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The Rev. Dr. S. Randall Toms: “Original Sin and Its Cure” (Psalm 51:5)

June 28, 2009

From the Rev. Dr. S. Randall Toms of St. Paul’s REC in Louisiana comes a very good sermon on original sin, titled Original Sin and Its Cure, and based on Psalm 51.  Dr. Toms presents a very strong argument for the doctrine of original sin, and just when one might feel that we are surely so corrupted that there is no hope, he goes on to declare that there is indeed a blessed hope:

Again, we do not sin just because we follow Adam’s bad example.  We sin because we have corrupt natures.  Adam was not created with this corrupt nature.  He was created righteous, that is, without sin, without a sinful tendency, and he loved God and had fellowship with God.  But we are born without that original righteousness.  We are inclined to evil.  This article describes this corruption of our natures as an infection, and that is a good way to describe it.  Just as an infection can spread to all parts of the body, this infection of sin has spread throughout our faculties.  The mind, the will, and the heart have all been infected by sin.  The mind rebels against the commandments of God.  The will refuses to choose that which is good.  The heart loves what it should hate and hates what it should love.  Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matt. 15:19).  Your problem with sin does not originate outside of you.  It originates within you because of this infection that has spread throughout your faculties.  This is what David realizes when he thinks of the terrible sin that he has committed.  His problem was not that Bathsheba was out there taking a bath where he could see her.  The problem was within his heart.  He knows that the root of all sin lies in the sinful nature with which he was born.  We commit actual sins after birth because we are born sinners with corrupt natures that love sin.

But, thank God I don’t have to end the sermon here.  The good news of the Gospel is that God in his grace has made a way for us to overcome this sinful nature with which we are born.  Though it is true, that out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, we can be given new hearts that love the things of God.  We have the promise in Ezekiel 11:19, “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh.” That heart, like stone, so hardened against God and his word, can be replaced by a heart of flesh, tender, submissive, and loving to the things of God.  He makes the promise again in Ezek. 36:26:  “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”  This promise has been fulfilled in these days of the New Covenant when God gives us new hearts and his Holy Spirit.  This is why Jesus Christ came into the world.  He came into the world to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins so that the guilt of our sin, even this guilt of original sin, this guilt of being born with a sinful nature, could be forgiven.

This is a good sermon indeed, and I commend it to you- please read the whole thing!

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