The term original sin, which does not appear in the Bible, appeared in the writings of St. Augustine of Hippone in the 4th century. The notion of original sin, intimately linked to the theology of salvation, has opened up many discussions and interpretations.
It is based on the biblical account of Adam and Eve, driven out of Paradise after disobeying God by eating the forbidden fruit, that of the tree of knowledge. This fall of man and woman, who then cut themselves off from God, would be an explanation of the origin of evil. Since then, humanity carries this wound in it. But what is this sin? What is its consequence on us? And above all, how do we free ourselves from it?
The story of Adam and Eve shows us above all that at the origin of the world, it was beauty and goodness that reigned. Adam and Eve, created by God, lived in the Garden of Eden, which they could fully enjoy. Only one fruit was forbidden to them: that of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This was the only restriction for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God informed them that by eating the fruit of this tree, they would become mortal.
“... the Lord God commanded the man, “You are the fruits to eat from kind tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
From the moment when Adam and Eve, tempted by the serpent, ate this fruit, they knew their “nudity”, shame, betrayal, and the spirit of division (through blaming each other). They could no longer stay in the garden of God. This first mistake with God is called original sin. It is the one that has moved man away from God and that humanity has been carrying since then, until Christ, being totally man and totally God, liberated us from it.
The original sin is therefore above all a wound. Human nature has been deeply wounded by this break with God.
Indeed, this sin is the distance that man wanted to take with God: Distrust of God, temptation to do without him, to master everything outside of him (from good to evil) and therefore to deny our affiliation to him. This original sin makes us all suffer through this uprooting from God, from our source of life.
Saint Augustine, speaking of original sin, does not evoke simply the first sin, but a sin that affects the original nature of man and thus, which is common to us all. And indeed, none of us are strangers to the temptation of pride. Adam’s wound is the wound of humanity.
It is this notion of original sin that makes us sinners. Among Christians, the grace of baptism washes us and delivers us from this sin attached to man. When during baptism, the baptized (sometimes newborn) is washed from original sin, it is not from their own faults (which they would have committed), but from this division that man is always tempted to make between his creator and Him (because of his human nature). He re-welcomes God into him through the Holy Spirit, recognizes His Son and in this, can heal from this original division.
Barely having eaten the fruit, Adam and Eve hide from God, they are afraid of it, they fear it. And yet God, with infinite patience - and always leaving us free to accept it or not - reaching out to us for reconciliation, for a return to the Father, for healing.
All the wounds of our soul can be healed by letting us be observed God, in his gaze of love that liberates and heals.
Man, wanting to do without God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, separates from Him, detaches himself from Him. It is then God, by making himself man through Jesus, that allows man to regain his resemblance to God.
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)