Man, created in communion with God, is no longer by nature in that communion. His present spiritual condition is one of sinful corruption. Both the Scriptures and experience teach that sin is universal, and that the root of moral evil is inherent in the present nature of man.

Universality of sin. No problem of human life has been the subject of more earnest thought in all ages and lands than the existence of moral evil. Mankind has ever been perplexed about its origin as well as its cure. The universality of sin is recognized everywhere. Universal experience teaches it. Numerous expressions of the grave fact emerge in the history and discourses contained in the Bible. But the Scriptures testify not only to the universality of sin, but also to its inherence in the nature of man. The most ancient history confirms it, as Gen 8:21; the prophets also, as Is 48:8; likewise the Psalms, as 51:5; 58:3; 143:2; and other poetical books, as Job 4:18sq; Eccl 7:20; Jesus most solemnly, as Jn 3:6; and in extended argument St. Paul, Ro 1–3.

Sin a corruption of nature. This universal morally evil state is not merely a condition of retarded development, nor a natural imperfection, nor even a mere disease. It is nothing less than a corruption, in the true sense of that word; an impairment of the original nature of man, a vitiation of the springs of his thoughts, desires and actions. Man is no longer morally as he was created, and his nature is no longer as it was designed by his Maker. The Scriptures teach emphatically that the state of corruption was not original. Philosophy and science, unable to account for the presence of moral evil, have in one way and another conceived it as original with man. But Christianity with its moral conception of the holiness of God and of the dignity of man, tolerates no such thought. It rejects an evolution in the moral nature of man, according to which the human race is gradually emerging from an inheritance of moral evil from animal ancestors. It rejects that philosophical doctrine of evolution which makes the existence of moral evil a necessary step in human progress, which, in other words, predicates a fall that was a fall forward, instead of a descent to a lower level of life and an alienation from God. The present sinful state in no way has its roots in the created nature of man.

Voigt, Andrew George
Biblical Dogmatics. Columbia, SC: Lutheran Board of Publication.