Why do we live in a broken and sinful world? Is man born sinful or are we born good and become sinful? These anthropological questions have been in philosophical debate and discussion for centuries. Nevertheless, whether you subscribe to the notion of man being inherently good or sinful, one must face the fact that man’s nature cannot evade itself from the corruption of sin and evil. One would not only be misleading but also blind to reality if they perceived man being perfect and pure from conception to death. Charles Hodge echoes these sentiments when he wrote, “The existence of sin is an undeniable fact. No man can examine his own nature, or observe the conduct of his fellow men, without having the conviction forced upon him that there is such an evil as sin.” Thus, in search of a Biblical understanding of sin, we point to God’s word and the doctrine of original sin.
What is Original Sin?
Scripture reveals that God originally created man good (Gen. 1:31 ESV) and in his own image (Gen.1: 26-27 ESV), in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24 ESV). However, as a consequence of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, who did not obey God’s command to not eat the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17 ESV), all of mankind fell from our original state and from then on became infected and tainted by sin. It is crucial to understand that the term original sin does not refer to the first sin by Adam and Eve but rather the consequence imputed to man because of it. Therefore, the term original sin can be clearly defined as:
The doctrine of original sin is Biblical. The Apostle Paul makes clear in Romans chapter 5 and in the epistles that through the sins of one man (Adam) brought devastation to of all of humanity:
Are We Born Sinful?
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalms 51:5 ESV). David in this Psalm is not saying that it was a sin for his mother to have bore him, nor was he saying it was a sin for him to have been born. Even after the fall, God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 2:28 ESV) upholds as not only being a blessing to mankind but also good in the eyes of God. Nevertheless, as R.C Sproul beautifully said, David was “acknowledging the human condition of fallenness – that condition that was part of the experience of his parents, a condition that he himself brought in this world.” Hence, the Bible teaches that all children born are not pure and good but are “brought forth in iniquity”, that is, inclined by nature to sin and pursue evil. God’s word reveals that as an infant grows into his youth “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” (Prov. 22:15 ESV) and that “… the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”
The reason we live in such a broken, dark, and sinful world is because of “The Fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise” and as a consequence of this disobedience “This has so poisoned our nature that we are all conceived and born in a sinful condition.” The heart of man is “deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9 ESV).
 Hodge, Charles . Systematic Theology. Vol. 2. 3 vols. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2016. pg. 130
 Hay, A. (2016). Original Sin. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 McKim, Donald K.. The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, Second Edition: Revised and Expanded (Kindle Locations 9938-9940). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
 These scriptures are from the English Standard V
 R.C Sproul. “TULIP and Reformed Theology: Total Depravity.” Ligonier. March 25, 2017. Accessed November 24, 2017. http://www.ligonier.org/blog/tulip-and-reformed-theology-total-depravity/.
 Heidelberg Catechism Lords Day 2 #7