“Original” Sin?

I agree that the specific term “original sin” is not found in scripture. but is it a scriptural concept? There are many who deny the very concept who maintain that we are all born completely innocent and at some point in time become sinners deserving of God’s just punishment for our sin. Does scripture say anything at all about it? While there are many passages to which we can point, when a single passage seems to provide us a rather clear point of doctrine, I tend to grab it. Here is what I think might be the single passage in the issue of original sin, not because I want to accept a doctrine ‘invented’ by men, but because of what it says:

Ephesians 2:3

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” (NIV)

“All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.” (NLT)

“among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (ESV)

“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”  (NASB)

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (KJV)

How can we be born completely innocent if we are “by nature” children deserving of God’s anger and wrath? Are we born  without “nature”’? That’s my question. Do you have an opinion about ‘original sin’? Please note that the discussion around whether or not babies and young children below a certain age of ‘accountability’ is NOT on the table. That’s another issue, so please don’t get into it here.

65 responses to ““Original” Sin?

  1. I think you know my view already. My question would be not whether we can find passages to support the doctrine, but how anyone could deny the doctrine after observing a baby or very young child. We don´t teach our children to be self-centered, to lie, to steal, to talk back etc. They come by it quite naturally.

    The burden of those who deny what the Scriptures clearly teach is to show any shred of biblical proof that some people just go bad at some point in their experience. I guess we would have to suppose that some do not, though in my somewhat lengthy experience I don’t recall ever having encountered such a person.

    If, as the verse you cited indicates, we are all “just like the rest,” that would indicate that we have all gone bad and that “by nature.”

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  2. The part that I don’t get with original sin is that if you say that Adam’s guilt is imputed to us, because all men inherit Adam’s guilt, then Christ, being 100% human and 100% God…inherited Adam’s guilt as well…and we know that He didn’t. So how do you get around the idea that humans have inherited the guilt, but that Christ as a human did not.

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      • I don’t know where you get the idea that Jesus did not have a sin nature. The Bible states that he was born in the likeness of sinful flesh, and he did indeed take our sin upon himself. Not only that, he was tempted in every aspect as we, yet he did not sin.

        Romans 8:3
        For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

        Hebrews 4:15
        For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

        Also, you quote Eph 2:3

        There is only one way that you satisfy the desires of the flesh, and that is by knowledge of what satisfies is. It’s called a conscience. Romans 2:14-16.

        Paul himself said that he did not know lust had the commandment not said thou shalt not covet. Once he knew what coveting was, then he was satisfying the desires of the flesh.

        And finally, I don’t know how you can say that age of accountability is not on the table when it’s a part of the discussion of original sin, to wit:

        Deuteronomy 1:39

        Ed Chapman

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        • the age of accountabililty is not on the table because I said it wasn’t and it’s my blog. that is also an interesting but need not be duscussed to define original sin. Not rocket science. If you don’t know where I/we get the idea that Jesus didn’t have a ‘sin nature’, then maybe you just need to re-read comments here, because it’s explained rather thoroughly where the idea comes from. If you don’t want to do that, just google the topic and you can get a couple of truckloads of information. Have a great day, Ed!

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          • Thank God that this isn’t rocket science, because when you take age of accountability out of the equation, then you have the doctrine of original sin. Bring it to the table, and then there is not original sin.

            A turkey dinner without a turkey is not a turkey dinner. But, to you, it’s a turkey dinner, as long as there is pumpkin pie.

            My point: Original sin does not exist.

            I have read the comments, and I don’t understand how you make your conclusions that Jesus did not have a sin nature. He was a man. The FLESH was man. Sinful flesh. As usual, I quote scripture, instead of philosophy, and scripture is ignored, while philosophy is center stage.

            Jesus had the ability to sin, he just didn’t sin.

            And, I do have great days!

            Ed Chapman

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            • Ed,

              1. Whether or not there is an ‘age of accountability’ (you won’t find that language anywhere in the NT) is related but not essential to this blog post. You say it is essential to talk about it in concert with the concept of original sin. Original sin deals with the state of every human being born. We sin because we are sinners at birth, by nature, and deserving of God’s wrath. We might be ‘innocent’ in terms of not having ‘knowingly’ sinned, but we sinned nonetheless. In your paradigm we are not subject to being cast into hell until the conscious knowing?

              2. You might not understand/like the explanation given here concerning Jesus having no ‘nature’ to sin, but it was presented. Scholars through the centuries have debated this. What in scripture tells us that he could NOT have a sin nature. I can only ask this question.
              IF Jesus had a ‘sin nature’ is sin found IN him in some form? Is our ‘nature’ IN us? Seems to be a bit rhetorical, does it not? Yet we are told in 1 John 3:5, about Jesus:

              “You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there IS NO sin. If original sin is defined as sin IN us, and Jesus had NO sin in him, How could Jesus have a ‘sin nature’?

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              • I always love it when people tells me “nowhere in the bible will you find, blah blah blah.”

                When people say that, it only means that they haven’t found it, that they have no interest in finding it. That does not mean that it isn’t there.

                It is there.

                Again, I quoted scripture, and you are more into philosophy.

                Jesus DID have a nature to sin. He just didn’t sin.

                If Jesus didn’t have a sin nature as you wish to believe, then Jesus could NOT have taken the sin of the world upon his shoulders in order to condemn sin.

                Here is a HINT: SCAPE GOAT. Read everything in regards to a scape goat. Not only was Jesus the Lamb, but he was a Goat.

                The Lamb slaughtered (BLOOD), and the scapegoat that took the sins.

                He was a man in the flesh, God in the spirit. 100 percent man, 100 percent God. Jesus isn’t 1/2 man, 1/2 God. He is 100 percent of both.

                I could care less about scholars. Why? Because it’s only their OPINION, and they were wrong. Their opinions are based on Catholicism. Catholicism states that Jesus is not capable of sinning, and that God had to make Mary sinless in order for Jesus to be in the womb of Mary.

                What a crock!!!

                And the ignoring of Deuteronomy 1:39 coupled with Romans 7:7-9, coupled with Romans 5:13 is also key, coupled with Genesis 2:9,17, 3:3,5,7,11.

                Also, Coupled with 1 Corinthians 15:36-50 shows that Adam was gonna die a natural death anyway, hence the word natural. In order for Adam to have received (RECEIVED) eternal life, he would have had to have eaten of the tree of LIFE. He STILL could have gotten eternal life EVEN IN A FALLEN STATE.

                But God blocked access to that tree.

                And because Adam did not OBTAIN eternal life, he was sentenced to die a NATURAL death, just like he was formed to do in the first place.

                Had Adam OBTAINED eternal life from eating of the tree of life, then Adam’s descendants would have INHERITED ETERNAL LIFE.

                So, your Calvin cue card explanation of Romans 5 is WRONG. And so are all of the so called college edumacated scholars who had no clue themselves.

                So, when you take scripture OFF THE TABLE, just because this is your blog, you are doing a huge disservice to the truth. You are doing what Satan loves to do, and that is tell only 1/2 of the truth, leaving the other half out of the equation.

