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Was I Born a Sinner?

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the little children do wrong from a very young age because they inherited a sinful nature are we naturally inclined to do evil you know people in the religious world answer yes to these questions but what we want to know is what does the Bible say that’s what we’re going to talk about in this study you in Ephesians chapter 2 the Apostle Paul discusses the fact that before Christians obeyed the gospel we were serving the devil just like non-christians are still doing and then he writes this in verse 3 among whom that is among the world also we all once conducted ourselves in the lust of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and word now listen to this and were by nature children of Wrath just as the others now I want to focus on this phrase by nature children of Wrath Prince many people teach that what this phrase means is that we were naturally sinners they say it means that we were born that way that that from the moment we entered this world we had a sin nature or a sinful nature sometimes people call it a fallen nature sometimes it’s called original sin now what we’re gonna do is we study this today is we’re going to answer three questions number one what is this sinful nature number two where do people get this idea and then number three and most importantly what does the Bible say alright here’s our first question what is this sinful nature now you may say I’ve been a Christian for years and I’ve never heard of this I’ve never read anything in my Bible about a sinful nature what in the world are you talking about Prince it’s taught by many people in the religious world that when Adam sinned in the garden that something in his very nature was corrupted that he was permanently changed and that this corrupted nature was passed on to all of his descendants and so they would say although we retain a shadow of the image of God in us our primary nature now is the Fallen nature of Adam and so they would say we are not naturally inclined toward good but rather just the opposite we are naturally inclined to do evil by nature at birth we are wicked in fact some would carry it so far as to say that we are born earng sinful that we are lost at birth because Adam’s sin was passed on to us we inherited his sin and his sinful nature and so whenever I commit a sin it’s because of that part of me that drives me to do it and they would say that what has to happen to get beyond this sinful nature is that the Holy Spirit has to operate on your heart and change you empower you and a great deal of the religious world believes this let me give you some examples this is a quote from Charles Stanley is a very popular denominational preacher he says Romans 6:16 says we are slaves of the one whom we obey slaves of either sin or obedience to the Lord because every man is listen what he says because every man is born with a fallen nature being the master of our own lives is the same as being enslaved to sin now did you notice what he said that we are born with a fallen nature here’s another quote this is from perhaps the most famous Baptist preacher who ever lived Charles Spurgeon commenting on the idea of the sinful nature he said as the salt flavours every drop in the Atlantic so the sin affect every atom of our nature it is so sadly there he says so abundantly there that if you cannot detect it you are deceived one evening when my children were little we were having our family devotional and we were reading a book about dinosaurs it was written on a a child’s level it was called dinosaurs of Eden and that particular book explains from a biblical perspective what happened to the dinosaurs and it talked about the Garden of Eden and it talked about Adam and Eve living in the garden with all of the animals including the dinosaurs and then it mentions Adam’s sin and then it said this now because we are the descendants of Adam we are sinners just like him our very nature as such that we don’t really want to obey God’s Word that’s why we are so easily led astray by evolutionist teaching things such as millions of years of history down deep in our hearts we would rather listen to the fallible scientists opinions than the clear Word of God just a few pages over in the book they asked this question they said why don’t scientists believe that God created the world and why don’t they believe in the flood and then they give this answer they say scientists are sinners because of this they don’t want to believe it has nothing to do with the evidence there is an exception of course they say for those whose hearts have been changed by the Holy Spirit becoming true Christians now friends they’re wrong about this they’re absolutely wrong I’m just reading to you what they say and I think that when people make arguments like they did in that book they do a great deal of harm in fact one site on the internet even argues as a proof of creationism they argue that evolution is at a loss to explain the sin nature they believe that’s a strong proof of creation that evolution can’t explain the sin nature but you see that sort of thing is going to hurt those of us who were trying to genuinely get evolutionists to see the error of their ways when I was taking classes at Liberty University the idea of a sinful nature is a concept that is regularly it was regularly taught it was suggested in textbooks that one of the keys in quote Christian counseling is that you have to take into account man’s sinful nature in fact listen to this quote concerning Christian counseling it says perhaps at no other point do secular and Christian philosophies of counseling separate ways so sharply as in the belief in the work of the Holy Spirit a responsible view