Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Slaves Serving God
Life by Faith
Service by Faith
Modified from Irving
L. Jensen's excellent work
Survey of the NT
THEREFORE: Dia touto:
A SUGGESTION ON STUDYING ROMANS
5:12-21: Dear reader, without a doubt, Romans 5:12-21 is one of the
most difficult sections of Scripture in Romans and in the entire New
Testament for that matter. And yet it is one of the most important
sections, for the truths expounded in these verses are the very
foundation stones of the Gospel. It therefore behooves every saint to
earnestly consider prayerfully digging into this meaty section in order
to more fully understand the rich treasure we have in the Gospel of
Jesus Christ. After studying the text yourself under the teaching
ministry of the Holy Spirit, you are encouraged to look at the notes on
these verses. I would also encourage you to download the excellent
messages by Dr John Piper using the links provided below. I usually
download them to a folder I have created on my Desktop ("Audio") and
them drag them over to my Ipod Playlist and listen to them on my daily
20 mile bike ride. To easily download the following Mp3's simply right
click your mouse over the link, select "Save Target As" and then pick
your destination (Desktop folder, Ipod, etc). Then sit back and listen
to Piper's Puritan like passionate plea which is truly "logic on fire"!
You could just read the manuscripts
at Desiringgod.org but be aware that (1) the manuscripts are not
verbatim and (2) if you only read the text, you would miss some of
Piper's passion cry in preaching which stirs one's soul to desire more
of God's glory!
Romans 5:12-21 Adam, Christ, and
Justification, Part 1
Romans 5:12-21 Adam, Christ, and
Justification, Part 2
Romans 5:12-21 Adam, Christ, and
Justification, Part 3
Romans 5:12-21 Adam, Christ, and
Justification, Part 4
Romans 5:12-21 Adam, Christ, and
Justification, Part 5
Romans 5:20-21 The Triumph of Grace
If you only have time for one message
I would recommend
which summarizes Romans 5:12-21 and deals with the often sticky issue of
C H Spurgeon
has a sermon
which he gives an excellent summary of the doctrine of Christ and Adam as
to read Spurgeon's comments on this important doctrine.
S Lewis Johnson writes that...
The master-thought of the
section that begins with verse twelve of Romans chapter five and
concludes with verse 21 is the unity of the many in the one. Adam and
his posterity are affected by his sin, while the Last Adam and His
people are affected by his righteous act, that is, the victorious
redeeming work of the cross.
cautiously introduces Romans 5:12-21 writing that...
Just as Adam was the head of a race
of sinners, so Christ is the head of a new race, the redeemed people of
God. The argument is very condensed, and in all translations and
comments we must allow for the possibility that Paul’s meaning may at
some point be other than we think. But we must not exaggerate this. The
main lines of the argument are clear. It is an important section, and
indeed Nygren calls it “the point where all the lines of (Paul’s)
thinking converge, both those of the preceding chapters and those of the
chapters that follow.” The construction of the whole is not
straightforward. Paul begins to compare Adam and Christ in
but breaks off his sentence at the end of that verse to explain the
pattern of sin and death (Romans
He makes it clear that there are profound dissimilarities between Christ
and Adam (Romans
he returns to complete succinctly the thought of the unfinished sentence
To this he adds an explanation (Romans
5:19) and a little
section on the law (Romans
There is an objectivity to this section that we should not miss. In
Romans 5:1–11 and again in 6:1–9 the pronoun we is constant, but
in Romans 5:12–21 there is not one we. Paul is concentrating on
objective facts, irrespective of our participation. (Morris,
L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
As background remember that there are
3 great imputations in the Bible. To impute something means to place it
on another's account so to speak.
(1) Imputation of Adam's sin to his
posterity's account or the spiritual account of the entire human race.
(2) Imputation of the sin of the
elect to Jesus Christ, Who bore sin's penalty on the Cross (cf 2Cor
(3) Imputation of the righteousness
of God to the elect (Ro 3:24, 25, 26, Ro 4:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8)
Romans 5:12 deals with the first
imputation, the placing of Adam's sin upon the account of the human
race, a doctrine which is fundamental to all theology. In short, in this
section Paul teaches that man does evil, because he is evil, and the
root cause of the sin problem is what happened millennia ago in the
beautiful garden planted by God.
Wiersbe introduces this
important, often times poorly understood section, Romans 5:12-21,
How is it possible for God to
save sinners in the person of Jesus Christ? We understand that somehow
Christ took our place on
the cross, but how was such a substitution possible? Paul answered the
question in this section, and these verses are the very heart of the
To understand these verses a few
general truths about this section need to be understood. First, note the
repetition of the little word one. It is used eleven times. The key idea
here is our identification with Adam and with Christ. Second, note the
repetition of the word reign which is used five times. Paul saw two
men—Adam and Christ—each of them reigning over a kingdom. Finally, note
that the phrase much more is repeated five times. This means that in
Jesus Christ we have gained much more than we ever lost in Adam!
In short, this section is a
contrast of Adam and Christ. Adam was given dominion over the old
creation, he sinned, and he lost his kingdom. Because of Adam’s sin, all
mankind is under condemnation and death. Christ came as the King over a
new creation (2Cor 5:17-see
commentary). By His obedience on the cross, He brought in
righteousness and justification. Christ not only undid all the damage
that Adam’s sin effected, but He accomplished “much more” by making us
the very sons of God. Some of this “much more” Paul has already
explained in Romans 5:1-11. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
Harry Ironside has an
interesting comment on the practical import of this doctrinally deep and
controversial section, Romans 5:12-21, writing that...
The awakened sinner is concerned
about one thing: how to be delivered from the judgment his sins have
righteously deserved. This aspect of salvation has all been gone into
and settled in the first part of Romans 5. It is never raised again. As
we go on into this next part of the Epistle the question of guilt does
not come up.
The moment a sinner believes the
gospel, his responsibility as a child of Adam under the judgment of God
is over forever. But at that very moment his responsibility as a child
of God begins. He has a new nature that craves what is divine. But he
soon discovers that his carnal nature has not been removed nor improved
by his conversion to God, and from this fact arises many trying
experiences. It often comes as a great shock when he realizes that he
has still a nature capable of every kind of vileness. He is rightly
horrified, and may be tempted to question the reality of his
regeneration (See also
The Nature of Regeneration - My Utmost For His
Highest) and his justification before God. How can a holy God go on
with one who has such a nature as this? If he tries to fight sin in the
flesh he is probably defeated, and learns by bitter experience what
Philip Melanchthon, Luther's friend, put so tersely,
"Old Adam is too strong for young
Happy is the young convert if at this
crisis he comes under sound scriptural instruction instead of falling
into the hands of spiritual charlatans who will set him to seeking the
elimination of the fleshly nature and the death of the carnal mind. If
he follows their advice he will be led into a quagmire of uncertainty
and dazzled by the delusive will-o'-the-wisp of possible perfection in
the flesh. He will perhaps flounder for years in the bog of fanaticism
and self-torture before reaching the rest that remains for the people of
I have tried to tell of my own early
experiences along this line in a little volume entitled, Holiness,
the False and the True, (Ed note: This short pamphlet is available
at no charge on the internet -
which I am thankful to know has been blessed to the deliverance of many
thousands of souls. It was the truth we are now to consider that saved
me at last from the wretchedness and disappointments of those early
First we have to consider the two great families and the two federal
heads of chapter Romans 5:12-21. The moment a man is justified by faith
he is also born of God. His justification is, as we have seen, his
official clearance before the throne of God. His regeneration involves
his introduction into a new family. He becomes a part of the new
creation of which the risen Christ is the Head.
Adam the first was federal head of
the old race. Christ risen, the Second Man and the last Adam, is Head of
the new race. The old creation fell in Adam, and all his descendants
were involved in his ruin. The new creation stands eternally secure in
Christ, and all who have received life from Him are sharers in the
blessings procured by His cross and secured by His life at God's right
Joyful now the new creation
Rests in undisturbed repose,
Blest in Jesus' full salvation,
Sorrow now nor thraldom knows.
The proper comprehension of the
eternal standing in Christ settles the question of the believer's
security. It also provides a scriptural basis for the doctrine of
deliverance from the power of sin. (Ironside,
Harry. Romans and Galatians. Kregel. 2006)
The following is a tabular summary of
The Reign of Grace
The Type of One to Come
The One Who Came
Ro 5:18, 19-note
Ro 5:18, 19-note
Justification, Life, Kingship
Ro 5:18, 19-note
Grace of God and the Gift by grace
Adam - condemnation and reign of death
Christ-justification and "reigning in life" for those accepting
Reigning thru Righteousness
Gift of Righteousness
Slaves of Death
Reigning in Life
Head of a
Race of Sinners
Head of a
New Redeemed Race
Modified from William Newell
Romans Verse by Verse
Comparing Adam and Christ verse by
ADAM AND CHRIST
Grace & Gift of God
of the one
Will Reign in life
One Act of Righteousness
Justification offered to All
Therefore - Clearly Paul is
linking Romans 5:11-21 with the preceding section. Notice that in the
KJV at the end of Ro 5:12KJV there is a parenthesis sign encompassing Ro
5:13-17. What the KJV is trying to help the reader discern is that
the comparison that Paul begins in this verse (as indicated by the word
"as"), is not concluded unto Romans 5:18-19, where the ideas are picked
up again and fully stated. Thus, Romans 5:13-14 are parenthetical,
explaining the statement of verse twelve, namely, that all
Denny explains that
therefore (dia touto)...
refers to that whole conception
of Christ's relation to the human race which is expounded in
Romans 3:21-5:11. But as this is summed up in Romans 5:1-11, and even in
the last words of Romans
5:11 (through Him we received the reconciliation) the grammatical
reference may be to these words only. (Nicoll, W Robertson, Editor:
Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out of print. Search Google)
introduces this section writing that...
The two men, Adam and Christ, with
consequences, are before us. It is no longer what we have done (our sins),
but the one trespass of Adam that is in view. And it is the work of
Christ, also, looked at as an "Adam" (second Man or
last Adam - cp 1Cor 15:22, 45, 47) and His "righteous act" of death
with its effect of justification for us. So now (Romans 5:12-21) we look back to the act
that set us down as sinners, instead of to our own deeds and to the act
that sets us down righteous, apart from our own works...
(He goes on to explain the
therefore writing that) This whole plan of salvation, by Christ's
work, not ours, which we have been considering in Romans 3-5, gives rise
to the therefore which introduces this verse: Therefore
this plan of salvation of all by a single Redeemer, is on the same
principle as when through the other one man sin entered the world; and,
with it, its wages, death. Paul proceeds to emphasize that it was in
that way; i.e., by one man, that death passed to all men, because
when Adam sinned, all sinned. It was a federal representative act.
key word in Romans
5:12-21 is one which occurs 13 times in the NASB (Multiple times
in some verses - See notes
One evil deed of this one man, is very
important and underlies the whole discussion.
Just as the nature of sin entered
into the human race through one man, the Holy Spirit entered into the
human race through
another Man (Ro 5:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 ). And redemption means
that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin, and that through Jesus
Christ I can receive a pure and spotless heredity, namely, the Holy
Spirit. (See also
The Nature of Regeneration - My Utmost For His
Constable makes the following
Paul did not call Adam and
Christ by name when he first spoke of them but referred to each as
one man. He thereby stressed the unity of the federal head with
those under his authority who are also “men” (i.e., people). (Expository
Leon Morris adds that...
repeatedly Paul refers to one
man Adam (and to one sin of that one man), and opposes to him (and to
it) the one man Jesus Christ (and his one work of grace). The one man
and his sin and the one Savior and his salvation are critical to the
L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
The KJV Bible Commentary makes
the point that...
Since these verses are so
doctrinal in nature, it will be helpful to keep in mind three very
important truths established in Romans 5:12-21. They are: (1) one
offense, by one man, made all the world guilty of sin; (2) the resultant
guilt of Adam’s original sin is imputed to
each of us; and (3) Adam acted
as our official representative when he cast his vote against God.
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson
These verses contrast and compare
life in Adam with life in Christ. These men are alike in that each is
the head of a race, and thus his actions have far-reaching effects. They
differ in that through one death came to all men (Ro 5:12), but through
the other life came as a free gift for those who would accept that gift
(Ro 5:17, 19-see notes
The passage affirms that in some way Adam's sin has negatively affected
the entire human race. Man inherits a sinful nature and sinful state via
his identification with Adam as the head of the race. Paul does not
explain exactly how all sinned in Adam, but he clearly affirms the fact
of it. All humanity is spiritually related to one of these two men.
Either we are (1) in Adam by birth and therefore under condemnation, or
(2) in Christ by faith and therefore justified and forgiven. We are in
Adam naturally by birth. We are in Christ supernaturally by the New
Birth. There is no hint of universalism in this text.
W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)
As Wayne Barber
if you don’t understand Romans 5,
especially verses 12 through 21, a lot of confusion can come. We’re
going to talk about the reason why every man desperately needs to be
justified by faith, by putting his faith into the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever had somebody look at you with a puzzled look when you said
to him that every person apart from Jesus Christ is a sinner? They say
to you, "I’ve always tried to be a good person. I’ve joined the church.
I’ve given money to the church. I do things for underprivileged kids. I
give to the poor. What do you mean I’m a sinner?"
I want you to see from God’s word why it is that all men who have not
placed their faith into Jesus Christ are sinners: they are IN Adam
as opposed to being IN Christ. Verses 12 through 21, especially
verses 14 and down, are going to give you a contrast of what it means to
be IN Adam and what it means to be IN Christ...When
you put your faith into Christ, you are taken out of Adam and you are
placed into the body of Jesus Christ. Paul says in Colossians you are
taken out from under the power of darkness and you are placed into the
kingdom of His dear Son (God "delivered us from the domain of darkness,
and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son"
problem does not come from what you are doing on the outside. The
problem is on the inside. You’ve got to be changed from within. A man
does what he does because he is what he is. He is also going to show us
man is desperate to be justified before God.
When did sin begin? It started with
Adam. How do you know he is talking about Adam? Look at Ro 5:14:
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam
until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the
offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come
If you’ll follow the
through Ro 5:21, he’s comparing Adam and what he did and how it
affected the human race with Jesus and what He did and how that affected
the human race. Liberals
look at this text and tell us that Genesis 1-11 is myth and that Adam
and Eve were a race of people, not a man and a woman. If you believe
that, take Romans 5 and throw the rest of your Bible away! ONE man
sinned, and because he sinned, sin entered the world. That man’s name
was Adam. It all started right there...
Let’s go back and at least read
the warning that God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden. In Genesis 2:16
He is speaking to Adam.
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying,
‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely.’".
had the entire garden, all the trees to eat from. But God said, "There’s
one tree you cannot eat from." Ge 2:17:
"but from the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat from it you
shall surely die."
We are going to see in Romans that
that death was not just physical death. Physical death is the obvious
evidence to people that there has been a spiritual death. There’s been
an estrangement between God and man. Death means separation. The
moment that Adam chose to sin against God and eat from that tree, he was
immediately estranged from God. There was a death. Even though he might
not have understood all of that, he began physically to die, and death
began to reign on this earth. (Romans 5:12-14)
We have seen, in
Romans 1-3, the fact of universal
human guilt, that all thus are "falling short of God’s glory"; and we
have seen Christ set forth by God as a "propitiation through faith in
His blood." We also found that believers were declared righteous; and
seen connected with a Risen Christ, in Romans 4. Then we saw, in the first
part of Romans 5, the blessed results of this "justification by
Romans 5:12-21 is vital material to prepare one for the great truths in
Romans 6-8. In these passages we see the contrast between the UNION
with Christ for believers versus their former UNION with Adam. Paul compares and contrasts
Adam, the first man Adam, the father of humanity, with Jesus Christ, the
"second Adam" (cp 1Cor 15:47) and father of the new humanity. The two men, Adam and
Christ, with their distinct representative consequences are presented in
these ten verses at the end of Romans 5.
It is no longer what we have done—our sins, but the one trespass of Adam
that is in view. Paul contrasts the work of Adam with the work of Christ
in His "righteous act" of death with its effect of
introduces Romans 5:12-21 remarking that...
In the closely worded argument of
this section Paul contrasts death in Adam with life in Christ. Just as
Adam's sin brought certain results, so did the death of Christ. Yet this
does not mean automatic salvation, for men must receive the grace God
offers (Ro 5:17-note).
After Adam sinned, he and his descendants could only beget sinners, so
all men are under the sentence of death, the penalty of sin. all sinned.
True because of the solidarity of the race just explained (He 5:9-note,
for the principle of imputation). (The
Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
has an insightful note
on Romans 5:12-21 writing that...
The passage is the logical center
of the epistle, the central point to which everything that
precedes has converged, and out of which everything which follows will
flow. The great ideas of Sin, Death, and Judgment
are here shown to be involved in the connection of the human race with
Adam. But over against this there is the blessed fact of union with
Christ, and in this union righteousness and life. The double headship of
mankind in Adam and Christ shows the significance of the work of
redemption for the entire race. Mankind is ranged under two heads, Adam
and Christ. There are two men, two acts and two results. In this
teaching we have the spiritual and theological illustration of the great
modern principle of solidarity. There is a solidarity of evil and a
solidarity of good, but the latter far surpasses the former in the
quality of the obedience of Christ as compared with Adam, and the facts
of the work of Christ for justification and life.
The section is thus no mere episode,
or illustration, but that which gives organic life to the entire
epistle. Although sin and death are ours in Adam righteousness and life
are ours in Christ, and these latter two are infinitely the greater (Ro
5:11-note); whatever we have lost in Adam we have more than
gained in Christ. As all the evils of the race sprang from one man,
so all the blessings of redemption come from One Person, and there is
such a connection between the Person and the race that all men can
possess what the One has done. (Bolding added)
JUST AS THROUGH ONE MAN: Dia touto hosper di enos (heis) anthropou:
(Ro 5:19; Ge 3:6)
Just as (5618)
(hosper) is a conjunction which introduces a comparison. The main
point in Romans 5:12-21 is the comparison between Adam and Christ,
explaining how Adam on one hand was the means of bringing in sin and
death, while Christ on the other hand was the One who brought in
justification and life.
writes that just as...
