Original Sin: Why is it passed on to us?

thCATSHCUD It doesn’t seem fair that original sin is passed on to every person that comes along after our first parents sinned against God. Why should we have to pay the price for what our parents did before us? Since you and I do not receive our souls from our parents but from God, how can we inherit original sin anyway?

God created man is his own image and wants to be in friendship with us. He gave us the freedom to choose for ourselves if we want to submit to his friendship. God created you and I so he could love us and all he asks is for us to love him back. Once God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, he made them with the grace of original holiness. He also gave them free will to trust in the Lord and choose what is good. Well, they fell short when they gave into sin. “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness (Catechism of the Catholic Church #397).”

In the divine plan, Adam and Eve stood in for humanity. Once Adam and Eve chose themselves over and against God, sin entered into the world. Because of that sin, humanity was then affected and impacted by their actions. Because of that first disobedience, original sin has been passed down to every generation since. St. Paul says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come (Rom 5:12-14).” It is because of Adam’s sin that all of humanity needs a savior. St. Paul goes on to state that Jesus Christ came to save us, “If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17).”

We are born with original sin on our souls, and in order to remove the stain of original sin, we are to go through the waters of Baptism. Being born with original sin is one of the reasons the Church baptizes infants, “…inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the ‘death of the soul’. Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin (CCC# 403).”

thCA1CIM48Our first parents committed a personal sin, and because of that, it effected human nature. It is because of this fallen state that this sin would be transmitted to every generation to come after them. Original sin is not a sin that we have “committed,” but it is a sin that has been “contracted.” It is a state and not an act. “Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin – an inclination to evil that is called ‘concupiscence’. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle (CCC# 405).”

Until next time, God bless.

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