Are we all born sinners?

We are all born sinners. From the moment we enter this world until our final breath, we have a sinful nature. It does not matter whether one is a child or an adult, a "good" person or a "bad" one, all of us are sinners. To sin is to fall short of God's perfect standards or to go against His laws. All humans have a natural tendency to go against the things of God, as is made obvious in something as small as our natural tendency toward selfishness. Due to our sin, we are all separated from God and deserving of His punishment (Romans 3:23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1–5).

Our sin nature is inherited from Adam (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22). When God created Adam and Eve, He made them in His own image and without sin (Genesis 1:26–27). However, they had the ability to make their own decisions and they chose to disobey God (Genesis 3). By disobeying God, they sinned and became sinful in nature. Their children inherited this sinful nature and their children and so forth. All of humanity descends from Adam and Eve; therefore all of humanity inherits a sinful nature or is born as sinners. Romans 5:12 explains, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned."

Our sin nature is a part of us from birth (Psalm 58:3; Proverbs 22:15); we are born sinners. Even before we are conscious of sin it influences our bodies and our actions. King David wrote, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5). Children have a natural inclination to act selfishly and must be taught to share and put others first. In addition, our bodies are already imperfect at birth and easily broken—a result of living in a fallen world due to sin in a general sense.

Our sin nature is not something we can overcome on our own. Although people can do good things, they are not inherently good in nature. They will never be able to do enough good works to atone for their sin, nor can they stop sinning simply by their own will power. Writing to the church in Ephesus, Paul describes the state of humanity without Christ, "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind" (Ephesians 2:1–3).

But there is hope! Jesus Christ has overcome sin. Jesus was fully human and fully God. It seems that the sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father; the virgin birth meant Jesus did not receive a sin nature. Jesus became a perfect man, living a perfect life without sinning. By sacrificing His life on the cross, He atoned for both our sinful nature and our sinful actions. Therefore, "For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17). Just as Adam's sin spread sin throughout the world, Jesus' sacrifice defeated all sin.

In this life we will always have a sinful nature. However, there are at least three promises for those who choose to commit their lives to Jesus. First, their sin is not counted against them; in Christ we are completely forgiven (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Second, they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to withstand the temptation to sin and Jesus will work to transform their hearts so that they will become more like Him in nature (1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:6; 2:12–13). Finally, one day they will be reunited with God in heaven and will be forever free of sin (Revelation 21—22). In Jesus we need no longer be separated from God. We are not bound to our birth as sinners, but can become children of God: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12–13).

Related Truth:

What is human nature?

The sin nature - What is it?

What is inherited sin?

What is salvation?

How can I be saved?

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Truth about Sin

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