"Original Sin" and Romans 5:12-14

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC δοῦλος, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,906
    Likes Received:
    362
    Paul’s words in Romans 5:12-21 have had a massive effect on the development of the theology and anthropological doctrine within the Church. Augustine formulated his doctrine of original sin in terms of this passage (e.g., Augustine, On Merit and the Forgiveness of Sins). This passage is offered as proof for the Westminster Confession’s claim that the guilt of Adam’s sin was imputed to all mankind. The foundational structure of covenantal theology find’s its origin in the Adam-Christ analogy that Paul develops most fully in this passage.

    Interacting on another thread, I realize that I have taken for granted specific areas of agreement. There are, no doubt, areas were people may agree but upon closer examination there exists a disagreement within the agreement. I am curious as to where many of us stand regarding “original sin”(and by this I mean sin inherited through Adam as a consequence of the Fall) and how we would relate Romans 5:12-14 to that doctrine.

    Romans 5:12-14 (NSAB) “Therefore, just as though one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”

    I believe that men are sinners apart from the Law. In other words, we are not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners. Before I transgressed a commandment I was already a sinner (I was born that way) as through Adam’s transgression sin entered the world. So this “original sin” (sinfulness) is an inherited nature which manifests itself through sins (sinful acts). This is evidenced by death reining apart from any given law (specific or formally stated commandment). The consequences of sin is death.

    What is obviously absent from my explanation is that Adam’s transgression (as “breaking a law”) is not imputed to us as a “sin debt”. Instead we inherit both sin and death as a fallen nature (we, by nature, turn against God). This has implications on how I view the Atonement (God, through Christ, reconciling humanity to himself).

    What is your take on “Original Sin”, "Inherited Sin", “Imputed Sin” and Romans 5:12-14?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    75
    This is another issue which will undoubtedly lead to a dozen splinter threads, but is definitely worth the effort to bear out.

    However, before I'm interested in engaging, I would ask anyone who's wearing a Mod hat to be aware that there are among us several accusers of the brethren, who believe it is heresy to refuse the Roman Catholic position on this matter.
     
  3. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,248
    Likes Received:
    184
    The word "impute" means not charged to one's account. So from Adam to Moses, humankind sinned without impunity. Yet they died. Having lived enormously long years, they all died as the consequence of the Adam taking that which was forbidden. The consequences was death. Adam and Eve were not removed from Eden because of sin, but were removed lest they take and consume of the tree of life.

    That doesn't mean the folks (Adam to Moses) didn't sin. It is abundantly clear that they certainly did and there were consequences as a result (Cain, Ham, Lot, ...). And that also doesn't mean that there was no need of salvation. Even though the folks from Adam to Moses didn't sin the same sin as Adam, they all died for they all sinned, and they all suffered consequences for their own rejection of God. But, there was no "charge to the account" no record kept of the sin. In another place it says, "God winked at" (Acts 17) God overlooked the sin.

    After the Law, humankind didn't change, but there was given a written standard. No longer was there no imputation, but sin became chargeable, and wages paid. God would no longer overlook the sin. Humankind was estranged from God and chargeable offenses recorded and judgment pronounced - guilty.

    The law became the road marker that showed the location and the distance to journey's end. What the first Adam could not, with the best intentions accomplish even though made like the second Adam, the second Adam completed, an now humankind may be reconciled to God.

    The typical preaching that I have heard have the Adams reversed (imo). They place Christ as a copy (type, form, imprint, image) of the first Adam. When actually here in Romans, Paul is stating that Adam (the first) was a copy (type, form, imprint, image) of the Christ. Which points to Adam being made in the image of God.
     
  4. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,906
    Likes Received:
    362
    I chose the "Baptist Theology & Bible Study" forum in hopes of prevent going in that direction. Some of the other forums are much broader in scope in terms of discussion, but we should be OK here. :)
     
  5. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,906
    Likes Received:
    362
    I agree.
    I often refer to Christ as the "Second Adam," but in so doing I don't mean that Jesus was a type of Adam (rather that Adam was the type). So I use the term as Paul used the term "last Adam" in 1 Corinthians 15. I only say this to clarify as I know sooner rather than later I'll use the term "Second Adam" as well. :)
     
  6. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,248
    Likes Received:
    184
    One can only hope.

    The papist position is a bit confusing. They would hold the priests able to absolve, yet they don't blanket absolve. It is as if one has to beg or pay to be absolved. Really the reverse of the Scripture teachings of God's gracious gift.