Just as obviously indicates a
comparison or parallel. There is, however, no corresponding clause
beginning with “so” to complete the sentence. Examples of similar
incomplete comparisons may be found in Matthew 25:14 with “like” and in
1Timothy 1:3 with “as.” It is, however, so obvious that the
illustration begun in this verse is resumed and fully stated in Ro 5:18,19 that the vast majority of commentators agree we must seek in those
verses the clause which answers to this verse. (Hodge,
Charles: Commentary on Romans. Ages Classic Commentaries
Wherefore, as through the
intermediate agency of one man the aforementioned sin entered the world,
and through this sin, death; and thus into and throughout all mankind
death entered, because all sinned. (Eerdmans)
One man -
Although not name in this verse, this is clearly Adam. As Barber
discusses above, in Genesis 2:16,17, God gave one command to eat from
every tree in the Garden except the Tree of Knowledge, for if he ate of
this tree he would surely die.
The one offense committed by the
first Adam was his violation of that test, or prohibition, "But of
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it;
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"
(Genesis 2:17). Adam was told that he was not to eat of the tree of
death, nor was he to experimentally know the difference between good and
evil. In other words, he was an anti-prohibitionist. The law commenced
with an absolute prohibition, and it did not avail Adam a thing to plead
personal liberty. Race responsibility rested on Adam alone. It could not
possibly have rested on Eve, because she was a descendant of Adam, just
as much as we are. GOD created just one man, and in that man was the
whole human race, including Eve. Later he took a part of the man and
made a woman, and the meaning of the word "woman" is "derived from man."
When Adam saw her, he said, "Isshah," woman, which literally means
derived from man. As she got both her soul and body from the man, being
his descendant, it was impossible that the race responsibility should
rest on her.
If Eve alone had sinned, the race
would not have perished. She would have perished, but not the race. The
race was in Adam. GOD could have derived another woman from him like
that one. He had the potentiality in him of all women as well as all
men. Some error has arisen from holding Eve responsible, such as the
error of pointing the finger at the woman and saying, "You did it!" The
text says, "By one man's offense" and not by one offense of one woman.
That Eve sinned there is no doubt; she was in the transgression. To the
contrary, history shows that GOD connects salvation with the woman, and
not damnation. He said that the Seed of the woman shall bruise the
serpent's head. There we have the promise of grace. And he could not
have said the seed of the man, for, if one be the seed of a man, he
inherits the man's fallen nature. (Romans:
Studies in Romans - online)
(anthropos) is a generic name for human beings in general.
Anthropos is distinguished from aner, which refers to the
male sex. Anthropos on the other hand signifies a member of the human
race, without reference either to sex or nationality.
however adds this qualifying remark noting that...
There is no warrant in the New
Testament for the heretical notion that "Adam" is simply a generic term
representing the human race. He was "one man," in fact "the first man"
(1Corinthians 15:45)...Adam was a real person, directly created and
made by God, and so was Eve. The entire argument of Romans 5:12-21
becomes irrelevant if the Genesis record of the creation and fall of
Adam did not happen just as recorded in Genesis 1-3, and this would mean
there is no reality in the saving work of Christ either. Destroying or
distorting the Genesis record undermines and eventually destroys the
gospel of salvation. Such a devastating undermining of the Christian
faith is surely not warranted by the fragmentary and self-contradictory
fossil evidences that have been alleged to support the notion of human
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
To Paul, Adam was more than a
historical individual, the first man; he was also what his name means in
Hebrew - ‘humanity.’ The whole of humanity is viewed as having existed
at first in Adam.
discussion is somewhat redundant and repetitive in order to lay the
groundwork for studying Romans 5:12-21, which can be a bit confusing.
Hopefully, the following will help clarify Paul's arguments in the next
There is no warrant in the New
Testament for the heretical notion that "Adam" is simply a generic term
representing the human race. He was "one man," in fact "the
first man" (1Cor 15:45). There were no pre-Adamite men, as some have
alleged, and certainly no population of evolving hominids becoming Adam.
In fact, Christ Himself made it clear that Adam and Eve were
"from the beginning of the creation
God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE" (Mark 10:6 quoting Genesis 1:27)
Adam was a real person, directly
created and made by God, and so was Eve. The entire argument of Romans
5:12-21 becomes irrelevant if the Genesis record of the creation and
fall of Adam did not happen just as recorded in Genesis 1-3, and this
would mean there is no reality in the saving work of Christ either.
Destroying or distorting the Genesis record undermines and eventually
destroys the gospel of salvation. Such a devastating undermining of the
Christian faith is surely not warranted by the fragmentary and
self-contradictory fossil evidences that have been alleged to support
the notion of human evolution. (Morris,
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
Genesis is not a
myth or a fairy tale. It is the truth and it all began here...
When the woman saw that the tree was
good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree
was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she
gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Ge 3:6)
Note that Genesis 3 make it abundantly clear
that this one man, Adam, brought sin to the human race by disobedience.
It was not the sins of Adam’s lifetime, but the one "original sin" which
allowed death, sin’s close ally, to enter the world with it. On no less
than five occasions in Romans 5:15-19 the principle of one sin by
one man is asserted. One act of disobedience to God was
sufficient to allow sin to enter and permeate the entire realm of
This truth shuts
the mouth of liberals who would deny the literal truth of
Genesis, saying Adam was just a generic term for the human race. God
says specifically one man
thus corroborating the truth of Genesis. The entire argument of
Romans 5:12-21 becomes irrelevant if the Genesis record of the creation
and fall of Adam did not happen as recorded.
The following note is on the term
federal for it is often found in
commentaries describing Adam as our "federal head", or legal
representative of the rest of mankind that originated from him. The
federal headship view considers Adam, the first man, as the
representative of the human race that generated from him. Thus in the
federal headship model...
As the representative of all humans,
Adam’s act of sin was considered by God to be the act of all people and
his penalty of death was judicially made the penalty of everybody.
Commentary goes on to distinguish a second way of explaining the
participation of all mankind in the sin of Adam...
The natural headship view, on
the other hand, recognizes that the entire human race was seminally and
physically in Adam, the first man. As a result God considered all people
as participating in the act of sin which Adam committed and as receiving
the penalty he received. Even adherents of the federal headship view
must admit that Adam is the natural head of the human race physically;
the issue is the relationship spiritually. Biblical evidence supports
the natural headship of Adam. When presenting the superiority of
Melchizedek’s priesthood to Aaron’s, the author of Hebrews argued that
Levi, the head of the priestly tribe, “who collects the 10th, paid the
10th through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was
still in the body of his ancestor” (Heb. 7:9, 8, 9, 10).
Dallas Theological Seminary professor S Lewis Johnson favors the
"immediate federal imputation view" which says that...
Adam is the federal head of the race.
Men are regarded as having stood their probation in him as their
representative. His act was, therefore, deemed to be their act. He, the
covenantal head of the race, fell, and in him the race fell. The fact
that he was the head of the race is indicated by the fact the threats
that were given him by God on the condition of his failure of the
probation have been carried out on Adam and his posterity. All men, and
not simply Adam, die.
And so Paul begins the analogy of Christ with Adam, the common
principle being that, in each case, a far-reaching effect on countless
others was generated through one man. Adam was given but one (as far as
prohibition by God, and the consequence for disobedience of that
prohibition was severe
Then the LORD God took the man and
put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. And the
LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may
eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you
shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely
die." (Genesis 2:15-17)
And so when Adam
disobeyed God (Ro 5:12,19) sin entered into his life and generated a
constitutional change in his human nature so that our basic human nature
in Adam is that we are made sinners or constituted as
sinners (see note
indicating that we possess the innate propensity to sin which was
transmitted from Adam to all men.
Paul’s argument begins with the assertion that,
through Adam, sin entered into the world. He does not speak of sins,
plural, but of sin, singular. In this sense, as discussed below (see
note), sin does not represent a
particular unrighteous act (as when I commit a "sin") but rather the inherent propensity to
unrighteousness in thought, word and deed. It was not the many sinful acts that Adam
subsequently committed, but the indwelling sin nature that he passed on to his
posterity. Just as Adam bequeathed his physical nature to his posterity,
he also bequeathed to them his spiritual nature, and that nature was
characterized and dominated by sin.
Mankind is a single entity,
constituting a divinely ordered solidarity. Adam represents the entire
human race that is descended from him, no matter how many subgroups
there may be. Therefore when Adam sinned, all mankind sinned, and
because his first sin transformed his inner nature, and that same depraved
nature was also transmitted to his posterity. Ancient Jews understood
well the idea of corporate identity. It was on that basis that God
frequently punished or blessed an entire tribe, city, or nation because
of what a few, or even just one, of its members did. (eg see effect of Achan's sin
This background should help you understand such passages as “In Adam all die" (1Cor
The fact that Adam and Eve not only were actual historical figures but
were the original human beings from whom all others have descended is
absolutely critical to Paul’s argument here and is critical to the
efficacy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Can you see why this Old Testament truth is so
critical? If a historical Adam did not
represent all mankind in sinfulness, a historical Christ could
not represent all mankind in righteousness. If all men did not fall with
the first Adam, all men could not be saved by Christ, the second and
last Adam (1Cor 15:20, 21, 22, 45).