                Ed

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              • Then show me exactly where it is. Give me the passage and explain exactly how/why you exegete (not eisegete) an ‘age of accountability’. BTW, I have reference material from a variety of sources, both pro and con, and your Romans passage is not among them.In fact, in the ‘pro’ camp, it seems to be more a matter of ‘wanting’ it to be in the Bible based on the faulty presupposition that we are born ‘innocent’ and pure when the Bible tells us otherwisw.

                And there you go hollering about ‘Calvin cue cards’ again! Not too smart, on several levels I won’t go into again. this isn’t about Calvin either. It started with a term that has a definition and a passage that seems to support the definition.

                Since you seem to like advertising yuor ‘fuzzy’ thinking, I’m posting this.

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              • How come you can’t take the time to do independent research yourself?  Why is it that I must find it for you? 

                These kind of things take TIME to find “ON YOUR OWN”.  No scholar is going to find it for you.

                Only the HOLY SPIRIT will guide you to find things that the scholars won’t find.

                It takes lots of college ruled paper, and a pen…NO COMPUTER.  NO GOOGLE.  NO REFERENCE MATERIAL.  NO BOOKS WRITTEN BY SCHOLARS, PASTORS, PREACHERS, OR TEACHERS.

                JUST YOU AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

                I challenge you to do it THAT WAY…not the Calvin cue card way.

                Ed

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              • That explains a lot, Ed. You only listen to the voices in your head as you read. Tell us please, how do you know it’s the Holy Spirit doing the talking? How do any of us? One thing is for sure. When the clear test of scripture contradicts the little voices, I’m making it up. You’re pretty good at that, Ed.

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              • Jesus said that “My Sheep Hear My Voice”.  So, my question to you is, Are You Listening?

                Jesus also said that He Has Yet Many Things to Say, but that ye cannot bear them now (John 16:12), but when the SPIRIT OF TRUTH is come, he will guide you into all truth.

                Scripture also states that YE NEED NOT THAT ANY MAN TEACH YOU.  This is telling you to stop putting your trust in man, and let the Holy Spirit teach.  We all have a Bible in this generation.  There is no excuse to not dig in the Word of God.  The teacher lives inside of us. 

                You ask “How do we all know it’s the Holy Spirit talking in us?”  Oh, ye of little faith, is my response.

                If, for one minute, that you think that I am the ONLY ONE who believes what I believe, then you are fooling yourself into thinking that only I have come up with the conclusion that original sin does not exist.

                I love to share what I have found.  It is not for teaching, therefore, I am not teaching anything to anyone.  All I am doing is telling people what I found.  It’s up to others to search the scriptures daily to see if it is so.  I am not asking anyone to believe me.  I am asking everyone that states the words “Bible Alone” to put their money where their mouth is.  Get rid of the scholars, and stop wasting your $29.95 on books after books, after books, from various “wise” preachers, and teachers.  Give that $29.95 to the poor.  How many disciples were scholars in the days of Jesus?  Who did Jesus scold more than others?  Things are REVEALED unto the babes, and NOT unto the wise.

                Put your trust in the Holy Spirit alone, and you will find things that are NOT revealed unto the wise.

                Ed Chapman

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              • You say that you are not teaching? Perhaps not intentionally, but you do claim that what you receive in your little conversations with the Holy Spirit IS what is really true. You still need to answer my question concerning how you know it’s the Holy Spirit. Add to that how what others claim to receive directly from the Holy Spirit that might contradict you is not truth while you proclaim truth. I submit to you that much of what you claim to be truth directly from the Holy Spirit directly contradicts the plain language of the text of scripture, and that the text of scripture is the FINAL arbiter of truth, NOT what we think we are getting via our H.S. hotline.

                Yes, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, but that in no way is telling us to listen only to little voices in our heads. That the Bible itself is sufficient in itself for all that 2 Tim 3:16-17 says it is, is also true. I confess that there was a time when I thought like you do – that we can just read the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit what it means and never consult anyone else’s scholarship. I was really stupid. I even attended a lot of Bible studies in which we all sat around and shared our ‘what this verse means to me’ stories and patted each other on the back for our ‘personal insights’. Trouble is, we didn’t get very far into what the Bible was really saying in the text and context. We really felt we were ‘spiritual’ though!

                Unless you want to tell me how you know how you always KNOW it’s the Holy Spirit and not just little voices in your head, don’t bother to come back.

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              • Are you mocking?

                Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

                Do you know what that means?

                All I am saying is that when people say Sola Scriptora, or Bible Alone, they don’t really mean it.  They mean Calvin alone, plus Augustine alone, plus Spurgeon alone, plus, etc., plus, etc.

                The Calvinists problem is that they use, what you call:  plain language of the text of scripture.

                If that is how you read the bible then you have a lot to learn.  I do know that the Calvinists are big on exegesis, expository.  The ONLY thing you can find with those is CARNAL things.  You won’t find anything spiritual out of expository exegesis.  You don’t even need the Holy Spirit for that.

                2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

                The things that are NOT SEEN are in scripture, and it takes the Holy Spirit to OPEN YOUR EYES to see the unseen things.  It’s called treasure that God placed in the Bible for you to find, and God did not make it easy to find.  You must look for it, and you will not find it if you use:  plain language of the text of scripture.

                So, I say all that to say that if YOU listen to the Holy Spirit, and stop mocking others, then you will find things that YOU KNOW are from God, that others will mock you for, calling you a heretic.

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              • Ed,
                You seem to think that I just read the Bible, consulting human research material and pick what I want to believe. That’s well, nonsense. It just might be that most what I believe, especially the doctrines of sovereign grace, because I first of all just prayerfully read it came to believe something about what I read. It might just be that I, like many others, then researched church history, consulted commentaries and original text sources (books and linguists). It might be that much of what I read from those ‘dead’ men supported what I had come to believe first. Perhaps you have a perfect mind, free from the taint of sin. I do not. BTW, you still owe me an answer concerning why the voices in your head are more authoritative than anyone else’s, and more specifically how you know it’s the Holy Spirit and not your own imagination. Considering some of your ‘interesting’ doctrine you claim to be straight from the Holy Spirit, I think the enemy stole your lunch.

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              • 1. We are born “IN SIN”, not “WITH SIN”.

                2. I always love it when people say, “Nowhere in the bible will you find blah blah blah”. That only means that THEY haven’t found it. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.

                3. Again, I laid out scripture, not philosophy. I could care less about them college edumacated scholars and theologians. They cannot agree amongst themselves. You have scholars that are for something, while other scholars are opposed to that same topic. It’s a never ending story. And what it boils down to is OPINION.

                Paul was an educated theologian before that road to Damascus, and to him, he considered all that education as DUNG (KJV verbage). I do believe we have a more modern word for it, today.

                I say that to say that Jesus DID have a nature to sin, but he just didn’t sin.

                He was NOT ONLY the Lamb, but he was a SCAPEGOAT (Deuteronomy 16). Jesus could not have taken the sin upon him if he didn’t have a sin nature.

                And, I don’t care if this is your blog or not. When you leave out 1/2 of the truth, taking it off of the table, you leave out the complete story.

                You talk about the NT, without bringing up the HEBREW scriptures. Time and time again Paul brought up what was written in the HEBREW scriptures.

