Our pandemic of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has brought a flurry of laboratory investigations about this virus. One of the most recent and most interesting research theories is called “original antigenic sin (OAS).” In my own non-scientific explanation, this means a person’s first response to a virus has a remarkable effect on their response to a similar or variant virus. Our body responds much the same way to a variant as it did to the original virus.
Adam and Eve responded to the Lord with a great big, “No!” They said, “We will not follow Your words. We will do things our own way and behave to please ourselves.” Thus, the original sin of humankind. God put them out of the garden. That original sin was passed down to their children, their children’s children and so on down the line of generations. We, like all of Adam’s children, have original sin. We respond to the Lord in the same way we have in the past. We shake our fist in His face to tell Him we will do it our way.
We, as human beings, inherited a sinful nature. We have no option other than to choose to sin. Psalm 51:5 (CSB) states this succinctly: “Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.” The New Testament is clear in Rom. 5:12: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.”
We have a need to be made right with God. How can this happen? The Apostle John tells us how: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1.9) Further clarification enlightens us in Rom. 10.13: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Certainly, lab researchers have found our bodies respond to a new virus much the same way as they do to a new strain of that virus. The Bible has, for centuries, told us we respond to the opportunity of sin the same way each and every human being before us has done. We have a bad case of original sin. We can’t help it. We choose to sin. We like it! We think we know more than God and can run our lives better than He. The only vaccine for our original sin is the blood of Christ on the cross. “For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold,but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb” (I Peter 1.18-19).