Original Sin and its imputation on the human race

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Some here have made it clear that they have a different view from the standard view of original sin. I want to express my view (w/ some a short exegesis of Rom 5) and hear the opposing views. Hopefully, we can have good dialogue on the issue.

    Simply put, I believe that Adam (as my representative, though the debate is not meant to be federal vs. seminal) sinned and his sin and guilt have been credited to my account as well.

    Rom. 5:12 is the most explicit and yet the most ambiguous until the context makes it clear that it is referring to imputed sin.

    Vv. 13-14 make it clear that the issue is imputed sin and not something else. Since sin cannot be imputed without a law, the fact that death reigned from Adam to Moses, implies that there was a law and thus sin could be imputed. THis of course Paul assumes that his readers would recall 2:14-15 previously.

    VV. 15-18 focus on a contrast between the one act of righteousness and the one act of sin. V. 15 makes it clear that many died through the one man's sin (Adam's original sin). This is contrasted to the one act of righteousness that secures redemption. V. 17 says that death reigned from the one man's sin. This has to refer to more than Adam's death or it would not be much of a reign. Again, his one sin is said to account for the death of the world. Thus. v. 18 speaks of one trespass lead to the condemnation of all men, so the contrast is that Jesus' righteous cross-work leads to life.

    V. 19 is the clearest of all in my opinion. One man's act of disobedience appointed many to sinners. "Made" is a poor translation. The only other time Paul uses this word was to appoint elders. It is a synonym for imputation. Thus often "made" is used b/c in a practical sense, imputed sin makes one a sinner (not by nature but by virtue of the fact that sin is now on one's account. So one lie and a person becomes a liar. Thus one sin and a person is a sinner). Again the contrast is that Jesus' act of righteousness leads to justification, a judicial declaration where the condemned is declared righteous. It is important to note that v. 19 both focuses on imputation. Sin is imputed from Adam to humanity. Jesus' righteousness is imputed to the saved and thus they are declared righteous.

    Thus v. 12 is the most explicit since the context restricts its meaning to imputed original sin. Sin entered the world through one man, Adam. The result was that death entered as well. Sin all have Adam's sin, then all have death spread to them. Why? Because they all sinned in/through Adam. The context restricts the last phrase of v. 12 to the implication that Adam's sin was our sin.

    Ok... what say you?
     
    #1 Greektim, Nov 2, 2011
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  2. Ruiz

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    Well said. Some believe that it is unjust to impute Adam's sin to us. Yet, they have no problem with God imputing Christ's righteousness to us. Adam's sin was imputed to us as Romans 5 says. As well, if we are a Christian then Christ's righteousness has been imputed as well.
     
  3. Amy.G

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    My study bible has a note on Rom 5:12 that says:
    "Each of us confirms our solidarity with Adam by our own sins each day."

    We don't need fairness. We need mercy.
     
  4. Crabtownboy

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    The idea of original sin was brought into Christianity from the Gnostics by St. Augustine.
     
  5. JesusFan

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    Would say that the Bible teaches that we are all born sinners, due to sin of Adam, and that we "confirm" that fact by actingout on our sin natures by choosing to sin!
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Well that's not true.

    Just look at the works of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian (both), Athanasius, Ambrose of Milan, and others to see how the doctrine of original sin was with Christianity from its inception.

    This wasn't a "gnostic" importation. (Which is not a good accusation at all...Augustine wasn't influenced by the Gnostics, the Manichees maybe and probably the neo-Platonists but not Gnostics.)

    I can list appropriate works (hyperlinked and all) to bolster my reply to you. Just let me know. :)
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    I don't know how a reasonable exegete can get around Romans 5:12. They just can't do it and remain faithful to the text or their method.

    That said, I'll look forward to anyone here who denies original sin to handle the texts presented. The OP is an excellent work through them. :)
     
  8. Romans7man

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    Being new here and all I don't know who's who, but I will say I may be one of those that fit into not seeing "original sin" as you.I think I understand the argument of original sin, but just see it differently from scripture as many do.
    Let me just say, I do not agree that we are born sinners, but rather become sinners because we sin.
    To say we sinned when Adam sinned and that is why death reigns over us one would have to come to the conclusion that we kept the law and did everything right when Christ kept the law and did everything right, but we know that is not true either. It's not what we did that causes death to reign over all man, it's what one man, Adam, did. Contrasting that to Christ we see, we did not do anything that would have merited our new life, but it's what Christ has done. To say we sinned when Adam sinned we would have to conclude we did all things right when we are in Christ. If we say that we would have to say, its not what Christ did for us, but what we did and then it would not be Christ's righteousness that saves us, but our own righteousness that saved us.
    Romans Chapter 5 has more to do with who we are in than anything. We are lost when we are in Adam, not because we are born sinners, but because all sin in Adam. In other words, the reason you sin is because you are in Adam. Adam is carnal (earthty). Being born of the line of Adam leaves us in that same carnal state. Carnal is just something to describe of this earth. Paul was thankful for all the carnal things the Church gave him for his journeys.