    But then, I have a struggle with Augustine because of some of his views seem contrary to Scriptures. For example: his teaching on the eternal city being that of believers, and that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son. There is also the aspect that he changed from a pre-mil view to thinking that view was immature, but actually he was reactionary over what he expected and it didn't happen. I would oppose his teaching on free will, infant baptism, the sacraments, and other items.
     
  7. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    75
    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine,257 and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion".258 The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.259 We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.260

    I. WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE

    The reality of sin

    386 Sin is present in human history; any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names would be futile. To try to understand what sin is, one must first recognize the profound relation of man to God, for only in this relationship is the evil of sin unmasked in its true identity as humanity's rejection of God and opposition to him, even as it continues to weigh heavy on human life and history.

    387 Only the light of divine Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed at mankind's origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.

    Original sin - an essential truth of the faith

    388 With the progress of Revelation, the reality of sin is also illuminated. Although to some extent the People of God in the Old Testament had tried to understand the pathos of the human condition in the light of the history of the fall narrated in Genesis, they could not grasp this story's ultimate meaning, which is revealed only in the light of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.261We must know Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin. The Spirit-Paraclete, sent by the risen Christ, came to "convict the world concerning sin",262 by revealing him who is its Redeemer.

    389 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. The Church, which has the mind of Christ,263 knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ

    -------------------------------------------------

    They make reference to Augustine, as was done in the OP here.

    And pay close attention to the last line, how the "Church" supposedly knows very well that one cannot "tamper" with this doctrine without undermining the mystery of Christ.

    That's what I'm getting at there are plenty of so-called Protestants here who believe the RCC brand of Original Sin is an essential of the Christian faith. We would all be better off if that clique were excluded from the discussion
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,248
    Likes Received:
    184
    The RCC considers itself as having the mind of Christ. It does not, however, that does not preclude that some of their teaching is not the truth.

    There is always that element of truth in every lie of Satan.

    So, within the doctrine of "original sin" as laid out by the papists, they may be correct, yet have invented many failed structures in which to get around that same doctrine. For example: infant baptism, the considered view that babies born to Christian parents are automatically saved and those not are lost, the sacraments, and of course the confessional. These are but a few, but ultimately the attempt is to place the power in the hand of the papists rather than the Christ.

    One should not be banned because they believe some doctrine first formed by the papists. Rather, the merits of the doctrine should be that it be found in Scripture and is rightly established and taught.
    For example: The stand against slavery and the selling of children, and that there is one body which is the bride of Christ.
     
  9. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    75
    you're right, and I was not suggesting that one be banned for sharing a position with the RCC. What I was getting at is that there is a small band of "whatever" we might call them - people who post in this section regularly - who believe any position other than theirs (Original Sin) is heresy. And it seems they troll around looking for opportunity to hurl unwarranted accusations.

    But I didn't mean to derail the thread. It's a great issue to delve into
     
    #9 JamesL, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  10. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,248
    Likes Received:
    184
    Heresy is a startle word in my thinking.

    Some use it so often that they may have lost the reflex reaction when the word is thrown about.

    There are any number of believers who do not agree with the thinking of Augustine and original sin falls as one of any number of disagreeable items. That I happen to agree (at least in part) with some of his thinking doesn't make me a clone. Rather what is Scriptural I hang on to, and trash the rest.

    Often in discussion, it is easy to use labels and lump together. I once used the term "holy huddle" and found it was offensive to a good man I hold as a friend. I don't use that term.

    What I like to see is the use of Scriptures to support a view.

    And just as the OP started out with that passage from Romans, it allows the discussion to be focused upon the Scriptures and not so much on how some ancient rendered them.
     
  11. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,268
    Likes Received:
    776
    Heresy is anything that is an unorthodox teaching. Heresy can involve one single minor doctrine or it can involve one or more major doctrines.
     
  12. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,374
    Likes Received:
    728
    JamesL


    -

    They are called biblical Christians....people who believe in the biblical theology of the fall into sin and death, unlike you and others who develop your own novelties and schismatic confused ideas.

    .

    It is this biblical position taught in Romans 3:23, romans 5:12-21...those who turn from it go into darkness.It is not "their position" it is the biblical teaching.
    no...they just spot trolls who come in to disrupt biblical discussion with vain thoughts.

