King David said ”In sin did my MOTHER conceive me”, but it’s no support for a sinful nature Ps. 51:5

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

This verse concerns two people – King David and his mother*). No one else is spoken about so we can’t assume that all the people in the world are referred to here. The event spoken of is the conception of David and not the birth of David, and David is not saying that he was born as a sinner but possibly that his mother was in sin when she got pregnant. It could very well be that she was sinning when she conceived him, and a case could be made that this verse is talking about the defilement of David’s mother – because she was previously the wife (or concubine) of a heathen king.

The book of psalms is a poetic book and this means that it can be taken literally or figuratively depending on the context, so we must therefore be careful so we won’t end up starting a new doctrine based on pure poetry. It’s never a good idea to take a verse from Psalms, Proverbs or other poetic texts, to make a doctrine out of it which is contrary to other more clear verses in the Bible. We can reach all kinds of crazy conclusions with such methods. This particular verse in Psalms has often been used as an attempt to prove that David and ALL people under the sun are born in sin, but it fails miserably.

Some facts concerning David and his mother

David had two half-sisters (1 Chron. 2:13-16), and their father was not Jesse but Nahash (2 Sam. 17:25) who was an Ammonite king (1 Sam. 11:1). David’s mother might have been a second wife of Jesse. Perhaps the first wife of Jesse was considered superior to his second wife, because this would explain why David’s half brothers viewed themselves as superior to David and why David was not called before Samuel among the other sons – as he was possibly viewed as an illegitimate child (1 Sam. 16:11). We can speculate further that perhaps David’s mother was not married to Jesse when she became pregnant, or maybe she was still the concubine of, or married to Nahash when she conceived David. Moreover, we can’t rule out that it might be as per this story, reminding us about Jacob and Leah + her sister Rachel. If this story is applicable, then Jesse is indeed David’s father without even knowing it due to a sneaky plan carried out by his wife, and David’s brothers would regard him as an illegitimate and hated son of their mother. Either way, this poetic psalm simply cannot be used as support for that man is born with a sinful nature.

Psalm 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.— 19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.—21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.

David was not blaming his sin on his birth, but he was simply stating that even the circumstances related to his birth were surrounded by sin, and he also says that he was ”wonderfully” and ”marvelously” made by God in the womb (Ps. 139:13-14). David is in Psalms 51 speaking to the Lord but he is not trying to ask God for forgiveness for that he (David) had the nerve to be born with a sinful nature – because that would hardly be David’s fault. On the contrary, sin at birth would be something that he could blame God for IF it were true – which it isn’t.

Psalms 51 starts out saying

Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out MY transgressions.2 Wash me throughly from MINE iniquity, and cleanse me from MY sin.3 For I acknowledge MY transgressions: and MY sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

If a person has an intimate relationship and conceives against the law of God, whose sin is it? The person who conceives or the baby that is conceived? Clearly it’s the former since the one being conceived doesn’t have any choice in the matter – which our righteous God is well aware of. We are sinners when we break the law of God, and it’s not a sin to be conceived or to be born into this world – neither is it evil.

Psalms 51 goes on to say:

Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice…

Few would read this in a LITERAL sense. Can hyssop really make our sins go away, and can broken bones rejoice? Poetry might speak the whole truth or it might mirror the truth poetically. David was in jeopardy of losing the Spirit, because God had broken the covenant with him:.

Psalm 51:11 ”Cast me not away from thy presence; AND TAKE NOT THY HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME.” 

In Ps. 51:14 David is talking about ”bloodguiltyness”, and it’s possible that he compares himself with his mother who also sinned in a similar way during his conception. This could explain his comparison with his mother in the previous verses.

Also compare with these verses:

Psalm 22:But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

None of the early church fathers the first 250+ years AD (with no exception) taught that man is born with a sinful nature (which you can read in this article with quotes from Ignatius, Irenaeus, etc) and the popularity of the idea of original sin can actually be traced back to Augustine (a former gnostic) and blamed on him. If neither the Bible nor the old church fathers taught original sin, but the contrary, we know we are on the wrong path if we still teach it.

Do read my blog post about Romans 5 (and the non-existent sinful nature) in this article

*) According to Midrashim, King David’s mother was Nitzebet.

138 tankar om “King David said ”In sin did my MOTHER conceive me”, but it’s no support for a sinful nature Ps. 51:5

  1. Simply a question from a friend on FB(I ask you here):

    >> could this verse be talking about the child that was born when king David had sex with Bathsheba? Because the title for this chapter is ”A Prayer of Repentance
    To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” – WHAT DO YOU SAY?

    Gilla

  2. Hey Bjork

    I had this revelation a while ago
    There is a bit of confusion when it comes to david’s original mother,
    and his 2 step sisters both being the daughters of Jesse,
    Keep up the good work Buddy

    David was dejected from his age of innocence
    Which is beautiful because the Father found him and named his ”Da-weed” ie Beloved.

    Gilla

  3. Servant of God I greet you in Jesus Name.
    Just i am confusion! to hear the reality to the Father of King James? if possible could you explain it to me? God bless you.
    I am Theodore from Rwanda Country.

    Gilla

    • Greetings in Jesus name
      I’m not sure I understood your question. This article is about king David and not King James. The real father of King David is likely Jesse.
      GBU

      Gilla

  4. What’s Romans 3:23 saying? What’s Romans 5:18 saying? What was Jesus saying in John 3:3? ”Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except A MAN (anyone) be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – Kjv. Jesus was laying emphasis on the importance of new birth for every creature. It goes beyond sins of commission but the depraved, fallen nature of man.

    Gilla

    • Hey there

      If you have a chance, do read my other articles about those exact Bible verses. When you read Rom. 5:18, don’t forget to read also Rom. 5:19. If ALL are automatically lost in Adam, then the very same ALL are automatically righteous in Christ. But this would be universalism. The context is a big help.

      Man does not have a fallen nature, but you’re right that we must be born again. We are created to seek God (Acts 17), and we must believe in Christ and repent from our sins so that we can be forgiven/cleansed/born again/generated.

      GBU

      Gilla

  5. My question is this: What scriptures support the idea that the sins of the parents are passed on to the child at conception? My husband and I just had a conversation about the state of mind we are in when a child is conceived and how those thoughts are passed on to the child and becomes a part of him/her. Thanks for your help.

    Gilla

    • Hello Dee

      That is a good question, because there are no such Bible verses. We can read the exact opposite in the Bible – that sinning is something we DO, and nothing that we can inherit. Sinning is transgressing the law of God, but being conceived is not a sin, and neither is being born.

      Many of the false ideas we can hear in our churches today can be traced back to Augustine, and he influenced both Luther and Calvin. Some Christians try to read Original Sin in Rom. 5, but the chapter says no such thing. We can read that *death* (not *sin*) passed on to all men, and also why. Because they sinned. Not because Adam sinned and they inherited this sin.

      GBU

      Gilla

  6. Ohh jag är så ond, jag äter räkor och fläsk, jag helgar inte sabbaten, jag bär kläder gjorda av olika materiel, jag tittar med lust på kvinnor, jag bryr mig inte om vad homos gör, jag har tankebrott, så säg mig ni bigotta hur skall jag behandlas?

