SECTION 5. ? IMPUTATION OF ADAM?S SIN TO HIS POSTERITY.
We have seen that all mankind are sinners and that all men are by nature depraved, guilty, and condemnable and that the transgression of our first parents, so far as respects the human race, was the first sin. We have still to consider the connection between Adam?s sin and the depravity, guilt and condemnation of the race.
(a) The Scriptures teach that the transgression of our first parents constituted their posterity sinners ( <450519>Romans 5:19 ? ?through the one man s disobedience the many were made sinners?), so that Adam?s sin is imputed, reckoned or charged to every member of the race of which he was the germ and head ( <450516>Romans 5:16 ? ?the judgment came of one [offence] unto condemnation?). It is because of Adam?s sin that we are born depraved and subject to God?s penal infliction ( <450512>Romans 5:12 ? ?through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin?; <490203> Ephesians 2:3 ? ?by nature children of wrath?). Two questions demand answer. First, how we can be responsible for a depraved nature which we did not personally and consciously originate and, secondly, how God can justly charge to our account the sin of the first father of the race. These questions are substantially the same and the Scriptures intimate the true answer to the problem when they declare that ?in Adam all die? ( <461522>1 Corinthians 15:22) and ?that death passed unto all men, for that all sinned? when ?through one man sin entered into the world? ( <450512>Romans 5:12). In other words, Adam?s sin is the cause and ground of the depravity, guilt and condemnation of all his posterity. Simply because Adam and his posterity are one, and, by virtue of their organic unity, the sin of Adam is the sin of the race.
Amiel says that ?the best measure of the profundity of any religious doctrine is given by its conception of sin and of the cure of sin.? We have seen that sin is a state, a state of the will, a selfish state of the will, a selfish state of the will inborn and universal and a selfish state of the will inborn and universal by reason of man?s free act.
Connecting the present discussion with the preceding doctrines of theology, the steps of our treatment thus far are as follows:
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