Is human flesh sinful


Okay, this is a question put to me that has thoroughly confused me. Someone asked me, “Do I believe Jesus took on sinful flesh?” What is implied in the question is that human flesh is innately sinful. Now my understanding of original sin is that we are marked by from the moment of conception but that we are not guilty of having committed Adam’s sin personally. And that our flesh is not sinful,. I understand sin to be something we DO whether voluntary or involuntary. But a hunk of my muscle tissue sitting there is not in and of itself innately sinful.

Can someone explain this to me!!?


Of course human flesh isn’t innately sinful - it was created by God and everything He creates is in and of itself ‘good’ and ‘very good’, as per Genesis.


Teetering on gnosticism?


We are all born in sin and are of a sinful nature until we are saved from God’s grace. So until we are saved then we are all sinful nature and will go to hell until we are all forgiven.


More like diving in head first!!

Were you speaking with a Baptist or maybe some stripe of Calvinist?


The reason Jesus was not sinful, or have the original sin which is expressed through our flesh, is that He is incarnate. He was concieved of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, who was Herself the Immaculate Conception…for the sake of Jesus not having been any part of sin.
Does that make sense. Jesus was free of sin…totally.
I hope this helps.


What is gnosticism?


You are essentially asking if man is basically evil.


Gen 1:26
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

Gen 1:31
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Gen 6:9
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God.

Job 1:8
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

Jer 1:5
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Psalm 139:13-15
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Proverbs 12:2
A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of evil devices he condemns.

Proverbs 12:5
The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are treacherous.

Luke 1:6 (ref. to Zacahariah & Elizabeth)
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Luke 23:50
Now there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man,

Mark 6:20
for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man,

Acts 7:20
At this time Moses was born, and was beautiful before God.

1 Tim 4:4
For everything created by God is good,


The proposition that man is basically evil is normally defended by quoting the following verses:

Romans 3:9-12
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:22-23
For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 11:32
For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.


There are no quotes in the bible stating that man is basically evil. There are, however, numerous passages that point out the sinfulness and weakness of man, but none of them even implicitly states that man is basically evil. There are, however, numerous examples that demonstrate both explicitly and implicitly that man is basically good. The assumption that man is basically evil is non-biblical. Instead man is basically good but suffers from a fallen nature.

The book of Romans as quoted above is the chief source for defending the idea that man is basically evil. Such an interpretation of these verses is clearly problematic for the following reasons:

  1. In Romans 3:9-12, Paul says that all are under the power of sin. This is a reference to the “Fall” and the burden of original sin. Paul is speaking of Jews and gentiles as equal in their damaged state of inheritance, and that the Jews need grace and redemption just as much as the gentiles. All of mankind needs redemption, and man is prone to sin, but this fact does not mean that man is basically evil.
  2. In Romans 3:9-12, Paul is quoting from Psalm 14:1-5. Paul makes reference to the Psalm by saying, “as it is written,” and he would not have made that remark or quoted so much of the passage word for word, if he did not intend for us to look to the psalm in order to place his own statements within the Old Testament context. The context of Psalm 14 is made clear in the first verse which states, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good.” Then in verse four and five the psalm reads, “Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord? There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous.” Psalm 14 clearly distinguishes between the evil doers (i.e. the fool that says there is no God) and “my people”….”the generation of the righteous.” This is in harmony with all of the above scriptures that state that man is basically good.

cont. on next post


cont. from prior post

  1. Romans 3:22-23 and Romans 11:32 merely reiterate what Paul speaks of in reference to Psalm 14. While these verses clearly show that men are under the burden of original sin and that men commit personal sin, they do not state either explicitly or implicitly that man is basically evil.
  2. Scripture does not contradict itself. If the Book of Romans or any other book of scripture actually indicated that man was basically evil, then those passages would “clearly” and “directly” contradict Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:31, Psalm 139:13-15, Proverbs 12:2, Matt 12:35, Luke 1:6, Luke 23:50, Mark 6:20, Acts 7:20, and 1 Tim 4:4.

Some might suggest that the differences between the propositions that “man has a fallen nature” and that “man is basically evil” are simply a matter of semantics. This, however, is not the case. These two principles are foundational to the differing views on justification and grace. Consider the view of a Five Point Calvinist. The “TULIP” acronym clearly illustrates that Calvinist reform theology depends upon the assumption that man is basically evil.

T	=	total depravity
U	=	unconditional election
L	=	limited atonement
I	=	irresistible grace
P	=	perseverance of the saints

Interestingly enough the first proposition, “total depravity,” unequivocally means that man is basically evil. The propositions of unconditional election, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints, while meaning different things, are all contingent, to some degree, upon the assumption that man is totally depraved. If the notion that man is not basically evil is removed from the formula the elements of unconditional election, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints can be given a slight nuance to make them congruent with scripture. The term limited atonement is, however, in direct contradiction to scripture (see John 4:42, 1 John 2:2, and 1 Tim 4:10) and is therefore an error.

