Q. What does it mean that God’s grace saves us from our original sinful nature?
A. Original describes how all the sins of humanity are directly connected to the original sin of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:19,21). Because of our first parents’ original sin, all people who come after them now incur the “wrath of God, death, and are influenced by evil” (Romans 6:23). Sinfuldescribes our human tendency to be so self-centered that we regularly break our relationship to God, do not fully trust God to take care of us, and have regular cravings to experience destructive forms of pleasure. (Romans 1:21-32). The sinful nature is the origin of all our sinning. Biblically speaking, people are not sinners because they commit sins, but because they have an internal sinful nature which produces all the sins they commit. As human beings, we needed to be saved or rescued, not so much from our sinful actions, but from the source of all our sinning; theoriginal sinful nature. Nature describes how our sinfulness is a natural part of our lives from the day we were born to the day we will die (Psalm 51:5; Galatians 5:7). Both the world of nature and our sinful nature, since the time of Eden, have been tainted by sin, death, and evil. No matter how moral or determined a person tries to be, they cannot rid themselves of their original sinful nature.
Ask yourself…How would you describe, in your own words, your “original sinful nature”?
Q. How did Jesus describe our “original sinful nature”?
A. Jesus taught that all people have an inherited inner source of evil that cannot be blamed on a bad environment, a poor education, or any other condition. Jesus tells us that this inner source of evil lies in-waiting with every conceivable destructive desire: evil thoughts, acts of fornication, theft, murder, adultery, ruthlessness, greed, malice, fraud, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, lust, rage, hate, jealousy, cruelty, revenge, and foolishness. This inner source of evil can be compared to a calm lake with a murky muddy bottom which can easily be stirred-up so that the entire lake becomes filled with murky mud. It only takes a small hurt, small broken expectation, or temptation by satan to stir-up our murky bottom of evil desires.
Ask yourself…Which destructive “desire” do you think is the worst?
Q. How did Martin Luther describe our “original sinful nature”?
A. Luther describes our original sinful nature as the natural part of every person that is selfishly turned in on itself. In other words, selfishness that creates more selfishness. The Bible tells us that God’s order of priorities for our lives is to:
1.) Love God
2.) Love neighbor
3.) Love self
The original sinful nature of selfishness reverses and distorts God’s order to:
1.) Love self (and repeatedly love self)
2.) Love neighbors (when it benefits us)
3.) Love God (when things are going my way)
Ask yourself…In your own words, how would you describe the “original sinful nature”?
It is taught among us that since the fall of Adam into sin all people who are born are conceived and born into sin. That is, all people are full of evil, lust, and inclinations from their mothers’ wombs and are unable to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and inherited sin condemns us to the eternal wrath of God, except for those who are born from above through Baptism and the Holy Spirit. (“The Book of Concord”)