Verse of the Day

1 John 4:10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

Bible Reading

Numbers 3-4
Acts 25

Are We Born Sinners?

John Calvin is known for developing the doctrine of "Calvinism." Calvinism is defined by the acronym TULIP. The "T" stands for total hereditary depravity. Some believe that this is what David was teaching at Psalm 51:5 when he said, "5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." David was not teaching that all men are born in sin. David is saying, contextually, that we are all born into a world where sin rules the minds of the majority. The "wicked" are not born into this world as sinners but rather begin early on in life to pursuing the paths of sin and lies.

Another passage of interest is found at Psalm 58:3. The psalmist writes, "3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies." Bible students cannot afford to rip passages of scripture out of their context or from the overall message of God's word. When faced with a difficult passage we must consider the context of that passage as well as other teaching on the same subject throughout the Word of God. If it is the case that men are born into this world with the capacity to learn and make choices then the matter is solved. Remember the words of Joshua when he said, "15 Choose this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve Jehovah" (Joshua 24:15). The Christian has a choice to do that which is good or evil (see Romans 6:16). If the choice of doing good or evil was settled at birth then why does the Lord and his apostles repeatedly warn and advise us all to choose to do good?

The point of Psalm 58:3 is that God knows, before any man or woman is born, that there will be people that choose good and people that choose evil (see Romans 9:11 in its context). No man is a born sinner. Babies have no sin. Can a baby curse, get drunk, participate in sexual immorality, lie, cheat, steal, or gossip about another? The answer is obvious. Choose to be good and you will never be disappointed.

Whenever we desire to know the true meaning of any given scripture we must take into consideration the meaning of words, the context they are written in and the teaching of the entire Bible on the given subject. If we ripped Bible verses out of their context and general doctrine of God on the subject in other parts of the Bible we will be guilty of misrepresenting God's words and their meanings. Consider the dangers of such a reckless approach to studying God's word as you read verses such as Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Peter 1:10 and 1 John 3:9.

John Roberson

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