By Thomas Taylor
HOW WE BECOME SINNERS – Part 4
You Die Spiritually Because of Your Own Sins, Not Adam’s
Spiritual death is far more serious than physical death. Physical death means your body ceases to live; ashes to ashes and dust to dust. But spiritual death is extremely serious because a body can be resurrected but once spiritual death takes place it is an eternal separation from the life of God. There can be no worse thing that could happen to man. It is so serious that God had to send His Son Jesus to die to overcome it. Jesus prayed if there be any other way to do it then let’s go with that but there was no other way. To say that all of humanity dies spiritually because of the Adam’s sin means there is a misunderstanding as to how serious spiritual death is. To say all men are spiritually dead through Adam would be an injustice on the part of God because we had no choice in the act that doomed us eternally. God would not allow such an injustice to determine our destiny. No, our own personal sins determine our own separation from God. No man can point the finger at God and say, “You unjustly condemned me because I had no choice in Adam’s sin.”
Eze 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
The Scripture above says that the person that sins shall die for their own sins, not the sins of the father. We do not die spiritually for the Original Sin of Adam. I encourage you to read all of Ezekiel 18 to see that I am not prooftexting here, i.e. taking it out of context. Nowhere in Scripture is it taught that we die for our father’s sins. The penalty of your sins falls on you, not your children. The sins of your father fall on him, not on you. This is a principle found throughout Scripture therefore the case of Original Sin would not fall under different rules.
Eze 18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel . Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine : the soul that sinneth, it shall die .
Deu 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
2Ki 14:6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
2Ch 25:4 But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.
Jer 31:29, 30 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
Could you imagine you, your children, and their children being convicted and sentenced for a crime that your father committed? How ridiculous! But this is what is being taught in Calvinism’s Original Sin. Our conscience knows that it is wrong to convict another man of sins or a crime that they did not commit. Not only the Spirit of God bears witness to that fact in us but it is consistently repeated in Scriptures as shown above. The only exception is the scapegoat Jesus Christ who voluntarily took the sins of the world upon Himself but that was by His choice. You may say, “Well, what about that passage which says God will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation?”:
Exo 20:5 KJVR Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God , visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
(Also Exo 34:7; Num 14:18; and Deut 5:9.)
First, if it were interpreted to mean God convicts or punishes the children for the father’s sins, then only the third and fourth generations would be guilty of Adam’s sin. However, the interpretation that the children are convicted or punished for the father’s sins is not correct. Why? Because it would completely contradict the Scriptures I just gave in Ezekiel 18 and we know God made no mistakes in the Bible. So, in the light of what God said in Ezekiel 18 we must conclude that it cannot possibly mean that the son is convicted or punished for the father’s sin.
Notice the difference in the texts. Ezekiel 18 says, “bear the iniquity” but Exodus 20 says, “visit the iniquity.” Simply put, these Scriptures mean the children will not be penalized before God in judgment for the father’s sins; however, the children will have to endure the consequences of the father’s sins to the third and fourth generation. For example, the father may be a drunk. The children are not going to be sentenced to hell for the father being a drunk but the children will have to live in that household and endure the pains of such a lifestyle. God is saying that He allows the sins of the father to affect other generations so that we can see the seriousness of sin.
Exodus 20 (and the other Scriptures like it) is specifically speaking about the covenant that God made with the Israelites. If they turn from Him and worship idols, they and their children would be thrown into captivity. That is not to say it is the children’s fault that the father worshipped idols nor is it a punishment for the children, but they still have to endure the consequences of the father’s decision to sin because they live in a household with a disobedient father.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible says:
Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children – This necessarily implies – if the children walk in the steps of their fathers; for no man can be condemned by Divine justice for a crime of which he was never guilty; see Ezekiel 18. Idolatry is however particularly intended, and visiting sins of this kind refers principally to national judgments. By withdrawing the Divine protection the idolatrous Israelites were delivered up into the hands of their enemies, from whom the gods in whom they had trusted could not deliver them. This God did to the third and fourth generations, i.e., successively; as may be seen in every part of the Jewish history, and particularly in the book of Judges (1. Clarke).
We are guilty before God for only our sins, not Adam’s. Think about it, to say you are a sinner because of Adam’s sin takes the blame off of you. You are not guilty because Adam did it. You were helpless and had no choice in the matter so common sense would tell you that God could not blame you. However, religion mysteriously concludes that God does blame us for Adam’s sin without sufficient explanation or Scriptural proof.