When Adam sinned,
all mankind sinned in his loins (Ro 5:18-note).
Adam's sin transformed his
inner nature and brought spiritual death and depravity, and that sinful
nature was passed on seminally to his posterity. This same principle of
one who is yet unborn is in a sense in the loins of his predecessor is
alluded to by the writer of Hebrews in his discussion of Abraham and
Levi (the priesthood)...
And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid
tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met
him. (see notes
Stated another way
even though Levi was not yet born, Abraham was his physical ancestor and
thus Levi is considered as to be in the loins of Abraham. In light of
that concept, what one can say is that Levi (and his descendants) who
collected the tithe from the people in Israel, in a manner of speaking
they themselves (Levi and descendents) paid a tithe to Melchizedek
through their physical ancestor Abraham. When Abraham paid the tithe, it
was as if Levi (and his descendents) paid the tithe. This same principle
is utilized by Paul in his discussion of Adam, the physical ancestor of
every human being ever born.
Bible Commentary adds...
That we could have sinned in Adam may
seem strange and unnatural to the mind of Western man. Nevertheless, it
is congenial to biblical teaching on the solidarity of mankind. When
Adam sinned, the race sinned because the race was in him. To put it
boldly, Adam was the race. What he did, his descendants, who were still
in him, did also...
If one is still troubled by the
seeming injustice of being born with a sinful nature because of what the
father of the race did and being held accountable for the sins that
result from that disability, he should weigh carefully the significance
of reconciliation as stated by Paul: "... that God was reconciling the
world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them " (2Cor
5:19). The sins committed, that owe their original impetus to the sin of
the first man, are not reckoned against those who have committed them
provided they put their trust in Christ crucified and risen. God takes
their sins and gives them his righteousness. Would we not agree that
this is more than a fair exchange? (Gaebelein,
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
So then here in one of the most enigmatic passages in the entire book,
Paul sets out to show how one Man’s death can provide salvation for
many. To prove his point, he uses Adam to establish the principle that
it is possible for one man’s actions to inexorably affect many other
Beet makes an observation (that John Piper has also made) that (Romans
incomplete for it
states only one side of an important
comparison. For, although grammatically the clause also in this way
etc. might be taken as introducing the second member of the comparison (Ed
note: that is the "second Adam", Christ), this would yield no
adequate contrast. Evidently the comparison is broken off in order to
prove the former (Adamic) side of it. The second side (Christ) is
informally introduced in (Romans 5:15-note) and the whole
comparison is formally stated in (Ro 5:18; 5:19-note).
Paul’s Jewish readers might have
been tempted to argue that this did not apply to them because of their unique descent from
"Abraham the righteous" (more accurately, "Abraham the sinner
declared righteous" -- God imputed righteousness to Abraham's
"account" in Genesis 15:6 on the basis of grace through faith - Abraham
believed God's promise and ultimately the promised Seed, the Messiah). Paul
counters any such Jewish logic, by taking them back to the beginning of
all mankind in Genesis 3, thus emphasizing their common
descent with the Gentiles from the line of "Adam the sinner". It
is interesting to observe that Paul's argument would have greater force to his Jewish readers than Genesis alone might
imply, because Jewish traditions had made Adam much more prominent than
he had been in the Old Testament (he is hardly mentioned outside
Genesis). Jewish people in this period sometimes spoke of Adam in
hyperbolic terms as if he filled the whole earth (!) or more often they
spoke of his original glory, which was
lost in the Fall in Genesis 3. And so the Jews generally believed that
Adam's sin introduced sin (and consequently death) into the world, and that all
Adam's descendants shared in his guilt.
In addition, Jewish interpreters generally believed that Adam’s original glory would be
restored to the "righteous" ones in the world to come.
makes an interesting comment...
We were so connected with the first
Adam that we did not have to wait to be born, or to have a sinful
nature; but when Adam, our representative, acted, we acted...The great
truth of Romans 5.12-21 is that a representative acted, involving those
connected with him (Romans 5)
(the) SIN ENTERED THE WORLD
AND DEATH THROUGH SIN AND SO DEATH SPREAD TO ALL MEN:
he (definite article)
(sin) eis ton kosmon eiselthen (3SAAI) kai dia tes hamartias ho thanatos:
(Ro 6:23; Ge 2:17; 3:19, 22, 23, 24; Ezek 18:4; 1Cor 15:21; Jas 1:15;
This passage is often referred to
when one seeks to explain the doctrine you may have heard described as
original sin. Original sin is a term used to describe our
inheritance of a sinful nature from Adam. The sinful nature originated
with Adam and is passed down from parent to child. We are by nature
children of wrath (Eph 2:3-note).
Ryrie notes that theologians have
used at least three different labels to describe the sin nature all men
inherit from Adam...
(1) Some call it...inherited sin.
This emphasizes the truth that all people inherit this sinful state from
their parents, and their parents from their parents, all the way back to
Adam and Eve.
(2) Others call it the sin nature,
which focuses on the fact that sin has corrupted our entire nature. The
term “sin nature” provides a clear contrast between that root nature and
its fruits (which are particular acts of sin).
(3) Still others prefer the term
original sin because Adam’s original sin produced that moral
corruption of nature that was transmitted by inheritance to each
succeeding generation. (Ryrie,
C. C.. Basic Theology : A Popular Systemic Guide to Understanding
Biblical Truth. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press. 1999
As mentioned in
this discussion of Romans 5:12-21, be aware that Scripture distinguishes
our sin nature from the sins we each commit (personal
sins). In other words, we commit sins because we are sinners by nature,
a nature we inherited from Adam.
There is a more
difficult to understand third aspect of sin which is referred to as
imputed sin, and this is the teaching that many often chaff at. Why?
Because imputed sin says (as determined from Romans 5:12) that
when Adam sinned, every man and woman ever born also sinned, because God
imputed (credited to one's account) Adam's sin to our spiritual ledger.
We don't like this truth (because we have a sinful nature!). It
doesn't sound fair, but it is simply because we do not fully comprehend
the spiritual dynamics. Rest assured that the Judge of all mankind is
always perfectly righteous and infinitely just. He is not some cosmic
ogre, but the infinitely holy God Who cannot stand sin in any form. The
truth of imputed sin will be discussed in more detail throughout
the notes on Romans 5:12-21, so if you are wrestling with this
truth, stop and pray for the Spirit's illumination.
offers the following thoughts to address our sense of indignation at
being held guilty because of Adam's sin...
(1) Everyone who protests that this
is unfair has also voluntarily committed many actual sins for which God
also holds us guilty. These will constitute the primary basis of our
judgment on the last day, for God “will render to every man according to
his works” (Ro. 2:6), and “the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong
he has done” (Col. 3:25).
(2) Moreover, some have argued, “If
any one of us were in Adam’s place, we also would have sinned as he did,
and our subsequent rebellion against God demonstrates that.” I think
this is probably true, but it does not seem to be a conclusive argument,
for it assumes too much about what would or would not happen. Such
uncertainty may not help very much to lessen someone’s sense of
(3) The most persuasive answer to the
objection is to point out that if we think it is unfair for us to be
represented by Adam, then we should also think it is unfair for us to be
represented by Christ and to have his righteousness imputed to us by
God. (Systematic theology : An introduction to biblical doctrine
Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan
is a simple summary chart (acknowledging that such charts are not a
substitute for careful study of the broad subject of sin) taken from Dr
Charles Ryrie's book
which I highly recommend as orthodox, Scripturally based and imminently
readable, and made even more so by frequent helpful illustrations.
A COMPARISON OF
THE SEVERAL ASPECTS OF SIN
Gift of the Spirit
Direct from Adam to every man
Just as through
one man sin entered the world - Note that Paul doesn’t seek to prove
that sin entered through one man but simply accepts as true God's record
through Moses in Genesis 3, where sin entered the world through Adam. As
an aside, do you see the implication of the statement "sin entered"? The
implication is that sin existed before Adam (but we won't go there)!
Notice also that it was Adam who was held responsible for the fall of
man, not his wife Eve. In his first epistle to Timothy, Paul explained
it was not Adam who was deceived, but
the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression. (1Timothy
To be sure Eve
sinned when she was deceived. On the other hand, Adam, without being
deceived, and with knowledge of what he was doing, deliberately chose to
disobey God. Thus Adam was more accountable for his disobedience than
In the book of
beginnings, Moses records the historical event...
When the woman saw that the tree was
good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree
was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she
gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of
them were opened, and they knew that they were naked (note how guilt
immediately followed their commission of sin); and they sewed fig leaves
together and made themselves loin coverings. (Genesis 3:6, 7)
Ryrie Study Bible
comments that "Their sin was more than merely eating forbidden fruit;
it was disobeying the revealed word of God, believing the lie of Satan,
and placing their own wills above God's. Sin, with all its dreadful
consequences, now entered the human race and the world in general."
