What Is Original Sin and Its Inheritance?

We each are original sinners ourselves, not Adam alone. Sin being our born nature we cannot get out of it by ourselves. While we are in this world we should really become one with God by meeting Jesus Christ.

Video Script:

What is Original Sin and Its Inheritance?

Today, we are going to discuss “What is Original Sin and its inheritance?” In this video, we will touch “What is the original sin?” , “Is the Adam’s original sin inherited to us?” “If yes, is it fair?” “What is our original sin, if any, and its nature?” “What is the nature of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? ” We will discuss these issues in this video.

1. Inheritance of Original Sin

First, what is the original sin?It is our general understanding that the original sin refers to the ‘Adam’s disobedient act to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil,’ and the sin and death passes down upon all mankind. So, due to one man Adam, we, all mankind are born as sinners and have to face death.

In this sense, therefore, we can say that the original sin is the root of all sins of mankind. And it seems that this understanding is supported by the Bible, because Romans 5:12 reads in this way.
“Therefore, 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:”.

Indeed, in here, it says, by one man, sin and death passed upon all men. However, once we understand the original sin and its inheritance in this way, it is natural for us to blame it on Adam for his original sin, and further, to consider that God is not fair because he makes us sinners based upon someone else’s sin. But the truth is that God is fair, only our misguided thoughts make God unfair.

2. No inheritance or imputation of Sin

In short, there is no inheritance or imputation of the Adams’s sin to us ever. Only Adam alone who disobeyed to God is to bear his condemnation, not his descendants. Read

[Ezekiel 18:2-4]What mean you, that you 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, said the Lord GOD, you 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 sins, it shall die.

After reading this verse, if we still say and think that we became sinners due to the Adam’s sin, then we are saying the vain proverb that “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”
In here, God clearly says that “the soul that sins, it shall die.” By this, we can know that Adam dies by his sin, and we die by our sin.” So, now is the time that we will no longer use the proverb of inheritance of the Adam’s sin in our Christianity.
Then, where is our original sin? We will get to know it gradually as we follow this explanation.

3. Adam Is the Representative of All Mankind

Now, I will explain what the original sin of Adam is, and what it means to us. Let’s have a look at the picture. As we all know, the Adam’s original sin is his eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, disobeying God’s command. By that disobedience, he became sinner and death passed upon him.

In here, we should be aware of that the God’s purpose of recording Adam in the Bible is not to blame Adam and warn us not to take example of him. But God put Adam there as the representative of all mankind, in order to show us that we all are like him, because we do not know who we are, and where we are from.

Yes, Adam is the representative of all mankind. So, the Adam’s act reveals the behavior pattern of all mankind. What Adam does is what we do. Therefore, when Adam ate from the tree of knowledge disobeying God’s command, such an act of Adam reveals our nature as human being to do the same thing. In this sense, we are each an Adam. So, we also eat from the tree of knowledge at our time without single exception, and face death, following after Adam. Like this, we die by our sin, not by Adam’s.

4. True Meaning of Roman 5:12

With this understanding in mind, let us interpret Romans 5:12 freshly:The first half of the verse reads:”Therefore, as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin;”

This part states the behavior of one man Adam, the representative of all mankind. He ate from the tree of knowledge, and so became sinner and was born in this world, and faced death. We all know this.

Here, as for the meaning of “Sin entered into the world” it cannot mean that sin entered into the material world, because ‘sin’ and ‘material world’ cannot be mixed up in any way.

But, it means that Adam, the sinner, is born into this world. By his birth, the material world has begun to be seen and interpreted by sinful Adam. And, Adam lives in this material world, but in sinful world as he has sinful eyes. This is the true meaning of “Sin entered into the world.”

Affected All Now, however, one man, Adam’s sin and death is not applicable only to himself, but to all mankind, because his act uncovers the behavior pattern of all mankind. So, by one man, Adam’s original sin and death, it is revealed that all mankind individually commits original sin and faces death. In this way, the Adam’s act decides the act of all mankind to come.

