Doctrine of Original Sin (Definition) - Is Original Sin Fair?

Does the Bible teach that all people are born sinful due to original sin? If so, how can this be fair? Learn what Scripture teaches about original sin.
Is God good?
Original Sin
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What is Original Sin?

The doctrine of original sin states that since Adam represented all mankind as its Federal Head, his sin in the Garden of Eden resulted in every human being after him to have a sinful nature and be guilty of his sin.

This means that even from conception, every human being is guilty of sin before God because of Adam's sin.

Romans 5:12, 19

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned... For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

Here, Paul teaches that because of Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden, "sin came into the world" and "the many were made sinners." So, even apart from any personal sin, every person is guilty of Adam's sin.

Is Original Sin Fair?

Some argue that it was not fair for God to make Adam our Federal Head and representative, and that He should only judge humans according to their personal sin. However, the doctrine of original sin is fair because for least two reasons:

  1. That God made Adam the Federal Head, or representative, of the entire human race is fair simply because God chose to do it. There is no higher moral standard than God.
  2. Even if we were not guilty of Adam's sin, we are all still guilty of our own sins, so there's not really a difference if we were not guilty of Adam's sin. We might wonder where this would leave infants, but a person who is able to argue against original sin is undoubtedly also guilty of personal sin.

Below are several more Bible verses that show humans are guilty from the very beginning.

Psalm 51:5

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 58:3

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

John 3:6

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Genesis 8:21

And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

Proverbs 22:15

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

Conclusion

Scripture is clear that humans are born guilty of sin because of Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden. Adam was our Federal Head, and therefore represented the entire human race when he sinned.

The doctrine of original sin is not unfair, but is rather a part of God's perfect plan to glorify Himself and grant inexpressible joy to His people, who get to experience the happiness of God's free grace to undeserving sinners.

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