Friday, March 17, 2017

Romans 5:12 - Do All Men Die Because of Adam's Sin?

{Romans 5:12} Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed upon all for that all have sin. -- Restoration Light Improved.
We first would like to present Adam Clark's comments regarding this verse:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world - From this verse, to the conclusion of the chapter, the apostle produces a strong argument to prove that, as all mankind stood in need of the grace of God in Christ to redeem them from their sins, so this grace has been afforded equally to all, both Jews and Gentiles.
Dr. Taylor has given the following analysis of the apostle's mode of argumentation. The argument stands thus: - "The consequences of Christ's obedience extend as far as the consequences of Adam's disobedience. The consequences of Adam's disobedience extend to all mankind; and therefore, so do the consequences of Christ's obedience. Now, if the Jews will not allow the Gentiles any interest in Abraham, as not being naturally descended from him, yet they must own that the Gentiles are the descendants of Adam, as well as themselves; and being all equally involved in the consequences of his sin, from which" (as far as the death of the body is concerned) "they shall all equally be released at the resurrection, through the free gift of God, therefore they could not deny the Gentiles a share in all the other blessings included in the same gift."
This argument, besides proving the main point, goes to show:
That the grace of God in the Gospel abounds beyond, or very far exceeds, the mere reversing of the sufferings brought upon mankind by Adam's one offense; as it bestows a vast surplusage of blessings which have no relation to that offense, but to the many offenses which mankind have committed, and to the exuberance of the Divine grace.
To show how justly the Divine grace is founded on the obedience of Christ, in correspondence to the dispensation Adam was under, and to the consequences of his disobedience: if this disobedience involved all mankind in death, it is proper that the obedience of Christ should be the cause not only of reversing that death to all mankind, but also of other blessings which God should see fit (through him) to bestow on the world.
It serves to explain, and set in a clear view, the difference between the law and grace. It was the law which, for Adam's one transgression, subjected him and his posterity, as included in him when he transgressed, to death, without hopes of a revival. It is grace which restores all men to life at the resurrection; and, over and above that, has provided a gracious dispensation for the pardon of their sins; for reducing them to obedience; for guarding them against temptations; supplying them with strength and comfort; and for advancing them to eternal life. This would give the attentive Jew a just notion of the law which himself was under, and under which he was desirous of bringing the Gentiles.
The order in which the apostle handles this argument is this: -
He affirms that death passed upon all men by Adam's one transgression, Romans 5:12.
He proves this, Romans 5:13, Romans 5:14; :
 He affirms there is a correspondence between Adam and Christ; or between the παραπτωμα, offense, and the χαρισμα, free gift, Romans 5:14.
This correspondence, so far as the two opposite parts answer to each other, is justly expressed, Romans 5:18, Romans 5:19; and there we have the main or fundamental position of the apostle's argument, in relation to the point which he has been arguing from the beginning of the epistle, namely, the extensiveness of the grace of the Gospel, that it actually reaches to All Men, and is not confined to the Jews.
But, before he laid down this position, it was necessary that he should show that the correspondence between Adam and Christ, or between the offense and the gift, is not to be confined strictly to the bounds specified in the position, as if the gift reached no farther than the consequences of the offense; when in reality it extends vastly beyond them, Romans 5:15-17.
Having settled these points, as previously necessary to clear his fundamental position, and fit to his argument, he then lays down that position in a diversified manner of speech,
Romans 5:18, Romans 5:19, just as in 1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:21, and leaves us to conclude, from the premises laid down, Romans 5:15-17, that the gift and the grace in its utmost extent, is as free to all mankind who are willing to accept of it, as this particular instance, the resurrection from the dead. They shall all be raised from the dead hereafter; they may all be quickened by the Spirit here.
Having thus shown the extensiveness of the Divine grace, in opposition to the dire effects of the law under which Adam was; that the Jews might not overlook what he intended they should particularly observe, he puts them in mind that the law given to Adam, transgress and die, was introduced into the Jewish constitution by the ministry of Moses; and for this end, that the offense, with the penalty of death annexed to it, might abound, Romans 5:20. But, to illustrate the Divine grace by setting it in contrast to the law, he immediately adds: where sin, subjecting to death, hath abounded, grace hath much more abounded; that is, in blessings bestowed; it has stretched far beyond both Adam's transgression, and the transgressions under the law of Moses, Romans 5:20, Romans 5:21, and see the note on Romans 5:20.
Upon this argument the learned doctor makes the following general remarks: -
"I. As to the order of time: the apostle carries his arguments backwards from the time when Christ came into the world ( Romans 1:17; to Romans 4.) to the time when the covenant was made with Abraham, (Romans 4.), to the time when the judgment to condemnation, pronounced upon Adam, came upon all men, Romans 5:12, to the end. And thus he gives us a view of the principal dispensations from the beginning of the world.
"II. In this last case, as well as in the two former, he uses law or forensic terms; judgment to condemnation, justification, justify, made sinners, made righteous. And therefore, as he considers both Jews and Gentiles at the coming of Christ, and Abraham when the covenant was made with him, so he considers Adam, and all men, as standing in the court before the tribunal of God. And this was the clearest and concisest way of representing his arguments." Notes, p. 283.
Sin entered into the world - There was neither sin nor death before the offense of Adam; after that there were both. Adam's transgression was therefore the cause of both.
And death by sin - Natural evil is evidently the effect of moral evil; if man had never sinned, he had never suffered. Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return, was never spoken till after Adam had eaten the forbidden fruit.
Death passed upon all men - Hence we see that all human beings partook in the consequences of Adam's sin. He propagated his like; and, with the rudiments of his own nature, propagated those of his moral likeness.
For that all have sinned - All are born with a sinful nature; and the seeds of this evil soon vegetate, and bring forth corresponding fruits. There has never been one instance of an immaculate human soul since the fall of Adam. Every man sins, and sins too after the similitude of Adam's transgression. Adam endeavored to be independent of God; all his offspring act in the same way: hence prayer is little used, because prayer is the language of dependence; and this is inconsistent with every emotion of original sin. When these degenerate children of degenerate parents are detected in their sins, they act just as their parents did; each excuses himself, and lays the blame on another. What hast thou done? - The woman whom Thou gavest me, to be with me; She gave me, and I did eat. What hast Thou done? The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Thus, it is extremely difficult to find a person who ingenuously acknowledges his own transgressions.

