We Must Lay Our Evils Aside through Repentance

We are all born with a tendency toward evils. As is recognized in the church, from our mother’s womb we are nothing but evil. Now, the reason this is recognized is that the church councils and leaders have passed down to us the notion that Adam’s sin has been passed on to all his descendants; in this view, this is the sole reason why Adam and everyone since has been condemned; and this damnation clings to us all from the day we are born.

Many teachings of the church are based on these assertions. For example, (we are told that) the Lord instituted the washing of regeneration that is called baptism so that this sin would be removed. This sin was also the reason for the Lord’s Coming. Faith in his merit is the means by which this sin is removed. The churches have many other teachings as well that are based on this notion….

My friend, the evil we inherit comes in fact from no other source than our own parents. What we inherit, though, is not evil that we ourselves actually commit but an inclination toward evil… We may have a greater or a leaser tendency to a specific evil. Therefore after death no one is judged on the basis of his or her inherited evil; we are judged only on the basis of our actual evils, the evils we ourselves have committed.

This is clear from the following commandment of the Lord: “Parents will not be put to death for their children; children will not be put to death for their parents. Each will die for her or his own sins” (Deuteronomy 24:16). I have become certain of this from my experience in the spiritual world of little children who had died. They have an inclination toward evils and will them, but they do not do them, because they are brought up under the Lord’s supervision and are saved.

from Regeneration, Pages 25, 26