When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, they unwittingly submitted to the spiritual powers of evil and came under their authority. All of their descendants were born under their authority, so by default, the spiritual powers of evil had authority over their children too. The same applied to all their descendants.
Paul explains that the two dominant spiritual powers during that first season on earth were called Sin and Death. So every person born on earth was already under the authority of Sin and Death, and they had no way to escape their influence.
In Romans 7, Paul explains that people know what they should do, but they are captives of Sin.
I am carnal, having been sold under Sin (Rom 7:14).
I find this principle at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there beside me (Rom 7:21).
I am seeing a different law in my members, warring with the law of my mind, and leading me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Rom 7:23).
We begin as a blank sheet with an empty memory in our mother’s womb. Our first experience of life occurs there. Because our parents are under the influence of evil, babies quite frequently experience evil there before they are born.
Because our parents are in captivity to the spiritual powers of evil, we are born in captivity to them too. This is not so-called original sin. We are not contaminated by Adam’s sin. Rather we are born in captivity. No matter how much we might want to do good (being born in the image of God), the spiritual powers of evil will be able to get an opportunity to hurt and harm us. They will sometimes be able to persuade us to do evil. So we find ourselves doing evil, even though we may not want to.
Solution – New Birth
The solution to the problem of entrapment in sin is a new birth. We need to be born again outside the captivity of the powers of evil. That is why Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again of the Spirit. At the time of his first birth, his parents were in spiritual captivity, so he was born in spiritual captivity too. So although he had resolved to serve God, he was unable to escape the influence of the spiritual powers of evil who had enslaved him as soon as he was born.
We are all born to parents who are in the captivity of the spiritual powers of evil. These evil powers have ensured that they have deceived us into submitting to them in our own right. We need to be set free from their captivity.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus, he sets us free from the authority of the spiritual powers of evil. The cross destroyed their authority over us, so we can be born outside the captivity of evil. This set us free to follow Jesus without being resisted by evil. It allows the Holy Spirit to work in our lives without his efforts being disrupted by the spiritual powers of evil.
Paul says that we died and rose with Jesus. When we die in him, the spiritual powers of evil lose their authority in our lives. When we come to new life in Jesus, we are set free from their activity.
This full series can be found at Original Sin.
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