Original Sin: Part of the Plan of Redemption

 

by Geert ter Horst

West — The ExpulsionObjections made to the doctrine of Original Sin are oftentimes based on the implication that it is somehow cruel and unjust. The conclusion is drawn that if this doctrine is true and we have an inborn aversion against G-d and his word in our heart, then we cannot help being sinners. And if we cannot help being constituted sinners by birth, we cannot be held responsible for this status, or accountable for the actual sins flowing from it. I think that this objection is based on a misunderstanding, which, in the following explanation, I hope to dismantle.

We should keep in mind that mankind’s being in the state of Original Sin is related to G-d’s plan and work of redemption in Messiah Yeshua. The fact that G-d didn’t destroy Adam and Eve after they had sinned, but blessed them with posterity — and explicitly blessed the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) — does make clear that G-d was perfectly justified in having us born in the state of Original Sin. The justification is that his work of redemption made it possible for us all to repent and to become again his beloved children. G-d would never have blessed Adam and Eve with children if there existed no plan of redemption. It is a plausible assumption that in that case G-d would simply have destroyed our first parents, which would be in line with the warning which accompanied the prohibition of eating from the Tree of Good and Evil: “in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17).

The children born of Eve were thus themselves a sign of G-d’s mercy and part of his plan of redemption. For the Redeemer was to come of Eve’s seed. All mankind, except Adam, is Eve’s seed, but the Redeemer was to be this seed par excellence, namely its purpose and destination.

From this perspective it only seems logical that Yeshua came into the world by means of a Virginal Conception. If there was to be a man in this world who didn’t suffer from the moral damage and defects of the Fall and didn’t share in our common aversion against G-d, then that man had to be created by a new and special act of G-d. This happened when Yeshua was generated by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh in the womb of the Virgin Miryam.

The difference between the creations of Yeshua and Adam is that Adam was created an adult from the dust of the earth, while Yeshua was created through a Virginal Conception. If Yeshua had been created in the same manner as Adam, as an adult from the dust of the earth, he would not have been the seed of the woman mentioned in Gen. 3:15, and for the same reason he could not have been reckoned the seed of Abraham and of David.

The essential thing to consider here is that G-d could only grant the blessing of posterity to Adam and Eve because of this future Redeemer who was to be born of the woman’s seed. If the Redeemer was not to come as the seed of Eve, then G-d would not be ‘justified’ in having granted posterity to Adam and Eve. After sin and consequently death were introduced in the human sphere through the Fall it would have made no sense anymore to bless Adam and Eve with posterity, unless there was a future hope, a perspective of redemption, for mankind.

The reason why G-d permitted his world to be filled with the sinful posterity of Adam and Eve, and even blessed this offspring, was that the future Redeemer was to come as the ultimate goal and destination of exactly this offspring. In this manner G-d was ‘justified’ by letting sin increase and abound through the multiplying of the sinful human race, since he had in mind the excellent goal of the coming of that man who would be the turning point of this sad history and mankind’s Redeemer from sin. Thus it became a true principle of salvation history that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20).

From this principle of salvation history it can be inferred that the doctrine of Original Sin imposed no cruel or unjust fatality on mankind, since, by reason of the coming Redeemer, all had the possibility to derive benefit from his yet future merits and thus were able to escape their sinful condition. All who suffered from being born under the curse of Original Sin, and from their own actual sins, had the occasion to repent and to return to G-d because of this Redeemer’s all-sufficient merits which, in anticipation of his appearing, could be bestowed on them. The very fact of their being under the condition of Original Sin was proof of the reality of the coming redemption and their possible participation in it.

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3 Responses to “Original Sin: Part of the Plan of Redemption”


  1. 1 Zion October 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Great points Geert!

  2. 2 Joel April 5, 2014 at 12:48 am

    It is clear that in our natural or unregerate state we remain seperated from God by sin. But thanks be to God : “He who beleives in the Son has everlasting life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him”. …..Yeshua (John 3:36)


  1. 1 landscaping oakland Trackback on September 13, 2013 at 4:54 am

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