be true because it contradicts everything the Bible says about what sin is: The Bible never says that sin is committed when babies are born. The Bible always says that sin is committed when men transgress the law: The Bible says, "Sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4. The Bible says, "All unrighteousness is sin." I John 5:17. And the Bible says, "Him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. So we see from the Bible that sin has nothing to do with being born. The Bible tells us that the sin of every person is individual and that no person's sin can be imputed to another person who did not commit that sin:

"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." Ezekiel 18:20

"Sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4

"All unrighteousness is sin." I John 5:17

"Him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not to him it is sin." Jas. 4:17

 

It Contradicts What The Bible Says A Sinner Is: One Who Commits Sin

The Bible tells us that the sinner is a sinner because he commits sin. Adam and Eve committed sin in the garden and they became sinners. A man can only be a sinner by committing sin. No one can be a sinner without sinning. There is no other definition in the Bible of what a sinner is: a sinner is a sinner because he commits sin. Neither is there any other definition of what a sinner is in the councils of men: an evil man is evil because he does evil. In both man's government and God's government men are wicked and evil only if they do evil. They cannot be born a sinner, because the only way to be a sinner is to commit sin:

"Sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4

"All unrighteousness is sin." I John 5:17

"He that committeth sin is of the devil." I John 3:8

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4

 

It Contradicts What The Bible Says Sin Is: Doing Evil Knowing It To Be Evil

The Bible tells us that there cannot be sin where there is no KNOWLEDGE of right and wrong. And the Bible tells us that there cannot be sin without CHOOSING to do evil. The sinner ALWAYS KNOWS he is doing wrong, and the sinner ALWAYS CHOOSES to do wrong even though HE KNOWS it to be wrong. All these truths taught in the Bible demonstrate conclusively that the teaching that we are born sinners is false and unbiblical:

"Sin is not imputed where there is no law (the law gives the knowledge and is the knowledge of right and wrong). Romans 5:13

"Which show the work of the law (the law is the knowledge of right and wrong) written in their hearts." Romans 2:15

"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they that commit such things are worthy of death (they know they are worthy of death because of the law written in their hearts), not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Romans 1:32

"And your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither." Deuteronomy 1:39

"To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not to him it is sin." James 4:17

It is impossible for babies to be born sinners! Sin is doing evil knowing it to be evil! But babies really know nothing and reallydo nothing when they are born. Will I be considered harsh and unloving when I say that it is foolishness to speak of babies being born sinners? I hope not. For to speak of babies being born sinners is to fly in the face of our irresistible, God-given convictions of justice and injustice and of right and wrong: and it is to fly in the face of all the clear teachings of the Word of God!

It Makes Jesus A Sinner, Or It Must Be Denied That He Was A Real Man

The doctrine that men are born sinners is false; for it makes Jesus a sinner or one has to deny that he was a real man. But the Bible teaches that Christ was a real man like all other men, born with the same human nature as all other men and a true descendant of Adam, Abraham, and David:

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Matthew 1:1

"Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God." Luke 3:38

"Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." Romans 1:3

"God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." Gal. 4:4

"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels…But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels." Heb. 2:6-7, 9

"For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." Heb. 2:11

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same." Hebrews 2:14

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

"Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren." Hebrews 2:17

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

The Bible teaches that Jesus was a real man like all other men: that he had both a human body and a human soul, and that he had all the attributes of a man. He was born of a woman. He was fed by his mother and cared for by her like all other children. He was circumcised according to the law of Moses like other Jews. He was at one time a child in knowledge, for the Bible says, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man." Luke 2:52. He grew hungry, he grew thirsty, he ate, he drank, he worked, he grew tired, he rested, he lived, and he died like other men. His temptations were real, his prayers were real, his sufferings and death were real; he was recognized by other men as a real man and a real Jew. Over 80 times in the Gospels Jesus refers to himself as "the Son of Man."

"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same." Hebrews 2:14

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

"Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren." Hebrews 2:17

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

The truth that Jesus Christ had the very same human nature as all other men is fully taught in the Bible. But the advocates for the doctrine of original sin have to deny the real humanity of Christ. They must deny that Jesus was a man with the same human nature as other men because of their belief that men are born sinners and that the nature of man or the flesh of man is sinful in itself. So to save Christ from a sinful nature they deny the true humanity of Christ! But it is a serious error to deny the humanity of Christ. The Bible warns that to deny the humanity of Christ is the spirit of antichrist!

"Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." I John 4:2-3

"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. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." II John 7-11

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14

"Forasmuch 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." Hebrews 2:14

Jesus was a man, born with the same human nature as all other men. The incarnation of Christ (his real humanity) is a central doctrine of the Christian faith. You can no more be a Christian denying Christ's real humanity than you can, denying his real divinity. Jesus was a perfect man, born with the same human nature as all other men. The doctrine that men are born sinners is a pagan doctrine and false. It is a pagan doctrine foisted in among the Christian doctrines in the fifth century A.D. by Augustine, who had been for nine years a disciple of the Manichaeans. The Manichaeans were a Gnostic-Christian sect, with the Christian elements reduced to a minimum. They taught the pagan philosophy that all matter is inherently evil. Because of this view, they also taught that Christ's bodily manifestations were only apparent and that he did not actually come in the flesh. They denied the real incarnation of Christ, as well as his bodily resurrection because of their view of the essentially evil nature of all matter. Augustine's nine years with them accustomed him to regard human nature as essentially evil and human freedom as a delusion.

