Why, Adam, Why
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Rom. 512 (Holman) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.
Paul celebrated Jesus death for us. To help us appreciate Christs redemptive work more, Paul will give us an important history lesson about sin itself. He pointed us to the beginning of our race, to Adam, from whom at least three problems issue.
One, the intrusion of sin. Sin was not in Gods original plan. Evil invaded our realm, and intruded where it did not belong. It entered as a foe, a wolf, and a plague or maybe it would best be described as a monstrous tidal wave. Adam damaged the dike, and the tidal wave rushed in, wreaking destruction everywhere.
Whatever our ultimate theological position regarding original sin and human depravity, we all must agree the Bible teaches that the whole history of the world was changed by the sin of Adam. Gods dealings with humans were forever altered.
Since God was Creator and Lord, it was incumbent on Him to do something about the havoc Adams sin introduced. Had God done nothing, it would have been an abdication of His throne. Absolute anarchy and total chaos would have prevailed.
God could not destroy all of us, for that would have been admitting defeat to Satan. The Devil could have taken credit for totally thwarting the handiwork of God.
God decided the only acceptable option was a warfare that would be carried out to its conclusion. Satan would continue his attacks against us Christ would come to redeem us. At Calvary, Jesus would meet the Devil head-on in combat. In the resurrection, Jesus proved to be victorious. It all began with the intrusion of sin.
Two, another problem caused by Adam was the inheritance of weakness. Adam was not the same after he sinned. He suddenly felt guilty and naked he was afraid, hid from God, and tried to escape blame. Something had happened in Adams innermost constitution. Something went very wrong on the inside.
Since all humans were in his loins at the time, we also share in suffering this calamity. Adams seed transmits to us what Adam became after the Fall. He defiled his nature by sin, and that nature has been transmitted to every human being. We fell when Adam fell. Independently of us, Adams evil brought weakness on us.
After the Fall, Adam could generate only what was like him. He fathered a son who grew up to be a criminal, a murderer. Everything in humans had degenerated.
Since the Fall, parents have transmitted spiritual weakness to their children. They pass on a heritage of bankruptcy, old debts, and a desire to accrue more debts.
This is the only logical explanation for the present condition of humanity. If evolutionary theory were correct, we would be rising from savagery and headed up.
Human experience explodes this myth. The exact opposite is true. We started at our best, fell to our worst in one second, and have stayed at our worst ever since.
Sins universality is adequately explained only in the Biblical message about Adams sin. The fact all people everywhere sin cannot be an accident. There has to be a cause. If all the limbs of a tree are corrupt, we know something is wrong in the root.
The universal phenomenon of sin is not a coincidence. It is a blossom, an outward product, which finds itself deeply rooted in the failure of our first progenitor.
Three, another problem caused by Adam was the inclusiveness of death. When Adam allowed sin to enter, it brought along an unwelcome child Death. Originally, our bodies were not meant to die, but when Adam sinned, this suddenly changed.
Death was never intended as an original part of our makeup. This may explain why scientists have trouble understanding the aging process and dying. They were not part of our original design. Had Adam never sinned, he and we would never die.
Since we were in Adams loins when he sinned, we sinned then also. We all came under the sentence of physical death at that moment. Everyone dies a physical death due to Adams sin. His sin, not ours, is why we will someday die physically.
Romans 513-14a In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not
charged to ones account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death
reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the
likeness of Adams transgression.
The Jews claimed individuals die because they themselves are flagrant violators of Moses law. Not so People died long before the law was ever given.
The moment Adam sinned, the sentence of death was passed onto all his posterity, except Elijah and Enoch. Its scepter is a scythe that mows down the ranks of people. It is a tyrant that will be the last enemy set aside (1 Cor. 1526).
It all stems from Adams sin. There is no other reasonable explanation for the unpredictability and haphazardness of death. It strikes down the good as well as the bad in youth it allows the evil as well as the pure to grow old.
There is for sure no other explanation for the death of infants. They obviously dont die because of their own sin. They are safe in death. They inherit a weak nature and bodily death, but no guilt. Death is part of our make-up due to Adams sin.
From these three problems received from Adam–the intrusion of sin, the inheritance of weakness, the inclusiveness of death–we draw four vital lessons. One, do not blame Adam for our sins. Since we inherited a sin nature, some might be tempted to say, Sin is not my fault I cannot help myself. In fact, one could be tempted to use it as justification for evil. Instead, we should recognize our sinful nature as a cause to be vigilant. We should realize we have this inherent weakness, and should pray without ceasing for God to fill us with His strength.
Two, God has punished the human race appropriately. That all people should die was a just punishment. What Adam did simply revealed what any and every human being would do in the same situation. Even the innocent infants who die would have grown up and chosen a life in sin.
Death was an apt punishment also because sin causes separation from God. Our punishment is appropriate to the crime because death is the ultimate separator.
Separation of our spirits from God is punished by separation of our spirits from our bodies. Separation from God results in separation from friends and family.
Three, we each determine our own everlasting destiny. From Adam we inherit physical life, physical death, and spiritual weakness, but not spiritual death. We were not born with personal guilt. There is no guilt apart from personal disobedience. Let me clearly say we inherit weakness, not guilt depravity, not everlasting damnation.
We can blame our first death on Adam, but the second death is caused by our own rebellion against God. At some point in life, we, like Adam, choose to disobey God, and to live in sin. At that moment, we are guilty before God. Unless we repent of sin, and flee to the Savior, we will go to Hell when we die. It will be our own fault.
Four, God is just. The Lord is fair in all His dealings with us. It would be easy to say, It is not fair for God to reckon Adams sin against me. Why should I suffer because of something that happened long before I was born
Ill answer this question with another. Is it fair for God to reckon our sin to Jesus account, and is it fair for His righteousness to be reckoned to our account
For good or for bad, God is consistent. He always deals with us on the basis of imputation. As the sin of Adam can be ascribed to our detriment, even so the death of Jesus can be ascribed to our credit. Jesus died for us. Our everlasting destiny hinges on our acceptance or rejection of Him. Death is Gods way of letting us know we have only a limited amount of time in which to choose to be made right with Him.