“How can mere mortals prove their innocence before God?” (Job 9:2) is probably the most important question in life. The answer is clear: No one can claim personal righteousness equal to God’s purity. Paul recognizes that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Ro 3:23).
The problem is, we are born in a sinful condition due to the sin of Adam and Eve (see Ge 3:6–7; Ro 5:12). David described this original sin (as some refer to it): “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5).
Isn’t that unfair? How can we be held accountable for something we inherit? The problem with such questions is that we too have sinned. The question instead should be: What do we do with the sinful nature we inherit? Do we indulge it? Or do we trust in the way God has provided to overcome it? Through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross, God gives us a brand new nature with a righteous standing before him. This is how we take responsibility for our sins.