 

It Adds To And Takes From The Word Of God

God hates the doctrine of original sin for it adds to God's Word and takes from God's Word, and transgresses God's express command:

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:2

"If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Revelation 22:18-19

"I hate the doctrine (a doctrine added to and foreign to the Bible) of the Nicolaitans." Revelation 2:15

"Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (who do not confess the Word of God concern- ing Christ's coming in the flesh--and so take from, destroy, and di- minish the Word of God). This is a deceiver and an antichrist." II John 7

 

None Of The Original Sin Doctrine Is Taught In The Bible

Not one of the following teachings can be found in the Bible. They are all inventions of men and additions to the Bible and foreign to everything in the Bible. And so they are in direct disobedience to God's command: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you." Deut. 4:2

 

Not Taught In The Bible

"The whole human race existed as one moral person in Adam; so that in Adam's sin we sinned, we corrupted ourselves, and we brought guilt and merited condemnation upon ourselves. Adam's will was the will of the species, so that in Adam's free act, the will of the race revolted against God and the nature of the race corrupted itself." Doctrine of Augustine, fifth century A.D.

 

Not Taught In The Bible

"Adam was the federal head of the race and God made a covenant with Adam, our federal head, agreeing to give eternal life to him and to all his descendants if he obeyed; but making the penalty for his disobedience the condemnation of all his descendants. Since our legal representative or federal head did sin, God imputes his sin, his guilt, and his condemnation to all his descendants." Doctrine of Cocceius, 17th century A.D.

 

Not Taught In The Bible

"Because Adam sinned all men are born with a corrupt sinful nature and are guilty and condemned for that nature. They are not guilty for the sin of Adam, but are guilty only for the corrupt sinful nature that they are born with. It is the corrupt nature only, which they inherit from Adam, that is sufficient cause and legal ground for God to condemn them." Doctrine of Placeus, 17th century A.D.

 

Direct Quotations, That Are Not Taught In The Bible

"Our nature sinned in Adam." And, "It was just, that after our nature had sinned…we should be born animal and carnal." Augustine

"Our nature there transformed for the worse, not only became a sinner, but also begets sinners." Augustine

"Unconscious infants, dying without baptism, are damned by virtue of their inherited guilt." Augustine

"From this condemnation no one is exempt, not even newborn children." Augustine

"The 'nature and essence' of man is, from his birth, an evil tree and a child of wrath." Martin Luther

"Even children, dying unbaptized, are lost." Martin Luther

"Original sin is the hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature…which first makes us subject to the wrath of God, and then pro- duces in us works which the Scripture calls works of the flesh." Calvin

"The sin of Adam is the immediate cause and ground of inborn depravity, guilt, and condemnation to the whole human race." A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 611

"This evil tendency or inborn determination to evil, since it is the real cause of actual sins, must itself be sin, and as such must be guilty and condemnable." A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 611

Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression?

A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression. Shorter Catechism

Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto men fell?

A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever. Shorter Catechism

"There is in us a necessity of sinning." Augustine

"Every man is guilty in Adam, and is consequently born with a depraved and corrupt nature. And this inner corruption is the unholy fountain of all actual sins." L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 251

"Original sin is the corruption of man's nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to evil, and that continually." Larger Catechism

"From this original corruption whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions." Westminster Confession

"This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated: and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin. Westminster Confession

"It may be difficult to reconcile the doctrine of innate evil dispositions with the justice and goodness of God…A malignant being is an evil being whether he was so made (created by God) or so born…We admit that it is repugnant to our moral judgments that God should create an evil being; or that any being should be born in a state of sin, unless this being so born is the consequence of a just judgment." Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 308

"No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed." Larger Catechism

"They deplore their inability to love their Redeemer, to keep themselves from sin, to live a life in any degree adequate to their own convictions of their obligations…they recognize it as the fruit and evidence of the corruption of their nature derived as a sad inheritance from their first parents." Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p. 273

 

All Of The Above Teachings Are Additions To The Bible

None of the above teachings are in the Bible. They are all men's doctrines, they are all additions to the Bible, and they are all completely foreign to the Bible:

Where in the Bible does it say that "no Christian is able by any grace of God given in this life able to keep the commandments of God"? Where in the Bible does it say that we Christians are "unable to love our Redeemer and unable to keep ourselves from sin"? Where in the Bible can it be found written that the Christian is, because of a sinful nature, "utterly indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to evil, and that continually"? Or, where in the Bible does it say, "We are utterly indisposed, disabled and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil"? These statements are not in the Bible and are repugnant to the Bible!

 

A Monstrous Invention Of Men

The whole original sin dogma is a monstrous invention of men, foreign to the Bible, and an imposition on the Holy Word of God:

THE BIBLE says absolutely nothing of "The Immaculate Conception." ("The Immaculate Conception" is the doctrine that Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, "was conceived free from any corruption of original sin" in order that she might be pure enough to be the mother of Christ.) The doctrine of "The Immaculate Conception" is an invention and an addition to the doctrines of the Bible made necessary by a belief in the doctrine of original sin.

THE BIBLE says absolutely nothing of the "Baptism of Children for the Remission of Original Sin." This is another invention, and an addition by men to the doctrines of the Bible, made necessary by a belief in the doctrine of original sin.

THE BIBLE says absolutely nothing about "Limbo." "Limbo" is another invention made necessary by a belief in the doctrine of original sin. ("Limbo" was invented for infants who have died without baptism. It is believed that "Limbo" is a place where babies go, when they have died without baptism; and, in place of going to either heaven or hell, they go to "Limbo," where "neither the joys of heaven, nor the torments of hell prevail."

