Why am I punished for Adam’s sin? Is this fair?
Suggested Daily Reading: Romans 5:12-18 and I Corinthians 15:22
Adam is our Covenant Father and Natural Father. As our Covenant Father, he represented all mankind. When Adam chose sin against God instead of obedience to Him, Adam’s choice applied to all those whom he represented — to the whole human race. For example, think of a King, President or Prime Minister of a country who declares war against another country. This person’s decision impacts all the citizens and soldiers of that country. Why? Because this person represents the entire country. So Adam represented the entire human race.
A pastor once visited a person in his church who openly stated that he believed it was unfair that Adam’s sin would be applied to him. He did not commit the sin of eating the forbidden fruit. Adam did. Why should he suffer the consequences?, he argued. After carefully explaining how Adam served as the representative of all people and therefore Adam’s decision impacted all of us, the man was still not convinced.
The pastor then approached the issue differently, and the following conversation took place. The pastor asked, “Why are some people saved and others not?” “Because Jesus died for them and paid the price of their sins,” the man promptly replied.”So no person who is saved earned his own righteousness?” “No, of course not.” “So the work that Jesus did is applied to all of His people, to those who believe in Him?” “Yes.” “Do believe this?”
“Well then, if Adam served as representative of all his children (the human race) and his work (sin) is applied to all his children, and Jesus served as representative of all His children (believers) and His work (salvation) is applied to all His children, please explain to me how you can believe that one is fair and the other is not.”
After considerable silence, the man replied, “I see, it is the same principle, isn’t it?”
Do you experience the painful truth that Adam’s sin affects you, that you are a guilty sinner? Does this truth direct you to Jesus Christ? Do you also experience the wonderful truth that Jesus’ salvation affects you, that you are delivered from the guilt of sin by His righteousness being applied to you? Do you strive to live more and more righteously, out of thankfulness for Jesus’ righteousness being granted to you? If so, how would this be seen in your life?