Title: The Doctrine of Original Sin
Text: Romans 5.12-14
CIT: Sin entered the world through Adam’s rebellion and has infected every human being so that all have sin and none is without sin.
CIS: Where Adam brought both sin and death to all humans, Jesus has conquered both in his redeeming work on the Cross.
Introduction: Is there any doubt that sin exists?
Story: I love the children’s message today because it really brings home the teaching of God’s Word and the author.
Ill.: Story of the elk who licked the hunter…
Some stories are hard to believe. But, everything changes when you consider the one who tells it.
That is the way it is with Scripture. When our story comes straight from the mouth of God, then it is easy to believe. We’ll look at just such a story this morning as Paul presents the Doctrine of Original Sin to the Romans.
I’d like to present a series of questions, which I believe this passage answers:
- How did sin enter into the world?
- What are the consequences of that action?
- Was it that way before the Law was given?
- This is all so very bleak! What hope is there, then?
Let’s begin with this first question:
- How did sin get here? (12a)
exp.: The answer is: Sin and Death Entered the World through Adam’s Rebellion. Rd 12a; I think it is important that we not separate these two – sin and death, because they are really inseperabl. Let’s look at the actual text where Paul’s teaching comes from: Gen. 2.25-3.7; you’ll notice the bookends of 2.25-3.7 concerning their nakedness. In one, they were not ashamed in their nakedness. In the other, there is great shame in their nakedness.
ill.: In the Simeon Trust Preach Workshops, this passage is often used as an example of Deuteronomy 4.2: 2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. You see the idea in preaching is to present God’s Word – unadulterated, pure and simple. Read with me 3.1; I wonder if Satan spoke with a hiss: Did God really sssssay? Look how Eve responds:
- She minimizes the freedom that God gave them. read v 2; God originally told them they could eat from every tree except one. Next,
- She added a strictness to his command – not to even touch it. rd v 3; (2.17)
- She softened his word in regard to their certain death. God said She said lest.
Let me ask you this morning: what importance do you place upon handling the Word of God. Is every word important? You bet, because when we don’t know God’s Word, it is so easy for someone to lead us astray. Rd v 4-7;
I say it is. Furthermore, what we’re seeing here is that a breakdown in properly handling God’s Word leads to sinful behavior. It leads to rebellion.
app.: I wish Eve would have said: you know what, let me get back to you on this. I need to consult God on this first!
Well, we see here how sin entered the world: through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Their rebellion brings about the curse at the end of the chapter and it ends with the assurance that God’s Word was true all along. He said: in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. And the curse concludes with: for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Furthermore, you can read to chapter 5, verse 5 and read: 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.
Ill.: This past week a woman I encountered at the bank asked me a question about the temptation in the Garden: Pastor, was Adam even there. Well, I needed to do some research for that one. I had always assumed he was. I mention this because, at some point, we must address the issue of roles and responsibilities. Why wasn’t it Eve who suffered the brunt of the punishment? As you finish up chapter three, you read about the submissive role Eve was to take, the contrary nature she would have against her husband, and the authority and responsibility Adam was given.
I wish we had more time to spend here, but I’m sure many of you are probably asking: Why did Adam take the brunt and the sin was passed through him to all people? Simply put: Because, he had a responsibility and he remained passive in the event. Two items to note:
- The word you is plural throughout Genesis 3.1-5;
- Rd v 6; 6 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.
app.: He failed in the responsibility and the role God had given to him.
t.s.: How did sin get here? Sin and Death Entered the World through Adam’s Rebellion: 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, we continue… and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— which brings us to our second question:
- What are the consequences of that action? (12b)
exp.: And the answer is quite simple: Sin and Death have affected every human since that time. And since, or because) Adam was the 1st human, sin was passed on to all other humans. It is interesting the verbs you find in these verses: First, Sin came into; 2nd, Death came through; the picture is that Death spread throughout all of humanity like a sickness to all humans; So the scripture reads…and so death spread to all men. That word men, of course means, mankind. And then we read this little phrase: because all sinned.
ill.: I’m thinking of the movie, The Prince’s Bride, and the scene when indigo Montoya says: I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Well, because all sinned, doesn’t mean that everyone is a sinner because everyone has sinned – like, if they had never sinned, then they’d be sinless. To be sure, this is had to understand from the Gk to the English. Literally, it is a prepositional phrase. Often times, context will determine how you translate something into English. Certain words have different meaning in context. Husbands, you wife comes home with groceries. She gets to the door and you open it for her. She says: Carry this. You know to take the bag from her arm and carry it. If She then says: Can you carry me to the doctor tomorrow – you don’t think that she means to pick her up like a sack of potatoes and throw her over your shoulder, do you? No, you know she needs a ride.