                When you leave out Deuteronomy 1:39, Romans 7:7-9, Romans 5:23, Genesis 2:9 (and every verse with the words (KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL), and 1 Cor 15:36-50, then you are being disingenuous in regards to the topic of original sin.

                It does not exist.

                What you make this sound like is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They state that NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE WILL YOU FIND Jesus actually saying, “I am God”.

                So, I ask you, where is the explicit words from Jesus “I AM GOD”?

                We are all born SPIRITUALLY ALIVE when we are born of the flesh. Then we die a spiritual death. Then we must be BORN AGAIN, HENCE the word AGAIN. THEN WE DIE a natural death, then we are resurrected bodily.

                Adam was gonna die a natural death anyway. He had to OBTAIN eternal life by eating of the tree of life. He still could have OBTAINED eternal life even in a FALLEN state, but God blocked access to the tree of life, so that he couldn’t.

                So, he was sentenced to die a natural death, just like he was formed to do in the first place.

                Hence, Romans 5 is distorted by Calvinists.

                1 Cor 15:36-50 shows that Adam was gonna die a NATURAL death anyway, HENCE the word NATURAL.

                I could go on and on, but you will reject it all for your center stage philosophy anyway.

                You people are fun to debate with. Why? Because you proclaim Bible alone, but it is OTHER THAN Bible alone.

                Ed

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              • Why do you keep adminishing me concerning what, in your opinion, I MUST include in my blog instead of merely providing me with solid scriptual support for what you claim so emphatically? You always go back to ‘you people’ (group attack) and individual attacks, both forms ofthe ad hominem logic fallacy.

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              • I say “you people” for a reason, for it is ONLY “you people” that use “ad hominem”and “straw man argument” in your debates.

                Ed

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              • It’s true, tho.  I have debated numerous religious belief systems, and never once have I ever heard “ad hominem” or “straw man” in debates from anyone but Calvinists.  What’s that all about?  Another one of them Calvin cue card things?

                Ed

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              • Maybe it’s because they bothered to study logic and logic fallacies. Or, maybe it’s because a lot of their opponents resort to ad hominem when they run out of good answers.

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              • I don’t think so.  I think it is a taught default Calvinist response when Calvinists have no clue as what to say next.  I never hear the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the 7th Day Adventists, or the Iglesia Ni Cristo, or the Catholics, or the Herbert W Armstrong clan, or many others that I have debated use those words in any debate. 

                I laugh at those words.  I am reminded of Hominy Grits, and the Wizard of Oz.

                Ed

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              • At least you said ‘I think’, instead of a conclusion! I think there might be some who claim to be Calvinists who are not as versed in their doctrine than others, as is the case with Arminians and full blown Pelagians. That is not however the issue anyway, The post NT era debate goes all the way back to Augustine & Pelagius, Luther & Erasmus, Calvin & Arminius, as well as Whitefield and Wesley. That you have not heard any of those other groups use the language only proves that those you might have debated didn’t use it. You cannot intelligently conclude that no one in those groups (only Calvinists do) unless you know them all. Don’t be silly.

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  3. I’m not saying we don’t have a sin nature inside of us from conception, I’m saying that the fall changed us so that we have that nature, rather than…Adam sinned so you are responsible for his sin as well as your own.

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  4. Dawnmarie,

    It is my understanding that this is the reason for the virgin birth of Jesus. Sin is imputed through ordinary generation and through the father and not the mother. Jesus was not conceived by ordinary generation. Having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, he was holy, not sinful as we are.

    If you should argue that we have only Adam’s nature and not his guilt, the parallel in Romans 5 would be that we do not have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us but his nature only. That would seem imply that the basis of our justification is infused grace and not imputed righteousness.

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  5. Put up with me for a bit Born and Andy? (it’s Andy right? And you can call me Dawn if you wish)

    “that would have inevitably eventuated in the guilt of every person since we will invariably act in accordance with our natures.”

    That’s my point. We did not have to have Adam’s guilt imputed to us for us to sin. As humans, that’s what we do. It’s in our nature. We will sin. We are slaves to sin until God puts His spirit in us. It’s part of us. The human nature is there at conception. Even Jesus was tempted, but He’s God, He didn’t sin. God doesn’t sin no matter if He’s in a body of flesh or not…because, well, He’s God.

    The thing is that there is no verse in the Bible that says sin is transmitted through only males. It’s a fascinating idea and one I’ve been very interested about in the past, but something doesn’t seem right. Romans 5:12 says that through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, BECAUSE ALL sinned…Adam sinned…and died and in the same way death came to all men because all sin…I’m trying to point out that death came to all men, not guilt from Adam came to all men.

    I’ll try to explain as best I can below. Doesn’t it seem like death is what was imputed to us, but sin is what condemns us? Couldn’t Jesus inherit Adams susceptibility to death, rather than Adam’s guilt…because Original sin says that ALL humans inherit Adam’s guilt and Jesus was human? Couldn’t it just be that what Adam did made us mortal and sinners, but not responsible for Adam’s disobedience to God, just affected by it in totality by the curse and responsible for our own sins. Adam apparently always had the ability to sin…he did it in the garden, but he was cursed not because he COULD sin, but because he DID sin.

    Another thing is that all women are sinners and they are human and therefore would inherit this “original” sin as well just because they are human. Mary was a woman, a sinner and she was the mother of Jesus. If we cloned a woman and implanted that clone in another women, would the clone be sinless since there is no male father? That’s pretty much what the catholics try to say when they speak of the immaculate conception of Mary…Mary born of a virgin too…so sinless. We know that ain’t right.

    Jesus was 100% human. But how does Jesus not have Adam’s imputed guilt if he’s fully human since that’s part of humanity. I don’t get it. To be human is to inherit the curse of Adam. If we deny that being 100% human means inheriting everything that man inherited, and want to exclude Jesus, then we also have to exclude lots of others because Romans 5 :19 says that the many were made sinners, (not all men) just as by one mans obedience the many (not all men) will be made righteous . Original sin is guilt imparted to all humanity…so was Jesus fully human or not? Jesus was a son of Adam and since Adam represented all humanity…as a son of Adam, He had to have inherited his guilt as well…just like we did. And Jesus was not guilty of anything…He was perfect.

    Adam’s sin was the first sin. Apparently Eve didn’t sin. She was deceived. Adam stood guilty before God, and God even atoned for Him…remember how he got a new set of animal skin clothing? Adam’s sin brought death…and DEATH, not guilt, but death, spread to all men because men sin. Something changed when Adam disobeyed and we’ve all got to experience whatever it is that happened to us as a race. I’m sure not having access to the tree of life was a biggie. We were separated from God because of our sin. At any rate, whatever it was, it made it so that to be human meant no matter what, you would sin and need a Saviour, guilty in your own right. No human can NOT sin. All need Christ. People go to hell because they are guilty before God for their own sins and that moral guilt is never removed through the work of Christ.

    Sorry about the book. Wasn’t meaning for this to be so long.

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  6. I believe that both Adam and Eve sinned. Eve was deceived into her sin, but Adam was not. He openly and willfully sinned, and as a result, every human born since has been born with an inherent nature to sin, which is also called ‘original’ sin. I have always thought about it that way.

