GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #407
IN ADAM ALL DIED
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Here are four words which reveal what happened when our father Adam sinned in the garden. These four words must be understood. They are so necessary, so vital that I think I can safely and accurately say, until these four simple words are understood there is no understanding of anything else taught in the Bible. This is what God the Holy Spirit tells us about the sin and death of our father Adam and of all the human race in him. May he grant us grace and wisdom to understand it - “In Adam all die!” When God gave his law to Adam, the sanction of the law was death: physical death; spiritual (moral) death, and eternal death. “The wages of sin is death!”
As soon as Adam sinned, he and all his posterity were stripped of that immortality of body which God had given him in creation and became mortals, subject to and infested with all the corruptions of sickness, disease, and death. A spiritual, moral death seized his being, a spiritual, moral corruption and death which is passed upon all men, generation after generation. “In Adam all die!”
Because of Adam’s sin, and our sinning in him, the understanding of man is darkened. - His mind and conscience are defiled. - We are filled with inordinate affections. - Our wills, by nature, are biased toward everything that is evil. We have a natural taste and relish for sin! - Yet, until regenerated and saved by the grace of God, all the sons and daughters of Adam are to every good work lifeless and reprobate. Everyone by nature is born in a state of spiritual death, being dead in trespasses and in sins. This is the language used by the Holy Spirit to describe man’s lost condition (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3).
Spiritual death is the result of Adam’s sin as our representative and substitute in the garden and our sin in him. In Romans five the Holy Spirit uses four distinct words to describe what Adam did in the garden of Eden. In verse 12, it is called “sin.” In fact, in the Greek text, it is twice referred to here as “the sin.” It is called “the sin” because it was the first sin and because it is the fountain of all sin. In verse 14, it is called a “transgression.” The Apostle John tells us that every sin is a transgression of the law (1 John 3:14). Adam’s sin, and our sin in him, was a transgression of that law under which God placed Adam as our representative (Gen. 2:17). In Romans 5:19, it is called “disobedience.” Adam’s sin was an act of willful disobedience to the revealed will of God. Then, in Romans 5:15-20, the Apostle uses the word “offence” four times to describe Adam’s sin, because sin is abhorrently offensive to the holy Lord God. This word, “offence,” conveys the idea of a fall.
That is why we refer to Adam’s sin as “The Fall.” It was the offence, or the fall, by which Adam and the entire human race represented by him fell from a state of honor, integrity, righteousness, life, and happiness into a state of dishonor, sin, unrighteousness, death, and misery.
Though Adam’s sin is represented to us as the simple act of eating that fruit which he was forbidden by God to eat, his act of sin was much more complex than most imagine.
He sinned against light and knowledge, when he was in full power to have resisted temptation. Adam’s sin was the height of ingratitude to God his Maker. It was an affront to God in the highest degree. It was an act of willful unbelief, making God a liar, rejecting the truthfulness of his word. It was an act of intolerable pride, an affectation, pretense, and assumption of deity, of equality with God. It was an act of unparalleled selfishness by which Adam displayed a total disregard, lack of concern for, or even thought of, affection or care for God, his creation, or any of the human race, with whose souls he had been entrusted!
We flinch from acknowledging it, but the fact is, all acts of sin have these three elements in them. Every act of sin is an act of willful unbelief, intolerable pride, and horrible selfishness. Because of the sin of Adam, we all by nature live in God’s world with our fists shoved square in the face of the Almighty in willful unbelief, intolerable pride, and horrible selfishness, until God himself is pleased to break our rebellion and make us new creatures in Christ by his almighty, irresistible, sovereign grace. This is the fallen state of man!
As we were all born sinners, in a state and condition of spiritual death, we were all also born “children of wrath,” under the curse of God’s holy law and subject to eternal death. Eternal death is the just wage and retribution paid to sin by God. Eternal death is the wrath of God revealed against all unrighteousness. It is that which shall forever torment the children of disobedience, unless we are saved from it by the obedience and death of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the last Adam. This eternal death is the curse which Zechariah saw in his vision, as a flying roll flying over the whole earth, by which all the wicked are cut off forever (Zech. 5:1-3).
God’s elect are saved from this fall and the universal curse which is the result of it, because (and only because) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law and delivered us from the wrath to come. He is made of God unto us both righteousness and redemption; and we are now made righteous in him. AMEN.