Born Sinners: Are We Born Into Sin?

We are not born as sinners.  Sin is lawlessness (1John 3:4), “All unrighteousness is sin…” (1John 5:17).  Sin is an action; all sin is committed.  Infant children have done nothing lawless or unrighteous.

Born Sinners - Are We Born Into Sin


There are 2 reasons why people believe that we are born are sinners:

  1. Psalms 51:5 – “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
  2. Exodus 20:5 – “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”


Shapen in Iniquity – In Sin Did My Mother Conceive Me

Psalms 51 is David’s Psalm of confession after he had Bathsheba’s husband killed and committed adultery with her.  Saying, “I was born in sin” was an exaggeration, and he only said that because of what he did.  One verse before, he says, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (Ps 51:4).

Psalms 22:10 – “I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.”  Psalms 22 does refer to Jesus’ crucifixion, but this verse also applies to David.  It doesn’t make sense that David would say, “you are my God from my mother’s belly” and “I was in sin in my mother’s belly”.


The Iniquity of the Fathers upon the Children

It’s true that children can benefit from good things that parents do or suffer from mistakes that parents make, but no sin that a father commits damns his son to Hell.

Ezekiel 18:20 – “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”


Be Converted as Little Children

Jesus said that we should become like children for “such is the kingdom of God”.  If we should become like little children, then what should little children become like?  If in fact they are unsaved…

Mark 9:37 – “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”

Mark 10:13-15 – “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Matthew 18:1-3 – “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?  And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”


Before Birth: Saved or Damned?

Before anyone is born, they have made absolutely no decisions.  They’ve never had the opportunity to!  Remember this, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).  Little babies haven’t been given anything.  In all fairness, there can’t be anything required of them by God.  God punishes the guilty, not the innocent.  He condemns the wicked (guilty) & justifies the righteous (innocent) (1Ki 8:32, Prov 17:15).

If a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, do you honestly believe that God will sentence the soul of her unborn child to be tormented in the fires of Hell for eternity?  Consider the criminal who was crucified with Jesus (Luke 23:42).  At the moment that he asked Jesus to remember him, there could be nothing else required of him.  He couldn’t move, plus his life was almost over.  Jesus didn’t say, “Sorry buddy, but you better jump off your cross and get baptized quick so you don’t go to Hell”.  Just like he didn’t have an opportunity to do anything from that point, neither do infant children.  Actually, infant children don’t even have as much choice as that man on the cross.

David and Bathsheba’s first born died seven days after it was born (2Sam 12:14).  Does that mean that the child went to Hell?  No.

On the other hand, some can be filled with the Holy Spirit before birth like John the Baptist:

Luke 1:15 – “… he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”


The Wicked are Estranged from the Womb

Psalms 58:3 – “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”

[Estranged] – H2114 = Profane, Strange (outside the law of God)

[they go astray as soon as they be born] – This is an exaggeration.  No infant is smart enough to make any action to break God’s law.  If they were not circumcised on the 8th day, that was the parent’s choice, not the child’s.  When they go astray, it’s because they’ve been taught to go astray by their parents or guardians who are wicked.  People are only judged as guilty if they “go astray”.

[speaking lies] – THIS is what makes a person wicked.  How can an infant child lie when they can’t even speak?



All men die, even if they don’t sin like Adam (Rom 5:14).  God punishes the guilty, not the innocent.  There’s really no one more innocent than a child.  God doesn’t condemn sinless children to Hell.

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment