Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Ps 51:5

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Children: Born With a Sin Nature

In Psalm 51:5, when David said he was shaped in iniquity and conceived in sin, what did he mean?  We know that his parents were married when he was conceived, therefore the circumstance of his conception was not in sin.  Rather, David his saying that from the moment he was conceived, he was a sinner.  That an unborn child who has never committed any acts of sin is generally hard for most people to believe.  But David did not say he had personally committed any acts of sin but that he was a sinner.

To illustrate, let's consider that all right-thinking Christians believe that every unborn child in the United States should have it's life protected by law against abortion.  The reason is because no American citizen or any other person should be deprived of life without due process of law.  Therefore, even though the child has not done anything yet he is an American.  Notice that American and sinner are both nouns not verbs.  Just as the child is an American because his parents are American, likewise, that same child is a sinner (noun) because his parents are sinners.

Why do we believe the child is a sinner before he has committed any acts of sin?  The answer is found in Romans 5:12-19.

Ro 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Sin entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit.  God told  Adam ".... 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."  Ge 2:17

Not only did Adam die but his death passed upon all men.  And the reason all men die is because we all have sinned.  Romans Ro 5:19 concludes, For as by one manís disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

There you have it.  By one man's disobedience many (in this case everyone who is a descendant of Adam, which excludes no one), in other words everyone, became a sinner.  Even infants die.  Romans 5:12 tells us the reason is because they are sinners not necessarily by action but by nature.  When the scripture says, "for all have sinned," it means we sinned in Adam or were in Adam when he sinned and are therefore sinners.  The sin nature is passed down from generation to generation, all the way from Adam to this present generation.  Only Jesus Christ can change a person's sin nature through the new birth of the Holy Spirit.

The doctrine we have been talking about is known as the Doctrine of Total Depravity, which is discussed in depth in Undeniable Doctrinal Truths under the heading Mankind Dead in Sins.

Because children are literally born to sin it is imperative that parents understand the corrective measures and tools God has set forth in the scriptures to succeed in rearing children.

Because children are born with a sin nature it doesn't take long for that nature to be made manifest.  Psalm 58:3 states, The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.  The estrangement is not from their parents but from God.  And it is because of every person's estrangement from God that "the wicked" which includes all unbelievers, including unregenerate children, need corrective behavior.  It doesn't take long for an infant to begin speaking lies.

Newborn infants legitimately cry for one of three reasons, hunger, soiled diapers and pain (usually from gastronomic distress).  During the first few weeks or months of a baby's life when ever he cries, mama will feed him, change his diapers and burp him and that takes care of it.  When she sets him back down, everything is OK.  But after a few months when she sets him down this time he continues to cry.  Now he is crying for your attention but you thought it was hunger, soiled diaper or a pain and it was none of the above.  Then on Sunday while sitting in church (Primitive Baptist Churches have no nurseries we are congregational only) he begins to cry during the church service.  Taking him out and checking for hunger, soiled diaper or pain finds nothing.  But he stops crying until you return to the service, then he starts all over again.  He is tired of sitting still and wants to get down and play.  Then when you get in the car to go home or go on a trip the same thing happens all over again.  Now is the time to realize that "the wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies."

Lies and sins in general are based on our natural self-centeredness.  This self-centeredness is part of man's fallen sin nature inherited from Adam.  It is part of the parents job to teach their children that this is sin and will not be tolerated.

Elder James Taylor





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