What is Original Sin?

original sin

If someone were to come up to you and ask…What is original sin? You would probably interpret this question as to first time you ever sinned. You might stand and ponder for a bit and try to think way back to the very first time you ever did something bad. Maybe you might think of the first time you swore, which would be extremely difficult, or maybe the first time you disobeyed your mother or father, which would also be so very difficult since that would have been probably so far back you would never remember.

Another popular response to this question would directly relate back to the Garden of Eden. At a specific time in the history of mankind when man was in a Holy condition of being sinless. Even so…being in this state of purity, both Adam and Eve still had the capability to choose, either to sin or not to sin. As Genesis records they chose to disobey God and committed their first sin. So we ask was this the very first sin? And if we conclude that yes it was …then many may also come to the conclusion and answer to our question, that the very first sin of Adam and Eve was the original sin.

But….there is also another idea of Original sin, in that Adam and Eve’s sin was not the very first sin, it was truly their very first sin but not the first sin ever committed, some would say. There are those that may establish the idea the the very first sin committed was that of Lucifer. This is at most times taught as the very first sin of selfish pride , in that God’s own Angel decided that he wanted to be like God or even God himself, and then began his rebellion. But this we must put aside from Original sin.

So…..then just what is Original Sin?

Original Sin has much to do with the very fact that we are fallen creatures. All Christians will agree on this matter. Each and every one of us is born directly into sin. As an infant many would say that we are innocent at this stage in life …but what is it we are innocent of. Are we innocent of sin….or of committing sin. In this early stage can we really comprehend our own actions as being sinful …if they are sinful. Are we pure …as Adam and Eve were before the fall…if that were true then really there wasn’t even a fall of mankind.

Whether we are infant or adult we are accountable as being sinful creatures. As Adam and Eve fell, they did commit the very first sin of mankind, but this is not original sin. When understanding morality, Adam and Eve’s disobedience sent the whole of mankind into moral destruction. Our human nature under went a drastic change. Mankind was now under sin, born in sin. It was now our very nature to do nothing but sin. This nature can be referred to as Original Sin. The very act of sinning is not original sin, but the nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve’s first sin which reflects Original Sin. Original sin is the condition of sin and not the sin itself.

Let’s go a bit deeper into Original Sin.

In reference to R.C Sproul;

We are bonded by original sin in that we are able to “sin” but we are also unable to “not sin”, as it is our specific nature to do so. In St. Augustine view of liberty he states the Latin phrase “non posse, non peccare”. In this phrase he is relating to the fact that man had lost his purity and was now morally incapable to live without sin. This moral incapability is known as Original sin.

In understanding this much on Original sin we can now relate to Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

Every man, woman, child and yes, even the infant are guilty of original sin.

In the next part of Original sin …i will try to explain how this affects the regenerate and non-regenerate person.

original sin

Common Questions Answered By RC Sproul


Note: To open answers in a “new tab” or “new window”, right click on the question link and select “open link in new tab” or “open link in new window”.


How do you know the Bible is true?

How do we reconcile the fact that God is sovereign with the fact that he has given us free will as persons?

Is it possible for a Christian to lose his salvation because of sins he commits?

When did God decide to give us eternal life?

Help me understand the doctrine of election.

What is faith?

Why does God let random shootings, fatal accidents, and other horrible things occur?

Is there a clear biblical position against lotteries and casino gambling?

How should I handle my own doubts about God’s presence in my life?

How does one convince a nonbeliever that the Bible is the Word of God?

What do our good deeds have to do with our salvation?

Are there any biblical grounds for divorce, and if so, what are they?

What are the characteristics of the Christian God that differentiate him from other gods?

What is your opinion of abortion, and are there any Scriptures that would back it up?

Are we living in the last days?

Please define a miracle and state whether or not you think God still performs them today.

Is it possible for a Christian to lose his salvation because of sins he commits?

When a person dies, where does his or her spirit and body go until the Second Coming?