    Gilla

    • Jag har redan kommenterat det där. Vet inte om du läser mina svar men det är ingen synd att bära kläder av olika material. Du är väl ingen jude, och du levde väl inte under Exodus? Du verkar ha en förkärlek att lägga till saker i Bibeln som inte står.

      Gilla

  7. Children are born unholy and unclean. 1Co 7:14  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. This verse clearly speaks for itself. Two things: 1)If both parents are unbelievers, their children are born unclean 2) People are not born believers. Everyone must be born again.

    Gilla

    • Hello Becky!

      Children are innocent because of their inability to sin. We are not born in sin as Luther and Calvin would have you believe. In 1 Cor. 7, Paul explains that children are naturally not unholy based on their parents’s world views (believers or not).

      We are only unholy/unrighteous if we sin. If we have not sinned or lack the ability to sin, we can by no means be unholy.

      Gilla

      • Hello,
        I know nothing about Luther or Calvin’s doctrines, so they would not have me believe anything. Please clarify what you are saying about the verse i sent you. Again, Paul clearly states that if the unbelieving wife or husband were not married to a believer, their children would be unclean. The word unclean is a very strong word.

        Gilla

      • Hello again

        ”Sanctification” can mean ”to be set apart”, and Paul does not say that a marriage to a believer can save a non-Christian. Since it would be absurd to think that children could be considered unholy based on their parent’s marriage (believers or not), Paul phrases himself the way he does. ”Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy”. We are definitely wonderfully made:

        Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, NEITHER HAVING DONE ANY GOOD OR EVIL, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

        Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God AS A LITTLE CHILD, he shall not enter therein.

        Isaiah 7:16 For BEFORE THE CHILD SHALL KNOW TO REFUSE THE EVIL, AND CHOOSE THE GOOD, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

        Ps. 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise thee; for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

        1 Cor. 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD: but the woman is the glory of the man.

        Ja. 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, WHICH ARE MADE AFTER THE SIMILTUDE OF GOD.

        Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that GOD HATH MADE MAN UPRIGHT; but THEY they have sought out many inventions.

        Rom. 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.)14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, DO BY NATURE THE THINGS CONTAINED IN THE LAW, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

        Gilla

      • [MY REPLY TO EACH VERSE IS IN BRACKETS BELOW EACH CORRESPONDING VERSE, THANKS]
        “Sanctification” can mean “to be set apart”, and Paul does not say that a marriage to a believer can save a non-Christian. Since it would be absurd to think that children could be considered unholy based on their parent’s marriage (believers or not), Paul phrases himself the way he does. “Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy”. We are definitely wonderfully made:

        Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, NEITHER HAVING DONE ANY GOOD OR EVIL, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
        [You take the above verse out of context. The bible does not state that babies are born sinners. If you choose to use the above verse for your argument, then you need to focus on the fact that not only does it say ”neither having done evil” it also says neither having done good.]

        Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God AS A LITTLE CHILD, he shall not enter therein.
        [The above verse has nothing to do with a child being sinless. Think about it. How could Jesus exhort sinners to become as sinless children? Doesn’t make sense?]

        Isaiah 7:16 For BEFORE THE CHILD SHALL KNOW TO REFUSE THE EVIL, AND CHOOSE THE GOOD, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
        [This verse is speaking of Jesus, not mankind. Something else to consider, in Luke 1:35 the angel referred to Jesus as ”that holy thing.” No other child in Scripture was ever referred to in those words ]

        Ps. 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise thee; for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
        [Again, the above passage has nothing to do with sin. David spoke of how he was shapen in iniquity and yet be able to praise God for how He created our bodies. Nothing contradictory in that.]

        1 Cor. 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD: but the woman is the glory of the man.
        [Please, with all due respect, this is not a good argument. First of all, this is totally taken out of context for your argument. Of course man was created in the image and glory of God. Being a sinner doesn’t change that. I’m confused as to what you are implying with this verse. Are you saying that God is a sinner since man is made in His image? ]

        Ja. 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, WHICH ARE MADE AFTER THE SIMILTUDE OF GOD.
        [same as above]

        Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that GOD HATH MADE MAN UPRIGHT; but THEY they have sought out many inventions.
        [This verse is clearly alluding to Adam and Eve.]

        Rom. 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.)14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, DO BY NATURE THE THINGS CONTAINED IN THE LAW, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
        [If you want to apply DO BY NATURE to adults, then you are saying that men are good and sinless? Don’t forget 1Co_2:14  But THE NATURAL MAN receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. So by taking ”he is the image and glory of God” out of context, this would have to mean that God is guilty of foolishness. Your doctrine is not sound.]

        Gilla

      • Hello again Becky

        We seem to be in agreement that babies are not born sinners? If babies cannot do either good or bad (if they are unaware of the law), they cannot be considered unholy. You’re only unholy if you sin. Sin is what separates you from God, due to your unholy state.

        Jesus apparently welcomes little children as a group into his kingdom, which could signify that he views them as holy and innocent. Unholy people are not welcomed into his kingdom. Also adults can choose to repent and be holy. 

        Jesus was also a baby at one point, and if he went through the same process as other babies he lacked the ability to refuse evil or to do good. He did neither. He was innocent just like all other babies.   

        If we are wonderfully made, this doesn’t sound as though we are unholy. If we are made in the image of God, we cannot be unholy from birth. 

        Yes of course man can be sinless. If we can obey God and his commandments ”by nature”, this implies we have this capability. God did not create us too weak to obey him. 

        It’s a very bad idea to be a natural man. A natural man is someone who is focusing on living in and by the world instead of believing in the Creator and be lead by the Holy Spirit. If someone chooses to be a natural man, he simply cannot please God. A natural man always acts contrary to the will of God. 

        If your argument is that children, or people in general are unholy, note that the Bible doesn’t support it.  

        Matt. 15:10 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

        Is 59:2 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

        Gilla

  8. When Jesus said of the little children, ”of such is the kingdom of God,” He did not, as you state, signify them as holy and innocent. Nowhere does Jesus state children as being holy. Again, by your argument, how could Jesus exhort sinners to become as sinless children so that they can enter the kingdom of God? That goes totally against what is required to enter into the kingdom. You are teaching that we simply have to become as little children to enter the kingdom. This is not sound doctrine.

    I know you really are not paying true attention to anything i have to say, but i will say one more thing. look at Rom 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: 

    We know that a newborn baby could not possibly fall under the statement ”all have sinned” as we understand it. But I believe that the words ”all have sinned” is not according to our understanding. Paul in fact clears up what he is saying by verse 13 when he says ”For” until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. When he uses the word ”for” he is referring to what he just said, that all have sinned. Sin was never imputed to babies because they have not actively sinned. But he makes it clear that sin was in the world, even though it is not imputed. This is so clear. Sin was not floating around in the atmosphere. It was in men.

    I’m wondering, in thinking about it, if you likely believe that when Paul says death entered the world by sin, you are assuming that he is speaking of what many refer to as ”spiritual” death and that you likely believe that physical death always existed?

    Gilla

    • Hello Becky

      <<. Nowhere does Jesus state children as being holy.

      The question is rather, where does he declare them unholy?

      << how could Jesus exhort sinners to become as sinless children so that they can enter the kingdom of God?

      As I wrote, by repenting and following Jesus. 

