This concept teaches we are conceived in a separated from God state. United with God we are “alive” and separated from God we are “dead.” When Adam sinned and was corrupted, he was separated from God. Thus all in Adam are separated from God and therefore dead at conception. When God puts us spiritually in Christ, we are made alive together with Christ. Now lets look at some arguments against the doctrine that as a consequence of Adam’s sin, mankind is conceived in a spiritually dead, separated from God state, and are conceived corrupted with the “old man” nature, referring to Adam’s nature after his eyes were opened. Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. If we are born dead in sins, how could Paul say he was ever alive once? And how could he die if he was born dead? This verse is certainly difficult with differing views presented in commentaries. I believe Paul was saying he thought he was alive, not knowing that he was condemned, but when he became aware of the requirement of perfection, he “died” in that he became aware he was dead. This view is supported contextually with Romans 7:13. The law did not become death, but sin was shown to be death through the Law. Sin becoming utterly sinful speaks to awareness because sin is always utterly sinful from God’s perspective. In summary, Romans 7:9 does not teach we were alive at conception, but rather we did not know we were dead. This view is consistent with being conceived in iniquity, and therefore separated from God. In the parable of the prodigal son, the illustration starts with the son being together with the Father, hence alive, then he chooses to sin and leaves the Father, becoming separated and hence dead, and then he returns to the Father on his own power, becoming alive again. Now can we say that everyone starts out alive or does everyone start out condemned already according to John 3:18? We start out condemned, and separated because if we were together with Christ we would be alive and not condemned. I agree we can establish doctrine supported by parables but we must be careful not to take the illustration past its purpose. In this parable, the son starts out alive, but since this facet of the story does not mesh with all the verses that say because of Adam, we start out “in Adam” and not “in Christ, that part of the stories’ detail does not override all the verses presenting that we are conceived in iniquity. The other two illustrations of Luke 15, the lost sheep and the lost coin, tell the story of something belonging to the owner. Who is our owner? God. But because of the consequence of the Fall of Adam, mankind is conceived in a separated state, hence lost. When someone is united with Christ, they are recovered, found, redeemed, transferred from the realm of darkness into the kingdom of God. Next note that the 99 sheep are not really united with the Father, for they are in need of repentance. So the lost sheep actually represents a lost person who repents, which is consistent with being condemned already. The 10 coin parable makes the same point, the “owner” rejoices over the recovery of the one who repents. In summary, both Romans 7 and Luke 15 are consistent with the Fall. Next lets consider 1 Peter 2:25. The people in view, were continually straying which refers to the fact they were continually sinning. A lost separated person can continue to sin and store up wrath for himself or herself. The word returned might better be translated turn back, which describes a person who is going the wrong way, i.e. sinning, and then turning back toward the One who leads them in paths of righteousness. So again, no actual support for denial of the consequence of the Fall. Everyone is created by God, and therefore everyone is a “child of God” in the sense that God is our creator. But to say these children of God cannot be condemned and be children of wrath makes no sense. Next, God chose the nation of Israel to be His people, so in another sense, the children of the promise were “children of God.” And now, under the New Covenant, all those chosen by God and spiritually placed in Christ are born anew, becoming “children of God” in the third sense. So when we see the phrase, children of God, or sons of God, we must look to the context to see which of the three ways the phrase is being used. As far as 1 Corinthians 15:22, the death referred to with “in Adam all die” is the second death at the judgment. Those in Adam have not been made alive, thus they are spiritually dead already and will suffer the second death. Bottom line: The Bible clearly teaches that as a consequence of Adam's sin, the many were made sinners. They are not being punished for Adam's sin, but Adam's sin had consequences and so mankind is conceived in a separated from God, spiritually dead sinful state predisposed to sin because of the "old man" nature.