Inherited Sin Debate

First Affirmative

R. L. Vaughn (Baptist)
Mitchell Street Landmark Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, Texas

Debate Proposition

Vaughn's First Affirmative, Deaton's First Negative
Vaughn's Second Affirmative, Deaton's Second Negative

ARE YOU BORN IN SIN? Or are you born without sin? Mr. Steven Deaton and I invite you to consider the following proposition:

The Scriptures teach that, as a result of Adam's fall, all men are born sinners.



Why should I take time to read this? Is it important? Certainly! The Bible should define all Christian belief. On this subject hangs the very nature of man, the nature of his need, and the nature of his remedy. If we cannot determine the sickness, how can we determine the cure??


Romans 5:12, 18- Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned; Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Clearly, by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world. Death comes as a consequence of sin: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen. 2:17). Death passed upon ALL MEN, not all adults! Romans 6:23 tells us that "the wages of sin is death." The consequence (death) passed from father to son, therefore, the cause (sin) passed from father to son. Adam was created in God's image and likeness (Gen. 1:26,27). Everything God made was very good (Gen. 1:31) and there was no death before Adam's transgression of God's covenant. Adam begat a son in HIS OWN likeness, after HIS image (Gen. 5:3). Adam, the son in his likeness, and successive generations, died. The intervening element was sin. Many are dead through the offence of ONE, Rom. 5:15. The offence of the one (Adam), not the many (his descendants), is offered as the CAUSE. The reign of death is not by the sins of all, but by the offence of ONE (Adam) ONE man's offence death reigned...(Rom. 5:17). By the offence of ONE judgment came upon ALL...(Rom. 5:18).

By the one act of disobedience of Adam judgment came upon all men to condemnation. To those who were brought into condemnation (all men), the free gift of justification to life was brought through the one righteous act of Jesus in His substitutionary death on the cross (Rom. 5:18). This guarantees that no one (infants included) will be condemned for Adam's sin. Only those who do not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God are condemned. He that believeth on him is not condemned (John 3:18). Jesus died to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). What is the ONE singular sin of THE WHOLE WORLD, both infants and adults? The sin which caused our sin nature! Jesus was sent to be the Saviour of the world, and is a special Saviour to those who believe (I John 4:14; I Tim. 4:10). In what sense can he be the Saviour of ALL MEN? His righteous act took away the Adamic sin for ALL!

1 Corinthians 15:22- For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. This is a parallel passage to Romans 5:12. The context is physical death and bodily resurrection. That ALL DIE IN ADAM directly and distinctly ties the source of death to Adam. All who are in Adam die. ALL DIE, even infants, therefore all are in Adam. All in Adam represents the totality of the human race.

The scriptures teach that both sin and death are universal and that one is the consequence of the other. As the consequence, so the cause. The universality of sin (the cause) and death (the consequence) indicate a common source for both. Romans 5:12 identifies that source - Adam. It is incredible to be asked to believe that ALL are born into the world pure and innocent, but ALL who live to an accountable age sin. How much more consistent that all are born sinners and that all sin. If all are born pure and innocent, it seems at least a few would live without sinning, yet the Bible declares that sin is universal - ALL HAVE SINNED. If all are BORN pure (without sin) and remain so until they choose to sin, how is it that in all the history of the human race, not even one solitary individual has chosen not to sin?

Some verses that teach the universality OF SIN: Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22; 1 Kings 8:46; Eccl. 7:20; OF DEATH: Heb. 9:27; 2 Sam. 14:14; Eccl. 3:20; Eccl. 8:8.

Ephesians 2:3- Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE the children of wrath, even as others. Here Paul declares what we are by nature and he implicates all in this nature. This word is used elsewhere in the New Testament to indicate the inherent character or basic constitution of a thing. For example: homosexuality is against the inherent NATURE of men and women, Rom. 1:26,27; uncircumcision is the way of NATURE (the way man is born), Rom. 2:27; those who were born Jews were Jews BY NATURE, Gal. 2:15. Those who are BY NATURE children of wrath are BORN children of wrath. If not, then how does one become a child of wrath

Syllogism One

  1. All people who are subject to death are in Adam.
  2. All infants are subject to death.
  3. Therefore, all infants are in Adam.

Syllogism Two

  1. All who die are in Adam.
  2. All who are in Adam are sinners.
  3. Therefore, all who die are sinners.

Syllogism Three

  1. All who are subject to death are sinners.
  2. All infants are subject to death.
  3. Therefore, all infants are sinners.

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