Sanctification and Original Sin

Author: Gift Mtukwa

Reinhold Niebuhr once stated that original sin “is the only empirically verifiable doctrine of the Christian faith.”By this he meant that we only need to look at human history to believe in the reality of original sin. This doctrine goes all the way back to the garden of Eden where we encounter our first parents—Adam and Eve. In Romans 3:23, Paul made clear that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Paul described sin as “missing the mark.” According to Paul, this is the state of all of humanity. The fact that humanity falls short of the glory of God means that it has failed to live in the image and likeness of God.2 As such, sanctification or holiness refers to God’s restoration of our souls so that we may accurately reflect the divine image.

Gift Mtukwa is chair of department and lecturer in biblical studies at Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Holiness Today, January/February 2021

Please note: This article was originally published in 2021. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.

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