Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. —Romans 5:12
Spiritual death put mankind in an ecosystem called sin. Sin is a state of being and not a status of doing. We are not sinful because we do wrong, but we do wrong because we are sinful. A person who is not in Spirit-to-spirit communion with God exists in this state called sin. Even if any man or woman should be perfect in thought and action, they would still not have a relationship with God because humanity is born into an ecosystem called sin. So sin is not what we do; it is who we are in this spiritually disconnected state.
From an ecosystem of wholeness, we were translocated to an ecosystem of unholiness. The first murder was not the cause of sin, but sin was the cause of the first murder. This sequence is not semantics but one that differentiates religion from relationship. This creates a progressive implication in mankind. Death of the spirit is the cause; the state of sin is the effect. This state of sin is the cause; sinful nature is the effect. Sinful nature is the cause; sinful desires are the effects. Sinful desire is the cause; sinful actions are the result. The disease is sin, while the symptoms are sinful actions.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. —Galatians 5:17
Our sinful nature—the tendency in humanity toward all things against God—is experienced in the mind but expressed through the body. We think wrong thoughts; therefore, we take wrong actions. The state of sin encourages us to desire evil. There is no need to teach human beings to desire evil things. In fact, the attraction to do evil grows as the mind and body grows.
Though circumstances play a great role in human behavior, fundamental inner design faults are far more influential. The reasons for my behavior involve much more than my environment or my lack of self-worth. I am wired to go after all that my mind, body, and the world around me tell me to pursue. I am constantly responding to these forces, for that is the state in which I live. My mind, under the sinful state’s control, is unable to consistently filter out the bad and keep doing the good. My mind, as a slave to my sinful state, is unable to consistently overcome internal and external triggers.
It is in this understanding that we begin to grasp our new identity and the freedom it entails. But the key to reaching that realization is in continuing to grapple with what happened to God’s original design and what, in turn, gave us our fallen nature…