Understanding Man’s Sinful Nature

Bible verses on man’s sinful nature: We are all sinners, born with an evil heart

Bad behavior may have resulted from our upbringing or is genetically linked. But Scripture is clear—our nature is sinful. Paul made it plain when he talked about it. He may be considered the greatest apostle, but confessed to being the “worst sinner of all.”

He was, of course, referring to his “old self.” Before Christ came into his life, Paul persecuted Christians and killed many of them. Still, Paul extensively wrote the subject of man’s sinful nature in his epistles.


We can’t be good before God on our own

We’re all born sinners and have sinful natures that we may be able to rein—but it will always get the best of us. A dark-colored person cannot change his skin, nor can a leopard remove his spots; neither can we do good. (Jeremiah 13:23).

You may say you haven’t done something truly evil. However, we create evil and murder people in our minds. We commit adultery and fornication in our thoughts, which are all evil in the eyes of God.

Hence, no one is good or righteous (Psalm 53:1–3), the reason we need Jesus.

Jeremiah 13:23
“Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.”

Matthew 15:19
From the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.

We need Jesus.

Renewing your mind daily

Given that all of us have a dark nature, through Jesus Christ, God can change our sinful hearts and turn them into a heart of peace, honesty, or kindness.

We must ask God to create in us a pure heart and renew hearts (Psalm 51:10). When we seek God with all our heart, we shall find him (Jeremiah 29:11).

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”


Do not feed your sinful nature

Man’s free will allows us to choose between doing the right thing or sinning. However, letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting God’s Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

Bible verses on man’s sinful nature

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 – The ‘natural person’ cannot understand God.
  • 1 John 1:10 – If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar.
  • 1 John 1:7-9 – If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.
  • 1 Peter 2:11 –  Abstain from the passions of the flesh.
  • 2 Peter 1:4 – The world is corrupt because of sinful desire.
  • Colossians 3:5 – Put to death what is earthly in you.
  • Ecclesiastes 7:20 –  There is not a righteous man on earth.
  • Ephesians 2:5 – We were dead in the trespasses and sins.
  • Ephesians 4:22 – Put off your old self, which is corrupt.
  • Ephesians 4:31 – Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice be away from you.
  • Galatians 5:16 – You will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
  • Galatians 5:17 – The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit.
  • Galatians 5:19 – The work of the flesh is evident.
  • Isaiah 64:6 – Our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
  • Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful.
  • Matthew 15:19 – From our hearts come murder, adultery, and evil thoughts.
  • Mark 7:23 – All these evil things come from within.
  • Psalm 51:5 – In sin did my mother conceive me.
  • Psalm 58:3 – Wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth.
  • Romans 13:14 – Do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
  • Romans 3:10 – As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.
  • Romans 3:23 – All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
  • Romans 5:12 – Sin came into the world through man.
  • Romans 7:15 – I am of the flesh, under sin, I do not understand my actions.
  • Romans 7:17-18 –  Sin that dwells within me.
  • Romans 7:25 – With my flesh, I serve the law of sin.
  • Romans 8:7 – The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God

Did God choose me, or I choose him?
Can a sinful man have the ability to believe in Jesus?
Why can’t I stop sinning?
How can I overcome my sinful nature?

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