Romans 5:12–14 (ESV) — 12 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— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 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.
Man not only sins, but there is another element to the fall that dominates us, and that is our sin nature. In the above passage Paul establishes the fact that sin is not just defined as breaking the law, but it is much more sinister. What about those who lived prior to giving the law or were never told about the law, how can God hold this against them? Paul explains that God does hold it against them because the wages of sin is death and death has reigned from Adam to the present time.
There must then be some sin that condemns us because everyone dies. This is often call original sin or the sin nature. It is the very fact that we are in Adam that condemns us. This sin nature is unalterable and unchangeable. We sin because it is in our nature to do so and we cannot do anything which is contrary to that nature, just as God can do nothing contrary to His nature. This is our inheritance from Adam.
Romans 7:25 (ESV) — 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Romans 8:2 (ESV) — 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Man is not only locked into sin, but God has also placed him in a state of sin.
Galatians 3:22 (ESV) — 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Except for the grace of God man is incapable of doing anything that is right in God’s eyes. This fact is know as the total depravity of man.
There is but one escape for those locked in the grip of sin and that is Jesus Christ. Christ freed us from the bondage of sin and allowed us to die to the old sin nature by placing us into the family of God. This is God’s ultimate plan for the salvation that He promised to Adam in Genesis 3:15. Christ is the seed of the woman that dealt a death blow to Satan and elevated those who belong to Christ to the heights of heaven itself. Christ has won the victory and redeemed mankind for himself. We will explore who Jesus Christ is in the next series of posts.