The notion of total depravity needs correction. Since man is basically good but has a fallen nature, it would be more accurate to use the term “total inability.” This means that while man is basically good, his fallen nature prevents him without grace from being lifted out of sin, to display genuine supernatural virtues, and to please God. The proposition that man is basically evil when carried to its logical conclusion, teaches that even after a man is justified by God’s grace he remains polluted.

This is counter to scripture and denies the power of God’s grace. When God declares something it happens. When God said “let there be light” there was light, and when God said, “Let us create them in our image and likeness,” man was brought into existence. And so it is with everything that God declares. In Isaiah 55:11 the Lord tells us, “so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” So when God declares us “justified by his grace through Jesus Christ”, then we are indeed justified. When he says we are a “new creation,” we are indeed a new creation. When he calls us “his children” his word has gone out in power and that is why the apostle John says, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” 1 John 3:1. By God calling us children, we become his children.


In response to PAX.

Thank you for the correction. I am still learning so much, and right now at a very fast pace. I understand that man is not evil, but has fallen under an evil nature.

I have a question to propose to you that I am having a little trouble thinking that I have answered totally correct.

Many protestants believe that once they have been saved by God’s grace, there is nothing they can do that would keep them from entering into Heaven. So, if, at the age of 13 they are baptized, and recieve the Holy Spirit, but then become a child molesting murderer and never feels remorse or repents, and they die in that state, they will automatically go to heaven. Common sense tells us that this is warped thinking, to the detriment of their souls.
You seem to be knowledgeable. Can you help me explain how, in the Bible, it states that they are wrong in their thoughts?

Once more, thank you so much for bringing me closer to the light of the truth of Jesus Christ.



Jesus N Cherie,

What you are referring to is commonly known as OSAS or “once saved always saved.” I have personally researched over 60 passages of scripture that deny this doctrine. If you PM with an email address I will send you the file containing all of the passages.

The following are a couple of examples from scripture that show that we can indeed fall away and that salvation has a provisional component to it:

2 Peter 1: 10-11
Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous **to confirm your call **and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the **eternal kingdom **of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Romans 11: 20-21
That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, **provided you continue **in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.


Look here:

or here:


Dear Pax, you seem to be the most knowledgeable poster here so I’ll ask you. I am an orthodox chrisitan. The person talking to me is Catholic. She and I had attended a lecture where the speaker said the Immaculate Conception is a heresy. I had never heard this before and have always been taught that Mary was all-pure, immaculate, ever-virgin. We sing it in liturgy every Sunday. I have grown up believing Mary never sinned. My friend says that if the Immaculate Conception hadn’t occured then Jesus would have assumed "sinful flesh"in the womb from Mary. But we orthodox don’t understand original sin as inherited guilt or that we are born already owing a debt to God for Adam’s sin. To an Orthodox Christian, original sin is what Adam and Eve did and we inherit the consequense of that sin, death, disease, illness, weakness of will or a tendency toward sin and so on. So this idea that human flesh is innately sinful, that sin is some sort of physical entity within each and every cell of our body is a new concept to me. So I figured someone on this Catholic forum would know the answer to this question. Is this just a difference in perspective? I know the Catholic Church does not consider the Orthodox Church to contain any heresy. So they must not think how we understand original sin to be heretical, right? Maybe this board is the wrong place, but the Eastern Catholic board didn’t seem right either.

So I guess I just want some clarity on the differences between Orthodox and Catholic views on original sin. Do Catholics think that the physical flesh, the cells and flesh of the human body, are sinful. Is all of nature sinful? If so, then are trees and rivers and things sinful? If so, then what is sin? Is it something concrete that just exists or is it something a conscious human being DOES?

I’m still confused.


I think you have the correct understanding in all of this. I hope the speaker that you heard has not caused you any doubt or grief.

It was not necessary that Mary be immaculately conceived for Jesus to be free from original sin. It was, however, “highly appropriate” for Mary to be immaculately conceived since she would be carrying our perfect savior in her womb. I believe the Orthodox see Mary as we do. Moreover, I believe the Orthodox see the connection between Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant and the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant. Both Mary and the OT Ark were specially prepared and constructed for their respective purposes.

Jesus could have been born of a woman that was not immaculately conceived. That, however, would not be in keeping with the calling and election assigned by God to the woman that would be the mother of our divine savior.

Man and nature have been radically damaged by the fall, but they have not been made evil. If you want to get a really good picture of what the “fall of man entails,” I would suggest Frank Sheed’s book Theology and Sanity. It is arguably the best book covering the topic.

I hope this helps.

P.S. Thanks for the kind words, but stick around…there are many on this forum that are much more knowledgeable than I am.


P.S. Thanks for the kind words, but stick around…there are many on this forum that are much more knowledgeable than I am.

Pax, thank you for your “yes” to Jesus as He stood at the door of your heart and knocked. Your “yes” has enabled Jesus to bring the blessing of His knowledge to us through you. Thank you, Jesus, for Your servant, Pax


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