       <<That goes totally against what is required to enter into the kingdom. You are teaching that we simply have to become as little children to enter the kingdom. This is not sound doctrine. 

      It's not my teaching but the teaching of Jesus. I'm quoting:
      "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."  (Matt 18:13)

      Notice in Rom. 5:12 that it does not say that SIN passed upon all men, but DEATH passed upon all men. It also says why. "For all have sinned". Also note that "all" in the Bible can mean "all" very loosely, which I proved with many Bible verses in the article which I wrote about this word. Sin was not in the world before Adam. He is the one that sinned first and introduced sin into the world.  

      Physical death was never God's intention for mankind, but if man sinned then death was and is inevitable. Adam's sin was both physical and spiritual. We die physically due to him since we can't reach the tree of life due to him. Also Jesus died a physical death but was resurrected. We die spiritually when we sin. Sinning still causes death. 

      Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      Gilla

  9. Oh, glad to hear that you believe Adam brought on physical death.

    So you state: ”Notice in Rom. 5:12 that it does not say that SIN passed upon all men, but DEATH passed upon all men. It also says why. ”For all have sinned”. Also note that ”all” in the Bible can mean ”all” very loosely, which I proved with many Bible verses in the article which I wrote about this word. Sin was not in the world before Adam. He is the one that sinned first and introduced sin into the world.” I agree that ”all” always means ”all” according to the context. Correct, Rom 5:12 does not say SIN passed upon all men, but it does say death by sin. The next part of the verse proves that all men have sin in them. It says ”and so death passed upon all men, FOR THAT ALL HAVE SINNED.” So you only have two ways to translate this. Either death only happens to those who commit sin, or because sin is in the world, all men will die. If babies do not have sin, they shouldn’t die. The words ”all have sinned” is actually a statement that shows sin is imputed to all men, just like those who believe in Christ are made righteous because his righteousness is imputed to us through faith. Rom 4:22  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 
    Rom 4:23  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 
    Rom 4:24  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 

    Gilla

    • Hello Becky

       Rom. 5 does not say that ”all men have sin in them” (or similar). As I stated, also Jesus died physically so clearly physical death also applies to innocent people (and animals). All people will die physically (we cannot reach the tree of life due to Adam). We die spiritually when/if we sin 

      No, sin is not imputed to all men (and I hope you don’t understand the word ”impute” as ”transfer”). Note also that the Bible does speak about righteousness and imputed righteousness, but never about Christ’s righteousness being imputed to or in us. ”Imputed” means ”regarded as”, and we are regarded as righteous when we have been cleansed in the blood of Jesus. Then we are regarded as righteous because we are. How long does this state last? As long as we remain righteous. 

      1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

      Gilla

  10. Imputed means to reckon in, attribute. Sin was in the world. You tell me what that means. Floating in the atmosphere? in the dirt? in the ocean?

    Gilla

    • Hi Becky

      ”as by one man sin entered into the world”. This is in reference to Adam. There was no sin before him, so by him sin entered into the world. Sinning is something we do and nothing that can be found in the DNA. What is sin? Disobeying God (an action).

      1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

      Gilla

  11. Sinning is an action. Sin is a noun or a verb, sinful is an adjective. Some instances of the word sin are a noun or adjective

    Gilla

      • We are created to seek God and to repent from our sins (Acts 17). We are to be lead by the holy Ghost and live righteous lives – as in carrying our cross daily. We are to be followers of Christ. I can highly recommend the first long film from Torben Sondergaard. He is a preacher who this year had to flee Denmark and seek asylum in the US, because the authorities came after his kids. The reason for this is because Torben frequently made use of the gift of Biblical healing, and the authorities and media demonized him. They argued that kids who witnessed this (or even worse took part of it) could be harmed. So he had to flee for good to keep his family together. This reminds me of Greta, who is doing just fine in her doomsday preaching about climate change (maybe this planet won’t exist ten years from now?) despite causing children across the world to get depressed.

        Gilla

  12. Let’s forget about the original sin doctrine for the moment. By the way I’m not familiar with this doctrine. I only recently learned a little about it from another teacher, so I am not indoctrinated.

    Your reasoning or conjecture of why David carries two meanings. It makes him sound like Adam and Eve in the garden, poorly disguised blame for your own sin. It also means that David is openly shaming his mother. Neither of these reflect David’s character.

    Gilla

    • Hey Becky
      I’m not sure I understand. If the case is that David’s mother literally conceived him in sin, it’s of course not wrong to say this in his prayer. What he said could also be of another meaning.

      Gilla

      • Well, I basically said the same thing as in my article. The case could be that his mother conceived him during an immoral rendezvous. David could also be expressing himself poetically in his prayer.

        Gilla

      • I think it would be wrong, in David’s eyes, to refer to any supposed “shame” of his parents in his prayers. I think this particular version captures the essence of what David was saying:
        Psa 51:5  I was born to do wrong, a sinner before I left my mother’s womb. (ERV).

        Gilla

      • I don’t think it’s wrong to tell God exactly what’s on our hearts, and quite often David mentions the sins of his enemy. David’s life was likely affected by the choices of his mother, and just the fact that he was a shepherd unlike his royal brothers might be due to them having a different father.

        That ERV version is terrible! It actually puts the blame on God. ”Born to do wrong”? So we really have no choice? Are we sinners already in the womb, once we are conceived? So we can be less than an inch tall, and yet we are sinners?

        Gilla

      • No, it is not blaming God. You truly believe it’s possible for someone to be born and live without sin?? That was only possible for Jesus, not because he was a baby, which you teach, but because he was the Son of God. That is what you teach, fleshly merit, that babies are born pure, correct? Babies are born with sinful flesh.

        Gilla

      • It’s possible that all who can sin have chosen to sin, but the point is that babies cannot sin – outside or inside of the womb. Jesus was never provided an advantage over us. Just like him, we could have chosen to not sin.

        I thought you said earlier that you do not believe in the sinful nature, but it looks like you in fact do. Jesus had the same flesh as us, and flesh cannot be ”sinful”. Sinning is an action, and something we do. It cannot be found in the DNA or in the flesh.

        Gilla

      • No it doesn’t. Not even in Paul’s letter to the Romans. If flesh is sinful in itself, then Jesus flesh was also sinful. Why would flesh be sinful? Is flesh somehow against God’s will? Obeying the flesh, on the other hand, as in living by the world, then you cannot please God.

        Gilla

      • Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

        Gilla

      • Amen, but you forgot to explain your point. Is it that we all have sinful flesh but Jesus did not? That Jesus had a great advantage over us since he had no ”sinful flesh” that made him sin, unlike the rest of us? That the Bible is wrong for suggesting that sinning is breaking God’s commandments when we are in fact sinning due to the crime of having flesh? That someone conceived 1 hour ago is a sinner?

        I’d rather believe that ”sinful flesh” signifies that human beings typically sin with their flesh (members) hence the wordings that Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh. Paul doesn’t say that we are born with a sinful nature.

        Heb. 4:15 — but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

        Gilla

  13. Sorry, i left out some words in my post. I meant to say, Your reasoning or conjecture of why David said what he did in verse 5…..

    Gilla

  14. So you are now agreeing with the Scriptures that the flesh is sinful? Because stated earlier “ If flesh is sinful in itself, then Jesus flesh was also sinful. Why would flesh be sinful?”

