The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

Original Sin

William Cathcart

Taken from The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881

Adam and Eve were created in perfect innocence. They could not be invested with infallibility, for that attribute belongs to God alone, and Jehovah could not create a deity; but they were summoned into life without a tendency to sin, and they were as holy as the angels of God.

The human race was created in Adam and Eve, just as millions of oaks were created in the first tree of that kind. Physical defects or material beau­ties have been transmitted down from the first two parents of our race; they could come from no other source.

When Adam sinned he forfeited his title to the tree of life in Eden, and as a consequence its leaves and fruit no longer healed his wounds, acted as an antidote against his diseases, and arrested the decay that ever since has wasted declining years. He lost Eden with the tree of life at the fall, and so did his posterity in him. The head of the family recklessly squandered his rich inheritance, and as a matter of course those who were born to him afterwards never enjoyed any part of it. The same thing was true of the divine favor which he forfeited in Eden; it was lost to him for the time being by the use of the forbidden fruit, and it was never restored unless he repented, and through divinely-appointed sacrifices turned to the Lord his God.

He left Eden with a heart vitiated by sin, and his children subsequently born came into the world with his spiritual defects and temporal disadvan­tages. He once bore the image of God, but sin de­stroyed it, and all his descendants have been marked by a guilty likeness to him.

Original sin vitiates the moral tastes of each man; it leads him to prefer the world, fleshly gratifica­tions, and even the snares of the tempter, to the service of God. And as there is not in human na­ture a counteracting agency to subdue guilty tastes and restore the transgressor to Jehovah, he must continually sink deeper into sin unless sovereign grace restores him.

Original sin leads directly and surely to total depravity. We prefer total perversion as a better description of this sad state. Good and gentle and moral persons who have not been born again are totally perverted from God. If the heart is for Christ, the whole being is on his side; if the heart is against him, the whole man is his enemy.

When Anne Boleyn had the heart of Henry VIII, he slighted Queen Catharine, hurled aside the author­ity of the pope and the claims of his religion, in the defense of which he had written a book, defied all Europe in his determination to marry her, and befriended the Bible, which he had burned, and the Protestants, whom he had slandered and persecuted, because of his regard for her. But when his heart turned to a rival of Anne, then he was wholly alien­ated from her.

This is the exact situation of each unsaved man: his heart and life are wholly per­verted from God. What was true of ancient Israel may be justly applied to all unconverted persons, "Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores."(Isa. 1:5, 6)

Original sin has extended over the whole race. Dreadful and undeniable facts prove this statement, and inspiration asserts it. Paul says, “We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that under­standeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are to­gether become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one.'" (Rom. 3:10-12)

When he speaks of Jews and Gentiles he intends to describe all men. The race in unbelief is in a state of total perversion from God.

Original sin paralyses the moral powers of the soul, and forbids any man, unaided by divine grace, to go to Jesus. A young French ecclesi­astic, years ago, was supposed to have died, and was in his coffin when the mass for the dead was being read. He heard every word of it, knew his situation exactly, but could not move a finger, nor an eyelid, nor utter a word. Something led to an inspection of the face, when a slight flush was dis­covered, and the heart was found to be beating. The man was restored to his family, and by proper remedies speedily became well. But without help he would have been buried. So the entire impeni­tent are dead in sin.

"You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph. 2:1)

And under the influence of this moral death of themselves they will never go to Jesus. "No man," says Jesus, "can come to me except the Father who hath sent me draw him."

Original sin has the first hold of a human heart, and it will never let it go till the all-powerful hand of grace destroys its dominion.

Original sin has doomed the race except where the Spirit of Christ has given a new heart and saving faith. "By the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation." (Rom. 5:18)

"He that believeth not is condemned already." (John 3:18)

This is the condition before God of all who have kept away from Jesus over the whole earth: they are in a state of total perversion from God.