Psalm 51:5 (Repentance - Week 5)
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. - Psalm 51:5 (ESV)
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. - Psalm 51:5 (NIV)
Read Full Passage HERE
Within this verse are centuries of debate dating back to Augustine. The debate being over original sin and natural depravity. The idea is as follows; every human since Adam was born into this world and is inherently sinful due to the fall of man with Adam and Eve. From the day you are born until you are saved, you are hostile toward God and choose to disobey him by nature. A sinful nature and hostility toward God from infancy mean two things. First, no one is born inherently good and, therefore, cannot be saved by their own righteousness or effort. Secondly, since everyone is born in the flesh (meaning of sinful nature), no one can choose to be obedient to God until He first intervenes by His Spirit.
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” - Romans 8:7-8
To those who have never heard these ideas, they are troublesome and ones to be wrestled with. The natural course or train of thought from this doctrine of original sin is to then think of the ideas of free will and predestination, another hot debate that has lasted for centuries. All this to say, we know one thing for certain. Apart from Christ we are hopeless, unable to bridge the gap between our Heavenly Father and us. Despite your stance on these theological topics, a deep sense of our desperation and dependence on Christ is crucial.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” - Romans 3:23
In your quiet time this week, reflect on how great the chasm between your fallen condition and God’s holiness is. And then think on Jesus, who “in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit,” (Romans 8:3-4). May this be a moment of praise and adoration of Jesus for you.
I just want to say how deeply I respect how sensitive you are to different doctrinal arguments. I’ve been a Christian for 40 years and I still struggle with some of these. I hope you have a blessed day.