ADAM AND EVE did more than just sin when they bit into that forbidden fruit. They poisoned themselves and all generations to come. That’s a theory Bible experts call original sin.
Scholars may have done a fine job putting a name on this idea. But they can’t explain it. Not in a way that makes sense to the typical brain. The scholar who named the theory, Augustine (AD 354–430), said there was nothing harder to explain.
Some scholars pitched the idea that Adam’s ancient sin worked through genetics. The fruit somehow changed humanity’s DNA, and the sin gene got passed on to the rest of us. Now every human comes wired to sin. Exception: Jesus, born of a virgin. “He did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Other scholars say it couldn’t be genetics. If it were, we’d eventually find the cure to sin. That would leave future generations to sit around and debate whose sin Jesus died for.
Without explaining how sin migrates from Adam’s generation to ours, Paul seems to state it as fact: “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12).
We might not understand the original sin part, but most of us understand the “everyone sinned” part. Even if everyone didn’t sin when Adam did, everyone sinned after Adam did.
If there’s a sin gene, at least spiritually speaking, most souls would agree we’ve all got it.
“Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25 NIRV).
This is an excerpt from Steve’s new book, releasing July 1, 2016:
A Visual Walk Through Genesis, page 42.
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