DOES THE BIBLE ever speak about "inherited guilt"? Does the Bible ever speak about "God creating" sinners? Does it talk about men having the power to "beget" either saints or sinners? Does the Bible ever use the term "inborn sin nature" or "Adamic sin nature"? Does the Bible mention "original" sin or "actual" sin, making a distinction between the two? No! None of these doctrines and none of these terms can be found in the Bible. They are all inventions of men and additions by men to the doctrines of the Bible.

 

It Destroys The True Teachings Of The Bible

The doctrine of original sin not only adds false teachings to the Bible, it destroys and diminishes and takes away the true teachings of the Bible, and is in direct disobedience to God's command:

"…neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deut. 4:2

 

It Destroys The Biblical Truth That Man Can Only Be Guilty For His Own Sin

The false teaching that we are born sinners and guilty and condemned for the sin of Adam destroys and takes away the true teaching of the Bible that man is not guilty and cannot be guilty for the sin of Adam or any other man, but only for his own sin:

"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 the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Ezekiel 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." Deuteronomy 24:16

"But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin." II Chronicles 25:4

 

It Destroys The Truth Of God's Moral Perfections

It destroys the truth taught in the Bible that God is perfect in justice, rightousness, and goodness and makes him cruel and unjust with the teaching that he condemned the whole world for the sin of Adam, a sin which every man knows he did not commit and was committed thousands of years before his existence. The Christian, who knows his Bible, knows that this false teaching negates and destroys literally hundreds of texts in the Bible that speak of God's justice and goodness and love and holiness. God could not be just and holy and good and loving, as the Bible says he is, if the doctrine of original sin were true!

 

It Destroys The Biblical Teaching That God Creates Men In His Own Image

It negates all those passages in the Bible that teach that men are created by God with a good nature, and upright, and in his image and likeness--by the false teaching that men are no longer created in the image of God, but are born into this world with a sinful nature, and with a nature that is "Wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body (Westminster Confession)."

 

It Destroys The Truth That Jesus Was A Real Man

It destroys and takes away all those passages from the Bible that teach that Christ was a real man like all other men, with the false and anti-biblical teaching that Jesus Christ did not have the same human nature as other men.

 

It Destroys The Heart And Soul Of The Gospel: Salvation From Sin

It takes away the heart and soul of the Gospel--the biblical truth that God completely saves the sinner from the power of his sins--with the false and unbiblical teaching that the Christian cannot live for even one day without sinning in "thought, word, and deed." It contradicts and weakens the spirit of holiness that shines on every page of the Holy Bible when it teaches that thegrace of God and the power of God are not sufficient to save from sin and work holiness in the Church of Christ in this life, but must wait until the Church gets to heaven, because of the "corruption of nature, that during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated." And so, it takes away and destroys all the promises that God has given to the Church--promises that the believer in Christ will overcome sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil. It exalts the power of sin above the power of God and makes sin infinitely more powerful that God's power to sanctify the believer through his grace in Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit who lives and dwells in the believer!

 

The Original Sin Doctrine Teaches That The Christian Cannot Obey God

Dear Christian, the doctrine of original sin is a devilish doctrine! It is anti-Christ, anti-God, and anti-Bible! The Bible teaches that the Christian can obey God and overcome sin through God's power and grace in Christ Jesus. The doctrine of original sin teaches that the Christian cannot obey God in this life regardless of the grace of God and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit!

"This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated." Westminster Confession

"From this original corruption whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions." Westminster Confession

"…whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to evil, and that continually." Larger Catechism

"No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed." Larger Catechism

"They deplore their inability to love their Redeemer, to keep themselves from sin, to live a holy life in any degree adequate to their own convic- tions of their obligations…They recognize it as the fruit and evidence of the corruption of their nature derived as a sad inheritance from their first parents." Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Vol. II, p.273

The above doctrine throws the flood-gates wide open for rebellion against God! Surely God (who knows all things) would not be so unreasonable as to judge us for our sins when he knows that we are unable to obey him! What? Would God command us to do what he knows we cannot do, and this on pain of the everlasting punishment of hell?

But, what a devilish doctrine is this that we are unable to obey God! The Bible does not teach that we are unable to obey God. There is not one verse in the entire Bible that teaches that the Christian is unable to obey God! The following verses are only a few of the many in the Bible that teach that the Christian has been liberated from the power of sin by the grace and power of Christ, and can live without sin and be victorious in his service to God:

 

The Biblical Teaching Is That The Christian Does Overcome Sin

"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. For he that is dead is freed from sin." Romans 6:6-7

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:14

"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine that was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Romans 6:17-18

"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Rom. 6:22

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2

"And thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." I Thessalonians 5:23-24

"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 24-25

"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin…If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:34, 36

"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins: and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not." I John 3:5-6

"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. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." I John 3:8-10

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" I John 5:4-5

"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not." I John 5:18

 