    Gilla

    • I’m agreeing with all scriptures. There are no verses which claim that the flesh is sinful. The verse says ”in the likeness of sinful flesh” and it doesn’t say that flesh in itself is sinful or can plan to sin separate from the person inside it. The Bible says that sinning is breaking the commandments of God. It’s not a sin to possess flesh. Most importantly, Jesus didn’t have sinful flesh.

      Gilla

  15. None of these even speak of salvation. Again, first show me one verse that literally says babies are saved and i will show you, literally, the verse in Matthew that says they are not. It is in the KJV literally

    Gilla

    • Yes of course they speak of salvation. If Jesus himself says that the kingdom belongs to little children, are we to say that it’s wrong because they are sinners? The Bible claims little children can do neither good or bad. And yet they are declared sinners? Of course not.

      Gilla

  16. Can’t you just say you don’t have one because there is none? There are many many verses that specifically State salvation and who is saved and none of them says babies are born saved. But again, I do have a verse that specifically states that babies are not saved

    Gilla

    • I’ve never claimed that the Bible says that babies are ”born saved”. I quoted a verse where we can read about a boy who has not done anything good and bad – so that would be neutral. The point is that babies are not risking their souls since they are unable to sin. Jesus promises that the kingdom belongs to little children. I hope you’re not arguing with Jesus.

      Gilla

      • But at 12:48 and 14:45, in response to my specific question, you claimed that babies are saved.

        Gilla

  17. You did say in your last few replies to me that babies are saved as a response to my question, Where does it say babies are saved? That said, where does it say in Scripture that the kingdom belongs to little children?

    Gilla

    • Good morning, Becky!

      <<But at 12:48 and 14:45, in response to my specific question, you claimed that babies are saved.

      Yes and that is a different claim than the claim that the Bible says that babies are "born saved". Same result of course, but you asked me to point out a phrase in the Bible which I never claimed was there.

      I've already provided verses where it says that babies are saved. Check for them earlier in this thread. Among them you will find Jesus himself claiming that the kingdom belongs to little children (Luke 18:16). Didn't Jesus know that children are born sinners because they have flesh?

      Gilla

  18. Do you believe that this has always been the case or do you believe it is only valid after Jesus died on the cross?

    Gilla

  19. Proverbs 23:14 says to discipline a child to deliver his soul from hell. Why? Because Prov 22:15 says foolishness is bound in the heart of a child.

    Gilla

    • The point is that if we discipline children from the start, they might stay on the right track also later. Proverbs, Psalms, etc contain poetic language. If Jesus himself claims that the kingdom of God belongs to the children, the opposite can’t be true – that they belong to hell due to their crime of having flesh.

      Gilla

  20. Jesus did not claim that the kingdom belongs to children. Three times Jesus said ”of such” is the kingdom of God. He never said the kingdom of God belongs to children. You ignore the ”of such” and what it truly means.

    The point is clear in Scripture. Children need deliverance from hell because foolishness is bound in their hearts. It doesn’t say children are ”susceptible” to foolishness because of their ”innocence.” It says foolishness itself is bound in the heart of a child. But you use the verses in the gospels to cancel these verses and explain it away.

    Honestly, I believe that children, even in the womb, are very sensitive to the Word of God and its power. I read the Scriptures regarding salvation to my children in the womb because the Holy Spirit led me to do this when this verse was revealed to my heart.

    Gilla

    • Is not ”of such” a reference to the children that Jesus is talking about in the same breath? If not, who is Jesus referring to?

      Mark. 10:14 — Suffer the little CHILDREN to come unto me, and forbid THEM not: for OF SUCH is the kingdom of God.

      You have provided a poetic expression and trust it literally? Here is another verse that you can try to take literally. It’s quite clear, really:

      Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: —

      What kind of foolishness can be found in the heart of, let’s say a one year old, a two year old, or an unborn child?

      Why don’t you accept Jesus clear claim that the kingdom belongs to such children that he had around him? Do you always accept all poetic verses literally?

      How can an infant in the womb comprehend the word of God? Especially if the infant has yet to develop a heart? Why does the Bible claim that sinning is breaking God’s commandments when we are sinning just by the mere fact that we have flesh?

      Gilla

  21. First, you say I provided a poetic expression. Can you please point out exactly to what you are referring? I’ve said a lot of things. Are you talking about the verses in Proverbs regarding disciplining a child? You call these poetic verses?

    I’ve raised children and grandchildren. Yes, i have seen foolishness at an amazingly early age. Do you have children?

    How can an infant in the womb comprehend the Word of God, you ask. Heb 4:12-13  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 

    And are you saying it is impossible for God to communicate to a baby in the womb?

    Gilla

    • Hello Becky

      Yes, Proverbs contain many poetic expressions. We should therefore be very careful so that we don’t build a new doctrine based on poetry. Not that poetry, psalms and proverbs lack any meaning, but since they might describe the reality poetically, we should be careful.

      You didn’t answer my question about children. What sins might a one year old, two year old or an unborn child do?

      Yes I have children

      Heb. 4 does not claim that children (born or not) can sin or be aware of the law.

      I think God can communicate even with an animal, but this is a separate issue from your claim that babies can sin. I noticed you didn’t answer my question about whom Jesus might be referring to when he claims that the kingdom of God belongs to them.

      Gilla

  22. Also, going back to my original question and your answer that children do not go to hell. Why would they need discipline if they can’t go to hell? You are having to add all your own words to make this work for your doctrine. It doesn’t say to discipline them so that later when they are adults they won’t go to hell.

    You ask me if I accept all poetic verses literally. First answer my question: By what authority do you determine which verses are poetic?

    Gilla

    • If you make sure to disciple your children from the start, there is good hope that they might stay on the right track. This does not suggest that you must disciple a newborn, because of course it’s too small to comprehend. But a newborn might grow up and become a child and then an adult – with successively more responsibilities. Christians naturally do what they can to bring up their children in a loving way, teaching them everything about righteousness.

      We are all responsible to read and understand the Bible correctly and in context. Does the text seem to be about real history, poetry, psalms, proverbs, parables, prophesies, etc. The context can help us greatly, combined with common sense. Can for instance hyssop literally help turning someone white, as King David says in a psalm?

      Gilla

  23. You’ve yet to answer my question before i answer yours: Give me one verse that literally says babies are saved and i will give you one that literally says they are not.

    Sin (noun) became exceeding sinful via the law. But it was still sin before the law. Jesus came in sinful flesh. Otherwise Jesus could not have been tempted. I didn’t say that, Paul did, but you explain that truth away because you don’t have the faith to believe that Jesus could remain sinless in sinful flesh. It is the only way He could condemn sin in the flesh. You believe that sin does not exist until someone sins (verb). Romans 5:12-13 tears down your argument.

    You speak of common sense. But common sense cannot explain sin, or death, or the Word made flesh, or miracles, or resurrection from the dead. 1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Gilla

    • Becky, I’ve already shown you a few verses, and particularly the one where Jesus himself says that the kingdom of God belongs to the children. Also, please note that the Bible does not always ”literally” claim stuff, such as ”Jesus is God”, but you can still reach that conclusion by studying the Bible.

      <<Sin (noun) became exceeding sinful via the law.

      Where does it say that, and what does it mean? Sin doesn't go out and act on its own.