God had "drawn a line in the sand" so to speak and they walk across it
or transgressed, hence the term transgression, which Paul uses 6
times in Romans 5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
It is vitally
important to understand the meaning of the phrase "the Sin" before you can understand
Romans 6, where Sin is personified as an active, ruling
principle in every individual's life (Romans 5:21, 6:12-13, 6:17, 6:19-see notes
is the Greek word
[word study] which originally conveyed the idea of
missing the mark (as when hunting with a bow and arrow and not hitting
the target - see this literal use of the most common Hebrew word for
"sin" - Jdg 20:16-note!) and then came to mean missing or
falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose.
In the theological
sense as used most often in Scripture the word sin describes
one's thoughts, words or deeds which so often miss the ultimate purpose
that God would intend them to have (i.e., they "miss" His will). Stated another way, our thoughts, words
and/or deeds fall
short of God’s perfect standard of holiness. Now here is where the
definition of Sin as used in Romans 5-8 can become a bit confusing.
First note that
Sin (hamartia) here in Romans 5:12 is singular and
thus is not sins but sin. (see
list of all similar uses of hamartia
in Ro 5-8) The
significance of this small grammatical detail becomes more apparent from the next fact
(so don't check out yet!)
In many (in fact, most) of Paul's uses of hamartia in
Romans 5-8, he places the
definite article "the" before sin
(this "the" is not translated in most English
versions for it would be somewhat cumbersome to read).
So what does this
phrase "the Sin" signify? In short, Paul
is speaking of sin as an entity, not sins in general. From the context
(Romans 5-8) "The Sin" is clearly used figuratively, in what is referred to as a metonym
(derived from "meta" = with + "onym" = name") which
describes the substitution of a word referring to an attribute for the
thing that is meant (eg, the use of the word "crown" to refer to
the entire "monarchy").
Now are you really confused? What
Paul is doing by using the phrase "The Sin" is to use this word not
to describe the actions or results (sins [plural]
which are committed) but to describe the
underlying root cause, the basic principle or, in medical terms (I'm a
physician with sub specialization in infectious disease), the "virus"
that killed (first spiritually and later physically) Adam and which has
infected all men for all men can trace their physical lineage to the
Think of The Sin
as analogous to a highly
contagious, 100% lethal virus which every man, woman and child has
because every person alive is related to Adam, the
first man, who himself was infected. Or think of The Sin as
analogous to an abnormal "gene" which transmits a defective
moral/ethical "DNA code" to all of Adam's offspring, this
defective code explaining why every individual commits sins (plural). In
other words, we all continually commit sins because we all have
inherited the defective "sin gene". Try to keep this
distinction in mind when reading Romans 5-8, where Paul refers
primarily to "the sin gene" ("the sin virus"), which is the underlying root cause of why we do the
wicked things we do. In most of the uses of sin in these chapters Paul
is not speaking of individual sins that we commit.
Wayne Barber explains that
When you see the word sin in Romans 5, take a pencil and write
by it "The" (so that it reads "the Sin"). When the definite article
"the" (Ed note:
look at the Greek sentence above. Do you see the Greek word "he" before "hamartia"?
The "he" is the definite article in Greek, corresponding to the
English definite article "the") is used in Scripture, it is very
important because it is identifying something as very specific. "Sin"
occurs in Romans 5 and 6 most often with the definite article. In English, we
might say "the cup," where
the definite article (the) means, not just any cup, but the
specific cup. (Romans 5:12-14)
(Bolding and italics added)
To reiterate, Paul is not
speaking of a particular sin
(as selected out from among many sins that one might commit), but
instead refers to the
inherent propensity to sin that entered the
human heart, which in turn made Adam a sinner by nature.
Adam then passed the inherent sinful nature he
possessed to all his offspring. Yes it was only a single act of disobedience,
but it opened his heart to the entrance of the sin (nature,
principle). This same "Adamic" nature is present
in every person ever born from
the moment of conception.
Kenneth Wuest explains SIN
in Romans 6 writing that
The first thing we must settle is
regarding the word sin, is whether
it refers (in context) to sin as an abstraction, namely, to acts of sin committed
by the believer or to the totally depraved nature still in him? A rule
of Greek syntax settles the question. The definite article (Ed note:
Definite article equates with the Greek word for "the") appears
before the word (Sin) in the Greek text. Here the article (the) points back to a
previously mentioned sin defined in its context. The reference is to
reigning as king (Ro 5:21-note).
is personified since it reigns as a
king. But one cannot conceive of acts of
sin reigning as king in the
life of a person. They (individual acts of sin) are the result of some dominant factor reigning
as a king. That can only be the evil nature still resident in the
Christian. And here is the key to the interpretation of the entire
chapter (Romans 6). Every time the word sin is used in this chapter as a noun, it
refers to the evil nature in the Christian.
Read the following verses and substitute the words sinful nature
for the word sin, and see
what a flood of light is thrown upon your understanding of this section
of God’s Word (Ro 6:1, 2, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23). (Bolding
and color added)
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the
Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
Another way of looking at this issue
is to note that the sin is singular (in contrast to
plural sins as in Ro 3:25-note,
- the only 3 uses of "sins" plural in
Romans) and does not refer to the
ongoing death of specific sins which is part of our
spiritual growth or sanctification. Rather the term sin in
this verse refers to sin as a controlling power and as an
enslaving tyrant, who prior to our salvation held "full sway" over our
moral/ethical decisions! Paul's point is that believers have died in
relation to the power sin was had over us as believers. And remember, it
does not make one whit of difference whether or not you "feel" like this
is true in your life. Paul's point is that if you are genuinely
regenerate by the Spirit, you have been set free from the ruling power
of the old tyrant Sin. He does not say you will never commit individuals
sins again, for all believers still have the unredeemed (and
unredeemable!) fallen flesh nature that seeks to coerce us to miss God's
mark (sin) or sidestep His perfect path (transgression, trespass). At
the time of Justification believers are set free once and for all
from the ruling power of sin, but now in sanctification we must
daily, moment by moment fight the battle with our residual, dethroned
enemy and we now can do so infused by and controlled by God's Spirit (cp
In Psalm 51,
notice how David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
Behold (Hebrew = "Listen up!"
for what I have to say is important!) I was brought forth in
iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. (Ps 51:5)
C H Spurgeon comments on David's
Behold, I was shapen in
iniquity. He is thunderstruck at the discovery of his inbred
sin, and proceeds to set it forth. This was not intended to justify
himself, but it rather meant to complete the confession. It is as if he
said, not only have I sinned this once, but I am in my very nature a
sinner. The fountain of my life is polluted as well as its
streams. My birth tendencies are out of the square of equity; I
naturally lean to forbidden things. Mine is a constitutional
disease, rendering my very person obnoxious to Thy wrath.
And in sin did my mother
conceive me. He goes back to the earliest moment of his being,
not to traduce (expose to shame or blame) his mother, but to acknowledge
the deep tap roots of his sin.
It is a wicked wresting of Scripture
to deny that original sin and natural depravity are here
taught. Surely men who cavil (raise trivial objections) at this doctrine
have need to be taught of the Holy Spirit what be the first principles
of the faith. David's mother was the Lord's handmaid, he was born in
chaste wedlock, of a good father, and he was himself, "the man after
God's own heart;" and yet his nature was as fallen as that of any other
son of Adam, and there only needed the occasion for the manifesting of
that sad fact. In our shaping we were put out of shape, and when we were
conceived our nature conceived sin. Alas, for poor humanity! Those who
will (desire or choose to do so), may cry it up, but he is most blessed
who in his own soul has learned to lament his lost estate.
(see full note) (Bolding added)
Beloved this truth that even
newborn babes possess a sin nature may cause you considerable angst,
especially if you have ever had a young child die. We do not have time
to address this topic fully, but it is my belief that although babies
and young infants are indeed "little sinners", nevertheless they will
enter into the eternal presence of God if they die during this period.
Upon the death of his infant son (who was conceived in adultery), David
But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I
bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return
to me. (2Samuel 12:23)
Henry Morris in the
Defenders Study Bible
writes "David's infant son, dead before he was able to discern right
from wrong, was safe in Christ...David thus was confident he would be
with his child in the ages to come, after the great resurrection day. He
knew that he himself would "dwell in the house of the Lord forever"
[Psalm 23:6] and so would his infant son."
Wayne Grudem: Are Infants Guilty Before They
Commit Actual Sins? Some maintain that Scripture teaches an “age of
accountability” before which young children are not held responsible for
sin and are not counted guilty before God. However, the passages
noted...about “inherited sin” indicate that even before birth children
have a guilty standing before God and a sinful nature that not only
gives them a tendency to sin but also causes God to view them as
“sinners.” “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my
mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5). The passages that speak of final
judgment in terms of actual sinful deeds that have been done (e.g., Ro
2:6–11) do not say anything about the basis of judgment when there have
been no individual actions of right or wrong, as with children dying in
early infancy. In such cases we must accept the Scriptures that talk
about ourselves as having a sinful nature from before the time of birth.
Furthermore, we must realize that a child’s sinful nature manifests
itself very early, certainly within the first two years of a child’s
life, as anyone who has raised children can affirm. (David says, in
another place, “The wicked go astray from the womb they err from their
birth,” Ps. 58:3.)
But then what do we say about infants who die
before they are old enough to understand and believe the gospel? Can
they be saved?