    No matter how we talk about and all the questions we have, I think it’s more important that we realize that we are ‘by nature’ deserving of God’s wrath.

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    • “No matter how we talk about and all the questions we have, I think it’s more important that we realize that we are ‘by nature’ deserving of God’s wrath.”

      Agreed.

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  7. Dawn,

    You are not the first to miss the double r. I suspect you won’t be the last. You are right. You have written a book. It would require a much larger book to answer the issues you have raised. For now, let me just speak to a couple of issues and perhaps we can discuss the others later.

    Though I know it is a sensitive issue in our modern egalitarian age, the Scriptures do teach that the man is the Head of the woman. This does not imply any inequality between the man and the woman, but does imply a representative relation between them. This relationship first existed between Adam and Eve. Not only did Eve sin, but she sinned first. Why is it that Paul did not write, “as by one woman sin entered the world?” Not only did Adam represent Eve, but as the covenant head of his race, the old creation, he represented everyone IN HIM and this by divine appointment. Jesus, as the covenant head of the new creation represented all IN HIM. Thus the All–All/ Many/ Many in Romans 5. This is representative language–the one acting for the many.

    To understand Paul’s argument, we must take a step back and ask what he is seeking to prove by it. In my view, his argument from Rom 5 through Rom 8 is intended to show that if God has justified us he is certain to glorify us. “. . . having been justified. . .we exult in the confident assurance of the glory of God.” In 5:12-19 his argument is that our glorification is certain because we have a new representative head. Jesus’ obedience in our place, as our representative head, guarantees the justification and ultimate glorification of all he represents, just as Adam’s disobedience guarantees the condemnation and eternal punishment of all in him.

    There is no question that we also have a sinful nature that is imparted to us because of Adam’s transgression (“Transgression” is very important to this discussion. It refers not merely to sin, missing the mark, but to stepping over a clearly defined boundary.) The question is whether people are condemned for having a sinful nature, or for transgressing a clearly defined boundary. Paul tells us transgression did not exist in the period between Adam and Moses. People who lived during that period, did not sin like Adam did, yet they still died. They sinned because they had Adam’s nature, but they did not die because they had his nature. You were right when you said, “Adam was not cursed because he COULD sin, but because he DID sin.” People don’t die because they have a sinful nature but because they transgress a clearly defined boundary. In the case of both the first Adam and the Last Adam, there was a clearly defined boundary. In Adam’s case, it was the Tree of Life prohibition. In Jesus’ case it was the Mosaic Law. Between Adam and Moses, no such boundary existed, and therefore transgression did not exist. Paul wrote, “where there is no Law ( and he wrote this in a context in which he was clearly speaking of Mosaic Law) there is no transgression.” Where there is no transgression, there is no guilt and where there is no guilt, there is no death. The presence of death implies the presence of guilt (not nature). Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not TRANSGRESSED as Adam did. If sin is not imputed where there is no law to transgress and death is imposed because of transgression, why did death reign during the period “from Adam to Moses” over those who had not personally transgressed as Adam had done? It seems to me the only reasonable answer is that they died because of Adam’s transgresssion.

    The way we answer these questions has far-reaching effects relative to the gospel we preach. Paul’s point in this chapter is that Adam stood as a “TYPE” of Christ. That means there is a point of necessary, theological correspondence between these two. I believe that point of necessary correspondence is that they both have been constituted, by divine appointment, representative heads of their respective creations. The question we must ask is whether we are justified because we have received Jesus’ nature which enables us to act rightously and thus be justifiable, or because his righteousness has been imputed to us, apart from our obedience to the law. If the parallel is to be sustained between these two representative men, then we must either lose the gospel of justification through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness or acknowledge that Adam’s guilt, not merely his nature, has been imputed to us.

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  8. I read the post you suggested and believe it is wrong for the following reasons:

    1. It fails to take into account the reason Paul broached the issue in the first place.

    2. It fails to take into account the representative language of the passage–the one acting for the many.

    3. It views the representative actions of both Adam and Christ as potential, not actual. Paul did not write “all became potential sinners, but “all sinned.” Jesus’ death is never spoken of as providing the potential for salvation for anyone. It was an accomplishment for all who would become part of his new creation.

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  9. Hey there Randy.

    The universalism post is the last in a series of about 9 or so articles, and I think your questions are addressed in some of those. The series is about Romans 5 actually. You’ll have to look, but I think I remember him addressing them. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read them, but I think they are there in that series. If they are not there, He’s a really nice guy and I’m sure would be willing to answer your questions. Mike Heiser that is.

    That sentence should have been “apparently Eve didn’t sin willfully. Eve was deceived.” Sorry about that. THOUGHT I proofed it really good too! The reason I say apparently is because I don’t understand how what Eve did wasn’t considered willful. But the Bible says it was not so I believe that, I just don’t understand it.

    I do understand the Federal Headship view and I don’t believe it though because though I understand it, I don’t understand it. I posed those questions above about Jesus’s humanity for example. It’s just one of several traditions. Just so we are clear. The reformed were not the only ones who have thought about this issue and others have not accepted this system. It’s not a misunderstanding nor ignorance on my part. I just don’t believe it as it is presented.

    The parallel is intact with Adam and Christ. He was a figure, just a type, but not the same. I think of him just like the other types who were not the same, nor all parallels perfect. Just a shadow.

    The parallel I can see is that the result of the first man’s one act of disobedience was mortality and separation from God. The result of the second man’s obedience was peace with God and immortality. Sin and death began to rule with the first man, but sin and death is conquered by the second man.

    I guess to say simply, through one man came death, through another life.

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    • “Not only did Adam represent Eve, but as the covenant head of his race, the old creation, he represented everyone IN HIM and this by divine appointment”

      How come the OT doesn’t allude to Adam’s guilt imputed to us? I’m skimming that series I told you about.

      “There isn’t a single verse in the entire Hebrew Bible that produces the theology put forth by the traditional interpretation of Romans 5:12. The idea that Adam’s guilt was transmitted to all humanity is completely absent from OT theology. One would think that, given its central importance to the whole idea of salvation, if this view were accurate, at least one writer in the OT during the 2000 year history of Israel from Abraham to Jesus would have put the idea out there. But none did (under inspiration to boot).

      What we do have is the simple story of the garden: Adam sins, humanity is removed from the tree of life and the direct presence of God which (apparently – in all views of this) was essential to Adam remaining without sin up to the Fall, and so humanity will thereafter die and sin. One is now his biological nature and destiny; the other is his spirtual nature–that all humans WILL sin, without exception.

      Do you know what else we have in OT theology? The idea that humans are guilty before God because of THEIR OWN sins and transgressions. My detractors seem to have missed the fact that Paul’s statements in Romans 3, for example, either come directly from the OT or are allusions to OT verses. Think about that. The verses that are supposed to convince me (and us) that humanity inherited guilt (as opposed to becoming sinners and producing their own guilt) comes from that document (the Hebrew Bible) that doesn’t have a single verse in it about humans inheriting Adam’s guilt. For sure we inherit the conditions and nature that will PRODUCE sin and guilt BY OUR OWN HAND, but that is different than the traditional view. How ironic. Using OT citations (through the mouth of a NT writer quoting them) to prove an idea that isn’t in the OT.

