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 -
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As mankind's federal head and representative, the whole human race fell through Adam's transgression. Although Eve actually transgressed first, Adam was the responsible party. Eve was deceived, Adam was not but sinned with eyes wide open.
In my thoughts, what scripture meant by, "Sin entered the world by one man, Adam," in reference to Romans 5:25, is that we all were introduced to an anti-God nature called sin via one man, Adam. With reference to the Genesis account of Creation, the twenty-sixth verse of the first Chapter, the text 'man' refers to mankind and not just a single individual nor a male person. In the same verse, God's intention and thoughts were revealed. This revelation was that God intends to create mankind in His image and after His likeness, that mankind may have dominion, and He gave man mastery over creation and nature. In Genesis 1:27, God proved that what He created was not just one man but mankind following the sequence of his creation. He created mankind in His reflection, In His capacity with His nature. Therefore mankind was created to have the same nature as God's, and God cased mankind in a male-man called Adam. Then scripture clarified that both gender of humanity was the actual gender constituent of the human race placed in one man with further proof in Genesis 2:21-22 when He made Eve from a rib collected from Adam (Mankind). So when God created Adam, the whole human creation was born in him and tied to his loins that God could make a female gender from Adam. However, in the account of Genesis chapter three, Eve was deceived by the serpent's subtlety and not Adam (Genesis 3:1-6; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 2 Corinthians 11:3). She got enticed and saw that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good for food, pleasant to the eyes and she was desirous of it (Gen 3:6). Note in same scripture that her husband, Adam was with her in all that lustful experience, quiet and nonvocal about a thing, having received a first hand instruction from God on the garden rules and regulations, which was to serve as guide to all operations and conduct checks. This rules and its adherence should be passed to the entire human race, starting with Eve being a part of the first generation of mankind as God expected of Adam. Instead, he too was swayed and ate of the fruit served to him by Eve. Eve was the one deceived but sin was introduced to mankind with the following points in view: Firstly, Eve was enticed and deceived, Adam was not. He was within his right frame of mind yet deliberately accepted the offered fruit from his wife, ate of it in utter disobedience and disregard to the instructions of God. Secondly, Adam was passively there when the wife was lustfully admiring the tree of the knowledge of good and evil refusing God's expectation of him, which was for him to have intervened with corrections and rebuke in love. (Couples know their spouses well enough, having bonded over time and they can tell the real meaning of their gestures and nonverbal communications due to well enough bonding). Thirdly, Adam was completely negligent of his responsibility to posterity in embracing the laws of God and negligent of his commitment to the security of the garden by warding off all darkness and corruption, being one created in God's image and after His likeness. Lastly, since Adam was the one carrying mankind in him; when he sinned, an exchange of the nature of God was made with the nature of sin. He bore a corruption and that was automatically and instantly transferred into the DNA of his seed. Eve could have been the one God addressed first after the fall but Adam was because he got posterity in him, he was a progenitor and had received instructions from God, which he ought to pass to other generations and ensure they do same. Adam was created after the likeness and in the Image of God, carrying mankind as seed in him (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:7 Genesis 5:1-2) but after the fall, the seed which was in Adam before the fall took after the his fallen nature. They now were born after the likeness of Adam (A fallen man with a corrupt or sin nature) and not God's. (Genesis 5:3).
As revealed by the Word of God, 'death' is being cut off from a relationship with one's father. Col 2:13; 2 Tim 1:10; Eph 2:1; Ro 6: …9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. 10The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11So you too must count yourselves DEAD to sin, but ALIVE to God in Christ Jesus. 2 Cor 5: …14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, therefore all died. Adam's sin separated him from his father and his relationship was dead, his conscience condemned him and he hid from God. From that veil placed between God and mankind, God used mediators, middle men, prophets, priests, and the nation of Israel to commune and mediate between the two until the time of reconciliation, as Paul taught in 2 Cor 5:20-24. When that veil was removed we have been reconciled to our Father and our conscience does not condemn us and we do not hide from him unless, like Adam, we choose to die to that relationship. "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Cor 15:22 Life and death. Good and evil. God created both poles of polarity ("+" & "-") and gave Adam a choice and because he chose the latter, all were separated from their father. All were dead. Jesus came to restore what was lost and give us life by 'raising us up with him.' (Eph 2:6). Our relationship has been restored.
I think there's a misunderstanding of the narrative about Adam and Eve eating of the forbidden fruit. Here's how it reads: 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. (Genesis 3:6) That's quite a mouthful! I don't think the Holy Spirit (the actual writer of the scriptures) wanted to break any of that up into more than one sentence. He said it all in one breath: they both ate of the fruit TOGETHER. (I wonder who swallowed first.) When a married man commits adultery with a married woman, does it matter which of the two is the first to get undressed?
This is certainly a gripping question, James! Yes, technically it was Eve who first sinned, but Adam is held responsible as the head of his family. Adam completed what Eve started. Where Eve was deceived into sinning, Adam sinned knowingly (I Timothy 2:14, which says, "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."). We were born sinners. Adam, the head of our race, was not created that way. He deliberately sinned, and his sinful nature was passed on to us all. But over against Adam, the head of the natural race, we find Christ, the Head of a spiritual race. If one man’s sin made it possible for all the race to die, one Man’s righteousness made it possible for all the race to get out of this condition.” Henrietta Mears, Source unknown
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