Here we must say that if such infants are saved,
it cannot be on their own merits, or on the basis of their own
righteousness or innocence, but it must be entirely on the basis of
Christ’s redemptive work and regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit
within them. “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1Ti 2:5). “Unless one is born anew, he
cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Yet it certainly is possible for God to bring
regeneration (that is, new spiritual life) to an infant even before he
or she is born. This was true of John the Baptist, for the angel
Gabriel, before John was born, said, “He will be filled with the Holy
Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). We might say that John
the Baptist was “born again” before he was born! There is a similar
example in Psalm 22:10: David says, “Since my mother bore me you have
been my God.” It is clear, therefore, that God is able to save infants
in an unusual way, apart from their hearing and understanding the
gospel, by bringing regeneration to them very early, sometimes even
before birth. This regeneration is probably also followed at once by a
nascent, intuitive awareness of God and trust in him at an extremely
early age, but this is something we simply cannot understand.
We must, however, affirm very clearly that this is
not the usual way for God to save people. Salvation usually occurs when
someone hears and understands the gospel and then places trust in
Christ. But in unusual cases like John the Baptist, God brought
salvation before this understanding. And this leads us to conclude that
it certainly is possible that God would also do this where he knows the
infant will die before hearing the gospel.
How many infants does God save in this way?
Scripture does not tell us, so we simply cannot know. Where Scripture is
silent, it is unwise for us to make definitive pronouncements. However,
we should recognize that it is God’s frequent pattern throughout
Scripture to save the children of those who believe in him (see Ge 7:1;
cf. Heb. 11:7; Josh. 2:18; Ps. 103:17; John 4:53; Acts 2:39; 11:14(?);
16:31; 18:8; 1 Cor. 1:16; 7:14; Titus 1:6; cf. Matt. 18:10, 14). These
passages do not show that God automatically saves the children of all
believers (for we all know of children of godly parents who have grown
up and rejected the Lord, and Scripture also gives such examples as Esau
and Absalom), but they do indicate that God’s ordinary pattern, the
“normal” or expected way in which he acts, is to bring the children of
believers to himself. With regard to believers’ children who die very
young, we have no reason to think that it would be otherwise.
Particularly relevant here is the case of the
first child Bathsheba bore to King David. When the infant child had
died, David said, “I shall go to him but he will not return to me” (2Sa
12:23). David, who through his life had such great confidence that he
would live forever in the Lord’s presence (see Ps. 23:6, and many of
David’s psalms), also had confidence that he would see his infant son
again when he died. This can only imply that he would be with his son in
the presence of the Lord forever. This passage, together with the
others mentioned above, should be of similar assurance to all believers
who have lost children in their infancy, that they will one day see them
again in the glory of the heavenly kingdom.
Regarding the children of unbelievers who die at a
very early age Scripture is silent. We simply must leave that matter in
the hands of God and trust him to be both just and merciful. If they are
saved, it will not be on the basis of any merit of their own or any
innocence that we might presume that they have. If they are saved, it
will be on the basis of Christ’s redeeming work; and their regeneration,
like that of John the Baptist before he was born, will be by God’s mercy
and grace. Salvation is always because of his mercy, not because of our
merits (see Rom. 9:14–18). Scripture does not allow us to say more than
Theology An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
- Highly Recommended very readable book on
David had the assurance that
his baby would meet him in heaven. The renowned expositor John MacArthur
In no place does Scripture teach infant damnation.
Rather, every biblical reference—whether oblique or direct—to the issue
of infants and children who die gives us reason to believe they go
immediately into the eternal presence of God. I cannot help but conclude
that our Lord graciously and freely receives all those who die in
infancy—not on the basis of their innocence or their worthiness, but by
His grace, made theirs through the atonement He purchased on the cross.
These little ones experience salvation grounded in absolute sovereignty
and comprehensive grace. Yes, children are sinners by nature. Babies are
not without a sin nature—they are, however, without sin deeds. Yes,
children are in need of a Savior. Yes, God has provided a Savior for
them, Jesus Christ. Yes, all children who die before they reach a state
of moral awareness and culpability in which they understand their sin
and corruption—so that their sins are deliberate—are graciously saved
eternally by God through the work of Jesus Christ. They are counted as
elect by sovereign choice because they are innocent of willful sin,
rebellion, and unbelief, by which works they would be justly condemned
to eternal punishment. (Excerpt from Dr MacArthur's book which I would
highly recommend if you have questions or doubts concerning the topic -
In hardcover - Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from
Heaven About the Death of a Child - Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2003
or for your computer
In a parallel passage David
The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who
speak lies go astray from birth. (Psalm 58:3)
The wicked are estranged from the womb. It
is small wonder that some men persecute the righteous seed of the woman,
since all of them are of the serpent's brood, and enmity is set between
them. No sooner born than alienated from God -- what a condition to be
They go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Every
observer may see how very soon infants act lies. Before they can speak
they practice little deceptive arts. This is especially the case in
those who grow up to be adept in slander, they begin their evil trade
early, and there is no marvel that they become adept in it. He who
starts early in the morning will go far before night. To be untruthful
is one of the surest proofs of a fallen state, and since falsehood is
universal, so also is human depravity
(principle, "lethal virus", "defective gene") in each
individual makes it impossible for man to live in a way that pleases God.
We all "miss the mark" because of this inherent propensity which
determines our behavior.
A T Robertson adds here in Romans 5:12 that the Sin is
personified by Paul...
represented as coming from the outside into the world of human. Paul
does not discuss the origin of evil beyond this fact. There are some
today who deny the fact of sin at all and who call it merely "an error
of mortal mind" (a notion) while others regard it as merely an animal
inheritance devoid of ethical quality.
(eiserchomai from eis = into, a preposition of motion into
any place or thing + erchomai = come) literally means to come
into and so to enter into. Eiserchomai is in the
which signifies that at a certain point in time sin "went in the
world's front door (by means of Adam's sin)" (Walvoord).
Sin is personified as an evil that invaded the perfect Garden setting. Adam sinned, and at that point in time, the
consequence of his sin was immediate for at that moment, the "deadly
virus" named the sin
entered into the world and spread to "infect" the entire human race.
makes the point that the preposition
in the verb
Instead of signifying "to" all
men, is more literally "into" (1519)
all men... What a picture! When Adam sinned, out of his body was passed
the seed of Sin into all mankind -- into
man. the death. the sin. Every man born of
man and woman on this earth is born into the sin, is born
into Adam, is born into the
death. And this consequence results without them ever having
done anything. (see
answers to the objections this truth raises)
(eis) conveys the idea of motion into some place or some thing.
related to kosmeo = to arrange or put in order
from komeo = tend, take care of) according to W E Vine means "a
harmonious arrangement or order,” then, “adornment, decoration,” came to
denote “the world, or the universe, as that which is divinely arranged.”
What a tragic irony that the sin and its corrupting, destructive
effects entered into a place of such "harmonious arrangement and order"!
Kosmos is often thus used to denote human beings--the race, the
human family. Kosmos is the same word used in John 3:16 where God
so loved the world, the sinful human family composed of sinners.
through sin - Paul personifies Death as entering the world through
(thanatos) indicates the opposite of life and the absence of life
and in the NT is seen as the consequence and punishment of sin. Death
speaks of separation, physically of the soul from the body and
spiritually of the soul from God. Note that death does not signify
either annihilation or extinction. Here in Romans 5:12 Paul speaks not
of death in general but "the death", in a sense personifying
death as using sin as its point of entry into the world. Before the
sin there was no the death.
that thanatos in Romans 5 is primarily a reference...
to the (physical) death of the
body, as is indicated in verse 14. The term may, however, have a
more general sense, as including death spiritual and eternal;
for these are the penal consequences of sin,
and the whole argument points to death as a penalty thereof. Moreover,
the life which is brought to the believer through Christ is set in
contrast to death (Romans 5:17-note)
and this eternal life is more than simply antithetic to physical death.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
comments on death writing that...
Death is a Divine decree
It is appointed to men once to die
and after this comes judgment (He 9:27-note)
Death involves four consequences:
(1) The utter ending of what we call
(2) Falling consciously into the
fearful hands of that power under which men have during their lifetime
lightly lived, unprotected from the indescribable terrors and horrors
(3) Being imprisoned in
- in "the pit wherein is no water, " as was Dives (a Latin adjective
meaning "rich," which occurs in this passage in the Vulgate = the rich
man) in Lk 16:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. Compare Zech 9:11
(4) Exposure to the coming judgment
and its eternal consequences. Of course, the believer is rescued from
all this-even physical death, -from bodily "falling asleep, " if Christ
comes during his lifetime! while it is true of all saints, those who
keep Christ's word, that they shall "never see death" (Jn 8:51). Death
and judgment are past for the believer, Christ his Substitute having
endured them. Nevertheless, in this day of mad pleasure-seeking,
it certainly behooves all of us to reflect on the fearful realities
connected with death!
(dierchomai from dia = through + erchomai =
go) means literally to go through or to pass throughout. It speaks of
complete movement in a particular direction. To spread means to to send
or be sent out in all directions, as for example a highly contagious
deadly virus disseminating and spreading completely through an entire
population. Paul uses this verb to describe the veritable
diffusion of sin and death among mankind. His phrase "upon all men"
emphasizes that the diffusion is universal in scope.
