Why Are We So Sinful?
This Hub takes a look at the sinful nature of mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve's original sin, disobedience. They did not trust God, and were disloyal to Him. And even though God punished them, their punishment is not the reason why we are sinful. We sin because we all yield to our nature and engage in disobedience, mistrust, and disloyalty to God.
It's true. It doesn’t matter how good or how kind you are, you're a sinner. It doesn’t matter how nice you are, you're still a sinner. It doesn’t even matter how smart, wise, witty or intelligent you are, you--my friend, are a sinner. Even if you're rich. Even if you're poor. Whether you live the life of the privileged, the life of a pauper, or somewhere in between.
You might be a teacher, a preacher, a surgeon, a monk, a computer programmer, a nurse, a dock worker, a doctor, a postman, a lawyer, a grocery store clerk, a ballerina, a beggar, or a thief. No matter who you are or what you do, you're also a sinner. Why? Because all humans are born with a propensity toward sin. We're born little, cuddly, cute, and with a nature that will one day turn to the desire to sin, and because this is true, we all come short of the glory of God.
Are We Guilty of "Original Sin"?
Ephesians 2:2-10 refers to us as “the children of disobedience,” because, based on original sin, that is essentially who we are. We are, as the Scripture says, “children of wrath.” And wrath, according to Webster’s dictionary, means “strong vengeful anger or indignation,” or “retributory punishment for an offense or a crime.” I guess that means we all have "original sin DNA" inside of us permeating our physical and spiritual existence. But--even though the way we're born is part of God's retributory punishment, it is not the sin of our original parents, but our own sin, that condemns us.
The Bible teaches us that we, as human beings, are sinful by nature. The Book of Genesis begins by telling us that due to the sin of our original human father and mother, Adam and Eve, we are all born susceptible to giving in to our sin nature. The disobedience of our original parents in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:16-17) rendered as "sin natured" all flesh and blood humans.
Yes, Adam and Eve's original sin was blatant disobedience, mistrust, and disloyalty to God. But God's punishment against Adam and Eve is not the reason that humans are sinful. We are sinful because, like our original parents, we yield to sin by engaging in disobedience, mistrust, and disloyalty to God.
Does that mean we can't help it? That we were simply created to be sinful? No. It means, like Adam and Eve, we were created and given "free will" to choose to obey God or not. Our original parents used their free will to disobey God, and so do we.
Were We Created to Sin?
Well, you may say, God created mankind, so why is He so angry when it comes to our sinful nature? Didn't He know when He created our original parents that we would inherit everything He put inside them? So, why are we naturally the children of wrath, as we take even our first breath of life?
The answer to these questions, I believe, lies in the act of disobedience. Adam and Eve were disobedient to God. They deliberately disobeyed a command He'd given them; the one and only thing He asked them not to do.
You see, they had it all; everything God created was under their authority, and they lacked nothing, except the knowledge of good and evil. They had everything they needed, including the ability to choose. They had free will. They knew they were under the authority of God, and that God loved them. God had given them everything but one thing. And even though He had provided for them everything they would ever need, He had also commanded that they not do one thing.
God created a place of beauty and placed Adam and Eve in the center of it, and He gave them dominion over all the other creatures He created. He made them superior to everything by giving them the job of watching over the Garden of Eden, and tending to the animals. They had it all, including prosperity and power . . . and free will. Adam and Eve could choose to obey or to disobey God. Enter the serpent.
Adam and Eve were disobedient. They listened to something that appeared to them as one of God's animals. One of the things over which they had dominion. Something they were to lead, and not be led by. By not asserting their superiority over the creature, by listening to the creature as it disputed what God had told them about death, they allowed God's fallen angel to lead them to mistrust and to disobey God.
When Adam and Even disobeyed God's command, they set the stage for us all to become disobedient. To allow our physical bodies, something we are to rule over, to rule us instead. Our original parents perpetrated the greatest offense against God and mankind, because they opened up the world to the vile, ugly, evil, tempestuous, rotten, foul, eternally corrupt thing that God did not desire to be in a world ruled by obedience to Him. But the way to keep it out of the world was not chosen by our original parents. Instead of choosing to obey and to trust God, they did just the opposite.
The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God, everything changed. No doubt, Satan was encouraged. I bet he laughed about how easy it was for him to tempt God's newest creation to do his bidding, instead of obeying God.
And now we live in a world that is a place where sin reigns supreme. In the world, evil is unleashed with a vengeance. Satan, the prince of evil, desires to destroy everything God created. If God placed it up, Satan wants to pull it down. If God placed it down, Satan tries to put it up. The master of all confusion and trickery, Satan is the eternal spoiler; the beneficiary of all wickedness.
Sin is Rampant on Earth
On earth, Satan has the upper hand, and he knows it. Mankind, sinful by nature, is inclined toward sin and wrongdoing, so it doesn‘t take much to nudge him over the line.
We are naturally lustful for material things and all of the sinful desires of the flesh. We are naturally self-absorbed and self-centered, so we can expect to live in a world filled with inequality and hatefulness, one toward another. We are naturally quick-tempered and quick to anger, so we are condemned to exist in a world where there are always wars and rumors of wars. Even our thoughts are sinful, and for this reason we live in a world inundated and polluted with pornography, X-rated clubs, and filthy entertainment in the form of movies, books and other printed material. The television networks, once a fairly safe bet when it came to avoiding blatantly sinful subject matter, now are proudly broadcasting and making millions on shows celebrating sinful lifestyles as entertainment, furthering the sinful agendas of the creators and producers of such shows.
So it is true that mankind, sinful by nature, obviously does not want to live without being able to tap into sinful imaginings everywhere and anywhere. Even children’s television programming is now under siege by Satan who, through his human devotees, is trying to instill in children earlier and earlier in life, a propensity to accept sin and to think of as normal lifestyles that are clearly against God's purpose for mankind.
Is There Hope, Still, for Us Sinners?
In Romans, Chapter 5, the apostle Paul explains how mankind is justified before God on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ. God, as Jesus, came to earth for the purpose of living a life without sinning, and then dying for the sins of mankind. In the Book of Romans, Paul delves into how mankind acquired our sin nature by looking at our original parents and their original sins. He shows us that, while Adam and Eve committed the first sin, we are guilty as sinners because of our own sin:
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12)
Ephesians 2:4-8 teaches,
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
Even though our sin nature is leading us down the path to eternal destruction, because Jesus lived, we are offered a different way, and a different outcome.
As sinful as we are, and as evil and as sinful as the world is, God devised a way for us to be redeemed.
Even though we all still live under the curse of sin introduced into the world by Adam and Eve, God loves us so much that He gives us a way to be bought back, purchased, from our sin nature.
Because of God's grace, and through Jesus Christ, we can trade our worthless, sinful selves for eternal salvation—we can escape eternal damnation.
© 2013 Sallie B Middlebrook PhD