Therefore, the second half of the verse which reads: “and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” can be paraphrased as follows:“and because all men each sinned as Adam did , so death passed upon all men,”

Now, if we consider the whole verse, it means that we all sinned like Adam and death passed upon us all in the world. As our sin and death is revealed already by one man Adam, so Apostle Paul says here as: “By one man death passed upon all men.”Like this, Adam’s original sin never passes down to us, but we all have committed same original sin individually like Adam. I believe the issue of inheritance of original sin is explained sufficiently.

5. Nature of Our Original Sin

Now, we will continue to discuss our Original Sin.We are so used to think that the term, original sin, is particular to Adam, so it will not be easy for us to consider it, as ‘our sin.’ But as we discussed, we also ate the forbidden fruit like Adam, so we are the original sinners. And it is our original sin because all our sins in this world are originated from that sin.

We have discussed sin topic in our previous video titled “What Is Sin?” You may wish to have some time to watch it for better understanding as to sin.

Nature of Our Original Sin As said, ‘Our original sin’ is ‘to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.’ But it does not mean a simple act of disobedience, but it reveals us who we are. When we eat the fruit we are to be separated from God, and have to face death.

Then, what will be the nature of eating from the tree of knowledge?First, the fruit of good and evil is the fruit that gives the eaters the knowledge of good and evil, as its name implies.So when we eat it, we will gain the knowledge of good and evil. As for us, we ate it, as we have seen through the case of Adam, our representative.

The following is how we ate it. After we are created as ‘wise being’ in God’s image, we’ve got to have this kind of wise thoughts, such as: “I can take care of myself better than God will do for me”, Or “I can live better in separation from God,” and the like.

These wise thoughts are symbolized by the crafty serpent in Genesis Chapter 3. (Here, do not be misunderstood that the serpent is to mean the ‘rattle snake or cobra’ in the swamp.) These thoughts, which we think they are wise not crafty, will be realized when we eat from the tree of knowledge. By eating from that tree, we come to possess the knowledge of good to discern good out of evil. But this good is not the true one, but fake good.

Different Good will entail Separation Once we possess our own good by eating the fruit, then, we have to be separated from God. Why is that? Because, when we have our own good, our good will be in conflict with that of God. So, we cannot live together with God.

Let us look at the example in the Bible. In the parable of the Lost Son in Luke Chapter 15, when the younger son who left home came back, his father was very happy and held a feast to celebrate. And doing so is father’s good. However, seeing this, the older son became very angry and refused to go in to the house, even though his father went out and pleaded with him. The older son was saying this to his father:

[Luke 15:29-30] ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

The older son is speaking this according to his good. Due to this conflict of good, the older son could not come into the house, being separated from his father.
In this parable, father is the icon of God, the younger son is that of the believer who is used up following his own good and comes back through Jesus for God’s good, and the older son is that of the believer who is still following his own good.

Our Status According to the same principle, we ate the fruit and possessed own good, and naturally, were separated from God. And in this world, we are leading a hard and burdened life led by our fake good. We can know this truth, when we think about ourselves here. We are living without God in our mind at this very moment, only engaging our ‘self-righteousness’ and ‘good.’ Even ‘believing in Jesus,’ we do it this way. It’s all in vain.

Death is Not Penalty But Consequence of our Decision Considering the all above, we can understand that death came upon us not because of God‘s wrath for disobedience, but because of our decisions to possess different good which brings death. As for men, to have different good from God’s good means separation from life, that is, death.

6. Closing Remarks

Up to now, we have discussed the original sin and its inheritance and the nature of the eating from the tree of knowledge. The problem is that we ate the fruit already, so we are living as sinners in this world, sinning and dying, not even knowing what went wrong in our heavy-laden lives.

All these things are happening to us, not because of the Adam’s sin, but because of the result of our decisions. Therefore, we have no reason to blame it on Adam and on God for sin. But we have to try to find the way how we can get out of our original sin. We are done today.
We will meet you again soon in this channel with other Bible topics. Stick around!

For the better understanding of this topic, you may wish to refer to the articles: the Parable of the Lost Son uploaded.

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