Dr. S. Lewis Johnson summarizes his series of lessons on how sin infected the human race as the result of Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden.
[Message] When we had our last lesson we were studying the nature, consequences, and transmission of sin. And since we did not get an opportunity to finish that last part of that lesson, I think it would be desirable for us to spend the first few moments in reviewing slightly and then completing our last lesson.
You will remember that when we discussed the nature of sin based upon Genesis chapter 3 and verse 6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Then we looked first at the theories of the nature of evil: the dualistic theory, the illusion theory which is very similar to the theory of the Christian Science uses with regard to evil, the ignorance theory that sin is ignorance of God’s purposes hence pardonable, and then we considered the theory that sin is selfishness.
And we pointed out that while sin is selfishness that is not a full and complete and accurate definition of sin. Then we discussed the biblical view of the nature of evil and pointed out that sin is objective transgression of God’s law. Sin is lawlessness, the Bible itself says. And that that involves both guilt and pollution and issues in the sinful state, sinful deeds, and sinful habits. And then we discussed briefly the Pelagian view of sin, Pelagius, a British monk, who preached in Rome popularly in the 5th Century. And then we began our discussion of the consequences of sin. And we discussed first the concept of original sin. And we pointed out that term refers to the state in which man is born after Adam. It was original sin because it is derived from the original root of the human race. It is present in the life of every individual.
We all have partaken of original sin. It involves, of course, original guilt and original pollution, the presence of positive evil. And then we discussed the concept of total depravity. These are not the same concepts. Original sin is the doctrine that relates our sin, the sin of Adam. Our sin is due to his sin. The concept of total depravity has to do with the pervasive pollution of sin in the human race, and specifically, in each individually. It extends to every part of man’s nature and faculties and precludes the existence of divine spiritual good in the sinner. Every one of us is perverted by sin.
Now, that is the concept of total depravity. We pointed out that total depravity does not mean that every man is equally bad, that every man is as bad as he could be, that every man has no conscience that is able to discriminate between good and evil, and that he will not do acts of benevolence for we know that men do acts of benevolence. What total depravity says is that everything that he does is infected by sin. He is totally unable to please God. He may still perform natural good, civil good, externally religious good. He may be an outstanding citizen. He may be a great philanthropist.
Many things that he may do, things that we might admire as human beings but even the good things that the totally depraved man does are affected by his sin nature. His motives are bad. He may do an admirable deed but for self-aggrandizement. He may do something that we all admire, but just for that reason that we may admire him. So the idea of total depravity does not mean that every man is equally bad, that he never does anything good, that he’s as bad as he can be, but it means that even when we do good it is affected by sin, and that every one of us is perverted by sin. Now, that’s the concept of total depravity.
Now, we discussed briefly the concept of human freedom. Does man sin involve loss of freedom or free will? And positively, we pointed out that he has liberty to choose as he pleases in full accord with the dispositions and tendencies of his spirit. Man is a responsible moral agent. He possesses reason, conscience, freedom of choice. Negatively, however, he has lost the power to determine his course in the direction of the highest good. In other words, he has by nature now an irresistible bias to evil. So when we say that man is a responsible moral agent, we do not really mean that he has the power in his present condition to choose that which is good apart from divine enablement. For the truth of the matter is, he is now infected with original sin and total depravity. He cannot apprehend and love the spiritually good or the things that belong to salvation. He needs divine enablement. So for man to say that we have free will is not true to the facts of Scripture. Our salvation is not due to the choice of human will apart from divine enablement. It is true that we do will to accept Christ, but our wills are moved in the direction of accepting him by the previous work of the Holy Spirit of God.
Now, there are two texts of Scripture that state this very plainly. And it’s amazing that many, in spite of the two texts, will still proclaim the doctrine that man is saved by human volition. For example, John chapter 1, verse 13 why don’t you turn to that text with me. John chapter 1 in verse 13. John writes in the 12th verse of this prologue, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe now who were born, not of blood, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man.” You see that. “Which were born, not by the will of man but of God.” See that. You know what that means? That means that when you in your will chose to believe in Jesus Christ that was the human side only. The divine side is that God has through prevenient grace. You need to know that term.