The preposition is on or upon, when in reference to location or proximity you would translate it near or at. And, sometimes in reference to authority it can be translated over. When concerning legal terms, it would be translated before (before authority). But at times this word can be translated on the basis of… cf.: 1 Tim 5.19: 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. And that’s probably closer to the meaning here: you might translate this: and so death spread to all men based on the fact that all sinned. You know that sin has infected every human because we see that every human sins.
app.: Tom Shreiner brings out the understanding of this phrase in the simple explanation: we sin because we’re spiritually dead.
t.s.: What are the consequences of that action? Sin and Death have affected every human since that time. Well, that raises a really good question then:
- What about before the Law was given? (13-14a)
exp.: I don’t know if you’ve ever even considered this, but it really is a good question. If the law brings a knowledge of sin (3.20), then how do people know what sin is if there is no law? And, at one time, before Moses, there was no law. We see the question raised in v 13 and answered in v 14; So, if there was no law, was there then no sin? Paul says: No. There has always been sin, ever since Adam sinned. Answer: Sin and Death have reigned over all humanity, even those who lived before the law was given.
t.s.: Wow… if this is the case, it appears that all is hopeless. That is our last question…
- So, what hope is there? (25-32)
exp.: It would have been, except for one small – or rather large detail: God had a plan… and we read about it in the rest of v. 14b: who was a type of the one who was to come.
ill.: Let’s say you and I are having a conversation – and we’re talking about Joshua Webb. Did you know the Webb’s have a dog? What’s her name? Let’s say I then describe her to you… she’s black, has black eyes, has four legs, a tail that is always wagging when you speak to her and just loves to be loved on. And that’s about it, right? But let’s say that you come over to my house and you meet Suzy, my dog. And I ask you to describe her. Well, she looks nothing like Joshua’s dog, but you’d say all the same things. But how is my dog different? Well, she’s a lot shorter. Appears a lot younger, can jump and move a lot faster, can accept commands in three different languages. You see the differences when you see them side-by-side. That’s what a ‘type’ is. It allows you to see something similar, but notice the difference.
app.: Adam was a ‘type’ of Christ. His action affected us all. Jesus, well, his action would affect us all, too – but in a different way. Where death came by the 1st Adam, life comes by the 2nd Adam.
Ill.: Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley wrote Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Conclusion: Well, that is what we’ll be looking at next week. For now, what should we do with what we’ve learned?
Application: So, what do we do in light of this information?
- Understand the Doctrine is so very important to our Christian Faith.
- If you remove the doctrine of original sin, you remove a vital component to the gospel. It is at this moment in Scripture we first learn of God’s plan for redemption.
- Consider religions where people attempt to balance their sin and their good deeds.
- Respond to this message! Where Adam brought both sin and death to all humans, Jesus has conquered both in his redeeming work on the Cross. If you find that you’re a sinner because sin was passed to you through Adam and you’ve never done anything about it – well, respond to Jesus.
- He came to die for your sin.
- Trust him as your Lord and Savior.
- Tell someone! Tell someone about the death that comes through Adam and the hope eternal life through Jesus. Don’t keep it to yourself!
- CWT: knocking on doors, introducing ourselves and seeking opportunities to share the story of Christ.
- Begin a prayer strategy:
- Target individuals
- Become intentional about sharing
- At work
- Invite them over for dinner or some activity
We’re going to have a moment of silence for you to consider these things. Then, after a moment of silence, we’ll be dismissed with a benedictory prayer. Then, we’ll gather in the back for a time of fellowship. I’d like to talk with you about these things. Come visit with me over some coffee and a snack.