Monday, October 9, 2006

Why Does Adam Get Blamed? (Romans № 13 Part 1)

Why does the world have so much old baggage plainly to be seen throughout human history?

"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."
(Rom 5.12-14 ESV)

This is the most difficult section of Scripture I've come across to this point in my study of the letter to the Romans. It frankly perplexes me yet let me rush in where angels fear to tread and hazard some answers. Let's break down three issues, one day at a time.

Problem # 1 -- Why did sin enter through Adam and not Eve?

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin," (Rom 5.12a ESV)

According to Genesis 3.6 it was Eve, not Adam, who first ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil--the one tree God forbade our first parents from using as food.
"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate." (Gen 3.6 ESV)

In fact, Paul makes an argument elsewhere by adding:

"For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."
(1Ti 2.13-14 ESV)

So, why do people speak of an "Adamic Nature" rather than an "Evean Nature"? Why is Adam charged with the first transgression that has plagued mankind ever since?

I believe the best answer to this (admittedly speculative theology) is to speak of Adam as the Representative, the Federal Head, of all humanity. God had a special covenant of obedience with Adam, not Eve. In other words, he is our probationary man who stands responsible for the blessings or the throes of mankind. Under the First Adam mankind was cursed by being born without a relationship of God due to his sin. As Adam chose so did the consequences of humanity follow.

And it really hurt us all.