of persons in the Christian counseling relationship must therefore recognize the sinful nature of man encouraged him to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit for changes in his life and so what are they saying friends what they’re saying is the that you have these counseling issues the reason people have these problems for which they need counseling they say is because of the sin nature and they say the only way you can overcome this sin nature is through the supernatural help from the holy spirit now before we move on to the next point I want to read to you one man’s explanation of how this sin nature thing works this man’s name is James Allen mr. Allen suggests that immediately after his fall Adam exhibited characteristics of the original sin nature for example he says he tried to cover up his sin he blamed Eve etc now how did Adam’s sin nature that he supposedly had how did it get passed on to others he offers this explanation he says the sin nature is located in the genetic code of the flesh that is the DNA he cites psalm 51:5 as proof of this arguing that david said his conception was marked by sin and then he argues he says this is the reason why Jesus had to be born of a virgin so that he wouldn’t get the sin nature my friends I would stop there for just a minute and I would make this argument if the sin nature were real and Jesus did not get it then he was not tempted in all points like we are as Hebrews 4 and verse 15 says that he was anyway this man argues that when Adam became sinful he acquired via genetic engineering the sinful nature now I want you to listen to this quote the original sin nature begins in each person when sperm with its 23 male chromosomes fertilizes the ovum of the female with its 23 chromosomes so the genetic code in general and the original sin nature in particular is found in the first cell and spreads to all cells 100 trillion during gestation the original sin nature manifests itself overtly and the central nervous system and has excellent opportunity from birth onward to influence the soul which is interfaced with the brain and so he says all men are inherently sinners due to genetic engineering now again this is just one man’s explanation for how this supposedly happens none of this is in the Bible and so his explanation is just as good as anybody else’s now let’s move on to our second point and it’s a very important question where do people get this idea of a sin nature well it’s interesting to me that the Jews do not believe in the doctrine of original sin they don’t believe that there is a hereditary stain upon all of mankind as a result of being the descendants of Adam now some people say that the doctrine of original sin was first developed in the second century by a bishop named IRA næss he believed that Adam’s sin is the source of human sinfulness and that all human beings participate in his sin and share in his guilt perhaps though the one person who is most responsible for the widespread belief in this doctrine was a man named John Calvin now John Calvin’s teachings are oftentimes summarized in an acrostic the word tulip tul I P T stands for total hereditary depravity the you and tulip stands for unconditional election L limited atonement i irresistible grace and P is the perseverance of the saints now the first point the T total hereditary depravity carries with it the concept of inheriting the sin of Adam total absolute hereditary you inherited genetically depravity you see the word depraved as it’s sin it’s the belief that mankind is born completely sinful and today many if not most of the Christian denominations in existence have been deeply affected by John Calvin what we call Calvinism some people today think that they see this doctrine of in here did sin even in various passages of the Bible such as the one we started with Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 3 now again that verse says that we were by nature the children of Wrath or the objects of God’s wrath and they will say that this passage proves that we are born that way and that sin is not a willful violation of God’s Word Baptist writer BH Carol contended that this passage Ephesians 2:3 he says knocks the bottom out of the thought that sin consists in the willful transgression of a known commandment he argued that this passage is an allusion to original sin but friends this is absolutely not what this verse is teaching you know the argument has to do with the phrase by nature we were by nature the children of Wrath what is that phrase by nature really mean now they would say that it means that you were born that way they would say that it means that man inherited this sinful nature but you know this Greek phrase doesn’t have to mean that at all in fact the Greek word here can mean of long-standing practice one version translates it this way you were by custom children of Wrath in fact if you write in your Bible next to the word nature I would suggest you write habitual practice it means it was their nature to sin why not because they were born that way but that’s the way they’ve always lived in fact let me give you an example of this in modern usage may be somebody says hey where’s Joe tonight someone else responds it’s Saturday night you know he’s probably drunk that’s his nature they don’t mean that he was born that way they don’t mean since he was a baby he’s been getting drunk on Saturday night they mean that’s the way he always does things that’s his custom that’s his practice now another passage that sometimes people go to in the Bible that they believe justifies or teaches the idea of inherited sin is Psalm 58 3 it says the wicked are estranged from the womb they go astray as soon as they are born speaking lies now someone might argue see it says it they are sinful from birth they