How many ever took Latin? Ah well that’s good. I thought in Believers Chapel we’d probably accumulate a few people. We have the sense and intelligence to take Latin or else they had parents that had the sense and intelligence to make them take it. Is that closer to the truth? Do you remember Latin verb venio? Almost. Come. Go or come. I’m not going to say it couldn’t mean go. Come is the ordinary meaning of it. So pre, of course, is the Latin preposition for before. So prevenient grace is grace that comes to us before we believe in Jesus Christ, prevenient grace. That’s not the only text that tells us that we were not saved through free will. Let’s turn over to Romans chapter 9 and let’s read verse 14, 15, and 16. Romans chapter 9 verse 14, 15, and 16.
Now, here is text too that I don’t understand how we can overlook that this is what Paul says. John with one of the apostles, Paul was a lader, they believed the same thing. “What shall we say then,” Romans 9:14, “Is there unrighteousness with God,” because he said Jacob have I loved. Esau have I hated. “God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Now, “So then it is not of him that willeth.” Put your glasses on again. Look at it. Underline it if you are an Arminian. “So then it is not of him that willeth, not of him that willeth.” See that? Look at it. Look at it good. “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” We should not say that we are saved by human volition. We are saved by divine volition. Now, Paul in Philippians 2 says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. And then he quickly adds for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. So the concept of human freedom is only a human concept. That is it has to do with what we feel. We are responsible moral agents. We are responsible for the decisions that we make but when our decisions are made toward God they are the products of prevenient grace.
Well, now, does that make you a little uh does that upset you a little bit? Disturb you a little bit. Now, come on. Don’t sit there and be dishonest. Doesn’t that disturb you a little bit? You know why? Because you think naturally. That’s why. You think like men. You don’t think like God. As long as we’re here in the flesh, we tend to think like men. We rationalize. We reason on the basis of a nature that is now totally depraved under sin, unable to reason. And so that’s it’s the way we feel that we do. That’s why Paul said after Jacob have I loved. Esau have I hated. He anticipates what shall we say then. Is there unrighteousness with God? And when he finishes making those statements that I’ve just made in the nineteenth verse he says, “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?”
How can God then judge us if the salvation is of his will? Is that the way you feel? You ought too. Paul dealt with this a lot. So we want to deal with objections to total depravity and total inability for just a moment, the Lord willing. If I’m still here and if you are still here and if we are all still here and we’re not in heaven with the Lord, we want to talk about soteriology and when we get to soteriology we’ll want to analyze our salvation. And we’ll talk about the ordo solutus. That is the order of God’s saving work in man. And then when discuss the questions of foreordination, foreknowledge, election and the other matters that have to do with our salvation, we’ll set these forth in the order in which they are taught in holy Scripture. And we’ll deal with these questions, which have to do with objections to election. And one after another of them we’ll deal with them and I hope that we will solve some of your problems. But at this point, just for a moment, it is sometimes said that to talk about total depravity and total inability is to teach in such a way that we introduce inconsistency with moral obligation. And so let’s put it this way total inability and total depravity is inconsistent with moral obligation. Men cannot be responsible for which he has no ability to do, one might say.
Now, this might hold if it was God who imposed the obligation or limitation, I should say. Let me state that again because that might have confused you. Now, this might be sound if it were God who imposed the limitation on man. If, for example, I am limited in my response to God because God limited me, then it might be right to say that total inability and total depravity is contrary to moral obligation, inconsistent with it. But when we realize that our inability is a self-acquired inability because Adam sinned and we are associated with Adam and that we are lodged in our state because of human activity, then our inability, being a self-acquired inability, does not allow us to blame God for it. It’s just as if, for example, I were to hear my names going to come up in the draft but I know, of course, they do not accept one-armed men, and so I have my right arm cut off. I am now ineligible to become a soldier, but I’m sure the government would not look with happiness upon what I have done to make myself unable. I would be blamable still.