      << but you explain that truth away

      Not at all. I even agreed with your explanation about it in this post. It's possible that you read other things into it that I might not agree with.

      << because you don’t have the faith to believe that Jesus could remain sinless in sinful flesh.

      ?? If you believe that Jesus had sinful flesh, and that this does not make him a sinner, then similarly you couldn't believe that human beings are sinners for having flesh.

      <<You believe that sin does not exist until someone sins (verb).

      That's right, and that's because that is what the Bible says. Particularly in Rom. 5.

      << But common sense cannot explain sin, or death, or the Word made flesh, or miracles, or resurrection from the dead.

      Does it not make sense to have common sense when reading the Bible? I feel we are both appealing to this when we are having this conversation.

      <<1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:

      Amen, and the solution is to not be a natural man.

      Gilla

  24. You have changed Jesus’ words. He never claimed that the kingdom of God belongs to children. He said ”of such,” but you ignore that. Babies are no different than anyone else. They need salvation. Once more, there is nothing in Scripture that says babies are the exception to the rule, nothing. Your common sense will never accept that.

    So to clarify for you and give you the benefit of the doubt: I have a literal Scripture for the specific point that babies are not saved. This overrides your assumption that they are. Just like you said, ”IF Jesus himself claims that the kingdom of God belongs to the children, the opposite can’t be true.” That is why I am asking you for a literal specific verse or instance in this case. No, not everything in the bible is literal but the verse I have is.

    Gilla

    • Becky, I evidently did not ignore ”of such” but I even returned back to you and asked you who you think Jesus was referring to. You chose not to answer. Do you have an answer?

      Babies are no different than anyone else? Of course they are. Are babies born with the ability to speak and are they able to chooce between obeying and disobeying? Can they have a bad conscience about something? Like what? This description does not seem to apply to children:

      Rom. 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

      If they need salvation, what sins might could they have committed which would condemn them?

      << I have a literal Scripture for the specific point that babies are not saved.

      I must have missed that. Can you quote me that verse? Remember that I have provided several verses which say that children are innocent, the kingdom of God belongs to them, etc.

      <<No, not everything in the bible is literal but the verse I have is.

      That verse in Proverbs? How come that one is conveniently literal and others are not?

      Gilla

    • There are no verses in Matthew suggesting that babies can sin, or are guilty for having flesh. What does the Bible say that sin is?

      1 John 3:4 — sin is the transgression of the law.

      Babies cannot transgress the law.

      Gilla

  25. Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

    Gilla

    • Amen, and read also Rom. 6 and Rom. 8 where Paul explains that sinning leads to death. Paul’s condition for salvation:

      Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.

      (Not shouting)

      Gilla

  26. The verse you use as a foundation for your doctrine, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God,” does not include all children; Jesus is only referencing those brought to Him or come to Him

    Gilla

    • If that is so, why did Jesus say ”of such is the kingdom of God”, rather than limiting the promise to only those children around him?
      What sins can little children commit – particularly infants or unborn children?

      Gilla

  27. “Of such,” referring to the children who at that moment were brought to Him or came to Him. The whole rebuke was pointed at not preventing children who are brought to or come to Him.

    Gilla

    • How can you be certain of that Jesus does not mean all children, but only a few lucky ones who belonged to the kingdom of God for the only reason that they happened to be near Jesus? Is salvation based on luck?

      I’ve studied enough Greek to know that the Greek word for ”of such” is τοιοῦτος, and the meaning is indeed such, like, of this kind, etc. Jesus could have said that the kingdom of God belongs to ”them”, but the translation is ”of such” or ”such as these”.

      Gilla

  28. Jesus said it, I didn’t.

    “Of such” is not literal, especially according to the Greek. It’s speaking of character, not hardened. Being born again makes babes out of us all. Being born again creates a new man, which makes the previous man old.

    Just because babies don’t commit acts of sin does not by default mean they are saved. The Scriptures are replete with all things Jesus and the apostles taught that are specifically and clearly linked to salvation. Being a baby is not one of them.

    God is just and He always does what is right. We must leave babies in His hands. Our hope is in Jesus, the Word made flesh, the way, truth and life, the resurrection. At the judgment all will be judged according to their works. In our minds babies don’t have any, good or bad. God will do the right thing, Everything He does is right.

    Gilla

    • Becky

      <<“Of such” is not literal,

      So now it's not suitable to understand Jesus words as literal, but a verse in Proverbs is? If Jesus meant to say "they" or "them" (referring to only the lucky children around him), why did he not say that? "Of such" – so not only those children but also others such as them.

      <<Being born again makes babes out of us all.

      Amen

      <<Just because babies don’t commit acts of sin does not by default mean they are saved.

      Why would they not be saved? The Bible claims that sinning is breaking the commandments of God. Sinning leads to death, and death leads to hell (unless someone repents). So what crimes can children commit?

      <<Being a baby is not one of them.

      Where does it say that children are lost?

      <<God is just and He always does what is right.

      What is just about declaring people sinners despite that they are not able to sin?

      I agree with the rest you said.

      Gilla

  29. Luk 18:26  And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
    Luk 18:27  And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

    Gilla

  30. You state “ Why would they not be saved? The Bible claims that sinning is breaking the commandments of God. Sinning leads to death, and death leads to hell (unless someone repents). So what crimes can children commit?”

    My point exactly. You believe that babies are by default saved. Again, the Scriptures are replete with all things Jesus and the apostles taught that are specifically and clearly linked to salvation. Being a baby is not one of them. Your circular reasoning does not erase this fact.

    Gilla

  31. Where does it say they aren’t? Again, leave it in God’s hands. There are those who ask why would God sit by why babies are raped, abused, etc? Any good words of comfort, any doctrine of comfort you can offer to these? We don’t have all the answers, we only have one: trust in God.

    Gilla

    • I’ve showed where it says they aren’t damned. Jesus says that the kingdom of God belongs to ”of such” (children), and the Bible says that hell is meant for sinners. We are sinners if we break the commandments of God, and children are unable to break the commandments since they are unaware of them.

      Yes, I certainly have words of comfort to those who are hurting.

      Mat. 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
      5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
      6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
      7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
      8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
      9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
      10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      Gilla

  32. Rom 2:14  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do BY NATURE the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE the children of wrath, even as others.

    Same nature, sinful flesh

    Gilla

  33. Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    Will children be there?

    You state “ Where does it say that our nature is sinful? ” Study of the bible. Like you said “ Also, please note that the Bible does not always ”literally” claim stuff, such as ”Jesus is God”, but you can still reach that conclusion by studying the Bible”

    Gilla

    • Yes, I believe everyone will be standing before the judgment seat and get a fair judgment by God, based on our deeds and based on our conscience, thoughts and ability.

      Since the verses you quoted spoke about going after the lust of the flesh, and since children are able to do this, I can’t see how you can draw the conclusion that flesh can be sinful in itself.

      Gilla

  34. The.problem is you do not have a correct understanding of “the flesh” and “of such,” nor of what happened when Adam sinned. You lean on your own understanding, the natural man, and because of that your doctrine is not sound. You argue against literal Scripture, “sinful flesh,” with your carnal interpretations. You cause division and offenses that are contrary to what Paul teaches. If i were to accept your good words and fair speeches it would weaken my faith. You take verses like Rom 5:12 to back up your own understanding, even make it foundational, then carefully ignore verses 13-17 which clarify “sin entered into the world.” You make claims like, “babies are saved” then you turn around and say “babies aren’t born saved,” which obviously will require more carnal explanations.