are telling lies as soon as they are born they are born sinners this is straightforward and clear now someone else may say well if it doesn’t teach that we are born sinners then what does it teach how do you explain this passage prints the first thing that we have to be aware of when we look at this passage is that it is a solemn it is highly poetic in nature and it contains a lot of figures of speech this particular verse is a hyperbole a hyperbole is an exaggeration for the sake of emphasis it is not literal now someone might say well that’s easy to say how do you know that can you prove that well in verse number 3 the text says he is speaking lies as soon as he is born every parent knows that that’s not the way it works babies aren’t speaking as soon as they are born much less are they telling lies the second they are born what’s the point it’s an exaggeration it’s a hyperbole for the sake of emphasis furthermore verse 6 says that these little ones who are speaking lies should have their teeth broken have you ever seen a baby with a set of teeth as soon as he’s born again it’s not literal this is hyperbole and if the language of Psalm 58 3 through 6 is literal then one must conclude that we’re not dealing with human beings at all but rather with lions because verse 6 says to break out the fangs of these young lions Prince this would be very strange you’ve got talking Lions who are telling lies this sounds like something out of a Disney movie The Lion King maybe what’s the point the point is it’s not literal there is hyperbole and figurative language being used here so what does this passage really mean Prince the point is very early in a person’s life he turns against God in fact notice that verse number 3 says that they go astray that’s important they go stray not that they are born that way that alone ought to settle the question I tell you another reason why many people today believe in the doctrine of the sinful nature and it’s because of the NIV the New International Version of the Bible now this particular translation was translated by individuals who believe strongly in Calvinism and inherited sin they believed in the false doctrine of original sin and that man has a sinful nature and so as a result many times when they would run across the Greek word Sark’s Sark’s is a Greek word which means flesh but instead of translating it as flesh they translated it as sinful nature now in reality there is no Greek word for sinful nature but 23 times the NIV has inserted this phrase into their translation now I went and checked some other translations to include the King James the New King James the American Standard the new American Standard the Revised Standard the ESV and none of them contained the phrase sinful nature but since the NIV is an extremely popular version today hundreds of thousands of people are walking around with this Bible under their arm that repeatedly contains the phrase sinful nature and in fact that’s just one of the reasons that I don’t like the NIV so where do people get the idea that we have a sinful nature well they get it from John Calvin they get it from modern-day preachers who preach Calvinism they get it from Calvinistic translations of the Bible such as the NIV and here’s one more source that you might not expect some people think that they even see this sinful nature in children they will say this they will say no one has to teach a baby to be selfish or self-seeking or demanding they will argue that children are just naturally that way they say it’s part of their sin nature and so they say when a baby cries it’s because of his sin nature in fact I want to give you an example of this this is from a website written by a man who identifies himself as elder James Taylor he says newborn infants legitimately cry for three reasons hunger soil diapers and pain usually from gastronomic distress during the first few weeks or months of a baby’s life whenever he cries mama will feed him change his diapers and burp him and that takes care of it when she sets him back down everything is okay but after a few months when she sets him down this time he continues to cry now he is crying for your attention but you thought it was hunger soiled diaper or pain and it was none of the above then on Sunday while sitting in church and he adds the snow Primitive Baptist churches have no nurseries we are congregational only he begins to cry during the church service taking him out and checking for hunger soiled diaper or pain finds nothing but he stops crying until you return to services then he starts all over again he is tired of sitting still and he wants to get down and play then when you get in the car to go home or you go on a trip the same thing happens all over again now is the time to realize that the wicked are estranged from the womb they go astray as soon as they be born speaking lies he says lies and sins in general are based on our natural self-centeredness this self-centeredness is part of man’s fallen sin nature inherited from Adam and Friends I want to tell you that this man is certainly you’re not unique in this view in fact I would encourage you to search the internet and you will find many people who hold this idea that you see the sin nature in the behavior of little children friends can I very kindly but seriously say to you that when a person asserts that a baby cries because of a supposed sinful nature that is absurd now here’s the third question this is the most important one of course what does the Bible say now first the bible does not teach that babies are born evil or even inclined toward evil and Matthew 19 and verse 14 Jesus said let the little children come to me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of heaven and Matthew 18 and verse 2 then Jesus called a little child to him