Default to Sin
Default (action/position) is a common usage means "the typical course of action, unless there are other considerations or exceptional circumstances".
[ADJECTIVE noun] A default situation is what exists or happens unless someone or something changes it.
EG. The default font and default colour of a document maybe Arial black.
This will always be the default unless it is changed by the user.
There are some people that would say that the default position of the actions of mankind is goodness.
That man is inherently good and that sometimes he falls foul of this default position and commits a wrong.
Then there are others that maintain that mankind is inherently evil and that his default position is evil.
Is a man called a sinner because he sins, or is it the fact that man sins because he is a sinner?
So this is the question. What really is the default position of man?
What does the Bible say about this question?
Does man have any righteousness?
The Apostle Paul deals with this topic in his Epistle to the Romans.
Rom. 3: 9-12, 22-23 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one…” For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
This seems very clear, there is no one good, there is no one righteous, none seek after God, all have turned aside, all have sinned.
If we enquire of an individual whether or not they believe in heaven, the answer may be yes.
However, if we ask would they consider that heaven is their eternal destination, they may give different answers.
Some would answer, I think I will go to heaven and the reasons given are varied.
I am not a bad person.
I wouldn’t do anyone harm.
Generally, I am a good person.
There is no reason why God would not let me enter heaven.
So, the question arises, is the default position of mankind, good, is it truth, are we born sinless?
Where did sin originate?
1 John 3:4 states that “sin is lawlessness.” Sin is any violation of God’s laws or ordinances.
The Bible gives us lists of sins. However, the lists are not all inclusive.
Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Gal 5:19 Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
I think we can all agree, that this list is inescapable to any one of us.
Where did sin begin?
The first sin on earth occurred when Adam disobeyed God’s command in Genesis 3. The command that Adam disobeyed was given in Genesis 2:16-17.
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17 But 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.
Adam and Eve disobeyed this command and so sin entered the world and death through sin.
Romans 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 sinned:
We are also told what the end product of sin is.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;
However, who is the author of sin?
When God finished His creation, He saw everything and declared it "very good" (Genesis 1:31).
Many Scriptures affirm that God is not the author of evil:
"God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone" James 1:13.
"God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" 1 John 1:5.
"God is not the author of confusion" 1 Corinthians 14:33.
If that is true, He cannot in any way be the author of evil.
The age-old question of where and how sin began has been explored and debated by some of the greatest minds of history, yet no one can give a completely definitive or satisfying answer.
Some, quoting Isaiah 45:7, seek to make God the author of sin: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things".
However, the KJV’s word evil, from the original Hebrew rah, is better translated as “calamity.” The context of this passage concerns God’s sovereignty over natural disasters.
God is sovereign over all things (Exodus 4:11), but He is not the author of sin.
1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
God hates sin.
Pro 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Moral evil originated with the creature, not the Creator.
The first man, Adam, sinned, and his transgression spiralled mankind into sin, but this was not sin’s origin.
We are told in scripture where sin had its origin.
Speaking of Lucifer, AKA, Satan, the devil.
Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Eze 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Eze 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Eze 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
Eze 28:19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Sin had its origin in Satan.
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Isa 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Sin is a wilful act.
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Man was like Lucifer, created with a free will. He could choose between good and evil.
Out of his pride, Lucifer chose evil.
Satan tempted Eve in the garden and Eve chose to believe him and gave in to the temptation put before her.
In turn, Eve tempted Adam and he too chose to sin.
The moment that happened, man’s free will became bound in sin and he was no longer able to choose between good and evil but could only choose between the greater or lesser evil.
Man’s default position became evil.
What was unnatural (sin) became natural.
Man is by nature is a sinner.
King David could say in Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul describes unregenerate people as being “by nature children of wrath.”
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
This is where the doctrine of total depravity comes from.
That man in his natural state, is dead in sin and unable to save himself or prepare himself for salvation.
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Rom. 3: 9-12, 22-23 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one…” For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Unless someone intervenes and changes that default position, man continues in his sin and will die in his sin.
Thank God this has been made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. God was manifest in the flesh.
His name was Emmanuel (meaning God with us).
1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
Only God, by His grace and mercy, can change our default position.