- 43x in 42v - Matt 12:43; 19:24; Mark 4:35; 10:25; Luke 2:15, 35; 4:30;
5:15; 8:22; 9:6; 11:24; 17:11; 19:1, 4; John 4:4, 15; Acts 8:4, 40;
9:32, 38; 10:38; 11:19, 22; 12:10; 13:6, 14; 14:24; 15:3, 41; 16:6;
17:23; 18:23, 27; 19:1, 21; 20:2, 25; Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 10:1; 16:5; 2 Cor
1:16; Heb 4:14
Some say the
preposition dia in dierchomai emphasizes the force of
distribution so that what Paul is saying is that death "made its way to
each individual member of the race".
comments on spread to all men writing that the verb spread
Passed through; pervaded; spread over
the whole race, as pestilence passes through, or pervades a nation.
death, with its train of woes, with its withering and blighting
influence, has passed through the world, laying prostrate all before it.
(Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)
With the sin came, the consequences (cf the law of
sowing and reaping,
Gal 6:7, 8)
of that sin came
so (the) death spread to all
because all sinned.
Every grave gives a silent testimony to
the spread and reign of sin since the time of Adam.
As C H Spurgeon lamented...
Oh, the awful
which sin had thus to turn the world into one vast cemetery, and to slay
the whole human race (from his sermon "Lost Through One; Saved Through
One" on Romans 5:16)
Barnhouse comments that...
Some who read
these words may react against the truth that we set forth. But we remind
that we do not originate truth, we reflect it. We teach only what is in
the Word of God. If you quarrel with us, you must first prove that we
are teaching what the Bible does not teach.
Note that again the definite article is
before "death", so we could read it as "the sin of Adam affected
the death" which was the consequence God had warned Adam
that "in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." (Ge 2:17).
And so it happened that Adam ate and so entered...
through THE sin, and so THE
death spread to all men."
Through ONE MAN
(Adam) "the SIN" entered at a specific point in time and it passed
through or went through (out) the entire world. Notice that the verb entered
implies that before that time the death was outside the world.
there was no death before sin entered
the world. The finished creation was "very good" (Genesis 1:31), with an
abundance of food and all other provisions for man and animals. There
was certainly no struggle for existence, or survival of the fittest, for
every creature was created fit for its own environment. When Adam
sinned, God brought the curse of decay and death not only upon Adam but
also upon all His dominion (Ge 3:17, 18, 19, 20; 1Co 15:21,22;
Romans 8:20, 21, 22). (Morris,
Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing)
C H Spurgeon
Ask Noah as he looks out of his ark,
"Does sin bring bitterness?" and he points to the floating carcasses
of innumerable thousands that died because of sin (Ge 7:21). Turn to Abraham.
Does sin bring bitterness? He points to the smoke of Sodom and Gomorrah
that God destroyed because of their wickedness (Ge
19). Ask Moses, and he
reminds you of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who were swallowed up alive (Nu
Adam was not
originally subject to death, but through his sin, death became a grim
certainty for him and his posterity. Notice here a plain assertion that
all men die because Adam sinned...
For as in Adam all die, so also in
Christ all shall be made alive. (1Cor 15:22)
Even tiny babies
can die, not because they have committed sins but because they have been
born with a sin nature, the ultimate consequence of which is death.
A person does not become a
sinner by committing sins
but rather commits sins because he or she is by
nature a sinner.
A person does not become a liar when he tells a lie.
tells a lie because his heart is already deceitful for as Jesus clearly
out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,
thefts, false witness, slanders. (Mt 15:19)
Penalty for Adam's Sin
Three Kinds of Death
Although there are
are three aspects to the death that is the result of sin, the penalty is
SPIRITUAL: Death conveys the sense of separation, and
Adam’s first death was spiritual separation from God, which he
experienced immediately after his disobedience.
And you were dead in your trespasses
and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this
world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit
that is now working in the sons of disobedience. (see notes
(2) PHYSICAL: Physical
death brings separation of one's soul from his body and separation from fellow human beings.
Adam died physically at 930 years of age.
By the sweat of your face You shall
eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were
taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:19) (Comment:
"Dust...to dust" is clearly a reference to physical death).
So all the days that Adam lived were
nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. (Genesis 5:5)
And inasmuch as it is appointed for
men to die once (once for all time = excludes possibility of
re-incarnation) and after this comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27-note)
This aspect of death
Second death) includes not only eternal separation from God
(Ge 3:22, 23, 24 describes the beginning of this separation when Adam was
driven from the Garden and barred from entering), but
eternal torment in the lake of fire...
And I saw a great white throne and
Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and
no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the
small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another
book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged
from the things which were written in the books, according to their
deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and
Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every
one of them according to their deeds. 14 And death and Hades were thrown
into the lake of fire. This is the
Lake of fire.
15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the
book of life,
he was thrown into the
Lake of fire.
In summary, when Adam sinned,
he immediately died spiritually. Then after living "930 years...he died"
(Genesis 5:5). Finally , as best we can discern, Adam was brought to
faith and thus escaped eternal death. Unbelieving man is spiritually
dead when he is born which leads to physical death and then to eternal
death unless he receives the remedy for spiritual death which is eternal
life, the gift of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the
suffering and crucified Savior. The remedy of physical death is the
bodily resurrection, which takes place at the coming of the Lord Jesus
Christ for believers. For eternal death there is no remedy!
BECAUSE ALL SINNED: eph ho pantes hemarton (3PAAI): (Ro
3:23; Jas 3:2; 1Jn 1:8, 9, 10)
clause may seem straightforward, it has been one of the major
interpretative battlegrounds among theologians and if interested in a
more detailed discussion consult one of the conservative works on
systematic theology. The question this clause raises is "In what sense
have all sinned"?
Some for example
hold the view that Paul is referring to the actual personal sins of
individuals, those sins we all commit daily (e.g., Calvin seems to favor
this view). Since sinned is not in the
(sin continuously which might be rendered "because all are
continually sinning" or "continually committing sins") but
(point in time action, whether past, present or future determined by
context) this interpretation is less viable. Secondly, in the
context of Romans 5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19 Paul repeatedly insists that only one
sin of one man (not all of us) is the culprit. Let's review...
the transgression of the
one the many died (see Romans 5:15-note)
the judgment arose from one
transgression resulting in condemnation (see
by the transgression of the
one, death reigned through the one (see Romans 5:17-note)
through one transgression
there resulted condemnation to all men (see Romans 5:18-note)
through the one man's
disobedience the many were made sinners (see Romans 5:19-ntoe)
In light of this
context and Paul's repetition of one sin of one man it is not
surprising that the most widely held interpretation is that Adam's one
act was deemed mankind's act and his one sin was their sin, as difficult
as that truth might be for many to accept. The Scriptures clearly state
that "the many" sinned in Adam (in Ro 5:12, Ro 5:18 = "if by the
transgression of the one the many died" and Ro 5:19
= "the one man's disobedience the many were
made sinners") which supports this view. Furthermore, Adam was a
representative head, for the promises of dominion given to him were also
given to the entire human race. Similarly, the warning of punishment
given to Adam was also for the entire human race, as the consequences of
his sin indicate. In short, this interpretation holds that all have
sinned in their representative head, Adam and this resulted in
"condemnation to all men" (see Romans 5:18-note).
Think of the illustration where if a general is defeated, every one of
his soldiers is defeated. Adam acted for the human race because he was
the head of it. Because all humanity existed in the loins of Adam (cf
Hebrews 7:9; 10-notes
and have through procreation inherited his fallenness and depravity, it
can be said that all sinned in him. Therefore, humans are not sinners
because they sin, but sin because they are sinners.
though somewhat difficult to grasp is also found in a passage with
exactly the opposite implication where Paul writes that...
One died for all and therefore
all died (2Co 5:14-notes)
In this passage in
Second Corinthians Paul is speaking of the identification of believers
with their Substitute, the One Who died in their place. The context is
clearly referring those who have placed their faith in Christ, so that
when He died we died with Him (Ro 6:3ff-note).
And so by analogy, just as all who are in Adam (the whole race) became
sinners because of Adam's one sin, so also all who are in Christ (those
who believe) "are made righteous" (Ro 5:19-note)
because of His death.
adds that Paul's...
whole point is that all acted when Adam acted: all
sinned. We have remarked on the
aorist tense, "sinned" in connection
with its use in Romans 3. To translate it here "have sinned"
(as in KJV) is
utterly to obscure the Scripture, making man’s "sinner ship" to depend on
his own acts rather than on Adam’s, the latter being the whole point of
the passage. (Romans 5)
The Sin went
through the world in the same way all mankind was in the "loins"
of Adam and so the curse comes from Adam. The death spread or “went through,”
or penetrated the entire human race, like a vapor
permeating every room in a house.
To reiterate, men are not sinners because they sin, but rather they sin because they
are sinners. Stated another way, you don't need to see an act of sin to ''prove'' you
are a sinner. Paul is saying we are sinners by virtue of the fact that we
were in Adam ("in Adam's loins") when he
sinned. He was like a ''federal'' head or representative of the entire human race.
J Vernon McGee
reviews this somewhat difficult to grasp concept...