Now, some people object to the fact that Adam is our representative. But you see when Adam sinned we are reckoned by the Scriptures to have sinned in him and, therefore, our inability is an inability which self acquired because we are identified with Adam. I say some don’t like to be told that Adam is our representative. As a matter of fact, I not only believed it but I rejoice in the fact that Adam was my representative and for these reasons. Had I been individually responsible I’m sure that I would not have done as good a job as Adam did in resisting for so long. I probably would have fallen much sooner. And, furthermore, if we do not have a representative, if we each stand upon ourselves, then when I have fallen there would be no hope. But since Adam was my representative and he sinned and I fell in him, from the word of God I read that there’s another representative who stands for me Jesus Christ and through him I am restored to actually more than I lost because I sinned in Adam.
And, furthermore, a man who was a representative man would have much more motive to obey God then a man who stood only for himself. If I felt, for example, that I represented all of you in some transaction, I would be much more careful to do that which was right then if I just represented myself. So in Adam’s fall we have the greatest of work that is done for us by God and because he’s a representative man it is possible for another representative come Jesus Christ and restore me. So I do not think that total depravity and total inability is inconsistent with moral obligation. The Bible teaches both of these facts.
Other’s say it removes motives for exertion. If I am totally unable, then why should I make any attempt to please God? Well, if we know we cannot accomplish an end why use the means recommended someone might say. Well, that’s true in the case of an enlightened sinner. But after all, we’re not talking about an enlightened sinner. We’re talking about unenlightened men. And, therefore, I do not think that this objection really is a valid objection. As a matter of fact, if we applied this in other spheres, we should not be able to do anything. Suppose a farmer were to say I cannot produce harvest so why should I cultivate. Results depend with cooperation with means. And consequently, God has given means with which we’re to cooperate the biblical grounds for the use of these means were set forth in the word of God and God commands them. So I do not think then that total depravity and total inability are inconsistent with exertion on the part of men or are they inconsistent with moral responsibility. But let’s hasten on. We’re going to deal with that a lot more fully later on in connection with election, the judgment of sin.
Now, will you turn back to Genesis chapter 3? Genesis chapter 3. Now, man has sinned. Now, let’s notice what God says about man’s sin. Genesis chapter 3 in verse 10,
“The Lord God has come down into the garden and he has called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”
Now, I always tell my own Bible classes that at this point that Will Rogers used to speak about American history as being divided into two eras: era number one the passing of the buffalo and era number two the passing of the buck. And we’re living in the latter he used to say. Now, Adam runs and Eve too in the age-old path of self-vindication. And notice how they do it. The man said the woman. She gave me of the tree and I did eat. And furthermore, he’s not content with blaming it on the woman. He really blames God. He says the woman that thou gaveth me. “And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done.” Now, we shall see perfect virtue. No doubt. “And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” So the man blames the woman. And the woman blames the serpent. And if someone had said the serpent hadn’t a leg to stand on. [Laughter]
Now, really this type of reasoning puts God in the dock because they are really ultimately blaming God. The woman that thou gavest me. The serpent beguiled me and I did eat. You know these things are repeated over and over in human nature down through the years. If you’ve ever had any contact with people who have committed sin, you know the first thing they seek is an excuse. If it were not so sad, it would be extremely amusing. Now, through the years and I’m sure this would happen perhaps with me if I were to fall into sin and then to brought into the dock. And I’m libel to do that with anyone else. But through the years at the seminary from time to time we’ve had to exercise discipline to certain of our students. And it is interesting how often, in the beginning, students will attempt to justify themselves. They will seek the blame it on something, seek to give some excuse set forth, some reason that they account for it and this is human nature, of course. So let’s continue. Verse 14,
“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life”
Now, this is the first of the judgment of sin. It is the serpent’s judgment. And the serpent’s judgment is, of course, physical. Franz Deltizsch, in his commentary on the Book of Genesis, has pointed out that the serpent is the only animal that has a bony skeleton that goes upon its belly. And so the first aspect of the judgment for sin is directed toward the serpent. And the serpent is given a physical judgment. He was a beast of the fields, the first verse of chapter 3 stated. But now as a result of the judgment in the Garden of Eden the animal that we might once have known as a beautiful animal called the serpent is now a slithering reptile that moves upon its belly because of Adam’s sin. So whenever we see a snake we should think of Genesis chapter 3. That is God’s judgment upon sin.
