What is original sin? It the state in which we exist once the relationship between God and man changed due to the acts done in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve.
Paul sums up “original sin” perfectly in Colossians 1:21: “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,”
The consequence of original sin wasn’t that we would be terrible people from then on, doomed to do bad things. Bad behavior isn't really the problem, it is a symptom of the problem.
Let's take an overall look at what Adam and Eve did when they sinned:
1- The perspective Adam had of himself, and Eve for that matter, changed completely. He suddenly noticed he was naked and believed himself to be bad and doing something wrong. What did he do as a result of this feeling? He ran from God and hid. Why? Because his view of God had also become warped. He and God used to walk together in the beautiful light of day like best friends, but after sin, Adam’s perspective became twisted into believing God was going to shame him and that he should feel guilt around God.
Genesis reads, “We heard you and were afraid, because we were naked.”
Imagine your absolute best friend suddenly stopped talking to you for a long time because he did something bad and thought you would hate him forever. Wouldn't that break your heart to know that they thought you would judge them that harshly? Wouldn't you prefer they run towards you at their time of need, not away? They might have lost sight of who they were, but you never would. Guess what? That’s a relationship!
Herein is what original sin did to mankind. It warped our reality and caused us to see God as an enemy who was out to shame us, embarrass us, and hurt us - and we think that about the world as well. We became hostile towards God.
2- What is the first thing God does to Adam and Eve after this? Many today will say “God can’t look upon sin! When we sin we are separated from God!” In fact, that’s sin talking. It’s this twisted idea that God loves His purity more than His people.
Yet, the first thing He did when Adam and Eve sinned was run towards them. He sought them. He asked, “Adam, where are you?” It reminds me of a friend searching for another friend whom you know is in trouble. We know how Genesis ended, so what now?
3- Enter Jesus, the Son of God, and God's plan: Paul continues in Colossians, “he has now reconciled [you] in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,”
The fact that Jesus died for our sins wasn’t something as pointless as “Okay! Now if you ask me to forgive you I will, but you’ll always be stuck doing that stuff that makes you feel bad!”
Who cares if I can be forgiven for something I can’t quit doing? How do I stop doing the things I keep needing to be forgiven for? He solves that issue by reconciling us to God (restoring the friendly relationship we once had), and restoring the proper perspective of Him so we can see that He was never against us because of sin nor the state we exist in now due to this sin.
It is actually quite the opposite! It was us who were against Him. Now, because of Jesus and what He did on Calvary, we can run to Him in confidence, not afraid that we will be shamed and judged because of our bad behavior, because in Jesus we see clearly that sin does not repel God, it causes Him to come closer.
Romans 5:20 (ESV): Now ithe law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
Jesus “takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29)
He takes the sin nature (the internal urge to run from God and hide in the darkness of shame and self-centeredness) and nails it to the cross (Galatians 5:24, Col. 2:11)
He takes us out of the darkness of twisted thinking and seats us in the light of guiltlessness and innocence, right next to Himself, in the very center of His kingdom where all of Heaven looks at us as the evidence of his unending, unrelenting love (1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 2:6).
He takes that old twisted perception we had of ourselves apart from God, and of God apart from love, and he nails it to a cross, drags it into the grave and seals it away there with death itself. Then he steps out of the grave and takes all of humanity with him into this new life lived apart from sin and death.
All of that is done in Him and through him. There is no other way.
Original sin is applied to us because we apply it to ourselves apart from knowing God. No matter how hard we try to be “good” on our own, we might get the good deeds part down, but it’s only through Jesus that we are able to see, receive and walk in the original image of ourselves standing right with God, walking with him in absolute innocence, completely oblivious to the consciousness of sin.
With Jesus, it’s as if original sin never happened. No sin is applied to us at all. If sin is still applied to us, it’s only on a human level because we don’t really understand what Jesus saved us from. Many think He saved us from a beating from God. No, He saved us from the beating we were taking from sin, because our minds were set on it instead of Him.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17 It’s great news!