by Alfred T. Overstreet
If the doctrine of original sin is true, one of two things must be true: either Jesus was born a sinner, or he was not a man. Now, the Bible is clear on both points. Jesus was a man, and he was without sin. We know, therefore, that the doctrine of original sin cannot be true. It is a myth and a lie.
John denounced those who denied that Jesus came in the flesh as deceivers and antichrists. What does it mean to deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh? It means to deny that Jesus was a man, with a flesh and blood body like other men. Are there any people today who deny that Christ has come in the flesh? Yes, all those who believe in the doctrine of the sinfulness of human flesh must either believe that Christ, who came in human flesh, was born a sinner or they must deny that he came in the flesh.
It is a serious error to deny the deity of Christ. One cannot be a Christian and deny his deity. John taught that it is equally serious to deny the humanity of Christ:
Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come. I John 4:3
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. II John 7
John wrote his epistles, condemning those "who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" because of the teaching of the Gnostics. The Gnostics had a syncretic religion that combined Christianity with eastern religion, pagan philosophies, and the doctrines of mysticism and gnosis. They denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh because of their philosophical belief that matter is evil. So according to their belief, if Jesus had come with a real human body, he would have been sinful. They denied the real incarnation of Christ, his bodily sufferings on the cross, and his bodily resurrection because of their view that man's material body and all material things are polluted and sinful. They denied that he came in the flesh to save him from sin. His fleshly manifestations were not real but only apparent.
It was from the teachings of gnosticism, with its pagan philosophical belief that all material things are essentially evil, that the doctrine of original sin was born. Augustine, the father of the doctrine of original sin, was for many years a disciple of the Manichaeans, which was a Gnostic sect. His doctrine of physical moral depravity and of inherited physical sinfulness had its roots in the teachings of gnosticism.
Why is all of this important? Because the Bible teaches that Jesus was a man and that he came in the flesh. However, the doctrine of original sin teaches that man, his flesh, and his bodily nature are corrupted and sinful because of Adam's transgression. It is impossible to believe the doctrine of man's inherited bodily sinfulness without either believing that Jesus was born a sinner or that he was not a man. For if the doctrine of original sin is true, either Jesus was born a sinner or he was not a man! Jesus was a man. He did come in the flesh, and he was without sin. Therefore the doctrine of original sin cannot be true. It is a myth and a lie.
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. II John 7-11
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. I John 4:2-6
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:14
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. I John 3:6
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I John 3:9
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. I John 5:4
We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. I John 5:18
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