Now, then in the 15th verse, God moves from the animal to the one who activated the animal to Satan himself. And I hope you won’t make it necessary for me to turn to Revelation chapter 12 in verse 9 and read those verse which identify, remember, the serpent as that old serpent the devil. So the fifteenth verse says, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Now, that is a promise, of course, of the redeemer, but there is also here a curse renounced upon the serpent. There is to be enmity between the serpent and the woman and between his seed and her seed. That means that from the beginning of Genesis chapter 3 there is a conflict between the seed that is to produce the promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus and Satan. And we can expect as we read the Bible to find over and over chapter after chapter evidences of the conflict that exists between the devil, Satan, and the purposes of God as they find their fruition in Jesus of Nazareth. And not only that but we can expect that conflict to continue past the cross. For the cross of our Lord Jesus simply laid the foundation for the ultimate victory of God through the Messiah. That victory has not yet come. And the conflict is still going on.
Now, then the sixteenth verse gives us the woman’s judgment. This is Arabic 2 in the outline. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” The true subordination of the woman to the man is to be subjection and the husband is to rule over the wife. Further, the wife is to bring forth her children in sorrow. Now, every time a child is born, every time a woman has birth pains, we should think of Genesis chapter 3 and the judgment pronounced upon sin. And every time a woman thinks that I’ve got to be subject to that husband of mine she should be reminded that this is part of the sentence that is pronounced upon her because of Genesis chapter 3 true subordination now has in it an element of subjection.
Now, let me hasten to say then this does not mean that you are to subject your wife. It does not mean that you are to exercise rights of lordship in the home apart from your relationship to her in love, for you are to love her like Christ loved the church. That, of course, is not stated here.
Now, finally, man’s judgment verses 17 through 19. Let’s read it,
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” and every day that you find it difficult to do your work you should remember Genesis chapter 3. “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Now, the result of this, of course, is that autonomous man, man who wanted to be his own master is now shown his limits. The chains of time are going to clank on the man who reached for eternity. The man who wanted to be God is going to be shown that he is simply a creature of God and he must ultimately die.
Now, God has a way of getting his way and he has surely gotten his way. As someone has put it, the sin of Adam has turned the entire earth into one great cemetery. And it is one great cemetery in order that we might learn the lesson that we are not autonomous, that God is autonomous and man is dependent and if we desire to forget that he will bring us into such a place that we remember it.
Now, ultimately, we all die and we remember it. Now, he says that the penalty of sin is death. It is evident that this is spiritual death. You remember back in Genesis chapter 2, God said in the day thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die. Now, Adam did not die physically in the day that he ate of the fruit. He died spiritually. There is only one death. We’re often told that there is spiritual death, physical death, eternal death. There is only really one form of death and that is spiritual death. That death issues in physical death. That’s the product of spiritual death. And if we pass out of this earthly existence not having turned to our new head and representative Jesus Christ that spirtual death is prolonged throughout eternity. That is eternal death. We’re cast into the lake of fire. That is the second death. The judgment for sin, spiritual death, it issues in physical death and if we do not turn to Jesus Christ it is eternalized into the second death. There is one penalty for sin, spiritual death. It has its consequences.
Now, we should not speak about three types of death. The Bible does not speak that way. It does say the second death and that, of course, is the eternal death that we’re speaking about. It is spiritual death that is continued.
Now, I hope we can do this rapidly. These are big subjects. The transmission of sin. How is sin transmitted? After all, when you look around today what do you see? Same type of men as Adam and Eve were. There are more of us but there was Adam and there was Eve in the Garden and God took them out of the Garden cast them out two sinners and we have the same thing today. How is it that this sin, how has it been transmitted down through the centuries to us?