The Doctrine Of Inability To Obey God Makes God A Liar

The doctrine that it is impossible for the Christian to live without sin because of a sinful nature inherited from Adam, is a lie against the promises of God: a lie that debases and defames his grace and power and makes him a liar. God says: "Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Rom. 6:14. And God says: "Who are kept by thepower of God through faith." I Peter 1:5. God solemnly promises to "not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able" (I Corinthians 10:13), he promises to "deliver us from all sin" (Matthew 1:21, I John 3:5-9, John 8:34, 36), and he promises to preserve us in righteousness and holiness (I Thessalonians 5:23-24, Jude 24); but according to the doctrine of original sin all of his promises are lies. The doctrine of original sin denies the power of the glorious gospel of Christ. It mocks and scorns and belittles all the promises of God in Christ Jesus to sanctify and preserve his people in purity and holiness. It blackens the character of God. It belittles his amazing grace and his infinite power. It excuses the sinner in his sins. It is not an innocent belief and it is not an innocuous belief! It is a doctrine that is infinitely destructive and diabolical! It silences the voice of conscience. It corrupts the Christian's conduct. And it stumbles Christians into hell. It teaches the Christian that he shouldnever expect to be saved from his sins in this life, but that he should expect to live more or less in rebellion against his Savior until he dies and goes to heaven! What a lie from the devil!

 

God Is Ignorant Of Any Inability To Obey Him

If it is true that men are born sinners, and are therefore unable to obey God, it is strange that God has always been completely ignorant of such a fact (for God has always commanded and expected his people to live in perfect obedience and holiness), it is strange that the holy apostles and prophets were ignorant of such a doctrine (for they lived in holiness), and it is strange that so many believers have been ignorant of such a doctrine, for many have faithfully lived in obedience, holiness and perfection before God:

"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God and eschewed evil." Job 1:1

"And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil." Job 1:8

"In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." Job 1:22

"And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his intregrity, although thou movest me against him, to destroy him without cause." Job 2:3

"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years…and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5:22, 24

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil contin- ually…(but) Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God…Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him, so did he." Genesis 6:5, 9, 22

"And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master's wife…There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her…and she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out." Genesis 39:7-10, 12

"Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him…and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me." Daniel 6:3-4, 20-22

"Though these three men, Noah, daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness." Ezekiel 14:14

"And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." Luke 1:6

"And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him." Luke 2:25

"And there was one Anna, a prophetess…which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day." Luke 2:36-37

"In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, dispisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away…but thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured…I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me in that day." II Timothy 3:1-5, 10-11 and 4:7-8

"If any be blameless…For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate." Titus 1:6-7

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony that HE PLEASED GOD." Hebrews 11:5

"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy." I Peter 1:15-16

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48

"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-20

"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter in to the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt. 7:22-23

"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." I John 1:6

"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." I John 2:4

"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." I John 2:6

"He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now." I John 2:9

"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins: and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him neither known him." I John 3:5-6

"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." I John 3:7

"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. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." I John 3:8-10

 

It Denies Man's God-given Conscience And Reason

The doctrine of original sin is false because it flies in the face of the necessary and irresistible affirmations of every man's God-given conscience and reason:

The reason and the conscience of every man testifies to him that the doctrine of original sin is unjust: no man can torture his conscience into believing that it would be just for him to be condemned for a murder committed by some one else. But this is the teaching of original sin: that Adam sinned and the whole human race was condemned for his sin.

We cannot torture our conscience into believing that it would be just that the pagan nations would be born sinners, would commit sin necessarily because of a sinful nature, and would then die in their sins without a knowledge of the Savior and be condemned to the everlasting torments of hell for sins they could not avoid. No!

Neither can we torture our reason into affirming that moral character, whether sin or virtue can be transmitted in the physical constitution of man. Moral character has no physical characteristics, is not a physical thing, and it is impossible to transmit it physically (or any other way) from one person to another! To speak of "begetting sinners" is to speak pure foolishness!

 

Self-evident Truths

Certain truths are self-evident. They are direct perceptions of the reason and are therefore known to be true by all men: A thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. Two contradictory declarations cannot both be true. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The whole cannot be greater than the sum of its parts. Every effect must have a cause. A creation implies a creator. Moral character is non-transferable. There are no proxies in morals. Sin cannot be imputed where it does not exist without injustice. Perfect justice cannot punish the innocent for the guilt of another. All sin is personal and non-transferable.

Now all of the above truths are known intuitively. They do not need to be proved. They are direct perceptions of reason, and cannot rationally be denied by any man.

But the doctrine of original sin does deny self-evident truths. It denies the self- evident truth that there can be no proxies in morals and teaches that Adam committed sin for us by proxy. It denies that moral character is non-tranferable and teaches that Adam's sinful character was transferred to all his descendants. It denies that sin cannot be imputed where it does not exist without injustice and teaches that the infinitely holy and just God imputed the sin of Adam to all his descendants. It denies that perfect justice cannot punish the innocent for the guilt of another and teaches that God, who is perfect in truth and justice, condemned the whole human race for the sin of Adam.

To say that the doctrine of original sin is unreasonable is a profound understatement. There really never has existed a doctrine so unreasonable, so absurd, and so ridicu- lous as this doctrine. It is not only absurd, it is utter superstition to believe that we sinned "in Adam" thousands of years before we were born and began our existence. No man can torture his consciousness into affirming that he existed and sinned thousands of years before he was born. To believe that the physical flesh of man can be inherently sinful and that men can be born sinners is gross superstition. The whole dogma of original sin is a monstrous superstition and a fantastic fiction that is fit only for the pages of some wild science fiction novel. It is not in the Bible!

