Martin Luther

“But what, then, is original sin? According to the Apostle it is not only the lack of a good quality in the will, nor merely the loss of man’s righteousness and ability. It is rather the loss of all his powers of body and soul, of his whole outward and inward perfections. In addition to this, it is his inclination to all that is evil, his aversion against that which is good, his antipathy against light and wisdom, his love for error and darkness, his flight from and his loathing of good works, and his seeking after that which is sinful. Thus we read in Psalm 14:3: “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one”; and in Genesis 8:21: “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Actual sins essentially consist in this that they come from out of us, as the Lord says in Matthew 15:19: “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” But original enters into us; we do not commit it, but we suffer it. We are sinners because we are the sons of a sinner. A sinner can beget only a sinner, who is like him.”


Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans
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Commentary on Romans Commentary on Romans by Martin Luther
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