“Sin as Inheritance and Choice
Sin is presented in two aspects in the New Testament - as inheritance and as voluntary choice. The first is known as original sin - the mark of sin upon the human race (Romans 5:19). Original sin does not involve guilt (John 9:3; cf. Ezekiel 18:20). God does not condemn for personal sin the innocent babe who does not know right from wrong. Original sin means, rather, that the nature of every child born into the world is corrupted so that when he becomes old enough to know right from wrong the child will choose sin instead of righteousness (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 7:18). Before a child is able to choose, he is not guilty before God; but when he learns to know right from wrong, because of original sin he will choose against God and become guilty before God.
The second aspect of sin has been suggested already. The whole human race has become tainted through original sin (Romans 3:9). As soon as any child reaches the age of accountability, he, by reason of that taint, chooses personally to sin (Romans 8:7-8). Then he becomes guilty of sin as a personal choice.”
-Dr. Robert A. Baker, The Baptist March in History, Convention Press, Nashville; 1958.
Dr. Baker (AD 1910-1992) served in the U.S. Secret Service, and as pastor. He was a graduate of Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Yale University. He served for many years as professor of Church History at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Further information on Inherited Guilt vs. Inherited Sin Nature see:
Born Guilty? by Dr. Adam Harwood
Interview with Dr. Adam Harwood
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 25, AD 2013.
Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of Salvation
Other Articles in lower right margin.