Now, the Bible teaches that sin is universal and experience teaches that sin is universal. For example, the Roman philosopher Seneca said “We have all sinned some more and some less.” Ovid, one of the Latin writers that you may have read, wrote we all strive for what is forbidden. Goethe, “I see no fault in others, which I myself might not have committed.” And there’s a Chinese proverb, I think I’ve referred to it before. There are two good men. One is dead. The other is not yet born. Sin is universal.
Now, just for a passage Romans chapter 3 verses 1 through 12 verse 19 verse 20 verse 23. Let’s pay some value just saying this. Remember Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” there is not a just man that doeth good and sinneth not. There is none that do it good no not one. There is not righteous no not one. Sin is universal.
Now, this does not mean that men do not do some good, but all men are touched with original sin, totally depraved and even their good comes from sinful motives. So sin is universal. Well, how is this sin imputed then? How did we get it? There are usually three theories that are given. The realistic theory.
Now, this realistic theory really teaches something like this. I’m gonna to give you what I have in my notes so that you’ll be sure to get it exactly as I have it here. Those who believe in this theory, there are some, say Adam possessed the whole of human nature. When he was created by God, all of human nature was in Adam. When Adam sinned, human nature corrupted itself in Adam. Everybody who participates in human nature participates in Adam’s human nature. Every one of us has a little bit of Adam in us. That’s right a little bit of Adam in every one of us. And because we all have a little bit of Adam in us we have been infected by sin. All actually sinned in Adam my flesh sinned in Adam. I was not conscience but I was there. That was my flesh.
Now, even William G. T. Shedd has defended this interpretation. I do not think it is biblical. I think every man is conscience of being a separate personality. As I look around, I don’t think I’m you. Do you think you are me? Aren’t happy you’re not? We all have this sense of being separate persons. We’re really not one another. Our personalities do differ. There is a sense in which we are descendants of Adam, of course, but, nevertheless, we are conscious of being separate personalities. Why if we are held responsible for Adam’s first sin, why should we not be held responsible for every other sin of Adam? Why is it that the Bible singles out that one sin in the beginning for which we are held responsible and not the others, if it were true that we just inherited his nature? If that was the way sin was transmitted, then we should expect that all of the sins of the whole human race up to the present time would be ours. Some people think that the twentieth century probably has all those sins, but I do not. So I do not think this theory is really true to Scripture. It contains some truth in it.
The second theory is the mediat imputation theory. M-E-D-I-A-TE, mediate imputation. Now, this theory simply says that by natural generation any corruption is transmitted from Adam to his descendants. It does not say we possess Adam’s flesh in the sense that we sinned in the Garden of Eden, actually. But through generation, through natural generation, sin is transmitted. And, I think, again under this theory if it were true that is sin is simply naturally transmitted, transmitted by natural generation, then we should inherit the sins of all of our ancestors as well, but the Bible again holds us responsible for Adam’s sin. It does not hold me responsible for the sins of all of the human race that have preceded. So, most theologians have believed in an immediate imputation theory.
Now, imputation means, of course, to count. And when we talk about the imputation of sin, we mean the counting of sin as belonging to us. Mediate imputation means that it is transmitted through natural generation. Immediate means that we become sinners the moment we are born because Adam’s original sin is imputed to us immediately. It does not come through people but the moment I become a member of the human race by birth I inherit as part of my inheritance from Adam the guilt of sin immediately. It comes directly to me from Adam. It passes over all of the humanity to me. And everyone who is born today from Adam, we received his sin directly not through others but directly. The moment that I am born I am under sin because Adam was my representative. Adam stood for me and so Adam standing for me means that his guilt has become my guilt.
Now, let’s turn over to Romans chapter 5 for just a moment and read a few verses because in this chapter the Apostle Paul argues along this line. Wouldn’t you like to ask me a lot of questions? One of these nights, you know, we’re going to have question and answer night. Would you like that? All right we’re going to do that one of these coming times. So that you can just ask me any question like anything in the Bible that you want the answer for I’ll be here to give you the authoritative pronouncement. [Laughter] And if you stump me, I’ll turn it over to Mr. Prier [laughter] and let him answer the question.