It is on the basis of the federal
headship of Adam that now God is able through the federal headship of
Christ to save those who will trust Christ. This is what theologians
have labeled the federal headship. Adam and Christ are representatives
of the human race. Adam is the natural head of the human race... the
natural head. And his one act of disobedience plunged his entire
offspring into sin. We are all made sinners by Adam’s sin.
First, let’s see what this does not
mean. It does not refer to the fact that we have a sinful nature
inherited from Adam. It is true that I got a sinful nature from my
father, and he from his father, and on back. Also, I passed on that
nature to my child and to my grandchildren... Although you and I do have
sinful natures and do pass them on to our offspring, this particular
verse does not refer to that fact.
Also, the verse before us that says
all have sinned (KJV) does not mean that we are guilty of a
sinful act. Of course, we are guilty, but that is not what the verse is
talking about. (Ed note: He is referring here to our daily committing
It does refer to the fact that we are
so vitally connected with the first father of the human race that before
we even had a human nature, before we had committed a sin, even before
we were born, we were sinners in Adam... Adam’s sin was imputed
(Ed note: reckoned, placed on our "account" so to speak) to us. What
Adam did, we did. God could put all of us in a Garden of Eden and give
us the same test He gave to Adam. Do you think you would do any better
with your sinful nature than Adam did without a sinful nature? I don’t
think so. We might as well accept the fact that Adam’s one act of
disobedience made all of us sinners. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson
(pas) means all without exception. It includes the idea of the
whole (of humanity in this context).
(hamartano) means to miss the mark and so to miss God's will and
purpose for one's life. The
is constative (summary) aorist which in simple terms means that at one
point in time all men sinned. To what point in time does Paul refer? It
was the time when Adam first sinned. His sin became mankind’s sin,
because all mankind were in his loins, so to speak.
A T Robertson adds that
is what is referred to as
active indicative of hamartano, gathering up in this one tense the
history of the race.
explains that constative aorist refers to a verb in the
that, along with other contextual features, presents the action simply,
in summary, or as a whole. Also called complexive, comprehensive,
global, historical, punctiliar, simple or summary. (DeMoss, M. S. Pocket
Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek. Downers Grove,
Ill.: InterVarsity Press)
Because all humanity existed in the loins of Adam, and have through
procreation inherited his fallenness and depravity, it can be said that
all sinned in him. Therefore, to reiterate, humans are not sinners because they sin,
but rather they sin because they are sinners.
This section as with other sections in Romans speaks to what some have
referred to as the doctrine of total depravity. What does this
to? Total depravity is the doctrine that says fallen man is completely
touched by sin and that he is completely a sinner. He is not as bad as
he could be, but in all areas of his being, the totality of his being -- body, soul, spirit, mind,
emotions, etc. -- he is polluted by the sin principle. In that sense,
then, he is exhibits total
depravity. Because all men are totally depraved, nothing good can come out of
as Paul taught us in Romans 3:10-12 writing...
as it is written, "THERE IS
NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS
ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."
explains because all sinned as follows...
For some reason scholars over the years have had
trouble with this. Personally I think it is relatively simple...Nobody had been born yet at that time
was only Adam and Eve. Yet all have sinned because of Adam's sin. What
does that mean? It doesn’t mean that you have to commit an act of sin
to prove that you are a sinner. You are a sinner whether you think
you have committed an act of sin or not. You are a sinner because you
were represented in Adam when Adam sinned. When Adam sinned, you were
IN Adam, even though you weren’t born yet. The sin that was attached
to Adam and the death that was attached to Adam is now attached to the
entire human race.
The Bible gives us another example of how this
works. Look at Hebrews 7:9-note, where the writer is speaking of Melchizedek, who
had no beginning and no end (a type of Christ), and how Abraham paid
tithes to Melchizedek.
"And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who
received tithes, paid tithes."
Now, Levi was a priest. He was one of the 12 sons
of Jacob who was later named Israel. He received tithes as a priest, but
how did he pay tithes? Hebrews 7:10-note continues,
for he was still in the loins of his father when
Melchizedek met him.
Levi was the great-grandson of Abraham. When
Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, in effect Levi paid it, even though
he wasn’t born -- Levi paid it because he was in effect still in
Abraham's loins—he was unborn. What
Abraham did had an effect on Levi.
That is what Paul is saying about
Adam. He is saying when Adam sinned we were all in the loins of Adam. He
was the first man and Eve was the first woman on this earth. They began
to have children, and the seed of the sin, the nature of sin, was passed on
from man to man to man. Therefore the whole human race was "infected" by
Some years ago there was an incident in Restin,
Virginia that illustrates this point. Some monkeys from the Philippines
were brought into the US, and were discovered to have a disease for which there
no known cure. The disease affected some of the people who were treating them
and they had to immediately isolate the buildings and entire complex in
order to isolate the contagious virus.
One bite from an infected monkey could have infected the whole nation
and then the whole world if the virus had not been immediately
In an analogous way, Adam infected the whole human
race when he sinned - he infected the world with the virus of the sin. We are born into
So, what is it that causes a man to be born ungodly, a sinner, an enemy of God? It’s
nothing he has ever done, but it is what Adam did. The curse comes from
and has infected the entire human race. (Romans 5:12-14
Need To Be Justified By Faith)
is one of those "watershed" doctrines, being generally believed by the
Calvinists and rejected by the Arminians.
Adam’s initial sin constituted him a sinner in which all human beings
participated, and which brings death to all. It is not surprising that
many people object to these somewhat difficult to grasp (or "swallow") truths. John
MacArthur addresses some of the common objections writing that...
Some object to the idea that they
sinned in Adam, arguing that they not only were not there but did not
even exist when he sinned. But by the same token, we were not physically
at the crucifixion when Christ died, but as believers we willingly
accept the truth that, by faith, we died with Him. We did not literally
enter the grave with Christ and were not literally resurrected with Him,
but by faith we are accounted to have been buried and raised with Him.
If the principle were not true that all sinned in Adam, it would be
impossible to make the point that all can be made righteous in Christ...
Others argue that it is not fair to
be born guilty of Adam’s sin. “We did not asked to be born,” they
argue, “nor did our parents or their parents or grandparents before
them.” But neither was it “fair” that the sinless Son of God suffered
the penalty of sin on behalf of all mankind. If God were only fair, Adam
and Eve would have been destroyed immediately for their disobedience,
and that would have been the end of the human race. It is only because
God is gracious and forgiving, and not merely just, that men can be
saved. The magnitude of Paul’s analogy is mind-boggling, and its
significance cannot be fully comprehended but only accepted by faith. (MacArthur,
J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press
a similar comment observing that...
We may not like the fact that we are
made sinners by the work of another man. We may protest, and say, “I
want to stand on my own two feet, and not be made a sinner because of
the work of another man.” Nevertheless, it is fair to be made righteous
by the work of another man only if we are also made sinners by the work
of another man. If we aren’t made sinners by Adam, then it isn’t fair
for us to be made righteous by Jesus. (Romans 5)
><> ><> ><>
Is man totally
depraved? Even newspaper columnists like Dear Abby recognize the the
fallen nature of man!
Abby: I am 44 and would like to meet a man my age with no bad habits.
Dear Rose: So would I.
><> ><> ><>
HOW DEPRAVED IS MAN?
ANSWER: TOTALLY! READ ON...
October 7, 1969 the Montreal, Canada police force went on strike.
Because of what resulted, the day has been called Black Tuesday. A
burglar and a policeman were slain. Forty-nine persons were wounded or
injured in rioting. Nine bank holdups were committed, almost a tenth of
the total number of holdups the previous year along with 17 robberies at
gunpoint. Usually disciplined, peaceful citizens joined the riffraff and
went wild, smashing some 1,000 plate glass windows in a stretch of 21
business blocks in the heart of the city, hauling away stereo units,
radios, TVs and wearing apparel. While looters stripped windows of
valuable merchandise, professional burglars entered stores by doors and
made off with truckloads of goods. A smartly dressed man scampered down
a street with a fur coat over each arm with no police around, anarchy
Of Degeneration - The Bible does not say
that God punished the human race for one man's
sin; but that the disposition of sin, viz., my
claim to my right to myself, entered into the
human race by one man, and that another Man took
on Him the sin of the human race and put it away
(Heb. 9:26) - an infinitely profounder
revelation. The disposition of sin is not
immorality and wrong-doing, but the disposition
of self-realization - I am my own god. This
disposition may work out in decorous morality or
in indecorous immorality, but it has the one
basis, my claim to my right to myself. When Our
Lord faced men with all the forces of evil in
them, and men who were clean living and moral
and up right, He did not pay any attention to
the moral degradation of the one or to the moral
attainment of the other; He looked at something
we do not see, viz., the disposition.
Sin is a thing I am born with and I cannot touch
it; God touches sin in Redemption. In the Cross
of Jesus Christ God redeemed the whole human
race from the possibility of damnation through
the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a man
responsible for having the heredity of sin. The
condemnation is not that I am born with a
heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus
Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to
let Him do so, from that moment I begin to get
the seal of damnation. "And this is the
judgment" (the critical moment), "that the light
is come into the world, and men loved the
darkness rather than the light." (Oswald