Each and every person is born with a sin nature.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psa 51:5)We all have this sin nature that has been passed to us from Adam, our common father. When Adam sinned, he condemned not only himself to death and judgment, but everyone else along with him. Everyone who would ever live was cursed because of the fall in Eden. Everyone who would ever live would also endure a constant struggle with sin.
So when we speak of where sin begins in each and every one of us individually, we must remember that our nature is naturally inclined towards sin. So 'sin', like a parasite, is attached to our emotions, thoughts, wills, and actions. It is there and we can do nothing about it. A child does not have to be taught how to lie. He already knows. Anger is not a trait that is acquired through exposure to angry people. It is already in those fits of screams and kicking when our children do not get their way.
James, the brother of Jesus, speaks of the origin of our individual sinful actions like this:
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (Jam 1:13-15)
This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Our own desires are the problem. The things that we should not do are exactly what we want to do. Our hearts are in the wrong place. The heart is the heart of our problem.
James tells us that we are lured and enticed by our own desires. As our desires our controlled and governed by laws, people's expectations, and 'moral intuition', we restrain these desires and are thereby kept from actually committing the sin that we desire to do. Now the desire to sin itself is sinful, and the act of sin is sinful as well. Both are sin. Let us make that clear. If I desire to steal, I have sinned, and if I steal, I have sinned again.
The answer to our problem then lies in the heart. Jesus said,
"Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone." (Mat 15:16-20)
What this means is in addition to treating the symptoms of sin, and deal with what is really wrong. No one who goes to a doctor for an illness wants the doctor to prescribe only medicine for a cough when that person has lung cancer. Yes, the cough medicine may provide some temporary comfort, but the cancer must be removed if healing is to take place.
I know this is a very short post. But I'm still feeling the effects of Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Phenergan in my head. Maybe tomorrow will be better, you never can tell with me.