Universal Inheritance

As they grew up, a few of my children would say, “Thanks dad for passing on your allergies and asthma.” It’s true, we don’t just pass on our good genes to our children, they get the less desirable ones too. There are many common human characteristics, both bad and good, that we all inherit. One stands out among the others. Find out what it is. Please read more.

Now that my children have grown up and have children of their own, many of our grandchildren have inherited my allergies and asthma. Now, at the height of spring pollen, every time I hear one of them cough, sneeze, or wheeze, it is a painful reminder that they have some of my bad genes.

Humans, having had common ancestral parents, share 99% of the same genome. Only 1% of our 3 billion genetic building blocks, cause the variations in our characteristics, such as the color of our skin, eyes, and hair. Physically, we are more alike than we are different.

We pass on more than physical traits. We pass on our spiritual traits too. Genesis chapter 3 gives us the story of the fall of Adam and Eve. Since the first fall, mankind has been deprived of the original harmony in which God created him. All humans have inherited an inclination towards sin. This inclination is sometimes known as concupiscence.

In man’s first sin, his trust in his Creator died. He abused his freedom, and disobeyed God’s command. As a result, each generation passed on their disposition towards disobedience and lack of trust in God’s goodness to the subsequent generation.

Through that first sin, man chose his own will over God’s Will. Adam and Eve immediately lost the grace of original holiness. The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, was destroyed. The control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body was shattered. From then on, the union of man and woman became subject to tensions. Their relations remain marked by lust and domination.

God created us in harmony. We were in harmony with God, and we were in harmony within ourselves, with creation, and with each other. That harmony has been destroyed. Tension became the norm. Tension plays out daily in anxiety, depression, and hopelessness.

Through original sin and/or ancestral sin, harmony was forfeited. Even if a person grew up isolated and alone on a deserted island, free from the impact of society, he would still be inclined towards evil and sin. He would still be inclined to turn from God.

As stated above, lust and domination overcame mankind. This means we have inherited a lust for wealth, power, control, and sensual pleasure. As to domination, we are inclined to want to do things our way. We are inclined to want to make the rules rather than follow them. To sum this up, we have all inherited selfishness. We desire to put our will before God’s and before those around us.

Upon sinning, Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness. Many people associate original sin with nudity or sexual sin. Our inherited inclination to sin impacts humankind in many more ways than sexual lust.

However, with that said, man’s inclination to sin seems to be on display is his struggle to master chastity.  Our spirit forfeited control to our bodies through original sin. Many great theologians have posited that sexual sin is the most common sin. I have read that sexual sin is the only sin we come “pre-wired” to engage in through our human nature.

Sexual lust has impacted, kings, queens, religious leaders, politicians, teachers, coaches, athletes, movie stars, and regular everyday people throughout human history. Many great saints struggled to control their sexual desires. For many, chastity is an allusive virtue. The internet has only compounded this struggle.

Through this ministry I have encountered many good Christian men and woman, who love God, yet struggle to control their sexual passions. Paul says it best in Romans 7:14 when he says, “the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold into slavery to sin.” Headlines confirm this every day.

How does this inherited propensity to sin play out in your life? Perhaps yours is a struggle to control lust. Perhaps yours is a struggle to tame your tongue, your anger, envy, or pride. Perhaps something else. One thing is certain, whatever it is, you are not alone. Mankind has long grappled to regain control over his physical desires.  Unfortunately, that control was permanently forfeited in the first fall. That is precisely why God sent His Son. We cannot save ourselves. We need Jesus to do that!

My ministry has taught me one more very important lesson. If we hold our sinful struggles to ourselves, and refuse to acknowledge them, our sins will continue to exert power over us. When we acknowledge our sins, they lose some of that control.

Going forward we must put forth our best efforts to calm and control our sinful desires. We must try our best to avoid sin. When we fall, we must never despair. Filled with hope, we must throw ourselves at the foot of the cross and place our trust in the fathomless mercy of God. He will never abandon a contrite heart.

Heavenly Father, help me to understand that I can only fully grasp the painful legacy of the sin of Adam and Eve when I see it through the love and sacrifice of the cross and through the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen!


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Brian Pusateri
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