In the last post we saw Paul’s explanation that, “The proof of God’s amazing love is this: it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us . . .” and continued by saying,
“Nor, I am sure, is this a matter of bare salvation—we may hold our heads high in the light of God’s love because of the reconciliation which Christ has made!” —Romans 5:11
Did you catch that? We can now rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done in dying for our sins—making us friends of God! Oh Yeah! Yippee! You can’t get it any better than that!
“This, then, is what has happened. Sin made its entry into the world through one man [referring to Adam—through his treason], and through sin, came death” —Romans 5:12
Let’s take a side-step for a moment that may help us understand what happened here. There are two words that open the Bible for us. They are the words life and death. Until we understand those two words, we will never fully understand our dilemma regarding our relationship with God—and of His Revelation to man, the Bible.
I occasionally mention the concept of Spiritual Death. This Primal Death entered man at the fall. We read in Genesis that God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and excellent fruit to eat. The Tree-of-Life was in the middle of the garden, as was the Tree of the Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. God commanded his man, “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree of the Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Do not eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you are dead.” (Genesis 2:9; 16-17). In other words, Adam was given his choice.
The literal translation of Genesis 2:17 is,, “In dying, you will die,” giving the concept of a two-fold death. The moment Adam sinned, he died spiritually, however, he did not die physically for another 930 years.
Before we get too deep into an understanding of Spiritual Death, we need to understand what Adam’s actual transgression was. What did Adam actually do? It could not have been a broken law because a law had not been given yet, at least as we understand the term. Yet his sin was serious enough to demand the incarnation and sufferings of Christ.
If you study the book of Beginnings—or Genesis, you will learn that Adam had far-reaching authority; that he possessed an intellect of such caliber as to be the companion of Deity; that he held in his hands the joy and sorrows of God.
If we understand this, what was the nature of the sin he committed? Well, if, as the scripture plainly teaches, Adam had ownership—dominion—over all of creation (see Psalm 8:6-8 for example); if God had indeed conferred to him the authority to rule the universe, which was the most sacred heritage God could give to man, we should be able to understand the nature of the sin he committed.
Adam’s sin was nothing less than the crime of Treason. I cannot think of a better term for it. Adam turned this legal dominion over to Satan. He took what belonged to him—a gift from his Father—and turned it over to the control of Satan. Throughout history, treason has always been viewed as unpardonable.
Let’s discuss this a little more in the next post . . .
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome