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Many honest and sincere people have been taught that since the fall of Adam and Eve that every living soul is born with a corrupt and sinful nature (totally depraved). Psalms 51:5 is often cited as a proof text, for it reads: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
From this passage some have falsely concluded that David is saying that he was born in sin, totally depraved. This is NOT what is taught here or anywhere else in the Bible! David was not born in sin, but into a sinful world.
While writing this, he is sorrowing over the sin of adultery which he committed with Bath-sheba and for having her husband, Uriah the Hittite, murdered. This false doctrine is encouraged by the translators of the New International Version which mis-translates Psalms 51:5, “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” This is not the rendering in the Greek text! This is only one of the many serious errors found in this translation!
Adam and Eve sinned when they disobeyed God and ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3). They had the freedom of choice to obey God or to obey Satan (the serpent) just as we do today. The idea that we are born in sin totally contradicts the entire tenor of the Bible. The Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel wrote, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son.” (Ezekiel 18:20).
Two distinct categories of sin are found in the New Testament. The sin of commission and the sin of omission. John wrote, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). Transgressing is going beyond or overstepping God’s law.
A second way we may sin is by failing to obey God. James 4:17 reads, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Since a baby does not know good from evil or what God’s will is, how could he possibly be guilty of sin?
In Matthew 18:7, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Is Jesus here teaching that we must become sinful (totally depraved) in order to enter the kingdom of heaven? Certainly not! Jesus uses little children to illustrate that we must become innocent, pure and holy like a little child in order to be saved in heaven.
Hereditary Total Depravity (the name of this doctrine) is one of the five false points of Calvinism, and it is not found in the Bible! Until a child reaches the age that he understands right from wrong and is old enough to believe in Jesus (Romans 10:17); repent of his sins (Luke 13:3); confess his faith in Christ (Romans 10:10); and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16); he is not in a lost condition before God. Babies are not born in sin! (To be continued.)
You are invited to visit with the Rockford Church of Christ on Sunday mornings at 10 for Bible study and 11 for worship.