Genesis 3 tells us what happened to Adam when he sinned, and the result of his sin. The first thing that happened to Adam was he died spiritually (more on this later). He was cut off from God. And what we see from Genesis 3 is that God said Adam would have to work from the sweat of his brow for his bread. He would have to till the ground to produce crop. God said concerning the woman that He would greatly multiply her pain in childbearing. And the last thing is that they were expelled from the Garden. They were not allowed back into the Garden to eat from the tree of life, otherwise they would live forever. We know from the Bible that Adam and Eve were created mortal. Adam came from dirt. Adam and Eve needed to eat from the tree of life (which they were given permission to eat from) to sustain their mortal body from decaying.
We don’t see anything in those passages that says Adam’s nature was affected. It doesn’t say anything that his nature became corrupt. It does not say anything about something transferring to his posterity. The Bible does say he died. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the DAY that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Since Adam did not physically drop dead, it had to be a different death. There is only one word for “death” in the Scriptures, so it is important to get the context. God does say, “for in the DAY that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17) How? Did Adam drop dead the moment he disobeyed God? No. The only conclusion is that he died spiritually, and that is the same kind of death Paul is talking about in Romans 5 that people love to quote when trying to enforce the false doctrine of Original Sin.
Read Romans. Paul talks about spiritual death (unless it is very clear that physical death is meant instead). This spiritual death is a separation from God when a person sins. (see type of sins that can disqualify one from God’s kingdom – Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:5; Rev. 21:8). The death that entered the world through Adam was not ‘drop dead’ the moment you sin, or we would all be dead, including Adam! So Genesis 3, as well as Romans 5, is not talking about physical death. Not to mention, if you look at the context of Romans 5:12-21, Paul speaks of condemnation and justification. The condemnation is referring to spiritual death, not physical, for those who are justified still die physically.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Ro. 5:12).
Clearly, this passage is speaking of personal sin by imitation (‘because all sinned’) rather than inherited sin through imputation (that is not taught in Scriptures). In fact, Paul reports there were some individuals who lived after Adam, who sinned NOT according to the “likeness” of his original transgression (Ro. 5:14)! As follows, sin is not a physical substance that is inbred in your flesh, rather, sinfulness is a result of living out aimless conduct received by tradition (or long practiced habit) from your fathers. (1 Pe. 1:18). Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and (spiritual) death through sin, and thus (spiritual) death spread to all men, BECAUSE ALL HAVE SINNED” (Gen. 2:17; 3:6; Ro. 3:23; 5:12; 1 Co. 10:13; Jas. 1:13-16)!
Does the Bible teach that all men are automatically made righteous by Christ apart from repenting and believing in the Gospel (Mk. 1:15; Acts 17:30-31; 20:21)? Of course not. Then why is it automatically assumed that all men are automatically made sinners by Adam apart from choice (Ro. 5:18)? The idea of original sin being hereditary is contrary to many parts of the Bible. For instance, Deuteronomy 24:16 states, “Fathers shall NOT be put to death for their children, nor children for their fathers…every man shall be put to death for his own sin”, while in Ezekiel 18:4 God confirms, “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.” This being the case, why would God allow the transmission of sin?
Another passage thrown into the mix is 1 Cor. 15:21-22, but they only quote, “For as in Adam all die…”
“For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Co. 15:21-22).
This passage is used to support the theory that ALL (spiritually and physically) die due to the transmission of Adam’s original sin. However, this passage is strictly speaking of physical death. The context is referencing the future (physical) resurrection of the dead (1 Co. 15). Hence, “even so in Christ all SHALL BE (future) made alive.” According to Paul, physical death is a consequence springing from the man (Adam), just as a glorified body shall come in the future through the Man, Jesus Christ.
