These notes are from our Wednesday night study on doctrine and theology. This is part 2 of our study on The Doctrine of Total Depravity.
Scripture says that we inherited sin from our first father, Adam. Because of Adam, we are counted guilty before God. Romans 5:12
The context of this section of Scripture reveals that Paul is not talking about actual sins that people commit every day of their lives. How can we tell this? Verses 12-21 of Romans 5 is taken up with the comparison between Adam and Jesus.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 5:12-21 ESV)
Death through sin – death spread to all men because all sinned. This means that God saw all of us as having sinned when Adam sinned. This is indicated in verses 13-14.
Paul shows us that even though from the time of Adam to Moses – people did not have God’s written law so their sins were not counted as infractions against God’s law. However, because people died, this is proof that God counted people guilty because of Adam’s sin. Romans 5:18-19
All who came from Adam were counted as sinners.
If you think it unfair that we are represented by Adam, then you should also think it unfair that we are represented by Jesus.
God regards the human race as a whole with Adam as its head. God also regards all Christians – all who are redeemed by the blood of Christ – not just those that carry the name tag – as a whole. Christians are regenerated by Jesus as the head of His people.
We are born with a sinful nature because of Adam’s sin.
- Psalm 51:5
- Psalm 58:3
- Ephesians 2:3
You do not have to teach children to sin. We are all born with a tendency to sin. A child has a natural bent toward sin. Children do not have to be taught how to be:
You have to teach children the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- Proverbs 22:6
- Ephesians 6:4
Every part of our being is infected by sin – emotions, intellect, desires, plans, goals, motives, reasoning, our heart. (The heart is the core of our passions, desires, and decision making processes)
- Job 17:9
- Romans 7:18
Apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – we are incapable of doing any spiritual good before God.
- Romans 8:8
- John 15:5
- Hebrews 11:6
What happens when a Christian sins? Our legal standing before God is not changed.
- Romans 8:1
- Romans 6:23
- 1 Corinthians 15:3
When a Christian sins, their fellowship with God is disrupted and they do damage to their Christian life.
When a Christian sins, God is displeased with us like a daddy is when his child disobeys him.
- Ephesians 4:30
- Hebrews 12:6
- 1 Peter 2:11
Just because one goes to church and “looks the part” it does not guarantee salvation. This type of person is known for having some knowledge. They are good at giving “Sunday School answers.” They live in a consistent pattern of disobedience to Jesus. A consistent pattern of disobedience and lack of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is a red flag that there is no genuine heart-faith and no regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. A long term pattern of disobedience to Jesus should be seen as evidence or a red flag to whether the person in question is really a Christian at all.
For more information on this subject. Please see Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology Book. You can get it on Amazon.