    To be "made" sinners is not the same as being born sinners.
    Looking forward to your thoughts.
     
  9. JesusFan

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    .
    When do we get seperated than from God? Are we born as being "clean" and ONLY develop the sinful nature once we freely choose to sin against God?

    wasn't Adam created perfect and sinless, and chose to sin, while we are born into it?
     
  10. Winman

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    Righteousness is not automatically and unconditionally imputed to us, so your argument fails. We must believe on Christ to be imputed righteous.

    In like manner we must sin to have sin imputed to us.

    And this is what Romans 5 is teaching. Rom 5:14 very specifically states that men from Adam to Moses HAD NOT SINNED AFTER THE SIMILITUDE OF ADAM'S TRANSGRESSION. Now that is clear. If Adam's sin was imputed to them, this could not be said, they would have been guilty of Adam's sin just as if they had committed it themselves. Rom 5:14 directly refutes this.

    And if Rom 5:12 teaches that Adam's sin was unconditionally imputed to us, then Rom 5:18 would teach that the free gift of justification of life is unconditionally imputed to all men, which we know is not true.

    Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; EVEN SO by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

    Start off with Augustine's error with vs. 12 and you will get this entire passage wrong. Eze 18:20 says every man shall die for his own sin, and that the son does not bear the sin of his father.
     
    #10 Winman, Nov 2, 2011
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  11. JesusFan

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    CLEAR difference between Ezekiel and fall of Adam, as Adam WAS the head of humanity before God, was "tried" by God, and failed, as as our representative before God, we ALL shared in His punishment , while jesus was representative of those whom would share in His obedience, shared and received eternal life!

    need to see the truth that God "tried: the Human race in Adam. and he failed, and we received his curse/punishment, while Jesus was tried and passed, and ALL those in Him share that benefit of resurrection/eternal life!
     
  12. Greektim

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    It is not my argument but Paul's. He was the one that contrasted the act of righteousness w/ the act of sin. You have to remember that Paul was speaking to believers, not potential Christians. So their imputation of righteouness was just as secure as their imputation of sin and guilt.

    Rm 5:14 does not negate the sin being imputed to them. It just means that on a practical level, they have not committed the same act of sin personally.

    5:18 doesn't teach universalism but God blessing the nations or "all" kinds of people.

    You can't accuse me of starting w/ Augustine's error b/c I didn't begin in v. 12. You also did not refute my other points, v. 19 being the strongest. In fact, I bet you didn't read my entire post. No worries, I still stand by my interpretation 'til cogently proven incorrect.
     
  13. Winman

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    You cannot separate vs. 18 from vs. 12 as vs. 18 is the summary of vss. 12-17. ALL scholars say this. Therefore if vs. 12 is teaching that Adam's sin is unconditionally imputed to us, this vs. 18 would necessarily teach that righteousness is unconditionally imputed to us. This is the very verse Universalists use as the foundation of their false doctrine. But they are also in error, because they also wrongly interpret vs. 12 as you do. Verse 12 is very simply saying death has passed on all men "for that" or because all have sinned. This agrees with God's word that each man shall die for his own sin.
     
  14. Winman

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    Actually, Paul is using death to prove that all men have sinned in Rom 5:13-14. Even though there was no written law, or law given them directly as unto Adam, all men dying proves they were sinners. Paul had earlier spoken of those who have sinned without the law shall perish without law (Rom 2:12). Paul also said those without the law show the law written on their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts either accusing or excusing one another (Rom 2:14-15). In Romans 1 the scriptures say God has revealed himself to all men, so that they are without excuse. This is what Paul is saying in Rom 5:13-14, that all men have sinned, as proved by the fact that all men die.
     
