Jarrod Jacobs: Eating Sour Grapes
In Ezekiel 18:2-3, Ezekiel told the people, “The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.” The proverb that the children of Israel used had to do with those who taught that the guilt of a man’s sins was inherited through his father. Thus, while the “fathers” ate the sour grapes, the “children’s” teeth were the ones set on edge! Does this proverb sound familiar?
The doctrine of inherited sin (Total Hereditary Depravity) states that we are born with a “sinful nature” because Adam sinned. Therefore, we are born sinners, and there is nothing we can do about it. We can do nothing “good” by ourselves.
When discussing “inherited” sin, it is only logical to look to the first man and see if he placed sin upon all. Therefore, we need to see what Adam’s nature was in the beginning.
In Genesis 2, God created man (Gen. 2:7). After man’s creation, God gave him something to do (Gen. 2:15-17). At this time, God and man had enjoyed a close relationship with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:8).
In Genesis 3:1-6, we see man yielding to temptation and sinning against God. Adam and Eve yielded to the three avenues in which one can be tempted (I Jn. 2:15-17; Gen. 3:6). Because Adam and Eve sinned.
Man’s eyes were opened (Gen. 3:7).
Woman assumed the role that she has today (Gen. 3:16).
Adam was cursed (Gen. 3:17-19).
God dressed them in proper clothing (Gen. 3:21).
They died spiritually that day (Gen. 3:23-24).
Eventually, they died physically (Gen. 5:5).
The question is, what happened to Adam’s children? Were they born in sin? Was Adam’s guilt passed on to them? Read Genesis 4:6-7. God told Cain, “Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door...”. Take note of this because God’s word in Genesis 4 differs significantly from the idea that men are born gulty of Adam’s sin and we can do nothing that is not sin!
If Cain had inherited the guilt of Adam’s sin, then sin did not “lie at the door” for Cain; it was already deeply rooted in Cain, thanks to Adam’s sin! Yet, God did not say that. In fact, God had respect toward Adam’s other son, Abel, and his offering. Therefore, how could he, or any of Adam’s children be born in sin? It is said Abel lived “by faith” (Heb. 11:4)!
Another descendant of Adam that needs to be studied is Enoch. The Bible says he “walked with God” (Gen. 5:21-24). How can one “walk with God” if he is born in sin? How could God fellowship someone whose every move is sin? God cannot fellowship those in sin (Isa. 59:1-2; I Jn. 1:5). We could pose the same question for Noah, who also “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).
When we look at Adam’s descendants and their ability to please God, the only logical conclusion is that there is no inherited sin. A man is responsible for his own sin, just as God says (Deut. 24:16; Ezek. 18:1-3, 20; Col. 3:25).
-- You are invited to visit with the Caneyville church of Christ. Times of services: Sun.: 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 5:00 pm; Wed.: 7:00 pm. Website: http://caneyvillechurchofchrist.com Tune in to our radio program 101.5 FM at 5:30 am, Mon-Fri. Questions? Call: (270) 589-4167