      So why is it that Paul breaks the silence about Adam and the human race in Romans 5:12? Why did we have to wait until Paul for someone to say something? The answer is simple. It wasn’t until Paul — living as he was in “post Jesus” Judaism (and the birth of Christianity) that Adam became a useful ANALOGY for something. Paul brought up Adam and humanity for the specific purpose of comparing and contrasting Adam with Jesus, who in Paul’s thought became the “second Adam.”

      http://michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/2009/08/adams-sin-and-old-testament-theology/

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    • First, I don’t agree with the Reformed covenant of works/covenant of grace system.

      Second, I agree that types and their antitypes are not equal. The fulfillment is always better than the type.

      Third, if Adam had not been divinely decree to be our representative (this really is the biblical definition of covenant), Paul would not have introduced the in Adam/ in Christ typology [though it is true we were all in Adam seminally when he sinned, it is inconceivable that we could have sinned consciously and culpably when he sinned. The argument from Abraham in Hebrews 7 only obtains because Abraham, too, acted as the covenant head of the nation that was in his loins].

      Fourth, I would not have taken you for someone who was ignorant of anything. I hope nothing I wrote gave the impression I believed you were.

      Fifth, the parallel you speak of concerns results. It appears to me Paul’s argument hinges not on results but on causes, i.e., the believer’s justification is secure because it rests on Jesus’ representative work (not on anything the believer has done or will do) just as those in Adam were certain of condemntion and eternal death because of their union with him.

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      • lol. No Randy Andy, you didn’t give me the impression you thought I was ignorant, I just wanted to make sure you knew that I was familiar with federal headship is all. Just an FYI incase you don’t feel like giving as much detail is all. 😉 However, maybe you do need to put the detail in so that others reading will know exactly what this discussion is based on in case they don’t know? They might not know. I would bet that lots of folks don’t know what the doctrine of “original sin” as defined in federal headship is. It doesn’t mean just sin, it means guilt. Like how in Catholicism, the immaculate conception isn’t talking about Jesus’s immaculate conception, rather Mary’s immaculate conception from her mother and father…however that’s supposed work.

        I should clarify also, just so we are on the same page and I don’t confuse you. When I say sin nature, I mean human nature, flesh. Just what we are, not some kind of thing that entered us. And I’m struggling with the definition of spiritual death as far as is our spirit made alive or is the Holy Spirit alive and in us, therefore we are alive by His spirit.

        So, now I have more questions.

        Were we all in Adam seminally when he sinned? Or is that an assumed thing based on interpretation of a few guys and some more who accepted it? Is it in the text. What I mean is, a full person is not in the loins of the male. Only sperm. The egg is in the female and only after an egg is fertilized does it become a person which grows in the woman, not the man. I know you know that. I’m just laying it out because of what I have to say next….If you say that it is true that we could have sinned consciously and culpably when Adam sinned, aren’t you saying that souls are pre-existant as well, and that all souls that were ever to live were in Adam, so then Adam was just a storage vehicle for every person who would ever live? So, when Adam fell, where did we all go that we lost that conscienceness. I don’t know Randy, seminal headship is weird. The implications are very…reincarnationish or mormon maybe?

        Just speaking of ancient beliefs, I read an article one time about the belief that semen is stored in the hair…the hair was considered genitalia, so a woman with long hair…sexy momma. Cover it up! Modesty. We know now that well..that’s not true. Our hair is not genitalia. But regardless if whether it’s true or not, people used to believe that. Seems to me, we have the same thing going on. The ancients also believed that the woman’s womb was like…ground and that the seed or the semen was planted into the ground…and just needed to grow. So if people couldn’t have babies, it was the woman’s fault automatically cuz her ground was bad. I don’t think we can take the loins passage as something that is literal. The bible isn’t a science text book. Some of the things in there are to make points based on how the culture it was written on thought. I think a point is being made, but not that we really existed in the loins of some guy thousands of years ago. Whatever it means, I don’t think it means that a full person or the soul was stored in the loins of anyone. I’ve read commentaries on the subject, briefly I admit, but one thing I noticed, they all have something different to say…some suggest the seminal view as you had suggest…but not all. I understand it as Levi was represented by Abraham’s action and also that it is making a point that there was a superior priesthood since tithes were paid to Melchizedek for Levi…and Melchizedek is a type of Jesus so that would make sense, an eternal King and a Priest is better than just a temporal priesthood. I don’t know that of course. Just thinking out loud.

        But Andy, how are we united with Adam other than we are human? People are not in seed, nor stored in loins. We are just genetic offspring of Adam. Don’t you have to assume seminal headship, insert guilt for death and then work backwards to get to where seminal headship gets with original sin?

        I guess I could add to my parallel not to include results, except for the scripture does describe results…Adam was human, so he sinned. He got kicked out of the garden. No tree of life. He died and so all of us. Jesus was human too, but he was God so He didn’t sin. He is the tree of life but He died anyway because he was 100% flesh too. Because of what Adam did, we all die. Because of what Christ did, we all live. So that includes how. Adam was disobedient, Christ was obedient. Because of Adam, we all die. Only some live however because of Christ. Death didn’t come because of anything we did, death came because of what Adam did, it was a consequence of Adam eating from the tree of good and evil. We are not saved by anything we did either, rather we are saved because of Jesus’s and what Jesus did and we partake of Him, the tree of life, the bread of life, living water etc. All die because of Adam, but some live because of Christ. Adam partook of the fruit, we partake of the bread of life.

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      • Hi Randy, just rereading this post today and noticed that once again, I missed very important letters in your response.

        You said ” it is inconceivable that we could have sinned consciously and culpably when he sinned.”

        I read “it is conceivable”

        So…I replied based on thinking you said conceivable.

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  10. Dawn,

    Please don’t withhold the soup. and Andy Randy is fine. Though it might be bad for my image if you reverse it. I have been sick for a couple of days so I don’t feel much like thinking or writing. I will try to get back to our discussion when I am feeling better.

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  11. Dawn,

    I am keenly aware that a fool can raise more questions in five minutes than a wise man/woman can answer in a lifetime. Accordingly, I would not expect you to feel any obligation to answer any of the following. I simply thought it might help clarify for me your view on Rom. 5 if you could answer a few questions. If you decline, I will understand.

    For purposes of discussion I have found it best to deal with one issue at a time and then move on to another. Perhaps that would serve us well here. If you would like to choose what you believe is a crucial issue and suggest that we discuss it first, that would be great. Here are the questions.

    1 Do you believe the death Paul speaks of in 5:12 is physical or spiritual?

    2 How do you understand “because all sinned” in 5:12? If it refers to personal sin as a result of transmitted nature why does Paul use the aorist tense, and why do infants die since they have not committed personal sin and are therefore not guilty under the view that only nature is transmitted and not guilt imputed?

    3 How do you see 5:12-19 supporting Paul’s primary argument in this section of the Epistle?

    4 Do you believe death comes to those who are not guilty?

    5 Do you believe God imputes guilt to those who are not under codified law? (5:13).

    6 Do you believe God constituted Adam the covenant head of the human race (not necessarily investing that idea with all the assumptions of Covenant Theology)?

