Original Sin - Are We Condemned by the Sin of Adam and Eve?
by Rich Deem


Many skeptics think that the Bible claims that people are condemned to hell on the basis of Adam and Eve's sin - the original sin of mankind. The doctrine of original sin comes primarily from Paul's letter to the Romans. In this letter, Paul makes the statement that "through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men..."1 Taken out of context, Paul seems to imply that all people are condemned because of Adam's sin. This page will examine what Paul said in context and how that fits with the remainder of biblical theology.

What was the original sin?

God created Adam and Eve and placed them in a garden2 of numerous fruit trees3 that He had designed, from which they could eat anything, except the fruit from one tree.4 Although Adam and Eve had no concept of good and evil, they obviously did know about disobedience, since Eve told the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" (Genesis 3:3) From her statement, it is clear that Eve knew that she shouldn't eat the fruit. In fact she even added to God's command with the words "or touch it," which was not in God's original command. So, the original sin was disobedience, mistrust, and disloyalty against God.5

Romans chapter five

In chapter 5 of Romans, Paul describes how We are justified before God on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ,6 who came to earth to die for the sins of mankind.7 The chapter takes us back to how we got into the current mess we are in - back to our original parents, who committed the first sins. Paul's point in doing this is to compare the transgression by the transgressor to the redemption offered through the Redeemer. In this chapter, Paul makes it clear that, although Adam and Eve committed the first sin, we are guilty on the basis of our own sin:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (Romans 5:12)

What the original sin did was to cause the human race to fall into the practice of sin. We are born to imperfect parents, whose sin negatively influences us. We become accustomed to committing "minor" sins without regard to their negative impact on our lives and the lives of others. However, God, in His love,8 provided the means by which all people9 could become completely righteous before Him,10 thus inheriting eternal life.11 

Conclusion Top of page

The Bible says that God has created people to be upright, but they have chosen to do evil.12 We are not condemned on the basis of Adam and Eve's original sin, but our own. Our condemnation is rightly deserved due to our rebellion and disobedience of God's laws. God is not responsible for our sin, but we are, because of our own lusts.13 However, God, in His love, has provided a way of escape for those who recognize their own inability to live up to God's holy standards. Jesus Christ died for our sins to reconcile us to God. Trust Jesus to change you into the person you really want to be!

El Pecado Original - ¿Estamos Condenados por el Pecado de Adán y Eva?

References Top of page

  1. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18)
  2. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. (Genesis 2:8)
  3. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)
  4. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)
  5. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me. (Hosea 6:6-7)
  6. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1)
  7. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10)
  8. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  9. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18)
  10. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:18)
  11. so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21)
    For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22)
  12. "Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices." (Ecclesiastes 7:29)
  13. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (James 1:13-14)

Last Modified February 28, 2006


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