    Jesus came for multiple reasons, but according to your doctrine, none of these reasons apply to children.

    Gilla

    • Becky,

      If our bodies (our flesh) are sinful, then consequently the body of Jesus was also sinful. But that would make Jesus a sinner, so of course this interpretation must be wrong.

      When did sin enter the world the first time? When Adam sinned of course. This doesn’t mean that we have inherited his sin, as some suggest.

      The picture of babies in the Bible is that they are born neutral (having done no good or bad), but we are generally wonderfully made. Jesus claims that the kingdom of God is ”of such” (children). Not ”these children who are presently here around me”.

      The Bible could not be more clear that sinning is breaking the law, and children are 100% unable to break any laws. Yet, they are guilty?

      Gilla

  35. Why we are sinners – because we are “in Adam”
    Wuest’s Word Studies
    We come now to the consideration of a passage (Rom 5:12-21) which reaches back to Rom 3:18-20 where the subject of the total depravity of the race is discussed, and includes in its scope the section, 3:21-5:11, where justification is dealt with. Paul shows in this passage that sin and death come from the First Adam, and righteousness and life from the Second Adam.
    ”World” here is kosmos, the human race, the same word used in Joh 3:16 of the world of sinners. Sin originated with the angel Lucifer, who in rebelling against God contracted a sinful nature. Adam in his disobedience was the channel through which sin entered the human race. Through sin, death entered the race, physical and spiritual. The literal Greek which follows is, ”And thus into all men death came throughout.” That is, when death entered the race, it went throughout the race, affecting everyone. The reason why death affects all, Paul says, is that all sinned. Here Adam is looked upon as the federal head of the race, and that when he sinned, all of humanity sinned in him. It is Adam’s initial sin that constituted him a sinner in which all human beings participated, and which brings death upon all. In other words, we are sinners, not because we have committed acts of sin, but because Adam sinned.
    Now Paul proceeds to explain and demonstrate this. Until the law was given, that is, during the period between Adam and Moses, sin was in the world. But sin is not put to the account of the person when there is no law. Yet, death reigned as king from the time of Adam to that of Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. Since death comes by means of sin, and those living between Adam and Moses had no sins charged to their account by reason of the non-existence of the written law, and yet in spite of that, died, logic leads us to conclude that their death came by reason of Adam’s sin and that they sinned in him, their federal head. Adam is spoken of as ”the figure of Him who was to come.” ”Figure” is tupos, used in a doctrinal sense of a type, a person or thing prefiguring a future (Messianic) person or thing; in this sense Adam is called a type of Jesus Christ, each of the two having exercised a preeminent influence upon the human race (the former destructive, the latter, saving) (Thayer).
    Translation: Wherefore, as through the intermediate agency of one man the aforementioned sin into the world entered, and through this sin, death; and thus into and throughout all mankind death entered, because all sinned. For until law, sin was in the world, but sin is not put to one’s account, there being no law. But death reigned as king from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the One who is to come.

    Gilla

    • Hello Becky

      <<Why we are sinners – because we are “in Adam”

      I need chapter and verse for this claim. Romans 5 doesn't claim it. I thought you said you don't believe in original sin – that we inherit Adam's sin? 

      << which reaches back to Rom 3:18-20 where the subject of the total depravity of the race is discussed

      Where in those verses can we read anything about the depravity of man? It's not there. 
       <<“World” here is kosmos, the human race, the same word used in Joh 3:16 of the world of sinners.

      Where does it say that all the world are sinners because of Adam, or that we have inherited Adam's sin? 

      <<Sin originated with the angel Lucifer, who in rebelling against God contracted a sinful nature.

      Chapter and verse for this sinful nature please. 

      <<Adam in his disobedience was the channel through which sin entered the human race.

      Chapter and verse for the idea that sin entered the human race. 

      << Through sin, death entered the race, physical and spiritual.

      Chapter and verse for that sin entered the race. 

      <<The literal Greek which follows is, “And thus into all men death came throughout.”

      Yes, and it also says why. Because we have sinned. Not because we have inherited Adam's sin. 

      <<That is, when death entered the race, it went throughout the race, affecting everyone.

      Even Jesus Christ. 

      <<The reason why death affects all, Paul says, is that all sinned.

      It says "all men", and the Greek word could mean man, women and men or all human beings. We must remember that also Jesus Christ died too, and he never sinned. Neither can babies sin. 

      <<Here Adam is looked upon as the federal head of the race, and that when he sinned, all of humanity sinned in him.

      I've heard this horrible claim before, and this cannot be found in the Bible. If this would be the case, we would have excellent excuses for our sins ("the sinful nature made me do it ….". If we are sinners due to a forefather, then so is Jesus. 

      << It is Adam’s initial sin that constituted him a sinner in which all human beings participated

      Chapter and verse for that everyone participated in Adam's sin? And where does it say that Jesus was excluded and had an easier ride to stay free of sin compared to the rest of us?

      << we are sinners, not because we have committed acts of sin, but because Adam sinned.

      I have one word for this gnostic claim: FALSE

      << Until the law was given, that is, during the period between Adam and Moses

      The "law" is usually the Mosaic law, but yes, there has always been a law as in God's commandments. 

       <<. Since death comes by means of sin

      Yes, and no. Depends. Also Jesus died, and he was not a sinner. Physical death can therefore affect us even though we have not sinned. 

      <<Translation: 

      Read Rom. 5:18-19. If ALL people died in Adam, then THE SAME ALL are considered righteous in Jesus Christ and will live. Will ALL be saved? Clearly not. This means that the person who wrote all this is wrong. He is likely a Calvinist since he talks about the total depravity of man. Rom. 5 does not say that ALL men will die in Adam and SOME men will be righteous in Christ. 

      Rom. 5: 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon ALL men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience MANY were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall MANY be made righteous.

      Gilla

    • For any commentator or source i have quoted, I do not necessarily agree with all their beliefs and would caution anyone who reads their writings to make sure and study the Scriptures and be founded on them and not on the writings of men. My part is done.