    7 About whom do you believe Paul was speaking when he referred to “those who had not sinned like Adam sinned? How does Paul’s statement in 4:15 “where there is no law, there is no transgression” impact your answer to this question?

    8 If you answered #2 “no,” why did people die between Adam and Moses, whoever they were?

    9 If only death, not sin nature and condemnation, is passed on to Adam’s offspring, why did David write that he was “conceived in sin?”

    10 Do you believe people die because sin nature and not because of guilt?

    11 I am aware that in typology there is one main point of correspondence, and only that point can be considered the necessary theological point of analogy. Can you think of any biblical types in which the main point of the analogy is dissimilarity? I am not referring to the essential characteristic of types being that the type is always inferior to the type. E.g., Jesus was clearly superior to the high priests of the old covenant, but they correspond in that they both stood as representatives of those given to their charge.

    12 In what way do you think [if you think and I believe you do] Adam’s nature is transmitted to all his offspring? Is it passed along genetically? How do you believe Jesus escaped birth with a sinful nature?

    13 When Paul finally, in verses 18-19, completes the “As”/”Even So” comparison he began in verse 12, why do you believe he speaks of “condemnation”, not simply nature, coming on all as the result of Adam’s one trespass?

    14 If you believe only nature was communicated to all his posterity and not condemnation, how do you avoid the conclusion that in salvation, it is Jesus’ nature that is imparted to us and not his righteousness that is imputed to us? The “as”/”even so” language would seem to demand a parallel.

    15 Do you understand “made sinners” and “made righteous” in verse 19 to be a judicial or a remedial matter? By that I mean, is it speaking of condemnation and justification, or is it speaking of sin’s pollution and sanctification/glorification? If speaking of sanctification and not justification, why does he not speak of “being made holy” instead of “being made righteous?”

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  12. Hi Randy. I’ve answered your questions the best way I know how.

    1 Do you believe the death Paul speaks of in 5:12 is physical or spiritual?

    Don’t know. Seems to be talking definitely about physical death at least. I don’t deny there is a spiritual death…I just don’t know that this passage is talking about that. I know that all men die once whether they are saved or not…except a few like Enoch and such.

    2 How do you understand “because all sinned” in 5:12? If it refers to personal sin as a result of transmitted nature why does Paul use the aorist tense, and why do infants die since they have not committed personal sin and are therefore not guilty under the view that only nature is transmitted and not guilt imputed?

    I don’t know what the aorist tense means.

    Mortals sin given time. It’s what we do.

    Infants die because Adam’s sin resulted in physical death for all humanity. Adam didn’t die because he had a sin nature…he died because he acted out according to his sin nature. I think our definitions of what exactly a sin nature is are not really helpful. We don’t know exactly what that means.

    3 How do you see 5:12-19 supporting Paul’s primary argument in this section of the Epistle?

    Faith in the one man brings eternal life…a reversal of the curse/death that one man also brought.

    4 Do you believe death comes to those who are not guilty?

    Physical death comes to all. The second death comes to the guilty who are not Christ’s and everyone’s spirit is separated from God until the Holy Spirit is deposited in them.

    5 Do you believe God imputes guilt to those who are not under codified law? (5:13).

    People are guilty for their own sins, and people know right or wrong like when we are told that even the gentiles know what’s right and wrong and they don’t have the law. Or how everyone is without excuse. God has revealed himself it says in Romans chapter 1.

    6 Do you believe God constituted Adam the covenant head of the human race (not necessarily investing that idea with all the assumptions of Covenant Theology)?

    I think if he is, the bible is pretty silent about the matter. The only head type thing I can think of that I know for sure is that he sinned and died and in that way all men died because all sinned. I know that he was the first man and he sinned and was kicked out of the garden and everyone born after him was mortal and separated from God. Adam’s a useful comparison to Christ, and everything that Christ is not…but that’s all I know for sure. Can we really call Adam a type of Christ? Christ doesn’t bring death. He brings life. Wouldn’t Adam be a type of something else…I mean, if we are making parallels here, seems he’s more like the antichrist, wanting to be God and bringing death? Youngs Literal translation actually says that Adam is a type for one who is coming…I’m not sure what to do with that. Just think it’s interesting.

    7 About whom do you believe Paul was speaking when he referred to “those who had not sinned like Adam sinned? How does Paul’s statement in 4:15 “where there is no law, there is no transgression” impact your answer to this question?

    People born after Adam but before the law of Moses.

    I think it’s the same as when he mentions that again in 5:13

    People have morals in their nature and they know right and wrong. You don’t have to write something down before it becomes wrong.

    If there isn’t a law, you can’t break it but that doesn’t mean you are not doing wrong. HOWEVER, gentiles never had the law of God as the Israelites did, but they testified that the law was good by following the law even when they didn’t have it written down for them because it’s in our nature. We have morals and a conscience, or a set of laws within us. We have laws because people are bad. Laws don’t make people bad. But people who don’t have a written law still, in their being have a conscience that tells them right from wrong and if our conscience condemns us…or we feel guilty for something isn’t it because we know what we are doing is sin? Therefore, written law or not, we still have a conscience.

    8 If you answered #2 “no,” why did people die between Adam and Moses, whoever they were?

    See above…being mortal means we die a physical death.

    9 If only death, not sin nature and condemnation, is passed on to Adam’s offspring, why did David write that he was “conceived in sin?”

    His mother was a sinner. We all are. There’s that other verse about lying from the womb. Babies don’t talk. They don’t lie. That verse is just making a point that babies will sin eventually. Everyone does…unless they die before that. Having a human nature doesn’t make you a sinner. Sinning makes you a sinner. Having a human nature means you can sin, and everyone will if they live long enough.

    10 Do you believe people die because sin nature and not because of guilt?

    People die a second death because they are guilty for their own sins. People die a first death because Adam sinned and that sin lead to physical death…in that way death spread to all because all sinned. I think maybe that could be described as corporate…all die cuz Adam made us mortals? Everywhere else in the NT and OT, death from sin is attributed to each person’s individual sins. It doesn’t relate it to Adam’s guilt…until we start trying to insert guilt into the passage so we can get into imputed, infused stuff with Christ. The Jews were totally into the headship stuff…and yet they don’t talk about Adam. Why? There is never any attributing Adam’s guilt to us as the reason why people need to be saved. It’s always for their own sins.

    11 I am aware that in typology there is one main point of correspondence, and only that point can be considered the necessary theological point of analogy. Can you think of any biblical types in which the main point of the analogy is dissimilarity? I am not referring to the essential characteristic of types being that the type is always inferior to the type. E.g., Jesus was clearly superior to the high priests of the old covenant, but they correspond in that they both stood as representatives of those given to their charge.

    Who said the correspondence is Adam’s imputed guilt vs Christ’s imputed righteousness? It doesn’t say guilt. It says death. Guilt is not in the passage. The comparison that is there is that Adam brought death, Christ brought life. Why can’t that be the point of the analogy?

    12 In what way do you think [if you think and I believe you do] Adam’s nature is transmitted to all his offspring? Is it passed along genetically? How do you believe Jesus escaped birth with a sinful nature?