Our Comments:

As the first part of this verse says that sin entered into the world through, by means of, one man, and subsequent verses show that all are condemned by that one man's sin, the latter part of verse 12, however it may be rendered, should be understood in harmony with the context. Many, however, take the way it is often translated, separate it from the context, and claim that all do not die because of Adam's sin, but each dies because of individual sin.

In most translations, the latter part of verse states something like the World English, which states, "and so death passed to all men, because all sinned."

Koine Greek structure is different from English, and Koine Greek verbs sometimes cannot be standardized to correspond to our tenses. Most translations give a simple past tense of sin, and thus, due to the way it is rendered, some would make it appear that each dies "because" of his own sin rather than dying in Adam. Such a thought that we all die for our sin is incorrect. Why? Because it would mean that all men who ever lived and will ever live in the future had already sinned individually, even though not all men had yet been born. In that all are condemned in Adam, indeed, it is true that all had sinned, not because they had already committed an individual sin, but because they were already accounted as being sinners before they were born. Applying the principle Paul earlier presented, God "calls the things that are not, as though they were" (Romans 4:17), to the latter part of Romans 5:12 could harmonize this with the context, for to God all the descendants of Adam had already sinned in Adam. This is made plain in the following verses, where we read that "by the trespass of the one the many died" (Romans 5:15); "by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one" (Romans 5:17); "through one trespass, all men were condemned" (Romans 5:18); "through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners" (Romans 5:19). There we have it; all men, even though not yet alive, were made sinners through the one man's disobedience, and thus already reckoned in God's eyes as having sin. Thus the RLIV simple rendering of "death passed upon all who for that all have sin" harmonizes with the context, which shows that all of Adam's descendants had sin counted to them because of Adam's disobedience.

This is further demonstrated in verses 13,14:

{Romans 5:13} For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law.
{Romans 5:14} Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren't like Adam's disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come.

"Until the Law (as given by Moses to the children of Israel) sin was in the world." Sin was already in the world due to Adam's transgression.

"But sin is not charged when there is no law."

Some misread verse 13 as though it says that there was no sin the world until the law because sin is not charged when there is no law, but that is not what it says. Without the law, there was no individual charge of sin, but with the giving of the law came individual charge of sin. Under the law, one could be put to death for individual sin, but not for the the sins of their fathers. Under law, if one perfectly obeyed that law, one could have justified himself and lived forever. (Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:11,13,21; Luke 10:27,28; Romans 10:5; 12:13; Galatians 3:12)

No one, however, received justification by obedience to the Law due to the fact that, because of Adam's sin (Romans 5:12-19), God had placed mankind under a bondage of corruption (Romans 8:20-22; 2 Peter 1:4), subjected to futility (Ecclesiastes 1:2,14; 12:8), trouble (Job 5:7; 14:1-2); crooked (Ecclesiastes 1:15), so that no man could make himself justified. (Ecclesiastes 7:13; Acts 13:39; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:26; 3:11; 5:4) Thus, if Jesus had actually been a descendant of Adam, he would have been under this same bondage of corruption, and could not free himself from it, and certainly would not have had the offsetting price necessary to pay for our sins.

There can be no new creation out of the old creation that is under such a crooked condition. (Job 14:4; Ecclesiastes 1:9,10) Thus God provided a new creation outside of the old creation now corrupted, who could provide a ransom for all. He did this by preparing for His son a body of flesh, separate from the condemnation in Adam. (Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5) Thus, if Jesus remained sinless, he could offer that body with its blood for our sins (Hebrews 10:10).

All mankind have been made sinners as a result of Adam's sin; all are condemned in one man, so that only one man would be needed to deliver mankind out the condemnation in Adam. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6) In this age, the only way one can be reckonded as justified, and thus, without sin, is through faith in Jesus, the one whom the only true God sent, based on the sacrifice he gave for sin. (John 14:6; 17:1,3; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 4:5; 5:1,9,12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Hebrews 10:10) All others remain condemned in Adam, and will have to face judgment in the last day. -- Matthew 10:15; 11:22-24; 12:36; Mark 6:11; John 3:18,36; 12:47,48; 1 John 2:2; 2 Peter 2:9.


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