If Adam’s Original Sin makes us die spiritually, then all the other sins we personally commit are meaningless. If Adam’s Original Sin makes us die, then Jesus did not die for the sins of the world as the Scriptures say (1 Joh 2:2), He died only for one sin – the sin of Adam. Of course we know this not to be true:
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
If I set aside the teachings of men and just read this verse as it is written, I would read it to say:
- Sin entered into the world by Adam
- Sin causes death
- Death passes upon all men because they all sinned!
The point Paul is making is that Adam opened the door to allow sin into the world. We now have a choice to make when confronted with temptation whereas before Adam’s sin we did not. Paul is not claiming that Adam’s sin makes the entire human race condemned immediately and directly. Paul is saying that Adam opened the door to allow the human race to be condemned when they sin. Reading this in context, it would be impossible to arrive at the conclusion, “I’m first a sinner because of Adam’s sin which is the reason I sin,” as opposed to what it actually teaches, which is that Adam opened the door to the choice of sin in the world, then I sinned. Therefore, I became a sinner and died because of my sin.
People may go on to quote the rest of the chapter to say I am wrong but they must keep the rest of Roman’s chapter five in context with the thought Paul stated in verse 12:
Rom 5:15 if through the offense of one many be dead,
This is not to be interpreted that Adam’s sin immediately and directly doomed the entire human race spiritually. “The offense” of Adam opened the door for sin which allows us to now sin, thus many become dead by their own sins, keeping in mind verse 12.
Rom 5:16 for the judgment was by one to condemnation
This means Adam opened the door for the entire human race to potentially sin and be condemned, not that Adam immediately and directly condemned the entire race spiritually.
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.
To read the first part of this verse and interpret that Adam caused all men to immediately and directly become condemned, then we must use the same logic for the last part of the verse and concluded that Jesus immediately and directly caused us all to become saved. Calvinist, if they remain true to their way of interpreting the Bible, must also be Universalists. Of course, they are not Universalists nor should we read this to mean all of humanity is condemned because of Adam any more than all of humanity is saved because of Jesus. We are only saved if we make the choice to accept Jesus and we are only condemned if we make the choice to sin. Remember, Calvinism rejects anything that shows we have a choice. So they read the Bible from a wrong standpoint.
In King James, the two mentions of the word “came” in this verse are in italics. That means that the translator took the liberty to add those words. Often things were added based on their own bias or what they had been taught. Keeping in mind the context of verse 12, it would seem that the translator took the liberty to make the word “came” past tense according to his own bias. Consider what these Bible versions say:
(AMP) [ one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [ leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.
(MRC) Therefore as through one transgression led to condemnation for all men, even so through one righteous act there resulted justification of life to all men.
“Led to” means it resulted in the condemnation. This implies it was not directly because of Adam’s sin that we are condemned but Adam started the domino effect which led to us sinning, thus becoming condemned. The words “led to” seem to match up more properly with the context of verse 12.
Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Again, this is not to mean that Adam directly made people sinners any more than Jesus directly made people righteous. No, in both cases man has to choose; he chooses to sin to become a sinner and chooses salvation to be made righteous. To say Adam’s sin was immediately and directly imputed but Jesus’ righteousness was not would be using bad Bible hermeneutics.
I do not disagree that through Adam many are dead because it is absolutely true, indirectly. If Adam did not sin, then we could not become sinners in the flesh as a human race. Many read this to mean Adam sinned therefore I become a sinner immediately and directly spiritually, but that is not what it is saying according to Rom 5:12. Indirectly, because of Adam’s sin, sin entered into the world so now I can choose sin and I did. Therefore, because of my sin I became a sinner spiritually, not because of Adam’s sin.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
What was different between Adam’s sin and the sins of men after Adam to Moses? The difference is that Adam had one law to obey with no conscience. However, all men after Adam had to obey all the Laws in their conscience. In disobeying their conscience spiritual death reigned.
Some mistakenly conclude we are condemned to spiritual death because of a sin nature in our flesh. However, if we are condemned to spiritual death only because the sin nature resides in our flesh, then Jesus was condemned as well because He was born from sinful Mary (Job 14:4) and could not be a sacrifice for us. You are not condemned to spiritual death because of a sin nature in your flesh. You are condemned to spiritual death only when you sin. If we are condemned to spiritual death because the sin nature resides in our spirit when we are conceived, then it is the same argument as above impugning the character of God.
Every Man Must Be Born Again
The spirit man must be born again once he knowingly sins. Why?
