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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Adam's Infamous Gift

By Louis Rushmore

Initially, Adam and Eve either possessed immortal bodies or mortal bodies immortally maintained. In any case, after they sinned and they were no longer allowed to eat from the tree of life, the mortality with which we are familiar was first experienced by them. As a penalty for their sin God decreed that they were to die. As a consequence of Adam and Eve's sin, death was passed on to all mankind. Contrary to Calvinism, though, the guilt of sin is not inherited by descendants of the first couple.

Adam and Eve were created, but their posterity is the result of procreation. Since we neither have access to the tree of life nor has procreation endowed us with immortal bodies, we are subject to death, too. In this way we can easily understand ". . . in Adam all die . . ." (1 Corinthians 15:22), ". . . by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12), and ". . . by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation . . . by one man's disobedience many were made sinners . . ." (Romans 5:18-19).

Obviously, death and mortality, as a consequence of Adam's sin, are universally experienced by mankind. In a sense, all men are participants in the first sin representatively through Adam in the same way Levi representatively through Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec (Hebrews 7:9-10). Frequently, the consequences of one's actions, good or bad, are experienced by others. Happily, the consequences of Christ's obedience to the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8), in part, will result in the universal resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-22; John 5:28, 29).

Man is a dual being, both physical and spiritual. He inherits his physical, mortal body through procreation from Adam. However, man's spiritual nature is derived from God, who is a spirit (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Zechariah 12:1; John 4:24). Therefore, since God is pure and sinless, the soul each person inherits from God is at first also pure and sinless. For this reason Adam's sin is not inherited; each person is only guilty of his own sins (Ezekiel 28:15; 18:20).

Adam's infamous gift to humanity, as a consequence of his sin, is death. However, Adam and Eve alone were guilty of that sin. Each of us is guilty only for his own sins. Fortunately for us, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, death brought about by Adam's sin is countered and the coming universal resurrection is ensured.

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

Further, through the death and resurrection of Christ our sins can be taken away (1 Peter 1:18-21; Acts 2:22-38).

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email:
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
(281) 469-3540

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