Sin 2: Original Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 25, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I wrote about the primary definition of sin: missing the mark. But as I mentioned, that really is just a surface level understanding of the nature of what sin truly is. To be able to understand sin properly, and thus understand the Gospel properly, we need to know how sin entered the world and what man’s plight from birth really is: the doctrine of original sin.

The doctrine of original sin only applies to mankind. It does not apply to Satan, aka Lucifer, and his host of fallen angels. So, I don’t buy the argument that sin was in the world long before Adam because Satan was in the world. That is just another attempt to try to insert millions of years into the text, and it is also an attempt to diminish the seriousness and weight of Adam’s sin, which also diminishes the work of the cross (more detail on that in a future post). Let me be clear: it is possible to be born again and not know the full weight of this issue. The thief on the cross recognized the weight of his own sin, and maybe he did or maybe he didn’t know about Adam’s sin. But Jesus and Paul both knew about Adam, and both put Adam as the federal head for all of mankind bringing in the curse of sin. Without Adam as that federal head, then Jesus is not our federal head as a born-again believer.

The doctrine of original sin is two-fold. First, it addresses how sin, and as a result death, entered the world. Second, it addresses the “sin nature” – the inclination, desire, and power of sin over each person. The first is pretty simple: read Genesis 3. For me to unpack and exegete the whole chapter will take me multiple blog posts, but I’m simply going to emphasize the three tactics of the enemy and the three sins of Eve in the first three verses. Russ Miller describes this as the 3Ds of sin.

The first lie is doubt. The serpent asked, “Has God really said…?” And thus, Eve’s first sin was doubting God’s word and God’s command. Before the Serpent even got to the second lie of denial, Eve already did it. Eve added to the command of not eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil by not touching it too. This enabled the serpent to outright deny God’s command by saying, “You will not surely die.” And with the denial came the third lie: deify. The serpent told Eve she could become like God. At that point, she saw the fruit as what she wanted, gave it to Adam who was with her, and both ate. The eating of the fruit wasn’t the first sin; it was simply the final touch that sealed the deal. Adam and Eve realized they were naked and felt shame for the first time. They knew they had done wrong and had first-hand knowledge of evil.

As the federal head, Adam’s sin then became imputed onto every single person. “But that’s not fair,” someone will object. Well, life is not fair. As a citizen of the United States, I have an inherent debt associated to my name. It’s called the national debt. We did not choose to be poor budgeteers; our representatives did. They inherited a debt they could not pay. Not only will they not be able to pay it off, but they are adding to the debt. Likewise, we inherited our sin debt from Adam, but each of us have nothing to pay it off with. Instead, we are only adding to that debt we owe God with our own sins. So, while skeptics will try to blame Adam for their choices, they still have only themselves to blame.

What happened as a result of original sin? My pastor, during a church retreat last fall, preached on Genesis 3 and cited this list of things that happened as a result of sin.

  • Lust: Now there is shame.
  • Shame: We are ashamed of our bodies.
  • Condemnation: They hid from God.
  • Loss of Communion with God: They hid from God.
  • Blaming others for their sin: “It was the woman.”
  • Enmity between you and Satan so he seeks to totally disfigure you.
  • There will be great pain in childbearing, not just birth but in raising the children.
  • Marital Conflict
  • Thorns and thistles: Vanity under the sun, and you work for no real fruit or value.
  • Tedious work: Work is often not fun anymore.
  • Death
  • Alienation from God: Kicked out of the Garden.
  • False worship: Works-based righteous through Cain.

That list of what happened in Genesis 3 into Genesis 4 is thorough but not comprehensive. It took only ten generations from Adam for the entire world to fall into such great corruption that God found it unredeemable and sent the Flood to wipe out everything. Even with Noah, the one righteous man left, being saved, Noah was not the savior. He simply continued the line of mankind, likely with some genetic defects that carried onto his line which shrunk the lifespans from 900+ years down 100 years.

The nature of sin continued to progress. Sexual sin erupted quickly to where the very act of homosexuality became known as sodomy, after the city that was known for it. Some have tried to downplay this as it was just a one-time act of attempted gang-rape, however, this was their lifestyle. God destroyed this city in His mercy because of how corrupt it could have become.

Mankind has only gotten more and more perverse. If you go through Paul’s letters, every time he goes through a list of sins, he’s really just going off the top of his head and hardly coming up with an exhaustive list. Here are SOME of the passages: Romans 1:28-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Galatians 5:19-21. Combine all these lists together and there is not one category of sin left that is not mentioned. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a single person (besides Jesus Himself) who is not guilty of each and every one of these sins in heart or mind if not actually deed. Yes, that includes me. I have hard time taking an honest evaluation of myself and reading these lists and not saying “Guilty! Guilty!” If I were to “boast” perhaps the only one I can think of that never tempts me is drunkenness, but that’s ONLY if you only consider actual alcoholism as the sin. If the spirit of drunkenness were to be applied to something else… guilty! Drunkenness is a reference to addictions and it’s not just talking about alcohol.

The fact remains that every single person is guilty of sin and every one of us have broken the law, not just in one area, but in every area. Each one of us deserves death. And before anyone says, “That’s not fair! I haven’t done anything bad enough to deserve that!” let me remind you, those statements do not consider the weight of sin, nor Whom that sin is against. I will cover that next week, and from there, we’ll go into the different ways our modern “Christians” have been describing sin and its effects.

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