The Bible treats sin, not as something you get from your parents, but as something you do. The breaking of God’s law. See 1st John 3:4, Everyone who sins break the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. See also 1st John 5:17, In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him.
Since people are active in choices, they are held responsible. See Romans 14:12, So then, each of us will give account of himself to God. We are not guilty of our parent’s sin. Read Ezekiel 18:20, The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.
There is clear teaching of sin and spiritual death spreading because people themselves sin.
People choose Satan’s way. Likewise, they can choose God’s way, look up the books of Luke 10 and John 7.
Nicodemus, like most of us, may have difficulty understanding “GRACE” For people in his time, as now, think they become good through their own efforts, look up what Paul says in Romans 9:31-32-33. But Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the « stumbling stone. » As it is written : See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame. Paul says or argues that such thinking is wrong.
Nicodemus like other Jews who love to justify themselves to others put their prayers list for God their good deeds. See Luke 16:14–15, The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.
Too often we place ourselves in the center of our faith. We depend on our own wisdom, pride and effort, even Pastors and Prophets sometimes encouraged us to do so. But Jesus teaches us to move aside for man-centered religion ends up rejecting God and crucifying His Son Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist called upon the people in Matthew chapter 3 to confess their sins. Some people are not sure to whom they should confess their sins. Should they confess to a priest, a neighbor or to God. Read Psalm 51:1–4, Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
All confession should be made to God, because all sin is against God, because all sin is against Him and forgiveness comes only from Him. However, many times our faults and failing harm other people as well as being sin against God.
Matthew 5:23–24, Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. In other words, if your sin has had anything to do with another person, you must confess to both God and the person you’ve harmed.
During the LENT pray ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you need to put things right. Maybe there is someone you have harmed at home, at work, in your neighbourhood or local government. Make a note of how you could make good the damage and ask God for the humility and strenght to do it, believing that we can be forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Read Matthew 26:28, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Read Ephesians 1:7, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Also see 1st Peter 2:24, He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.
God never changes. He is always ready to forgive. However, we can only receive the benefit of that forgiveness when we have confessed to God. The person who has confessed his sins to God is forgiven by Him and feels better in his spirit, and even in his body. We must remember the true confession is detailed, or specific; that is, we must tell God exactly what we have done wrong, as well as the things we failed to do.