Mar 2:22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
Our spirits are withered from a lack of God’s presence. We are sickly and weak in our spirits because we are spiritually dead or separated from the presence of God. According to this verse, if God came back into our spirits without making us a new creation in our spirits first, it would destroy us. Every man that has died spiritually must be born again.
Being born again means being born of God. It says in 1 Corinthians 5:17 we are a new creation when we are born again. God takes our spirit and creates it anew without sin, without death, and without depravity. We are clean, pure, and righteous in our spirit man because of our faith in Jesus Christ at the moment of conversion.
The Roman Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception says that Mary was kept pure from the corruption of sin, including Original Sin, so she could give birth to Jesus in purity. Because of the false doctrine of Original Sin, ultimately Immaculate Conception makes Mary out to be a god. (Did you know Calvinism is originally a Roman Catholic doctrine? It is from a Catholic Theologian named Augustine.) Mary was not kept from the Original Sin. She had the same flesh that we all do which is sinful. Mary was not a god nor should she be prayed to. The spirit of Jesus came from Heaven while His body came from sinful Mary. It is not necessary to make Mary into something special because the true Jesus, His spirit and soul, was pure for it came from God and not Mary:
Mat 1:18, 20 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together , she was found with child of the Holy Ghost; But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost .
Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Mary is NOT the mother of God; she only wrapped His divine spirit in sinful flesh. He was a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind because He never sinned becoming a sinner:
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Heb 7:26 For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (notice the emphasis on His personal actions not the actions of another like Adam).
1Jo 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
He was never condemned like all of humanity was (Isa 53:6; 2 Cor 5:14). Jesus’ flesh ultimately came from Adam (remember He called Himself “The Son of Man”), thus He had the same flesh we do which has sinful desires. Even if He had special flesh at conception that was not corrupt, he had to eat of the food that comes from the fruit of cursed earth. That food is assimilated into His flesh so that His flesh is made of the same dirt every other man was made of. I do not believe Jesus had special flesh. Jesus was a man with the same flesh you and I have, yet He never sinned or became a sinner in His soul or spirit. If Jesus was born with special flesh without a propensity to sin, then the verse Heb 4:15 (“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.“) is a lie. Not to mention, for Him to not be able sin means His redemption has no merit because He could not really be tempted. If Jesus could not really be tempted, then He was not a man at all. Only a man can take the place of men on that cross to die for their sins.
Having sinful desires of the flesh does not equate to guilt for sin. The flesh is not the real man; the spirit is the real man. Jesus’ spirit and soul never gave-in to the desires of His flesh so He never became guilty of sin:
Heb 2:10, 18 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.
Heb 4:15 KJVR For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are , yet without sin.
(See also Matt 4:1-11; Phi. 2:6-8)
For Those in Opposition
To disprove the major points of this article, you have to provide a Bible verse or verses that say one or more of the following:
- We are born sinners in our spirits
- Adam’s sin included our spirits, souls, and bodies
- Our spirits were in Adam when he did the original sin.
However, you will not find one Scripture that says or even implies any of these possibilities. We have been taught wrong. Many have been religiously brainwashed and now it is time to read the Bible for ourselves and get a revelation of the Truth.
Here is one objection someone may ask:
“If humanity is not born in sin, wouldn’t we expect there to be some people who have ‘beaten the odds’ and never sinned? If we are born innocent and good, wouldn’t you expect there to be at least some people to have continued in this state and be sinless today? “
The problem with this thinking is that Calvinism is so pessimistic about man’s constitution that everything we do is morally evil. But societies are good or else all the world’s societies would live under constant chaotic anarchist governments. However, we see governments making laws after God’s Law and upholding them. Man is originally good at his core, but sin has corrupted the flesh, the soul, the environment, our invisible enemy Satan, and his minions. With so much against us, it is no wonder that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory.
The Bible states our spirits are affected by sin, such as spiritual death, weakness, and sickliness, but are not depraved by sin originally. Jesus said:
Joh 3:7 KJVR Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Why must we be born again? Because of the effects of sin in our spirits. We are permanently marred by sin.
Considering the whole of Scriptures, we can be assured man is born righteous in his soul and spirit and sinful in his flesh. Man becomes sinful in his soul or heart. When he chooses to sin, after he has reached the age where he knows right from wrong, he dies spiritually. However, the good news is that Jesus is the Savior of the world. He has provided complete redemption from all sin and we are born-again when we put our faith in Him. Thank God for His immeasurable love shown through the LORD Jesus Christ! Glory to God!
- Clarke, Adam. Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible. e-sword.net.