The doctrine of original sin is clearly unreasonable, and can be a doctrine of the Bible only if the doctrines of the Bible can be unreasonable. But, we know that the Bible cannot be unreasonable! The Bible is the Word of God; it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. And as such, it is, and must be, reasonable, consistent, and harmonious in all its parts. It is both a foolish idea and a dangerous idea to think that any of the doctrines of the Bible can be either unreasonable or inconsistent! If men present any theory and try to force it on the church as a doctrine of the Bible, and that doctrine is absurd, unreasonable, and contradictory with other doctrines of the Bible, then it is both foolish and wicked to accept it, while rejecting the arguments of either reason or the Bible which show its error.

The Bible never teaches anything which our rational, moral nature declares to be false, unjust, or impossible. The truths of Christianity cannot be in manifest contradiction to reason, reality, and justice--and yet the original sin dogma does contradict the clear teachings of the Bible, man's reason, man's knowledge of reality, and man's God-given convictions of justice:

 

It Contradicts What The Bible Says Is The Source Of All Sin

The Bible teaches that no sin can come from outside of man: that all sin originates in the mind, heart, and will of each individual: that everything, good or bad, comes out of the mind, heart, soul, and spirit of each individual man:

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

"There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man…for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man." Mark 7:15, 21-23

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5

"For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." Genesis 8:21

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23

"Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28

"Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank." Daniel 1:8

"But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost…why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart?" Acts 5:3-4

"Thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee." Acts 8:21-22

"Thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds." Romans 2:5-6

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Heb. 4:12

"Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have trans- gressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit." Ezekiel 18:31

 

Sin Is Doing Evil Or Wickedness

The Bible teaches that sin is doing wickedness or evil. A baby is not born a murderer, a thief, or a liar. He cannot be born a murderer, a thief, or a liar for he has never murdered or stolen or lied. The baby would have to commit these sins to be a sinner. There are hundreds of texts in the Bible that speak of sin, and sin is always the evil or wickedness that the sinner does:

"Unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, coveteousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they that commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Romans 1:29-32

"Thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doeth the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them that commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them that do such things, and doeth the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?…who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil." Romans 2:1-3, 6-9

"Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21

"To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17

"The children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil…" Romans 9:11

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them vexed his righteous soul from day to day with theirunlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." II Peter 2:4-9

"He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 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. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righeousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." I John 3:7-10

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." I Corinthians 6:9-10

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:3-6

 

The Apostles Knew Nothing About Being Born A Sinner

The Apostles of Christ knew nothing of a doctrine of being born a sinner; but instead knew and taught the biblical truth that sinners become sinners just like Adam and Eve became sinners, that is, by being tempted by the devil, and then giving in to temptation and disobeying God:

"Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I Corinthians 10:13

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." II Peter 2:9

"I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain." I Thessalonians 3:5

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." II Corinthians 11:3

"Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:27

"And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." II Timothy 2:26

"And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan." Mark 1:13

"(He) was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15

"And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him…" John 13:2

"And Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?" Acts 5:3

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." Revelation 12:9

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." I Peter 5:8

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against…spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:11-12

 

Christ Knew Nothing Of Being Born A Sinner

Neither did Christ know anything about the doctrine of being born a sinner. Instead of teaching that men are born sinners, Christ attributed all sin to the free moral agency of the sinner. And Christ, just like his Apostles, spoke of the agency of the devil in tempting men to sin and disobey God:

"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Matthew 13:38-39

"Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." Luke 8:12

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." John 8:44

"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." I John 3:8

"In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." I John 3:10

"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." Luke 22:31-32

"Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." Mark 14:38

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of of the devil." Matthew 4:1

 

The Devil Doesn't Know About The Doctrine Of Being Born A Sinner

Neither does the devil know about the doctrine of being born a sinner! If he did, he would know he doesn't need to deceive us and tempt us to make us sin. For if we were born with a sinful nature, we would sin by nature, and would not need to be tempted to make us sin! But the devil has never heard of the doctrine of being born a sinner, and goes on tempting men to sin when they would sin just as well without a devil to tempt them! What a fool the devil is!

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." Revelation 12:9

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations." Rev. 20:7-8

"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone." Revelation 20:10

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field…And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1

 

Neither Jesus Nor His Apostles Ever Spoke Of Being Born A Sinner

Neither Jesus nor his Apostles ever spoke of being born a sinner. They spoke of the agency of the devil to tempt and deceive and ruin men in sin. They knew that all sin came from freely and willfully giving in to temptation, and that the devil was the enemy of God who seeks to deceive and destroy man who is the special creation of God:

"The thief cometh not but to steal and to kill, and to destroy, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth." John 8:44

"And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movest me against him, to destroy him without cause." Job 2:3

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour." I Peter 5:8

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places…taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." Ephesians 6:11-12, 16

"The tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:38-42

 

The Bible Teaches That Temptation Is The Occasion Of All Sin

The Bible teaches that temptation is the occasion of all sin. Man is not a sinner by nature or by birth; man is a sinner because he yields to temptation:

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." James 1:12

"Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able…" I Corinthians 10:13

"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Matthew 13:38-39

"Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." Luke 8:12

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." John 8:44

"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." I John 3:8

"Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Mark 14:38

"And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan." Mark 1:13

"He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15

 

Every Sin In The Universe Has Been Committed Without A Sinful Nature

The devil was tempted and fell from his original perfection without a sinful nature to make him sin. (See Ezekiel 28:13-17.) The third part of the holy angels were tempted and fell from their original perfection without a sinful nature to make them sin. (See II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.) And holy Adam and Eve were tempted and fell from their original perfection without a sinful nature to make them sin. (See Genesis 3:1-24.) And the Bible everywhere teaches that temptation is the occasion and cause of all sin today as it was with Adam and Eve in the beginning:

"Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:12-15

If the doctrine of original sin is true, then Jesus, his Apostles, and, indeed, all the inspired writers of the Bible lived in total ignorance of it. For they never spoke of original sin as being the occasion or cause of any sin! But they spoke of the agency of the devil and of temptation as the cause and occasion of all sin! Jesus exhorted his disciples to "watch and pray, that they not enter into temptation." He taught his disciples to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." His Apostles, in their epistles, exhorted the believers to guard against the "snares of the devil," lest they be tempted and fall into sin. They exhorted the believers to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour," and to "put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

In place of attributing the sins of mankind to a physical connection with Adam, they attributed the sins of mankind to a moral connection with the tempter, the devil. They spoke of sinners as being children of the devil, and of the devil as being theirfather. They spoke of men's sins as being the works of the devil, and they spoke of Christ coming to destroy the works of the devil. And finally, they spoke of the sinner as being a captive of the devil, and in need of escaping from the snare of the devil.

They never spoke of being born a sinner or of committing sin because of a sinful nature inherited from Adam! There is not one single verse in all the Bible that speaks of a sinful nature inherited from Adam! But throughout all the Bible we are taught that men are tempted and commit sin when they surrender to temptation!

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:12-15

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…" I Corinthians 10:13

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

 

There Is A Difference Between The Just And The Unjust

Over and over again the Bible speaks of the difference between the just and the unjust. But if all men are born with a sinful nature and sin by nature it would be impossible for there to be a just person or a difference between just persons and wicked persons, for all would have sinful natures and be wicked. But there are innumerable texts in the Bible that speak of the difference between the just and the unjust:

"He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord." Proverbs 17:15

"Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; andjustifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness." I Kings 8:32

"So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:49-50

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." II Pet. 2:9

"For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of thewicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just." Proverbs 3:32-33

"The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken by their own naughtiness. When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wickedcometh in his stead." Proverbs 11:5-8

"The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous." Proverbs 15:29

 

God's Wrath Toward Sinners Shows They Are Not Sinners By Birth

Every time that the Bible speaks of the guilt of the sinner for his sins, and each time it tells us that he deserves the everlasting punishment of hell for his sins, and that the wrath of God is upon him because of his sins, and that God is angry with the sinner for his sins, and that he hates the sinner for his sins, and that he will take vengeance on the sinner for his sins, it is proof that men are not created and born with a sinful nature that makes them sin, but that they are created in the image and likeness of God with a good and upright nature, and that they sin against their nature and corrupt themselves:

"Esau have I hated." Romans 9:12

"Thou hatest all workers of iniquity." Psalm 5:5

"God is angry with the wicked every day." Psalm 7:11

"For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man." Psalm 5:4-6

"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." II Thessalonians 1:7-8

"If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries…for we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And, again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is afearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:26-27, 30-31

"The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men." Romans 1:18

"Thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds…unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil." Rom. 2:5-9

"Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it…And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity." Isaiah 13:9, 11

"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19

"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tor- mented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and thesmoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night." Rev. 14:10-11

 

All The Words For Sin Speak Of Sinning Against Our Nature

Every time the Bible speaks of sin or evil or wickedness or ungodliness or injustice or iniquity or perversion or abomination or confusion it speaks of sinning against our nature. And because ALL SIN IS AGAINST OUR NATURE we are guilty and deserve the anger and wrath of God and the everlasting punishment of hell:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men,leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another. Romans 1:18, 26-27

"Whosoever he be…that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people…And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy…Every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought CONFUSION; their blood shall be upon them. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an ABOMINATION: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is WICKEDNESS: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people…And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them." Leviticus 20:2-3, 6-18, 23

"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Psalm 9:17

"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:3-6

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals), nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God." I Cor. 6:9-10

"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and thesmoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever." Revelation 14:10-11

"And the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." Revelation 16:19

"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Revelation 19:15

"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." Revelation 21:7-8

"Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Revelation 22:12-15

 

All Sin Is A Free Moral Choice That Transgresses God's Law

It is impossible to be born a sinner or to beget a sinner. For sin is not a material or physical substance; it is moral and not physical, and it is only the soul or the spirit of man which has the POWER OF CHOICE and sins. There is nothing material about sin; it is a wicked moral choice, it is an evil act, it is disobedience or transgression of the law of God. The Bible says that ALL SIN is disobedience or transgression of God's law. No one can be a sinner without transgressing the law of God. There is no sin, and there can be no sin, if the law of God is not transgressed. The first sin in the garden was a transgression of God's law, and ALL SIN since has been a transgression of the law of God:

"And (God) said…Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Genesis 3:11

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4

"But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." James 2:9-11

"For where no law is, there is no transgression." Rom. 4:15

"sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4

"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." Romans 2:12-16

 

CONCLUDING REMARKS

 

The Scriptures and arguments presented in this booklet have clearly shown that the doctrine of original sin is not taught in the Bible, but contradicts the teachings of the Bible again and again on the pages of Scripture.

It is not easy for a minister of God's Word to admit he has been teaching a doctrine that is not even in the Bible; but if we have done so, we must admit it and repent if we would please God. To continue to teach a false doctrine when we have reason to suspect its truth is wickedness! The theologian, Randolf S. Foster, makes some penetrating comments on the moral turpitude of clinging to error once we know the truth:

The known and willful support or perpetuation of an error is a crime against humanity and a sin against Him who is Truth. To cling to error or defend error when one has reason to suspect it may be error reveals a heart that does not fully love the truth for the truth's sake.

