In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In previous weeks we’ve seen God’s providence to humans when he created them by blessing them wonderfully. But then we saw that because of Satan’s temptation and the sinful choice of the first humans, they were cast out of God’s blessings. But did the sinful choices of Adam and Eve affect all humans?
Sadly the first sin of Adam and Eve affected every single person after them. I once had a conversation with someone who denied their own sinfulness. I pointed out that we all became guilty of sin as soon as Adam sinned. This person was happy to accept that Adam was guilty of sin, but they insisted they had no personal connection with Adam or his sin. Adam was guilty, they were guiltless.
But the Bible insists that we are all personally connected to Adam. Firstly we are all descended from Adam and Eve. We read in Genesis that we all come from Eve: ‘Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living’ (Genesis 3:20). Paul also teaches the Greeks in Athens that they are descended from Adam as well: ‘From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live’ (Acts 17:26).
Secondly, we learn from the Bible that we are all connected to Adam not just by blood, but also by his sin. Paul teaches us: ‘through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners’ (Romans 5:19). Paul is trying to make us understand that we are all originally sinful. We are not born originally good and then influenced by the evil of the world. There is evil in the world because we are essentially evil.
This is scary news and no wonder people try to distance themselves from Adam’s sin. But thankfully just as one man brought us into the mess of sin, one man can take us out of it: Jesus Christ. Paul says: ‘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 5:19). If you trust in Jesus Christ to save you from your sins, you are connected to him and will experience the providential blessings of God again.
Do you recognise that you were involved in Adam’s sin, or do you claim no part in it? Do you trust in Jesus to get you out of your original sin? Joel Radford.