Now, how is it man dies on an account of Adam’s sin? First, Adam was created mortal, that is, flesh and blood (Gen. 2:7; 3:19; 1 Co. 15:45-50). He was of the earth, “earthy” (1 Cor. 15:47-49). We have this idea that Adam was created immortal, which the Bible does not say. If Adam and Eve had to eat of the fruit from the tree of life to become immortal, then they were created mortal to begin with! Secondly, through Adam’s personal act of disobedience he lost for himself (and his descendants) physical access to the “Tree of Life” which he (and we) must eat from to physically “live forever” (Gen. 3:22). As follows, man physically dies due to being separated from this tree, which has its part in the future (Rev. 22:14). (see Flash Video: Adam)
Original Sin Cancels out Repentance!
The bottom line is that Augustine’s doctrine of Original Sin contradicts the Biblical truth about repentance. Why would God command us to repent if we are not responsible – that we can blame it all on Adam instead? The reason God tells sinners to repent is because they are responsible. The Augustine doctrine of Original Sin denies that sinners have the ability to repent of their own free will, even from those who claim to be saved! They give the idea that they cannot help sinning because they are born sinners. Does God say anywhere that we have inherited a sin nature from Adam, and therefore can’t do anything but sin? No, we learned if from Augustine’s teachings. This doctrine teaches that man cannot repent, that man is incapable of repenting, and that God somehow has to tweak his will before he can repent. Nowhere does Scripture give us this idea.
God tells man to forsake his sins, which means to repent (STOP SINNING). God is not going to do it for us, nor make us do it. He gave you and I a free will to choose to do sin or to stop sinning. In the Old Testament God did not have to tweak them over somehow to get them to stop sinning. God commanded them to forsake their sins. Once they had forsaken their sins, then they cried for mercy. Think of a person living in adultery. That person has to break off that adulterous affair. That relationship must come to an end before he can ask his spouse for forgiveness, if he expects to be forgiven. What is preached today is that a person can come to God in his sins – just as he is – all he has to do is confess his sins, but in the mean time there is no forsaking of those sins! Do you expect your spouse to forgive you when you have no intentions of stopping your adulterous affair? Yet we expect this from God? God says that repentance that brings forth the fruit of a holy life is the way to obtain forgiveness and acceptance with Him. We stop the sin and beg for God’s mercy! PERHAPS God will forgive us! “Repent therefor of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” (Acts 8:22) The holy Spirit is only given to those who obey God (Acts 5:32).
There are many who hide behind the teaching of ‘Original Sin’ to excuse their sins. In reality, they are blaming God for making them so. You see, if we cannot help being sinners because of inherited sin, then we could not be blamed for our sins, or even told to repent of our sins! You are only doing what is consistent with your nature and cannot do otherwise. It is Satan’s masterpiece, this doctrine of Original Sin. However, God says we are to blame for our sins! He doesn’t say you can’t help sinning – he commands EVERYONE to repent (Acts 17:30), to “go and sin no more.”
Repentance can be found in all the Scriptures. As Isaiah says, it is YOUR iniquities and YOUR sins that separates you from God. It does not teach we are separated because of ‘Adam’s sin,’ or something resembling ‘original sin’ that separates us from Him.
God did not make anyone with a sinful nature. When we sin, we sin against our nature! A simple lie detector proves this truth.
Rom. 2:14 says, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:”
Here are Gentiles who do not have the law, and though they do not have the written law, yet are a law unto themselves. There is a law written by God in their hearts, knowing what is good and evil, and his conscience bearing witness to it. They act what is innate and inherit within them. They do it by nature. When they do what is right, they actually do what is in the law, when they disobey, they are sinning against their nature. The Gentile who only has his conscience and creation around him does what is natural, and what is natural is according to the law of God, not according to something evil, twisted, and perverted. Sin would be acting contrary to your created essence. You would be acting differently from how you were created to act and that’s what makes it sinful.
Nowhere does the Bible teach that we are born sinners no matter how many times man tries to twist the Scriptures to fit a man-made doctrine.
The Bible is clear that man corrupts himself, it is not the state of his birth. (Gen. 6:5-7; 11-12; Exodus 32:7-8; Ecc. 7:29; Deut. 31:29; Deut. 32:5-6, 18)
For more information, please see Spiritual Death.