To strenuously support and shield from scrutiny what we believe when we are aware that its truth is questionable reveals a heart that is not completely candid. We are supposed to be children of light, and to be afraid to shine light upon what we believe shows a love still for darkness.

Although all men have an innate and genuine thirst after truth and corresponding disgust for error, there may exist, strange as it may seem, extreme opposition to the acceptance of certain truths--an absolute hatred of them, because they differ from what we now believe, because they require changes in us which we do not want to make, because they require the confession that we have been mistaken and have held error--so the mind will not give them fair treatment--It hardens against them and imposes unjust tests and will not give them the courtesy of fair and respectful attention. Prejudices, vicious habits of thought, pride of opinion and of denominational belief, ignorance, suspicion, bigotry, blind following of religious and denominational leaders so becloud and benumb the mind that it cannot and will not see its own errors, or the truth of others--when with a little unprejudiced examination the truth could be seen. Randolf S. Foster, Studies in Theology, Vol. I, pp. 9, 10, 18, 31.

Dear Christian, the doctrine of original sin is false and unbiblical. We ought not to preach it or support it in any way. God has called us to preach the truth--the truth of the Bible, and the truths of the Bible as they are contained in the Bible--and nothing outside of the Bible that is the doctrine of men.

 

 


I pray "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: Ephesians 1:17

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” —John 14:12-14

Authority on Earth. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. (Mark 13: 34)
 
“They that forsake the law praise the wicked.” Proverbs 28:4. When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah. Such counsel is prompted by the enemy of all good. It is the speech of timeservers, and should be resisted as resolutely today as then. Whatever influence would tend to unsettle the faith of God’s people in His guiding power, should be steadfastly withstood.

In Nehemiah’s firm devotion to the work of God, and his equally firm reliance on God, lay the reason of the failure of his enemies to draw him into their power. 

The soul that is indolent falls an easy prey to temptation; but in the life that has a noble aim, an absorbing purpose, evil finds little foothold. The faith of him who is constantly advancing does not weaken; for above, beneath, beyond, he recognizes Infinite Love, working out all things to accomplish His good purpose. God’s true servants work with a determination that will not fail because the throne of grace is their constant dependence.

God has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts. He provides opportunities and opens channels of working. If His people are watching the indications of His providence, and are ready to co-operate with Him, they will see mighty results." --{Prophets and Kings, Page 660}
 
Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

 
THE NATURE OF CHRIST

This subject is one we need to approach with sanctified hearts. For our finite minds can never fully understand the infinite love of Christ in taking upon Himself Human nature to be both our Savior and our Example.

Some would make Christ incapable of sin, thus destroying the truth that He is our example in living the victorious life. Others would make Him altogether like one of us, thus destroying the truth that He was the spotless, holy Lamb of God.

On the one hand we must never make Christ totally like us. We, who have hearts that are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked and very much in need of a new heart and spirit. Yet on the other hand we must never make His example an unapproachable one for we are to become new creatures, transformed into His likeness.

Let's look at some concepts to help us understand.

1SM p, 256
"We should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ...This holy Substitute is able to save to the uttermost...Divine power is placed upon man, that he may BECOME a partaker of the divine nature.....

We are to partake of HIS NATURE not drag Him down to ours!

2SM 253
"The Majesty of heaven undertook the cause of man, and with the same facilities that man may obtain, withstood the temptations of Satan as man must withstand them, This was the only way in which fallen man could become a partaker of the divine nature...Christ condescended to take man's nature, and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted."

1SM p. 107
"What depths of thought...Christ needed no suffering to atone for Himself. His was a depth of suffering proportionate to the dignity of His person and HIS SINLESS, exalted character."

4T 528
"His NATURE WAS WITHOUT THE TAINT OF SIN."
As the Son of man, He prayed to the Father, showing that human nature requires all the divine support which man can obtain...

Is a nature without a taint of sin, a sinless nature? Yet, in His humanity He daily sought the Father's support to withstand the trails surrounding Him.

DA 110-11
Jesus "the sinless One" requests baptism. "He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do...As one with us, He must bear the burden of OUR guilt and woe. The SINLESS ONE must feel the shame of sin."

There is a dual nature here, Christ's spiritual nature is sinless, yet he takes on human FLESH with all the consequences that sin has wrecked on the human body. His spiritual nature does not possess the evil passions common to the carnal, sinful nature. The carnal nature is compatible to evil, Christ's spiritual nature recoils from evil.

Sinful human nature in it's natural carnal state is not spiritual, it is carnal and it sins.

Romans 7:14-24
"For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not, ...sin dwells in me...in my flesh dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not...who shall deliver me from this body of death?"

Romans 8:7-8
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

There is only one way of escape from our sinful human natures. That is through a new birth experience in Christ, a renewing of the mind, a transformation brought about only by the Holy Spirit dwelling in our lives. Only in Christ can we find this renewal. It involves the putting to death of the sinful nature and rising to newness of life in Christ. This involves a daily process for the carnal, sinful nature keeps trying to come alive again.

Ephesians 4:22-24
Put off concerning the former way of life concerning the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Christ did not have that carnal, sinful nature that had to be transformed and "put off". He did not have to repent. He did not have to be "born again. He took on our heredity of our weakened bodies, of our weakened mental powers, our emotional and physical needs, but not our carnality which, without the transforming power of Christ, renders us incapable of pleasing God.

