Why is man condemned if he is incapable of doing good?
Through inheritance, all humans have been brought forth "guilty of sin"
Psalm 51:5 (NET Bible)
"Look, I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother
Paul describes the struggle we have to “fight” within us due to our inherited sin, that is when a person tries to change his personality, to become fully pleasing to God. He says:
Romans 7:15-20 (NASB)
15 "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing
what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But
if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law,
confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one
doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good
dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me,
but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do
not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I
am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing
it, but sin which dwells in me."
Since humans are brought forth "guilty of sin" these genetic imperfections are part of his physical and mental character. The fight against the inherited faults is not impossible, for the apostles tell us, that progress can be made, we can "renew our minds", "put on the new personality", "and cultivate the fruit of the spirit."
Romans 12:2 (NASB)
"And do not be conformed to this [a]world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is,
that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
Ephesians 4:24 (NASB)
"And put on the new self, which [b]in the likeness of God has been
created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against
such things there is no law."
But we cannot completely wipe out these bad inherited tendencies merely through such effort. The apostle said of his situation:
Romans 7:24-25 (NASB)
24" Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from [a]the body of
this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So
then, on the one hand, I myself with my mind am serving the law of
God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin."
The question that naturally follows is: When a person's inherited weaknesses cause him to sin, what can he do to remain in God’s favor?
A person can receive forgiveness for his sins through faith in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice of his life for our errors. And he must follow up on his prayers requesting forgiveness by doing his best to align himself with the right course. He can never let up in the fight against wrong inclinations, and with the help of God’s spirit, it need not be a losing battle. His conscience can be clean.
Hebrews 9:14 (NASB)
14 "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through [a]the eternal
Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience
from dead works to serve the living God?"
Romans 8:11-13 (NASB)
11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in
you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to
your mortal bodies [a]through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So
then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live
according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living according to the
flesh, you [b]must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death
the deeds of the body, you will live"