    Do I have to tell you how babies are born Randy? lolol. I think Adam was a human and humans reproduce to make humans. They replicate after their own selves passing down their traits. Adam did what all humans do. He made mortal babies. In what way does a tiger pass down their traits to their babies?

    I think Jesus had a mortal human nature. That includes the ability to sin. If that’s sin nature, then yes, I believe Jesus had that. He didn’t sin though because He’s God, but He was tempted by the devil just the same…and did not sin. He couldn’t, He’s God. If He wouldn’t have had a “sin” nature, I’m not sure we could call his temptation really a temptation, though some would argue you could…nor could I say he was in the likeness of sinful flesh…I think anyway… I read sin nature as being dead in trespasses in sin…I can not find one verse in the scripture that says you were dead in the in the sin and trespasses of Adam. SO I don’t have to account for why Jesus doesn’t have something.

    13 When Paul finally, in verses 18-19, completes the “As”/”Even So” comparison he began in verse 12, why do you believe he speaks of “condemnation”, not simply nature, coming on all as the result of Adam’s one trespass?

    I think the condemnation was physical death. Death came after Adam’s trespass. It doesn’t seem like spiritual death came right after because God atoned for Adam before he was kicked out of the garden and someone atoned for isn’t spiritually dead I don’t think anyway? Dunno.

    14 If you believe only nature was communicated to all his posterity and not condemnation, how do you avoid the conclusion that in salvation, it is Jesus’ nature that is imparted to us and not his righteousness that is imputed to us? The “as”/”even so” language would seem to demand a parallel.

    Human nature was passed down yes, as well as death. To be mortal not only means to die, but to sin. Human mortals sin. In Salvation, the righteousness of Christ covers our sins…In the resurrection and redemption, however, Jesus’s nature will be given to us in our glorified body and we will be righteous too…for now, we just have a deposit…God’s Spirit in us sanctifying us till then. But one day, we will be like Christ, just not yet.

    I don’t make that parallel in this verse. The contrast I see has to do with Adam sinning and causing death for all, and Christ not sinning and causing life for some.

    15 Do you understand “made sinners” and “made righteous” in verse 19 to be a judicial or a remedial matter? By that I mean, is it speaking of condemnation and justification, or is it speaking of sin’s pollution and sanctification/glorification? If speaking of sanctification and not justification, why does he not speak of “being made holy” instead of “being made righteous?”

    Condemnation= death, justification=life…

    I believe we will be made righteous when we are finally glorified but for now we are declared righteous…but I’m still not seeing that this verse is a parallel that is trying to imply corporate guilt in the sense that original sin describes it. I’m just seeing a compare and contrast. Adam brought death, Christ brought life.

    That’s all I got Randy…

    In the view that I hold, I don’t have to figure out why Jesus, being 100% human didn’t inherit the guilt of Adam r why he doesn’t have a sin nature…even though he had to be just like us and he was weak in all ways, just like us. He’s not guilty of Adam’s sin and neither are any of us. Jesus could be fully human and still not sin because He is God. BUT being human and being able to sin, doesn’t mean everyone can sin…stillborns, aborted babies, babies who die before they can do anything that would be considered sin in God’s eyes, severely retarded individuals…that sort of thing. I don’t have to tell grieving parents that their kid might be in hell. Or that they have to have their babies baptized to remove Adamic guilt…

    I saw this post one time that just made my stomach churn…it was a post specifically on the depravity of babies. I couldn’t believe someone would post that. I really couldn’t. Then it gives a quote from Voddie Baucham that says that babies are made so small so they don’t kill their parents in their sleep…babies are evil. Well, Voddie can go ahead and keep believing that. I feel for people who sit under that kind of teaching, but hey, to each his own. I found the sermon, it’s at the 32:35 mark… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox73f136YUs and people are laughing.

    Anyway, here’s another article I read a while ago. It’s called the Pauline Concept of Original Sin by Stanley Porter that was posted in the Tyndale Bulletin from 1990. It talks about Jewish belief and Pauline belief as it relates to original sin.

    http://www.michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/TynBull_1990_41_1_01_Porter_OriginalSin.pdf

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  13. Randy, I was thinking about laws last night, specifically because of Romans 5:13 and I was wondering if a command would be a law, since it’s a rule. So like Adam, don’t eat of that fruit. With Cain, don’t kill Cain, with Noah, blood laws and don’t murder.

    If those are laws, and we have a law in our own consciences, maybe that’s what verse 13 is talking about. Rather than say something like the law of Moses? Anyway, just thinking about this. I feel like I’m gonna be studying this topic a little while longer anyway, but wanted to know what you think about the law issue of Romans 13.

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    • Dawn,

      Interesting observations. It seems to me, these stipulations of the universal covenant made with Noah and his descentants after the flood are really reflections of the covenant of creation since God makes reference to man being made in God’s image. I think it is clear that to kill another human being would have incurred personal guilt, but there were comparatively few who were guilty of stepping over that boundary.

      In Romans 5:13, it seems clear Paul is speaking of the much more detailed codification of divine law since him specifically mentions the period from Adam to Moses and then speaks of those who had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s TRANSGRESSION. Where there is no law, there is sin, but there is no transgression. Paul’s argument is that even those who did not kill another person or drink blood, for example, still died. The coming of Mosaic law exacerbated the problem by giving sin the character of transgression. Thus, the writer to the Hebrews talks about Jesus “redeeming them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” He does not merely die for sins since the guilt incurred by the first Adam was not merely sin, but transgression. He was born under a new covenant of works marked by codified law just as the first was marked by codified law. He stood in contrast to Adam who transgressed.

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      • I’ve really enjoyed this conversation Andy. Whether we agree or not.

        You wouldn’t have few stepping over the boundry if 1. The conscience, which brings the knowledge of good and evil, accusing or excusing, is considered a law, as it describes the gentiles who testify that the written law was good by doing those things in the law even though they didn’t have the “law” and if the law was given not to murder and Jesus said if you even hate your brother…it’s murder…and everyone hates. For example, the reason for the flood was that violence filled the earth and I would think that hate is the reason for violence.

        Anyway, I’m okay with agreeing to disagree on this one. Hope you are as well.

        My concern is that people know they are sinners and that they know that Jesus is the only remedy for that and that they believe Him when he says repent and believe. I noticed that yes, we are miles a part on this issue, but I hope that other’s reading can see that there are reasons why people believe as they do and understand that you don’t have to call someone a stupid heretic and beat them down and toot your own horn just because they don’t agree with you. I appreciate that even in a discussion as hairy as this one Randy, there was no beat down on either side.

        Sometimes, we believe something because we don’t know any better. Other times, we’ve beat the horse dead with study and thinking about the issue and have racked out brains silly learning about something, regardless, each is responsible to check the scriptures, test what we’re being told and be able to give a reason for the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. My reason for the hope that I have is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead!!!! He forgave my sins and I will one day be with Him and like Him. Because He lives, I live.

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          • Randy Andy is my evil twin. Thanks for the discussion [I sensed from the tone of your last post that we have finished] and for your willingness to study the Scriptures. So many I encounter have their opinions that have nothing to do with Scripture. It should be obvious I think you are wrong, otherwise we wouldn’t disagree, but I agree with you that we can do so agreeably. Perhaps, in the future we can engage in other discussions on issues on which we can find greater agreement.

