How has sin affected man?

Last updated on February 16, 2023

broken pottery

When God created Adam, He gave him a command “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

But Adam and Eve violated this law. They sinned. Because of this sin, our first parents fell from their righteousness, their original integrity and from their communion with God. As a result, the entire human race fell. From that moment our nature has been affected by the power of evil. We now have a sinful nature.

But how far did the fall affect us?

Our condition is hopeless

We are radically corrupted or totally depraved, that is to say that all our faculties have been deeply affected by sin, by which we are completely indisposed to all good and totally inclined to evil. This corruption extends to the whole man; the Holy Scriptures indicate that our material and immaterial part is corrupt without Christ.

See for example the following Bible texts:

1. The body is corrupted

We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6) and “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions” (Romans 6:12).

2. Reason is corrupted

For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).

3. Conscience is corrupted

… through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared” (1 Timothy 4:2).

4. Emotions and desires are corrupted

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).

5. The will is corrupted

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:14-15).

6. The heart is corrupted

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

God offers hope

That is the reality of our condition. Our radical or total corruption prevents us from going to Christ of our own free will without having been regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

That is why the whole of salvation is from God in Christ. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

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