8.1.3.2 The washing away of original sin

"Original sin" [2] refers to man's state of separation from God, in other words, the remoteness from God that has come into being through the fall into sin. Through disobedience, mankind has lost the permanent and direct fellowship with the Creator.

Since the fall into sin a fundamental state of sinfulness and remoteness from God has weighed upon every human being (Genesis 3: 23-24; Psalm 51: 5; Romans 5: 18-19). This means that, from the very beginning–before any deed or thought–every human being is a sinner, even if no individual sin has yet been committed. Through baptism, original sin is washed away. The image of washing brings to expression that God lifts the state of permanent separation and remoteness from Him: He grants human beings their first close relationship with Him as well as the opportunity to have fellowship with Him. Even after baptism, the human inclination to sin remains as a further consequence of the fall into sin.

SUMMARY

"Original sin" refers to man's state of separation from God, in other words the remoteness from God that has come into being through the fall into sin. Since the fall into sin, a fundamental state of sinfulness and remoteness from God has weighed upon all human beings. (8.1.3.2)

Through baptism with water original sin is washed away and the believer is led out of the state of remoteness from God. His inclination to sin (concupiscence) remains. (8.1.3.2)

[2] The doctrine of original sin was first formulated by Augustine based on biblical testimony. Original sin has its source in the primal sin of Adam and Eve. The biblical basis for the doctrine of original sin is Psalm 51: 5 and Romans 5: 12.

See also