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Are Children Born Sinners?


It is hard to believe that anyone would even think that babies are born as sinners.  Yet many Protestants and Catholics believe this.  They say that babies are born with a sinful nature and blackened with original sin.  Does the Bible, the Word of God, actually teach this?


I.  King David and His Infant Son

·  Read II Samuel 12:15-23. “Then Nathan departed to his house.  And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill.  David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.  So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground.  But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.  Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died.  And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead.  For they said, ‘Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice.  How can we tell him that the child is dead?  He may do some harm!’  When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead.  Therefore David said to his servants, ‘Is the child dead?’  And they said, ‘He is dead.’  So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped.  Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.  Then his servants said to him, ‘What is this that you have done?  You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.’  And he said, ‘While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?  But now he is dead; why should I fast?  Can I bring him back again?  I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ ” NKJV  Scripture reveals in this passage that the infant would never return to this earth.  Then David said that one day he would go to him, indicating a future reunion between father and son.

·  David, in more than one place through inspiration declares his eternal destination to be “in heaven” – the house of the Lord, in the presence of God.  (Psalm 17:15) “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” NKJV  (Psalm 23:6) “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” NKJV

·  Therefore David looked forward to the day when both he and his infant son would be together in heaven.  The baby was not born a sinner in need of forgiveness but rather innocent and free of all sin. 

II.  The Sin of Adam

·  Read Romans 5:12. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” –  NKJV  Does this teach that we are all born sinners because of Adam’s sin?  Absolutely not!  It was the sentence of death, not sin, which spread to all men.  Man has not inherited the guilt of Adam’s sin, but the consequences [death] of his sin.  The only person that bears the guilt of Adam’s sin is Adam.  Read Romans 5:19. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” NKJV  If all are made sinners because of Adam, all are made righteous because of Christ.  Is every single person who has ever lived saved because of Christ?  Of course not!  (Matthew 7:13-14) “Enter by the narrow gate:  for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” NKJV  Adam introduced sin into the world.

·  Read Matthew 18:1-3. “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying,  ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’  Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly; I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’ ” NKJV  Read Matthew 19:13-14. “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ ” NKJV  If children are born sinners and come into the word with a sinful nature, why would people have to become as “little children”?  Is Jesus saying that we should become like little sinners?  Obviously not!  Babies have no sin and are thus not lost. 

III.  Psalm 51 and Original Sin  
Psalm 51 “To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.”  “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.  Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight – That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.  5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.  Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow, Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice.  Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.  Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.  For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,  A broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.  Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.  Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.” NKJV

·  Some believe that Verse 5 of Psalm 51 proves infants are sinful at birth and tarnished with sin.  As always, context is critical.

·  The subject of Psalm 51 is David’s sin, not some so-called original sin.  This sin, or sins, he committed as an adult.  Note the use of me and my in this chapter.  It was for his own sin that he wanted to be forgiven.

·  Things of which to take note:  David’s mother, being an adult, was a sinner.  He was also born into a sinful world.  Another strong possibility for the meaning of Verse 5 is that David had sinned so much in his life that it felt like to him he had sinned since birth.

·  Read Psalm 58:3. “The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” NKJV  Infants cannot speak lies so David is using figurative language here.  Similar language is used in Job 31:18. “(But from my youth I reared him as a father, And from my mother’s womb I guide the widow); NKJV  These verses should not be taken literally. 

·  God made man upright, not depraved, at birth.  (Ecclesiastes 7:29) “Truly, this only I have found:  That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.” NKJV  A man’s personal sins separate him from God.  (Isaiah 59:1-8) “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.  For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity.  No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth.  They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.  They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.  Their webs will not become garments, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And the act of violence is in their hands.  Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths.  The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.”  NKJV  A baby cannot commit these sins.


Are children born sinners?  The Bible says no.  Do babies inherit a sinful nature?  Scripture again says no.  Are infants guilty of Adam’s sin?  Once again, God’s Word says no.  Babies are born pure and innocent, free of any and all sin.  They are not old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong so they cannot commit sin and are therefore safe.

[See apologetics for more information.] 

Bobby Stafford 

April 23, 2017


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