Sin Is Not Inherited
By Louis Rushmore
A popular religious error is the idea that babies are born with the sins of others on their souls. We inherit
physical traits from our parents, but we do not inherit their sins. Nor has anyone ever inherited the sins of the
first couple, Adam and Eve; this, too, is a widely believed error.
God caused the prophet Ezekiel to clearly teach that sin is not inherited. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die.
The son shall not bear the iniquity [sin] of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity [sin] of the son:
the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him"
(Ezekiel 18:20). This verse also teaches that a soul is only guilty of his own sins.
Misguided men began the practice of baptizing babies to take away their sins. But, since babies are NOT
born in or with sin, they do not need baptism (some call it christening). Further, the Bible plainly teaches that
Christian baptism is for believers: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . ." (Mark 16:16). Babies,
though, are unable to believe. Also, baptism is described in Scripture as a burial or a planting (immersion) --
not something ideally suited to babies.
How can one know that babies are not born in sin? First, as noted from Ezekiel 18:20, sin is not passed on
from parents to their babies; each person is only responsible for his own sins.
Second, Bible verses like Mark 16:16 teach that baptism is only for believers and results in salvation from
sin. Therefore, babies are unable to practice Christian baptism and are not in need of salvation that it brings.
Third, baptism (immersion) is suited to adults that their sins may be taken away. Immersion is neither for
babies, nor are they in need of the salvation that follows baptism (immersion). Every mature person, however,
has committed sins and needs to be baptized for the remission of his sins. "For all have sinned, and come
short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). ". . . Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of sins . . ." (Acts 2:38).