“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”Psalm 51:5
If being in prison has one advantage, it’s the free time. I had the chance to read The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Augustine was a bishop in fifth-century A.D. North Africa, who recounted his salvation from wickedness. He marveled that the Lord chose him (see Romans 8:28-30), knowing how evil he was even at conception.
We may say that babies are “innocent” and “pure.” At least until they learn the word no, it seems that they are. But no humans need training in how to disobey, act selfishly, lie, or steal. It’s our natural desire to turn away from God’s law (Romans 7:18-20).
The Bible calls this inner depravity iniquity. As the verses surrounding Psalm 51:5 clarify, King David isn’t making excuses or shifting blame for his iniquity—his terrible sins (recorded in 2 Samuel 11-12). Instead he is confessing that he is (as we also are) rotten to the very core. He cries out for a clean heart (v. 10) which loves and adores God and His Word. And in His lavish grace to even the vilest offender, the Lord always answers this prayer.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” (Ezekiel 36:26a)