In many ways, verse 12 through the end of the chapter is a new section, with a new thought.  Paul now gives the lengthiest and clearest discourse on federal headship to be found anywhere in the scriptures.  Nevertheless, it is not entirely disconnected from the preceding theme of assurance of salvation through justification.  Here, Paul is going to emphasize the necessity of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, instead of Adam’s sin.  The thought is still justification and the imputation of righteousness, and so it is not an abrupt diversion.  We must conclude this, if from nothing else, from the fact that he begins with the word wherefore; even if we cannot discern it, the apostle certainly did not think he was verging off into some new theme.

 

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Paul begins now to make some of the most profound statements in all of the Bible, and to present arguments that are absolutely fundamental to our proper understanding of man’s condition before God.  He begins by stating that it was by one man that sin entered into the world.  This, of course, as Paul will shortly make clear, and as every informed Bible reader ought to know, was Adam.  Of course, we know that the woman partook of the forbidden fruit first, but it was Adam to whom the command had been given, Adam who was the head of his family and of the race, and Adam who was held responsible by the Creator.  Death also came along with sin, just as God had threatened that it would.  Before He even took the rib from Adam to create the woman, God warned him that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die in that same day.  Through the persuasion of his wife, Adam did taste that forbidden fruit, and thus the sentence of death was passed upon him, his wife, and all of their posterity.  Of course, Adam lived for many hundreds of years after that day, though he never would have had to endure the pains of death at all if he had not sinned.  Nevertheless, the death of which God warned him, while it entailed physical death, primarily pointed to the spiritual death and ruination which fell upon him and the entire race, of which he was head and representative.  Instead of being alive to God, living in constant and uninterrupted communion with Him, Adam became dead to God, an enemy in his mind by wicked works.  Instead of being enjoying open, frank intercourse with his Creator, he became a sneak, who sought to hide and lie his way out of trouble.  Instead of living in the glow of paradise, with the hope of perhaps even better things yet to come, Adam became subject to the decay and dissolution of the body, and the even greater threat of eternal judgment as the righteous penalty of his sin against God.  This was the fatal consequence of that one act of rebellion by the first man.

 

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