  15. Ruiz

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    Source please. Considering original sin was rejected by the gnostics as defined by Augustine, I find this difficult to believe. If you read his attack on pelagianism (several books) he takes exception to gnosticism as well.
     
  16. Ruiz

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    I think you are missing the point.

    The idea of "death" is one that you are first dividing. Death in this case is more then encompassing physical death. From the Greek paper I wrote on this text, I summarized (I do not think the Greek words will come over in this response, but I can hope):
    _______________
    The second word that comes into discussion is “death”. Like “world”, this word has a variety of meanings to include: physical death (Luke 2:26), spiritual death (John 8:51), but also being in imminent danger of death (2 Corinthians 4:11-12). The obvious reference, though, of Romans 5 is to Genesis 2:17 and 3:19 because of the use of Adam and the idea of sin entering this world.
    Wayne Grudem relates what is meant by the word “death” in Genesis, “death, most fully understood to mean death in an extensive sense, physical, spiritual, and eternal death and separation from God.” Dr. Grudem is correct. The death mentioned encompasses the physical; man decay. Death encompasses the spiritual; man is dead in sin. Death encompasses the eternal death/separation from God; man was banished from his original state in the garden and sentenced to the second death, hell.
    The verse further clarifies death, according to Moo, “Paul’s concern in this verse, and throughout the passage, is not with “original sin” but with “original death.”” The sin of Adam resulted in death (5:12a) but, after death took hold of each individual man, death will result in man’s sin. Cranfield says, “the result is a chiasmus—sin, death, death, sin.” To put it more plainly, Adam sinned therefore all have died but because all have died, all sin. The first part of verse 12 deals mainly with the entrance of sin into the world. The second part of this verse deals with the penetration of sin to all mankind.
    _______________

    This text shows that we are dealing with eternal death that spread from Adam to all people. I think the full view of death demands that Adam's sin did radically infect man throughout. The chiasmus is rather clear in the Greek text and I believe it is irrefutable. Thus, death itself is the imputation of the sin to all mankind, which is also the imputation of death to all mankind.

    Let me quote again from my paper:

    __________



    __________
    Which brings this paper to the nature of sin. Is the sin mentioned here the actual sins of men or representative? The answer in verse 12, “in that all sinned” (Greek, “ἐφ' ᾧ πάντες ἥμαρτον”, eph w pantex hamarton).
    While others will reference Romans 3:23 and 6:23 and believe this sin is merely the actual act of sin by all people, Paul notes that not everyone sins after the likeness of Adam’s sin (v. 14) thus this is brought into doubt. As a result, this could not be merely the actual likeness of sin of Adam.
    Many commentators believe that death is caused by each person’s own individual sinning. This interpretation, as already discovered, is not accurate. The context, though, helps to clarify the context in v. 18a. Some commentators believe the sin, in this section, is a collective sin (Augustine) and not an individual sin. Hendrickson objects to the collective sin idea of Augustine when he says, “Why should ‘all sinned’ mean one thing (actual, personal sins) in Romans 3:23, but something else in 5:12?” . Douglas Moo even points out that the aorist tense of “sin” is almost always used of actual sin .
    Yet, Dr. Moo does go further to explain the representative nature of sin from the Old Testament. Dr Moo states, “This notion, rooted in the OT, held that actions of certain individuals could have a “representative” character, being regarded as, in some sense, the actions of many other individuals at the same time.” Just as Jesus’ righteousness is imputed so is Adam’s sin imputed. This is what Paul has in mind, showing that death leads to sin and the imputation of Adam’s original sin is imputed to all people. The context seems to demand a representative nature of sin, which is imputed to all men without distinction.
    ______________

    Moo makes a compelling case that while sin in the aorist tense does have an individual nature, he notes that v. 18 demands a representative nature. I think it is clear that Adam's sin is as though we personally and individually sinned in Adam. He was not just our representative, but we actually sinned in Adam.