Now, have you found Romans chapter 5 verse 12? Now, listen to what Paul says. I want you to notice now how he says that our guilt is related to something that happened thousands of years ago. Now, don’t get too mad about this because remember our blessings are also related to something that happened two thousand years ago. Verse 12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Now, Paul does not mean, of course, that everybody has committed an act of sin. He will show that in the verses that follow. Notice, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” In other words, from the time of the Garden of Eden to the time of Mount Sinai there was no law.
Now, sin is not reckoned when there is no law, yet men die. Its sin was not reckoned to them because there was no law during this period of time and they died. Why did they die? Well, it’s obvious they died because of whose sin? Adam’s sin. They were guilty of Adam’s sin. That’s why they died. They didn’t die for personal sin. Sin is not imputed when there’s no law. There was no law from Adam to Moses, yet they died. I might ask you this. Why do infants die? If we are right in thinking there’s an age of accountability, as Isaiah 7 seems to suggest, then until they reach the age of accountability say a child’s birth is here and the age of accountability here. And the child dies during this time. The child is not accountable. Why does the child die? Not because of its sin. It had no sin. That is was accountable for except one Adam’s sin. And so when that child died, God reckoned to that child that died before the age of accountability the righteousness of Jesus Christ. All children are under sin from the moment they breathe a breath of air. From the moment they become a person they are under sin, but God in his grace reckons to them that which they could not receive by faith. But they die because of Adam’s sin.
Now, let’s read on verse 15,
“But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
So here we are. We have Adam, Adam the first and we have Adam the last. We have the first man. We have the second man. We have Adam the first. We have Adam the last. All of humanity is in Adam the first. We’re all here. We may by faith be in him. Because we’re in Adam the first, we’re in condemnation. We share his guilt immediately. We are a part of the human race. We are under sin. By faith we may believe and become related to Adam the last. And because he at the cross at Calvary performed one good work f giving himself for our sins, we through his representation of us there may have everlasting life. The fact that we are in Adam the first does not determine our destiny speaking as a man. Our destiny is determined when we reject the offer of salvation through Adam the last. So we may not like the idea of representation but it’s a very natural idea.
Now, let’s just suppose for a moment that my father is a very wealthy man. Let’s suppose that he has ten million dollars. Well, let’s suppose he invests in a business that goes bankrupt and he loses ten million dollars, and he dies penniless. Could I then go to court and get that money back? Now, we recognize that what my father does may affect me. A king may abdicate his throne and affect all of his descendants. We recognize these principles of representation in human life. So Adam has represented us. I’m thankful he did even though he fell. I would have done a much worse job. But I’m also very thankful that Adam the last has come, Jesus Christ. And he has represented me. And perfectly for me, bore the judgment of God. And through him I may have life. My destiny is bound up in Adam the last. By his one act, I am justified. So sin is universal. And sin is imputed to every man immediately.
Now, of course, he also commits acts of sin. That sin under which he stands judicially reflects itself in his life and so the pollution and the corruption that you see in men is the product of his sinful status before God. We produce after our time just as Adam was. And so Adam was a sinner and men have been sinners ever since.
So we didn’t get through our subject tonight but that’s all right. Next Monday night we’re going to trace the trail of the serpent through the Old Testament and deal with the conflict that exists between Satan and the purposes of God as they are bound up in the promises of the Old Testament. And by the way, one of the conflicts that we’re going to deal with is Genesis chapter 6 and the question of the sons of God in that sixth chapter. So we’ll see you next Monday night in the theology class. We’re going to have about ten or twelve minutes of intermission, but before we do let’s have a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for Thy word and for the privilege of the study of it. And we rejoice in the plans and the purpose which are set forth in the word. At times, Lord, it is difficult for us to stand in sin and depraved to understand but we thank Thee for the Spirit who has come to correct our human thinking. Enable us to think after Thee. And we thank Thee with such gratitude that Jesus Christ has become our representative man and through one righteous act has brought us into the relationship of just before Thee and make us thankful for this.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.