 2T.201.002 
As the human was upon Him, He felt His need of strength from His Father. He had select places of prayer. He loved to hold communion with His Father in the solitude of the mountain. In this exercise His holy, human soul was strengthened for the duties and trials of the day. Our Saviour identifies Himself with our needs and weaknesses, in that He became a suppliant, a nightly petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh supplies of strength, to come forth invigorated and refreshed, braced for duty and trial. He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions. As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil. He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and privilege. He required all the stronger divine support and comfort which His Father was ready to impart to Him..

5BC p. 1128
"Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called "that holy thing." It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves; for it cannot be.

Christ's human nature was what ours can become when we are transformed, born again, abiding in Him.

RH.1888-10-23.006 
If in the strength of Christ we are seeking to maintain such a consecration, we shall be daily holding communion with God, understanding more of the mysteries of godliness, enjoying the fellowship of the Spirit, coming closer to our Redeemer, and taking hold with a firmer grasp, of a better and higher life. The principles of God's law will dwell in the heart, and control the actions. It will then be as natural for us to seek purity and holiness, to shun the spirit and example of the world, and to seek to benefit all around us, as it is for the angels of glory to execute the mission of love assigned them. None will enter the city of God but those who have been doers of the word. They will be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is our privilege to know more of Christ's presence and power, and through faith to become transformed into his likeness. The great apostle prayed for his Colossian brethren that they "might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;" that they "might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Our carnal natures are what COULD have taken hold of Him, had He yielded to temptation, but HE DID NOT. His nature was not carnal, and we must "put off" our carnal natures and be renewed, transformed, born again in newness of life with Christ.

Christ knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity, what are their wants, and where lies the strengths of their temptations; for He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet withOUT sin. (See Hebrews 4:15)

Yet the question comes.
How could one WHO recoils from sin,
be tempted as we are, we who are inclined to sin?
Do you know what Christ's SEVERE TEMPTATION was?

His most severe temptation was to maintain complete humanity when He could have called upon His Divinity. This was the most severe discipline He faced.

At first it may seem that we aren't tempted in that line, but then I started thinking...

Isn't that really the basis of sinfulness in created beings, this striving to be one's own god, rather than yielding to the Father's will?

Therefore, yes, Christ faced our same temptations, only for him it was "His rightful" place to be God, He had the ability, whereas we do not have that "rightful place" we are every bit dependant upon God for everything, yet we still want to be our own gods.

RH.1875-04-01
It was a difficult task for the Prince of Life to carry out the plan which he had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing his divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts, and was familiar with absolute power. It was as difficult for him to keep the level of humanity as it is for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures, and be partakers of the divine nature.

Christ was put to the closest test, requiring the strength of all his faculties to resist the inclination when in danger, to use his power to deliver himself from peril, and triumph over the power of the prince of darkness. Satan showed his knowledge of the weak points of the human heart, and put forth his utmost power to take advantage of the weakness of the humanity which Christ had assumed in order to overcome his temptations on man's account.

Christ veiled His Divinity and became truly human, in the flesh to redeem mankind.

"If you are the Son of God, show your power by relieving yourself of this hardship", these were the temptations Satan hurled at our Savior. In the recorded temptations, Satan assailed Christ with his strongest temptations in the wilderness. Jesus was"forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing; and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. And the devil said unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread." Luke 4:2 Would the Son of God, the world's Redeemer, take up the challenge and prove to the apostate that He is indeed the Son of God, the Prince of heaven? It was in His power to do so. The devil was pressing Him to use His Divine power. But Christ refuses to yield to the temptation and rise above the level of humanity.

Instead He answers, "It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Luke 4:3 Thus He confirmed His commitment to live as a human in total dependance upon the Father.

Philippians 2.5-8
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 
But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men: 
And being found in fashion as a man
he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death
even the death of the cross.

In John 5:30 Jesus describes His position as a human:

I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Ellen G. White's Christology

Christ "was tempted in every way, just as we are" (Hebrews 4:15), that He appeared on earth "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3) and that to some degree Christ "had to be made like His brethren in all things" (Hebrews 2:17). Ellen White taught that Christ had a sinful nature. "Christ took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature...; Christ took human nature and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He took our nature and its deteriorating condition" (Questions on Doctrine, pp. 654-656). 

The link established between humanity and divinity through the atonement is undeniably certain (Philippians 2:6-8). The emphasis in Ellen White's Christology is unmistakably clear. Christ is "holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners" (Hebrews 7:26). He was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11) and by what He suffered (Hebrews 2:18).

Consider a few brief examples:

"The awful moment had come—that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow, and leave man to perish in his iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the bitter cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the consequences of the curse of sin, to save the guilty? ... Now the history of the human race comes up before the world’s Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law, if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood... He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: ‘If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’ " The Desire of Ages, p. 690.

"It was a difficult task for the Prince of Life to carry out the plan which he had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing his divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts, and was familiar with absolute power. It was as difficult for him to keep the level of humanity as it is for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures, and be partakers of the divine nature."

"Christ was put to the closest test, requiring the strength of all his faculties to resist the inclination when in danger, to use his power to deliver himself from peril, and triumph over the power of the prince of darkness. Satan showed his knowledge of the weak points of the human heart, and put forth his utmost power to take advantage of the weakness of the humanity which Christ had assumed in order to overcome his temptations on man’s account." Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, April 1, 1875.

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