    You mentioned that we must believe by faith, but you mistake the nature of grace mentioned in this verse. Let me quote from my paper again:

    __________

    The emphasis on grace is that it is a free gift. John Murray makes the point, “The construction here would indicate that the grace is that exercised by Jesus Christ and not, in this case, the grace of God mediated or issuing to us through Jesus Christ” (emphasis by John Murray) . In other words, here the emphasis is on Jesus’ exercising grace to those who are dead in sin.
    There is a difference in the use of the word grace as seen in the two words used: δωρεὰ (dwrea) and χάρις (charis). Some have suggested a distinction between the two. They suggest δωρεὰ as a general grace to all (also known as common grace) and χάρις is grace to only believers. Yet, this is a stretch. The former is likely to signify motives or manners while the latter is the specific manifestation of grace. Thus, by verse 16, one sees in this context that sin of one person required another person to die, not for that one sin only, but for all the sins of all the Christians of all Centuries.
    When coming to verse 17, the text is similar in construction to that of verse 15, which also includes a conditional clause. The text explains the reign of death was brought about through one trespass and the reign of life through the one, Jesus Christ . The phrase “much more” comes to bear her weight in this verse as well. Grace, then, is seen as being greater than all the sin including the sin of Adam. The verse seeks to point us to the generosity (δωρεὰ) and provision (χάρις) from God.
    Morris notes, “With grace Paul links the gift of righteousness.” This phrase is forensic, the person stands as righteous by a means of earning such a position, not by their own merit but by Jesus’.

    _____________________

    In other words, you are placing faith upon the person, but grace here is what proceeds from Jesus to his elect people.

    You mentioned the universality of the condemnation and I spent so little time on this because there was little debate on this issue except by universalists. Here is the brief statement I did make

    ___________

    This brings the text to a point where the phrase “all men” as used of both death and salvation. Is the phrase “all men” when referring to sinners the same as “all men” when referring to those who were made alive? Some modern scholars do take this verse to argue for universalism. This, though, is unnecessary because clear teaching elsewhere demands that the Bible student believe not all will be saved. Even in this text (v. 17), Paul is clear that here is a limitation of salvation to those who are His own. What is the proper translation? Mark Dever points out, “The curse and contagion of sin spread to all nations, so the good news of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus is meant for all nations as well.”
    ___________________
    Thus, the “all man” was addressed a couple of times in the paper, with the conclusion and emphasis is not upon the individual nature of man but upon the corporate or national nature. This is so readily agreed upon by a myriad of scholars that I felt it was a waste of time to deal with the issue in Romans. Unless you embrace universalism, you must embrace this idea. Thus, sin spread to all mankind and grace spread to all mankind. While “all have sinned” because of Adam, and previous sections of Romans deals with each individual person, this is more of a corporate declaration.
     
  17. Ruiz

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    Winman,

    So, would you hold to a pelagian, semi-pelagian, or semi-augstinian viewpoint?
     
  18. Greektim

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    No... Paul is using death to prove that there was a law and thus God is just to impute sin. Read it again. All men die because sin is imputed. Sin can be imputed because though it would be unjust to impute w/ no law, there was a law (cf. Rom 2:14-15). The conclusion Paul wants the readers to infer is that people die b/c of imputed sin.
     
  19. Winman

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    I don't label myself like that, I simply believe what I think the scriptures say. I believe we are born flesh with lusts and desires that tempt us to sin, but no one is a sinner until they knowingly and willfully sin against God. We are not judged sinners because of our nature, as Jesus came in the flesh, had the same nature as the seed of Abraham, was made like his brethren in all things, was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. So, it is not being born flesh with a nature that tempts us that makes us sinners, but when we actually commit sin.

    I honestly have never studied the theologians of the past until I came to BB. Since then I have spent FAR more time reading Reformed theologians than others, but honestly, the more I study Reformed theology, the more I believe it is gross error. I believe Augustine introduced more error than any other, Calvin simply followed in his footsteps. I think Augustine's error interpreting Rom 5:12 the most serious error ever introduced in the church and has led to many other serious errors such as the Immaculate Conception and especially Baptismal Regeneration which many thousands lost their lives over. I believe Luther's and Calvin's false doctrines came straight from Augustine and the RCC.
     
    #19 Winman, Nov 2, 2011
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  20. Greektim

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    I think you are making the text say more than was intended. Paul was making a contrast and so used identical verbiage to communicate the contrast even more boldly. This really puts the focus on the one act of disobedience and the one act of righteousness. Plus, you have to consider the fact that the one act of disobedience (a clear reference to Adam's sin) would be meaningless if it did not refer to some sort of punishment on all his progeny.

    Which brings/brought me to my point about v. 19 (which you neglected to address). V. 19 is very vocal in its connection to imputation. Just as sin was imputed ("all are appointed sinners") so also is righteousness imputed resulting in justification. This is the simplest reading of the text. No gymnastics. Occam's razor should be applied here. Not to mention the regula fidei.
     

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