      Gilla

  36. Albert Barnes Commentary
    Rom 5:12-21 has been usually regarded as the most difficult part of the New Testament. It is not the design of these notes to enter into a minute criticism of contested points like this. They who wish to see a full discussion of the passage, may find it in the professedly critical commentaries; and especially in the commentaries of Tholuck and of Professor Stuart on the Romans. The meaning of the passage in its general bearing is not difficult; and probably the whole passage would have been found far less difficult if it had not been attached to a philosophical theory on the subject of man’s sin, and if a strenuous and indefatigable effort had not been made to prove that it teaches what it was never designed to teach. The plain and obvious design of the passage is this, to show one of the benefits of the doctrine of justification by faith. The apostle had shown,
    (1) That that doctrine produced peace, Rom 5:1.
    (2) That it produces joy in the prospect of future glory, Rom 5:2.
    (3) That it sustained the soul in afflictions;
    (a) By the regular tendency of afflictions under the gospel, Rom 5:3-4; and,
    (b) By the fact that the Holy Spirit was imparted to the believer.
    (4) That this doctrine rendered it certain that we should be saved, because Christ had died for us, Rom 5:6; because this was the highest expression of love, Rom 5:7-8; and because if we had been reconciled when thus alienated, we should be saved now that we are the friends of God, Rom 5:9-10.
    (5) That it led us to rejoice in God himself; produced joy in his presence, and in all his attributes.
    He now proceeds to show the bearing on that great mass of evil which had been introduced into the world by sin, and to prove that the benefits of the atonement were far greater than the evils which had been introduced by the acknowledged effects of the sin of Adam. “The design is to exalt our views of the work of Christ, and of the plan of justification through him, by comparing them with the evil consequences of the sin of our first father, and by showing that the blessings in question not only extend to the removal of these evils, but far beyond this, so that the grace of the gospel has not only abounded, but superabounded.” (Prof. Stuart.) In doing this, the apostle admits, as an undoubted and well-understood fact:
    1. That sin came into the world by one man, and death as the consequence. Rom 5:12.
    2. That death had passed on all; even on those who had not the light of revelation, and the express commands of God, Rom 5:13-14.
    3. That Adam was the figure, the type of him that was to come; that there was some sort of analogy or resemblance between the results of his act and the results of the work of Christ. That analogy consisted in the fact that the effects of his doings did not terminate on himself, but extended to numberless other persons, and that it was thus with the work of Christ, Rom 5:14. But he shows,
    4. That there were very material and important differences in the two cases. There was not a perfect parallelism. The effects of the work of Christ were far more than simply to counteract the evil introduced by the sin of Adam. The differences between the effect of his act and the work of Christ are these.
    (1) The sin of Adam led to condemnation. The work of Christ has an opposite tendency, Rom 5:15.
    (2) The condemnation which came from the sin of Adam was the result of one offence. The work of Christ was to deliver from many offences, Rom 5:16.
    (3) The work of Christ was far more abundant and overflowing in its influence. It extended deeper and further. It was more than a compensation for the evils of the fall, Rom 5:17.
    5. As the act of Adam threw its influence over all people to secure their condemnation, so the work of Christ was suited to affect all people, Jews and Gentiles, in bringing them into a state by which they might be delivered from the fall, and restored to the favor of God. It was in itself adapted to produce far more and greater benefits than the crime of Adam had done evil; and was thus a glorious plan, just suited to meet the actual condition of a world of sin; and to repair the evils which apostasy had introduced. It had thus the evidence that it originated in the benevolence of God, and that it was adapted to the human condition, Rom 5:18-21.
    (The learned author denies the doctrine of imputed sin, and labors to prove that it is not contained in Rom 5:12, Rom 5:19. The following introductory note is intended to exhibit the orthodox view of the subject, and meet the objections which the reader will find in the Commentary. The very first question that demands our attention is, What character did Adam sustain under the covenant of works, that of a single and independent individual. or that of the representative of the human kind?
    This is one of the most important questions in Theology, and according to the answer we may be prepared to give, in the affirmative or negative, will be almost the entire complexion of our religious views. If the question be resolved in the affirmative, then what Adam did must be held as done by us, and the imputation of his guilt would seem to follow as a necessary consequence.
    1. That Adam sustained the character of representative of the human race; in other words, that he was the federal as well as natural head of his descendants, is obvious from the circumstances of the history in the book of Genesis. It has been said indeed, that in the record of the threatening no mention is made of the posterity of Adam, and that on this account, all idea of federal headship or representation must be abandoned, as a mere theological figment, having no foundation in Scripture. But if God regarded Adam only in his individual capacity, when be said unto him “in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” then, the other addresses of God to Adam, which form part of the same history, must be construed in the same way. And was it to Adam only, and not to the human kind at large, viewed in him, that God said, “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth?” Was it to Adam in his individual capacity, that God gave the grant of the earth, with all its rich and varied productions? Or was it to mankind at large? Was it to Adam alone that God said, “in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground,” etc.? The universal infliction of the penalty shows, that the threatening was addressed to Adam as the federal head of the race. All toil, and sweat, and die. Indeed, the entire history favors the conclusion, that God was dealing with Adam, not in his individual, but representative capacity; nor can its consistency be preserved on any other principle.
    2. Moreover, there are certain facts connected with the moral history of mankind, which present insuperable difficulties, if we deny the doctrines of representation and imputed sin. “How shall we on any other principle account for the universality of death, or rather of penal evil?” It can be traced back beyond all personal guilt. Its origin is higher. Antecedent to all actual transgression, man is visited with penal evil. He comes into the world under a necessity of dying. His whole constitution is disordered. His body and his mind bear on them the marks of a blighting curse. It is impossible on any theory to deny this. And why is man thus visited? Can the righteous God punish where there is no guilt? We muss take one side or other of the alternative, that God inflicts punishment without guilt, or that Adam’s sin is imputed to his posterity. If we take the latter branch of the alternative, we are furnished with the ground of the divine procedure, and freed from many difficulties that press upon the opposite view.
    It may be noticed in this place also, that the death of infants is a striking proof of the infliction of penal evil, prior to personal or actual sin. Their tender bodies are assailed in a multitude of instances by acute and violent diseases, that call for our sympathy the more that the sufferers cannot disclose or communicate the source of their agony. They labor with death and struggle hard in his hands, until they resign the gift of life they had retained for so short a while. It is said, indeed, that the case of infants is not introduced in Scripture in connection with this subject, and our author tells us, that they are not at all referred to in any part of this disputed passage, nor included in the clause, “death reigned, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.” On this, some observations will be found in the proper place. Meanwhile, there is the fact itself, and with it we are concerned now. “Why do infants die?” Perhaps it will be said that though they have committed no actual sin, yet they have a depraved nature; but this cedes the whole question, for that depraved nature is just a part of the penal evil, formerly noticed. Why are innocent infants visited with what entails death on them? One answer only can be given, and no ingenuity can evade the conclusion, “in Adam all die.” The wonder is, that this doctrine should ever have been denied. On the human family at large, on man and woman, on infant child, and hoary sire, on earth and sky, are traced the dismal effects of the first sin.
    3. The parallelism between Adam and Christ is another branch of evidence on this subject. That they bear a striking resemblance to each other is allowed on all hands. Hence, Christ is styled, in 1 Cor. 15, “the last Adam,” and “the second man,” and in this very passage, Adam is expressly called a type, or “figure of him that was to come.” Now in what does this resemblance consist? Between these two persons there are very many points Of dissimilarity, or contrast. The first man is earthy, the second is the Lord from heaven. From the one come guilt, and condemnation, and death; and from the other. righteousness, justification, and life. Where then is the similarity? “They are alike,” says Beza, “in this, that each of them shares what he has with has.” Both are covenant or representative heads, and communicate their respective influences to those whom they represent. Here then, is one great leading point of similarity, nor is it possible in any other view to preserve the parallel.
    For suppose we disturb the parallel as now adjusted, and argue that Adam was not a federal head, that we are therefore neither held guilty of Adam’s sin, nor condemned and punished on account of it; where shall we find the counterpart of this in Christ? Must we also maintain that he does not represent his people, that they are neither esteemed righteous on account of his work, nor justified and saved by it? Such is the legitimate consequence of the opposite views. If we hold that from Adam we receive only a corrupt nature, in consequence of which we sin personally, and then become guilty, and are in consequence condemned; we must also argue that we receive from Christ only a pure or renewed nature, in consequence of which we become personally righteous, and are then and therefore justified and saved. But such a scheme would undermine the whole gospel. Though the derivation of holiness from Christ be a true and valuable doctrine, we are not justified on account of that derived holiness. On the contrary, we are justified on account of something without us – something that has no dependence whatever on our personal holiness, namely, the righteousness of Christ. Nay, according to the doctrine of Paul, justification in order of nature, is before sanctification, and the cause of it.
    It is but justice to state, that the commentator maintains that a resemblance between Adam and Christ lies not at all in the mode in which sin and righteousness, life and death have been respectively introduced by them; but is found in the simple fact that “the effect of their doings did not terminate on themselves, but extended to numberless other persons.” pp. 117, 118, 128. Indeed, he repeatedly affirms, that in regard to the introduction of sin by Adam, nothing whatever is said in this passage in regard to the mode of it. The fact alone is announced. If this were true, it is allowed that the arguments we have now employed would be much weakened. But the assertion cannot be substantiated. If the analogy do not lie in the mode, but in the simple fact, that the effects of their doings do not terminate on themselves; what greater resemblance is there between Adam and Christ, than between any two persons that might be named? David and Ahab might be compared in the same way; the good deeds of the one, and the evil deeds of the other, not terminating with themselves. Besides, Paul certainly does state in the previous chapter, the mode in which the righteousness of Christ becomes available for salvation. He states plainly that “God imputeth it without works.” When then in the 5th chapter he looks back upon this subject, and introduces his parallel with “Wherefore as by one man,” etc. are we to believe that he intends no similarity in the mode? Shall we make the apostle explain the manner in which the righteousness becomes available, and say nothing of the way in which its opposite is introduced, at the very time he is professedly comparing the two?
    Such is a brief outline of the evidence on which the doctrine of imputed sin is based. The principal arguments are those derived from the universality of penal evil, and the parallel between Adam and Christ. And these are the very topics handled by the apostle in this much vexed passage. Our author, indeed, in his opening remarks maintains, that nothing is said by the apostle of original sin in this place. “The apostle here is not discussing the doctrine of original sin;” and “his design is to show one of the benefits of the doctrine of justification.” But the design of Paul is to illustrate the doctrine of justification, and not simply to show one of its benefits. For in the former part of this chapter Rom 5:1-11, the apostle had fully enlarged on these benefits, and there is no evidence that Rom 5:12, Rom 5:19, are a continuation of the same theme. On the contrary, there is obviously a break in the discourse at Rom 5:12, where the apostle, recalling the discussion, introduces a new illustration of his principal point, namely, justification through the righteousness of Christ. On this the apostle had discouraged largely in Rom. 3; 4.
    And lest any should think it anomalous and irrational to justify people, on account of a work they themselves had no hand in accomplishing, he now appeals to the “great analogous fact in the history of the world. This seems the most natural construction. No wonder,” says President Edwards, “when the apostle is treating so fully and largely of our restoration, righteousness, and life by Christ, that he is led by it to consider our fall, sin, death, and ruin by Adam.” – Orig. Sin. p. 303. The following analysis will assist the reader in understanding the whole passage: “As the point to be illustrated is the justification of sinners, on the ground of the righteousness of Christ, and the source of illustration is the fall of all men in Adam; the passage begins with a statement of this latter truth. ‘As on account of one man death has passed upon all people; so on account of one,’ etc. Rom 5:12. Before, however, carrying out the comparison, the apostle stops to establish his position, that all people are regarded, and treated as sinners on account of Adam. His proof is this. The infliction of a penalty implies the transgression of a law, since sin is not imputed where there is no law, Rom 5:13. All mankind are subject to death or penal evils, therefore all people are regarded as transgressors of a law, Rom 5:13. The Law or covenant which brings death on all people, is not the Law of Moses, because multitudes died before that Law was given, Rom 5:14.
    Nor is it the law of nature, since multitudes die who have never violated even that law, Rom 5:14. Therefore, we must conclude, that people are subject to death on account of Adam; that is, it is for the offence of one that many die, Rom 5:13-14. Adam is, therefore, a type of Christ. Yet the cases are not completely parallel. There are certain points of dissimilarity, Rom 5:15, Rom 5:17. Having thus limited and illustrated the analogy, the apostle resumes, and carries the comparison fully out in Rom 5:18-19. “Therefore as on account of one man.” etc. Prof. Hodge.)

