Question: Why is every person a sinner?

Answer: To answer this question, we need to understand how sin entered our world by reviewing the spiritual condition before and after the first man, Adam, sinned.

When the first man Adam was made, he was perfect and sinless since he was made in the image of God. His spiritual condition was "very good." (Genesis 1:31) So he was sinless before he broke God's law. But when he broke the law by eating from the forbidden tree, he sinned. This sin is called the "original sin." After he sinned, Adam no longer was spiritually perfect. His spiritual condition was smudged. The spiritual likeness he had of God got ruined, yet not destroyed. Think about a brand new car. When it was first manufactured, it was perfect. But when the driver of the car crashed it, the car got dented. It no longer was perfect, yet it was not destroyed either. Likewise, Adam's spiritual condition got "dented" when he sinned. That dented spiritual condition is a sinful spiritual condition. Now, he possessed a sinful nature, and reflected God's likeness imperfectly.

When Adam had children, he passed down his sinful spiritual condition or nature to all of his offspring. Then his offspring passed down that sinful nature down to their own offspring, and so on. So every one of Adam's descendants, from his firstborn to you and me, has inherited his sinful nature. We inherited this sinful nature from our parents in just the same way we inherited physical features (like the color of our eyes) from our parents.

This sinful nature we inherited causes us to commit sins. The sins we commit are different from one person to another. Some people are liars, while others are thieves. This sinful nature is very powerful. We sometimes are overwhelmed by it, even when we really want to do good and ignore the sin nature inside us. Daily, we struggle with our sinful nature (Romans 7:15-24).

Since everyone has inherited a sinful nature, every person on Earth, past, present, and future, is a sinner. A person does not need to commit any sin to be a "sinner." A person is a sinner because he was born a "sinner." Therefore, a newborn baby is a sinner, even though he has not committed any sin.

In conclusion, every person is a sinner for two reasons:
a) We inherited a sinful nature, making us sinners at birth
b) And our sinful nature causes us to commit sins, making us sinners who commit sins

What a terrible situation we are in! But thank God for providing us a way out of our miserable condition! Anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be rescued from our misery. A Christian, once resurrected in the future, will be sinless, and will live forever, for the penalty of sin (which is death) will no longer have power or control over Christians. This is why the Gospel message is so important and urgent. If we don't spread it and if people reject it, people will die in their sins and will never receive eternal life. Instead, they will all perish (die) forever. So the Gospel message is a matter of life or death--eternal life or eternal death. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

Romans 5:12 summarizes the passing down of the sinful nature to the whole human race from Adam: "Sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned." (WEB) This single statement sums up everything, that 1) sin passed down to everyone from Adam, 2) that everyone dies because of sin, and 3) that everyone sins.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Shirley Cheng (b. 1983) is a blind and physically disabled award-winning author with twenty-seven book awards, proclaimer of Yahweh God's good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, Bible teacher, founder of Ministry, summa cum laude graduate with Doctor of Divinity, motivational speaker, poet; and author of nine books (including "Do You Love Jehovah?"), contributor to twenty-five, and an editor of one. Shirley has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. Back then, she knew only her ABCs and very simple English; other than that, her book knowledge was non-existent. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University.

Do you have questions about the Bible? Something you don't understand? Do you need a bit of guidance in developing a relationship with Jehovah? Then Shirley would like to help you! Please contact her via her site at and she would be more than glad to do her best to answer your questions! Never hesitate to ask questions, for no question about the Bible is ever too small or stupid.