For the last two weeks we have been looking at the origin of sin. We have seen that sin did not originate with God and that the first sin was in the angelic world. But when did sin begin to occur in man?
The Bible tells us that the origin of sin began with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. If we understand ‘sin is lawlessness’ (1 John 3:4) then we see the first sin was breaking the command that God gave Adam and Eve: ‘And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die”’ (Genesis 2:16-17). By breaking this command Adam and Eve were exhibiting the essence of sin – they were placing themselves in opposition to God. Rather than allowing God to determine what is right and wrong, they chose to ignore him and do what they thought was right.
Once this first sin occurred, not only Adam and Eve fell into sin, the entire human race became sinful. The apostle Paul teaches this: ‘…sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned’ (Romans 5:12). On that day in the garden, every single person ever to be born inherited a depraved human nature from Adam and Eve. This means that everyone has a permanent pollution of sin in everything that they do and that everyone has the guilt of sin and will be eternally punished.
But thankfully, although all humans are sinful from birth, they do not need to die with a complete pollution of sin and the guilt of sin. Paul also teaches: ‘…just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous’ (Romans 5:18-19). Just as we inherited sin from one man, Adam, we can inherit freedom from sin through one man, Jesus Christ. We will be counted as righteous and freed from the guilt of sin and its punishment.
Does inheritance from Christ happen as automatically as the inheritance of sin did from Adam? No. You have to ask Christ to make it happen. You do that by repenting of your sin to him and trusting in his death on the cross for yourself. I know you have an inheritance from Adam, but do you have an inheritance from Christ? I pray that you do.