Thursday, March 3, 2011

Original Sin in Romans 5

Romans 5:12-14- "...sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned-- for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam..."

The argument broken up logically is as follows:
Because God is just He does not count men as sinners unless they personally sin against Him by disobeying His commands.  No command means lawbreaking is possible, which means no sin is possible.  Sin is not counted where there is no law

After the command given to Adam God did not issue another explicit prohibition until Mt. Sinai - many, many years later.  In theory that would mean that there was no opportunity to sin, and everyone who lived during that time period would have been sinless. In reality there was sin in the world. For sin indeed was in the world before the law was given.  So much sin that God decided to wipe it out with a flood.

And this is the proof that they were all sinners to the last man: death reigned from Adam to Moses. Death is the ultimate proof of sin, because sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.

That means that somehow those people had disobeyed an explicit, direct command from God, in a time when it was impossible to do so.  The only explination is that they must have sinned in Adam, or with Adam in the garden, they must have broken the only prohibition in existence.  Adams actions counted as a personal sin against God for every one of Adam's progeny when he acted as our spokesman.
This is original sin.

Stated as an outline:
Sinfulness only happens when we disobey God's commands.
Before Sinai the only breakable command was the one given to Adam: "do not eat"
All men who lived between the time of Adam and Sinai are dead, therefore all those men were sinful
Because they are sinful and the only breakable command was given to Adam all those men became guilty by breaking the commandment given to Adam.
Because they weren't alive for it, they broke the command given to Adam when Adam broke it.
Adam must have acted as a federal head on behalf of everyone.

Which means
When Adam personally, willfully disobeyed and sinned against God I personally, willfully disobeyed and sinned against God.
Surely I was conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity.

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