Psalm 51:5, when David said he was shaped in iniquity and
conceived in sin, what did he mean? We know that his parents
were married when he was conceived, therefore the circumstance of
his conception was not in sin. Rather, David his saying that
from the moment he was conceived, he was a sinner. That an
unborn child who has never committed any acts of sin is generally
hard for most people to believe. But David did not say he had
personally committed any acts of sin but that he was a sinner.
illustrate, let's consider that all right-thinking Christians
believe that every unborn child in the United States should have
it's life protected by law against abortion. The reason is
because no American citizen or any other person should be deprived
of life without due process of law. Therefore, even though the
child has not done anything yet he is an American. Notice that
American and sinner are both nouns not verbs. Just as the
child is an American because his parents are American, likewise,
that same child is a sinner (noun) because his parents are sinners.
Why do we believe the child is a sinner before he has committed
any acts of sin? The answer is found in Romans 5:12-19.
Ro 5:12 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
Sin entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit.
God told Adam ".... 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."
Not only did Adam die but his death passed upon all men.
And the reason all men die is because we all have sinned.
Romans Ro 5:19 concludes, For as by one manís disobedience many
were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made
There you have it. By one man's disobedience many (in this
case everyone who is a descendant of Adam, which excludes no one),
in other words everyone, became a sinner. Even infants die.
Romans 5:12 tells us the reason is because they are sinners not
necessarily by action but by nature. When the scripture says,
"for all have sinned," it means we sinned in Adam or were in Adam
when he sinned and are therefore sinners. The sin nature is
passed down from generation to generation, all the way from Adam to
this present generation. Only Jesus Christ can change a
person's sin nature through the new birth of the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine we have been talking about is known as the Doctrine
of Total Depravity, which is discussed in depth in
Doctrinal Truths under the heading Mankind Dead in Sins.
Because children are literally born to sin it is imperative
that parents understand the corrective measures and tools God has
set forth in the scriptures to succeed in rearing children.
Because children are born with a sin nature it doesn't take long
for that nature to be made manifest. Psalm 58:3 states, The
wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they
be born, speaking lies. The estrangement is not from their
parents but from God. And it is because of every person's
estrangement from God that "the wicked" which includes all
unbelievers, including unregenerate children, need corrective
behavior. It doesn't take long for an infant to begin speaking
Newborn infants legitimately cry for one of three reasons,
hunger, soiled diapers and pain (usually from gastronomic distress).
During the first few weeks or months of a baby's life when ever he
cries, mama will feed him, change his diapers and burp him and that
takes care of it. When she sets him back down, everything is
OK. But after a few months when she sets him down this time he
continues to cry. Now he is crying for your attention but you
thought it was hunger, soiled diaper or a pain and it was none of
the above. Then on Sunday while sitting in church (Primitive
Baptist Churches have no nurseries we are congregational only) he
begins to cry during the church service. Taking him out and
checking for hunger, soiled diaper or pain finds nothing. But
he stops crying until you return to the service, then he starts all
over again. He is tired of sitting still and wants to get down
and play. Then when you get in the car to go home or go on a
trip the same thing happens all over again. Now is the time to
"the wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as
they be born, speaking lies."
Lies and sins in general are based on our natural
self-centeredness. This self-centeredness is part of man's
fallen sin nature inherited from Adam. It is part of the
parents job to teach their children that this is sin and will not be
Elder James Taylor