set him in the midst of them and said assuredly I say to you unless you are converted and become as little children you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven Prince you see the Bible teaches that the qualities of little children are models for us to emulate surely the Lord was not suggesting that we model ourselves after little totally corrupt sinners in fact in 1st Corinthians 14 and verse 20 the Bible tells Christians to be as babes now if babes are sinful or have a sinful nature then why in the world did the Apostle Paul write that now secondly as we consider the question what does the Bible say Ezekiel chapter 18 and verse 20 teaches us that sin is committed not inherited in fact I want you to listen how very clearly DISA stated the soul who sins shall die the son shall not bear the guilt of the father nor the father bear the guilt of the son the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself Prince the Bible teaches I am NOT going to inherit the sin of Adam or anyone else first John chapter 3 and verse 4 defines sin as the transgression of the law and it’s something that I commit not something that I inherent thirdly what does the Bible say Ecclesiastes chapter 7 and verse 29 teaches that God made us good truly this only I have found that God made man upright but they have sought out many schemes now what’s the point that verse God made us good we were not born depraved we were sinless here’s a fourth passage what does the Bible say Isaiah chapter 59 verses 1 through 8 says your sins have separated you from God notice that your sins not someone else’s sins not something inherited from Adam and then in verse number 8 he lists some of these specific sins that separate man from God none of which a baby would be capable of committing fifth I want you to consider with me some questions that really need to be answered question number one if babies are born as sinners and they are born having a sinful nature friends what happens when a baby dies well if this is a true doctrine then we would have to conclude that that baby would be lost to hell friends that’s absurd I was reading an article by one man and he was struggling with this idea of babies being lost and going to hell and he believes in the doctrine of inherited sin but he’s struggling with this concept about a baby being lost this is what he said he said infant salvation in some ways is an issue that is out of our hands we may have a tendency to worry about it but we should not worry and whatever God does with infants or the mentally handicapped who die we know that he will be just now what is this man saying he’s saying I know what my doctrine says but he says this is giving me some trouble this is bothering me when it comes to this issue of babies being lost friends if he would just stop believing this doctrine then this issue goes away question number two if we sin because of a sinful nature then why did Adam sin now people who hold this doctrine they don’t believe that Adam had a sinful nature but rather that Adam made a choice friends I submit to you that the same thing is true for every one of us God created us with the free to choose there are good things that we can choose to do there are bad things that we can choose to do some bad things are pleasurable and therefore we want to do them listen what James says James chapter 1 and verse 14 but each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed then when desire has conceived it gives birth to sin and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death you see Satan is going to make it his goal to show us pleasurable bad things and he’s going to tempt us to engage in these things sometimes he will trick us sometimes we give in due to ignorance sometimes we knowingly sin sometimes however we resist and we do what is is right but you see it’s because I have a choice you know one of the things that puzzles me is why people will look at a baby or a child who does something wrong and they will conclude he has a sinful nature you know oftentimes little children do good things little children will share they will bring you a flower they will say I love you daddy why don’t people then conclude well he must have a godly nature you see it’s biased to fit the doctrine all right here is question number three what would it say about the justice of God if he charged me with sin that someone else committed you know even as human beings we don’t do that our innate god-given convictions irresistible tell us it is not right to hold a man responsible for a deed that he did not commit Psalm 89 and verse 14 says righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne now what’s that mean it means God is always just if he did anything other than be just he would cease to be God now consider this the phrase we started with by nature the children of Wrath from Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 3 if that phrase means that we are born as the objects of God’s wrath as the advocates of this doctrine teach then it means that we are born lost before I could think before I could reason or function in any way I was lost friends that is an indictment against the justice of God dear friend we do not have a sinful nature Ecclesiastes 7 and verse 29 god made man up right now it’s true that many times sin is pleasurable that’s hebrews 11:25 and because of that we might be tempted to think that we have a sin nature but you know there is much good that is also pleasurable pleasure is not in and of itself sinful pleasure can be good pleasure can be bad but the devil is working hard to constantly keep the bad pleasures out in front of us because he wants us to engage in those things but the task of the child of God is to resist the devil you
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