    Gilla

    • Thanks for the book, Becky, but I’m not able to read it all. I read some of it though in order to see your sources, and I think that you are much wiser than the Calvinists that you promote here. Did you know that also Beza was a Calvinist and a successor of Calvin? Professor Edwards? Would that be Jonathan Edwards? He was a Calvinist as well. Barnes himself was Presbyterian, so he belonged to the reformed group as well (closely tied to Calvinism).

      Compare everything with the Bible, Becky and you will be able to expose Calvinism. We are sinners because we sin, and not because we inherit bad genes from someone else. Babies cannot sin since they are unable to disobey the law.

      Gilla

    • For any commentator or source i have quoted, I do not necessarily agree with all their beliefs and would caution anyone who reads their writings to make sure and study the Scriptures and be founded on them and not on the writings of men. My part is done.

      Gilla

    • Yes I do, and I also promote loads of youtube films through my Blog. I’ve also written a disclaimer that I don’t endorse everything stated in those films just because I promote them.

      Gilla

  37. And with your disclaimer do you exhort people every single time to be careful of those things you don’t agree with, those things that could cause someone to stumble?

    Gilla

    • On my youtube channel this disclaimer is shown for everyone to see. Naturally each person must also be responsible for his/her own intake of information. I’m not the Bible. We should be like the Bereans.

      Gilla

  38. And so you assume that everyone understands they should be like the Bereans? Too much trouble to be my brother’s keeper? BTW you quote quite a few sources on this page, including the Midrash; am i missing the disclaimer on this page?

    Gilla

  39. Rom 14:20  For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
    Rom 14:21  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
    Rom 14:22  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
    Rom 14:23  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

    Too much trouble to be your brother’s keeper?

    Gilla

    • Becky, you copied and pasted a long text from various Calvinists earlier (I don’t have a problem with that). If your teaching is that there must be a disclaimer each time we paste a text or post a film, did you forget your disclaimer? Or do you agree with everything those Calvinists teach?

      Gilla

  40. For any commentator or source i have quoted, I do not necessarily agree with all their beliefs and would caution anyone who reads their writings to make sure and study the Scriptures and be founded on them and not on the writings of men. My part is done.

    Gilla

    • So you say this now when I ask for a disclaimer? According to your teaching, should you not add a disclaimer for each copied text without anyone asking for it?

      Gilla

    • Since I have not made any errors in this regard, and neither the other commentators on my Blog, we don’t have to correct anything. It’s not our teaching but your teaching, and it’s strange that I had to remind you since it seems to be a very important belief for you.

      Gilla

    • Ok, well on my page, Becky, you do NOT have to add any disclaimers. (Or anyone else for that matter.) Of course readers will understand that each commentator expresses his/her own views, and each one of us can sometimes be in error when it comes to quotes and references. So don’t worry!

      Gilla

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