What is inherited sin?

Inherited sin (original sin) is that sinful nature and corruption with which every human being is born (Psalm 51:7). It is the guilt and depravity of sin which is the result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. The Bible speaks a lot about it, and we all experience it in our lives. We can see it in the fact that it is easier, even for a small child, to do wrong than to do good. People sometimes ask: "But why are we kept responsible for the sin of Adam?" We do agree that the answer to such a question is not an easy one. There are, however, a few things that can help us to try and understand this mystery.

 1. Adam was our mutual ancestor and natural father (Acts 17:26).

 But he was more than that. He was our representative before God. When he sinned, it affected all his descendents. Please stop here, open your Bible and read carefully what Paul had to say about this subject in Romans 5:12-21. The key text is verse 12 "Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned" (Good News English translation).

 2. Inherited sin is an undisputable proof of the unity of the human race although it is split up in different nations.

 (See Genesis 11:4-9). We must confess that human understanding cannot grasp everything. But according to the Bible, there is a mysterious unity between Adam and every person born, between Adam and you and me also. The result is described in Romans 3:23.

 3. But the Bible has good news for us.

 The Gospel contains a positive message which tells us a wonderful story. It says: There is the same unity between us and the Lord Jesus Christ, as the one between us and Adam. Paul spoke about it in Romans 5:17: "It is true that through the sin of one man (Adam) death began to rule because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by one man, Jesus Christ! 18: So then, as the one sin condemned all mankind, in the same way the one righteous act (when Christ died for mankind on the cross) sets all mankind free and gives them life. 19: And just as all people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man (Adam), in the same way they will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of one man" (Jesus Christ).

 But now we must understand this clearly. Only those who accept Jesus as their Saviour are saved. People who rejects Christ, remain under the curse of sin.

 Now stop and read 1 Corinthians 5:22 and do what 1 John 1:9 says, turn to John 3:16 and John 1:12 and believe it with your whole heart.