<<inborn, genetic>>

Sin, with its inbuilt problems culminating in spiritual and physical death, entered the world through Adam and Eve, and so is part of humanity, for traits and family characteristics are passed on from parents to offspring, through the genes (Ps 51:5, 58:3). Ancestors can pass on through the family line good qualities, such as intellect and musical ability, along with undesirable attributes such as moral weaknesses, or physical and genetic defects.

God said, “I will punish the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Ex 20:5, 34:6,7; Num 14:18; Jer 32:18). “Our fathers sinned and we bear their punishment” (Lam 5:7). We suffer from the effects of sin committed by our ancestors and the habits that held them in bondage although we can’t blame our lineage for every perceived fault we may have as we are responsible or accountable to God for our own actions, for “the soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezek 18:4-32). There is the need to confess our own sin and those of our ancestors (Neh 1:6, 9:2; Dan 9:20). When we have repented of our sin and addressed past ancestral mistakes any generational curses or hereditary ties can be broken.

We are not judged by God in regard to our physical attributes, rather in relation to the principles He has given for us to live by – these can be summed up as loving God and doing justly to our fellow man (Mk 12:30,31). We are given the ability to choose in these areas of eternal significance, and while the

Live in the new nature

physical aspects may seem to be of more concern now, they are in fact of no lasting consequence. As children of God we are new creations in Christ, with new inherited family qualities (2 Cor 5:17). It is our responsibility to live from this new nature, not the old sinful one.

See also: ancestors, consequences, curses, family, generational curses, heritage, parents, position in Christ, sin/sinners.