Our Text is Romans 5:12 which states: "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:". In Commenting on this Johnson says , "all the race sinned in Adam, its representative, infants, idiots and all". Generally this man is a very fine commentator but here he misses it. Let us notice this text carefully. 1. Romans 5:12 states that sin entered the world by one man. This does not say sin was imputed to all men by one man. Sin being in the world does not make the whole human race guilty of sin. Measles are in the world but all do not have the measles. Cancer is in the world but all do not have cancer. We have to be exposed to these diseases in order to have them. The same is so of sin. We are born into a sinful world and we might have certain weaknesses to different kinds of sins but we have to go through a wrong action to sin. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James 1:14, 15). 2. We all do not sin like Adam. Adam's violation was violation of a positive law. Ours is often violation of moral laws. Adam could not have committed adultery because there was only one woman in the world and that was his wife. Adam could not have stolen anything from another because there was no one else to steal from. Adam could not have borne false witness against his neighbor because there was no neighbor to bear false witness against. "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." (Rom. 5:14). There were different sins committed by different individuals. We cannot commit the sin Adam committed so we can't be guilty of the sin of Adam. 3. We do not inherit our spirits from Adam. Hebrews 12:9 states, "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" Does this not prove that the fathers of our flesh are not the fathers of our spirits? Our bodies we inherit from our fathers but our spirits come directly from God. "The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him." Here again it is stated that God is the author of man's spirit. Then in Ecclesiastes 12:7 it is stated: "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." The words "returns to God" clearly imply that the spirit had to come from God in order to return to Him in death. 4. Now notice James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Since only good things come from God, and God gave us our spirits at birth, then the spirits of babies are without sin and wrong. They do not inherit Adam's sin because they did not come from Adam. We are born into a sinful and wicked world. We have weaknesses to certain sins and somewhere along the way we become responsible and are deceived by Satan just like Eve was in the garden of Eden. 5. What then is the meaning of "and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" of Romans 5:12. If babies are not born sinners then how is it that some of them die? Babies sometimes suffer the consequences of Adam's sin in physical death. That does not mean that they inherit spiritual death. We know this is so because God gives a sinless soul to everyone born in this world. If death takes place in infancy or early childhood before the age of responsibility then the soul is still without sin. 6. Then what is the meaning of "For that all have sinned"? This would be limited to responsible people who sin either by transgressing God's law (I John 3:4) or omitting to do what they know to be good (James 4:17). Sin is an act of disobedience by one knowing right from wrong. "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable" (Rom. 3:12). Jesus came to save sinners (I Tim. 1:15).
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