            Blessings,

            Randy

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            • RANDY!

              Yes, I think we are probably at the point where each of us are repeating ourselves and we don’t need to do that. I do think that there are other issues in which we find great agreement…Jesus saves sinners would be a really important one to start wtith…maybe another fun topic will come up while I’m locked in my office, hopefully that will only be another few days. I’ve got construction on my hands right now so I’ve got lots of time to hide and read for now…but for now my brain hurts. I need a break.

              I know you think I’m wrong. That’s ok. I think you’re wrong too!!! We can agree on that for now. How’s that. 😉 I still want to tell you a joke though about evil twins. What did Santa say to his evil twin? You sleigh me. Bahahahahaha!

              Dawn

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  14. Dawn,

    Thanks for spending the time necessary to answer my questions. My purpose for them was to identify the areas in which we differ. I have answered the same questions below. I think you will see that we differ pretty widely on these issues.

    Thank you as well for treating me respectfully. I believe we can differ without throwing stones. The following are my answers:

    1 Do you believe the death Paul speaks of in 5:12 is physical or spiritual?

    Physical. I do not believe Adam would have died physically had he not incurred guilt by his TRANSGRESSION. Additionally, I believe physical death implies the presence of guilt. I believe transgression is an important key to understanding this passage. Jesus died not because of his guilt but because of ours.

    2 How do you understand “because all sinned” in 5:12? If it refers to personal sin as a result of transmitted nature why does Paul use the aorist tense, and why do infants die since they have not committed personal sin and are therefore not guilty under the view that only nature is transmitted and not guilt imputed?

    The aorist tense indicates some happened at a point in contrast to something that occurred over a period of time.

    I think your definition and mine might differ widely. I believe both nature and guilt have resulted from Adam’s sin.

    3 How do you see 5:12-19 supporting Paul’s primary argument in this section of the Epistle?

    I believe the main argument of the passage is that if a person has been justified, he is certain to be glorified. 5:12-19 argues that this is so because we are under a new representative. Just as Adam’s representation guaranteed the death and condemnation of all in him, so participation in Christ guaranteed our life and justification/glorification.

    It is not faith in his work that justifies us, but his work itself that justifies us.

    4 Do you believe death comes to those who are not guilty?

    I believe the presence of death indicates the presence of guilt.

    5 Do you believe God imputes guilt to those who are not under codified law? (5:13).

    I believe people sin apart from codified law but do not transgress apart from codified. Paul indicates a clear difference between the way people sinned between Adam and Moses and the way Adam sinned. He refers to Adam’s sin as “transgression.” Where there is no codified law, there is no “transgression.”

    6 Do you believe God constituted Adam the covenant head of the human race (not necessarily investing that idea with all the assumptions of Covenant Theology)?

    I believe the “In ADAM”/ “In Christ” typology of the New Testament Scriptures clearly indicates a representative relationship.

    7 About whom do you believe Paul was speaking when he referred to “those who had not sinned like Adam sinned? How does Paul’s statement in 4:15 “where there is no law, there is no transgression” impact your answer to this question?

    Not all sin is transgression. Transgression is the deliberate over-stepping of a clearly defined boundary. I agree that people have a conscience and know right from wrong even apart from codified law, but codified law gives sin the character of transgression. The law entered so that the offense might overflow.

    8 If you answered #2 “no,” why did people die between Adam and Moses, whoever they were?

    I believe Paul’ s argument is that these people died because of Adam’s TRANSGRESSION since they had no transgressions of their own. They had not sinned LIKE ADAM, i.e. they had not transgressed a codified commandment.

    9 If only death, not sin nature and condemnation, is passed on to Adam’s offspring, why did David write that he was “conceived in sin?”

    I understand this not to mean his mother was a sinner when he was conceived but that he was a sinner when he was conceived. Your answer, “Sinning makes you as sinner” probably capsulizes the most important difference between our views. I believe we sin because we are sinners; not that we are sinners because we sin.

    10 Do you believe people die because sin nature and not because of guilt?

    I also believe we are guilty for our own sins, but I also believe we have Adam’s guilt imputed to us. I don’t believe death would occur apart from guilt. The presence of death indicates the presence of guilt.

    11 I am aware that in typology there is one main point of correspondence, and only that point can be considered the necessary theological point of analogy. Can you think of any biblical types in which the main point of the analogy is dissimilarity? I am not referring to the essential characteristic of types being that the type is always inferior to the type. E.g., Jesus was clearly superior to the high priests of the old covenant, but they correspond in that they both stood as representatives of those given to their charge.

    With all due respect, yours was a non-answer. I believe the answer is there is never an example of typology in which the primary point of analogy is negative. In this case, I believe the primary point of analogy is that both Adam and Christ acted as representatives of their respective creations.

    12 In what way do you think [if you think and I believe you do] Adam’s nature is transmitted to all his offspring? Is it passed along genetically? How do you believe Jesus escaped birth with a sinful nature?

    My question would probably be that Adam’s nature cannot be separated from his guilt since both were incurred by the same act of disobedience. Paul clearly states that “condemnation” came by one man’s trespass, not that sinful nature came by that trespass.

    13 When Paul finally, in verses 18-19, completes the “As”/”Even So” comparison he began in verse 12, why do you believe he speaks of “condemnation”, not simply nature, coming on all as the result of Adam’s one trespass?

    If the condemnation was physical death, was the justification physical life? That would completely ignore Paul’s argument in the passage.

    14 If you believe only nature was communicated to all his posterity and not condemnation, how do you avoid the conclusion that in salvation, it is Jesus’ nature that is imparted to us and not his righteousness that is imputed to us? The “as”/”even so” language would seem to demand a parallel.

    I believe the “As” “even so” language demands a parallel and that parallel is in the representative character of these two men and their two acts. It seems to me that if we say it was only Adam’s nature that was communicated to us, we cannot avoid the conclusion that it was only Jesus’ nature that was communicated to us and not his righteousness.

    15 Do you understand “made sinners” and “made righteous” in verse 19 to be a judicial or a remedial matter? By that I mean, is it speaking of condemnation and justification, or is it speaking of sin’s pollution and sanctification/glorification? If speaking of sanctification and not justification, why does he not speak of “being made holy” instead of “being made righteous?”

    I believe the language Paul uses here is judicial. He is not discussing sanctification or glorification, but justification. He is speaking here of a judicial declaration not a remedial work.

    And thank you, I am feeling a bit better today.

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  15. I see you have had recent visitations from the guy with too many birds on his antenna. This guy stays awake until 4 A.M. with nothing but the Bible and a pen and notebook. Oh, I forgot. He also has a Strong’s Concordance with its numbers. Apparently, he thinks Strongs definitions and Webster’s Dictionary are inspired. I told him if he got more sleep, it might help him think straight. Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing. I think you are right. He really thinks the little voices in his head are the voice of the Holy Spirit. I don’t even answer his emails anymore, much less allow him to post on my blog. Thank you for entertaining him. It gives him less time to bother me.

    I ran across a good quote the other day about the value of considering what others have written and preached.

    “We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.”

    John of Salisbury

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