    No...it just happens naturally now !CautiousCautiousCautiousCautious



    It's a great issue to delve into[/QUOTE]
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  13. percho

    percho
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    37
    Do all men die because sin entered the world through, the anthrōpos, who had been created/made, a little lower than the angels? The, anthrōpos, that had been created male and female and called Adam?

    for Adam was first formed, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, into transgression came, and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety. 1 Tim 2:13-15 YLT The childbearing of the last, anthrōpos/Adam, through which is the resurrection of the dead? 1 Cor 15:21,22,45

    For since by man, death, by man, also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Original sin??? Or the sin of the world?

    The family Adam sinned and brought the death to, anthrōpos, male and female, the death that is the power of the devil. Heb 2:14???
     
    #13 percho, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  14. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    75
    [/QUOTE]
    So,
    Since my position is a novelty, care to explain how? And would you care to tell us who espoused your "solid" position before Augustine?

    Or are you gonna post some web links to hide behind? And if the only "ammo" you have is quoting somebody else, what on earth makes you think you're even qualified to assess whether something is "solid" ??

    Oh, that's right. You and your buddies will high-five each other and pass out stars and thumbs and ribbons. That's solid, right?
     
  15. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,906
    Likes Received:
    362
    This certainly was the intent of the thread. I mentioned that the the passage has had a great effect on the way Christianity (and probably society as a whole from that impact) views both God and man. The verse was important in Augustine's doctrine of "original sin" (I don't think anyone will deny that) and the Adam-Christ analogy that is important to Covenant theology also finds a strong expression by Paul in these verses. The topic of the OP, however, centers on Adam's transgression and it's effect (if any) on subsequent generations as related to Romans 5:12-14.
     
  16. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    75
    The key to understanding Romans chapter 5 is to first understand the dichotomy of man. Paul had a treatment of the inter man from chapters 1 through 4, and shifted to the outer man at the beginning of chapter 5. There are numerous indicators within this chapter and the book as a whole, and then throughout other portions of Paul's writings. One is that when you read the second half of chapter 5, it has a very similar ring to the first half of 1Corinthians 15... in Adam all die, and in Christ all shall be made alive

    Another indicator is to read through the first 10 verses of Romans 5. Paul speaks of this grace in which we stand, having been justified, having been reconciled...

    Another is to compare what Paul writes in chapter 5 with what he had already written in chapters 1 & 2. He already offered a long treatise about how man no longer acknowledge to God had become a fool had worshipped the creature rather than the Creator, how the law was not a help, circumcision was of no benefit... why would he now offer a completely different set of parameters, to wear now is placing the blame on Adam. If we're born condemned on account of Adam, then what we do has no bearing on whether God turns us over to a reprobate mind.

    Also, all states in chapter 5 that we have received the spirit, and he reiterates that in chapter 8. And it's interesting that in all this written between those two verses Paul speaks of the body, or the flesh, in approximately one-quarter of all of his statements.

    Enter also the fact that when you compare what Paul is written in first Corinthians chapter 15, he talks to the Corinthians about the gospel in which they stand. And he unequivocally enjoins our bodily resurrection the gospel itself. And when you look through Acts of the Apostles, at what the apostles preached along their way, they were preaching the resurrection.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,906
    Likes Received:
    362
    James,

    I'm going to try and sum up where I am thus far in contemplating your post. Please correct me when I stray (I certainly do not want to misrepresent your comments), but I am trying to read your post along with the first six chapters of Romans (that’s why I’ve taken a bit to respond).

    From what I understand, you are stating that by the time we arrive at Romans 5 Paul has completed his description of our justification and reconciliation to God in Christ. Having explained man’s justification by faith and reconciliation to God, Paul then emphasizes how much more (now that we are reconciled) shall we be saved by his life (vv. 6-11) and points to Christ’s victory over sin which is also (by Christ’s obedience) victory over death.

    The “therefore” of verse 12, then, expounds on the hope the believer has in this final salvation (those who are justified and reconciled look to the Resurrection as our validation of a future eternal life through Christ).

    If I am following your argument (or at least wandering in your general direction), then you hold that Paul is explaining the hope that we have (we who have been justified in Christ and reconciled to God) in Christ’s victory over the effects of Adam’s sin (physical death). Rather than pointing back to justification (Paul is clearly not pointing back to justification or the forgiveness of our sins) Paul is pointing to the Resurrection of Christ and saying “there is your hope!”

    Am I tracking.....or have I gone an completely different direction?
     
  18. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,493
    Likes Received:
    454
    First of all, Jon, you have not transcribed verse 13 properly. You need to correct it as I have done above.
    I have a strange feeling of deja vu about this thread, but here goes anyway. Some of this will be a repetition of what I wrote on the previous thread, but that can't be helped.

    That Adam, the 'first man,' fell into sin and that fall has affected all his progeny is perfectly clear from verse 12 down to verse 19. Paul uses four different words to express Adam's fall: sin, trespass, offense (5 times) and disobedience. Correspondingly, he uses four words to express the blessing that comes from Jesus Christ, the 'Last Man': gift, grace, righteousness, justification.

    Adam's fall and its consequence are also made clear if one compares Genesis 1:27 with Genesis 5:3. Instead of bearing the image of the holy God, we now bear the image of the one who fell.

    I will repeat the syllogism that I gave on the other thread because I think it's helpful.
    1. Sin was in the world before the Mosaic Law.
    2. Death came to all men because all sinned.
    3. Sin is not imputed when there is no law.
    Therefore
    4. There must have been law before the time of Moses.

    So Adam was under the Moral Law of God. This is obvious if you think about it. If Adam had murdered Eve, or if he had built an altar to the sun or to Baal, do you think that God would have turned a blind eye, but cursed the earth and brought about death because of an apple?

    When Adam fell, he broke most of the Commandments:
    He obeyed Satan rather than Yahveh.
    He made an idol of his appetite and bowed down (figuratively) before it.
    He esteemed the will of God lightly, thus taking His Name in vain.
    He dishonoured his heavenly Father by disobeying Him.
    He caused the death of all his descendants.
    He committed spiritual adultery by listening to Satan when he was bound to God.
    He bore false witness against Eve, accusing her of leading him astray when he was her marital and covenant head..
    He coveted what belonged to God, and stole it.

    God's Moral Law was written on the heart of Adam; in his descendants its writing is smudged and defaced, but still legible (Romans 2:14-15). It was written on stone tablets for the Israelites (Deuteronomy 5:22), and it is re-written on the hearts of God's people (Psalm 40_6-8; Jeremiah 31:33; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16). God's re-writing of the Decalogue after Moses had broken the tablets (Exodus 34:1-4) is a wonderful type of the re-writing of God's laws on our hearts after they had been defaced by Adam's fall.
     
    #18 Martin Marprelate, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
    • Winner Winner x 1
  19. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    75
    You've got the premise pretty well.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,906
    Likes Received:
    362
    Yes, thank you for the correction on verse 13. Thumbsup

    I know that we are not going to agree here, Martin. But I will offer my rebuttal in all brotherly love and hope that we can at least understand each other's position and perhaps even our own with more clarity. You are both articulate and studied; I appreciate your feedback and participation, so please know that when we disagree it is not that I have failed to consider your comments. I wish that more would be of the same mind that you exhibit on this forum.

    I am not seeking a discussion of whether or not sin was in the world before the Law. I think that we both know where the other stands on that point. But what I am interested in is how this difference affects our view of Adam’s sin as a type. That said, this is certainly connected to the other discussion.

    In your example, there is no #4. My suggestion is that #4 is a false assumption you failed to identify but that led from #3 to #5 with "therefore".

    1. Sin was in the world before the Law.
    2. Death came to all men because all sinned.
    3. Sin is not imputed when there is no law.
    4. Then either this sin was not “imputed” or counted because there was no law or there was the law and sin was imputed (you assumed the latter).

    So, what is Paul speaking of here? Paul is saying that sin is not reckoned apart from the law. The purpose of this verse is to explain that apart from the Mosaic law sin is not equal to transgression (which Paul has already stated in Romans 4:15). Sin and death, introduced by Adam’s transgression of God’s commandment not to eat of the fruit (which carried with it a legal or covenantal consequence) is so pervasive that it exercises dominion over people even where the law does not exist. Violating a commandment revealed by God increases the seriousness of sin in that sin is now more defiant and rebellious (Calvin, The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 119; Romans 5:20, 7:7-11). But having already covered this issue of justification and reconciliation, of faith and the law, Paul is moving towards the hope that we have in Christ, not in having been justified and reconciled through his death, but in being saved by his life (vs. 10).

    I believe, brother, that you have grasped one great truth and have magnified it out of proportion so that all you can see here is transgression and the Law. I do mean this in love, but there is a reason that this seems like déjà vu, and I don’t think it’s the topic.
     

Share This Page

Loading...