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Sermon #7504

Adam's Posterity and Original Sin

A Sermon on Original Sin



Sermon Description

Why is there so much sin in the world? In this sermon titled “Adam’s Posterity and Original Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the biblical teaching that Adam’s sin affects all. When Adam rebelled against God, he brought the whole human race into sin. Now everyone is born into a state of sin and alienation from God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones examines some different theories of exactly how it is that Adam’s first sin brought all of humankind into sin, but the important thing to remember is that the Bible teaches that all are affected by sin. Paul is clear that all are guilty before God, not only because they have broken the law of God, but also because of Adam’s actions. This doctrine explains why the world is full of sin and evil. But this doctrine is also important to understand in order to have a right view of what Jesus has done. Scripture says that Jesus is the new and better Adam who has come to reverse the evil actions of the first man.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Last week we looked at the doctrine of the fall of man and saw the difference between man as created by God and man after the fall.
  2. We looked at Genesis 3 and the account of the first sin and its immediate consequences like the curse on the serpent, pain in childbirth for women, and the ground being cursed.
  3. We didn't finish looking at all the immediate consequences so we will look at more like the curse on the serpent in Genesis 3:14.
  4. God cursed the serpent, who would crawl on its belly and eat dust. There would be enmity between the serpent's seed and the woman's seed. The woman's seed would bruise the serpent's head and the serpent would bruise his heel.
  5. Consequences also fell on women, including increased pain in childbirth and being ruled over by her husband (Genesis 3:16).
  6. The ground was also cursed to produce thorns and thistles, requiring hard work to produce food (Genesis 3:17-18).
  7. The apostle Paul notes this in Romans 8:20, saying creation was subjected to futility by God.
  8. We now move on to look at the effect of the fall on Adam's posterity. Not just on Adam himself but all who came from him.
  9. We see the universality of sin - all people everywhere exhibit something wrong with human nature that causes misery. The Bible calls this the universality of sin.
  10. Many theories try to explain this like evolution (we're still developing), lack of knowledge, or lack of good conditions. But these are inadequate and contradictory. The Bible connects it to Adam's first sin.
  11. The question is how Adam's sin affected all his posterity. There are two main theories: the "realistic theory" that all human nature was in Adam so when he sinned, all human nature fell; and the "federal representative" theory that God made Adam the representative of all humanity, so when he sinned, all humanity fell.
  12. The realistic theory argues all humanity was in Adam, so when he fell, all humanity fell. All human nature comes from Adam's nature, so when his nature fell, all human nature fell. All humanity also fell in Adam at once, like Levi paying tithes in Abraham (Hebrews 7:9-10).
  13. Problems with this view: It implies the soul is physical/material since it's passed down. It's unclear why we're only responsible for Adam's first sin and not all the sins of our ancestors. It also seems to imply Christ's human nature was sinful.
  14. The federal representative theory says God made Adam the representative of all humanity, so when he sinned, all humanity fell under the consequences. This is like a member of parliament representing and voting for their constituents, or an ambassador representing a whole country.
  15. Advantages of this view: It explains why only Adam's first sin is imputed to us. It avoids implying Christ's human nature was sinful.
  16. It's hard to fully accept one view or the other. There are good arguments on both sides. Either way, the Bible teaches Adam's first sin led to the universality of sin.
  17. This is known as the doctrine of original sin. "Original" doesn't mean sin was part of human nature originally. It means sin derives from the original root of humanity, Adam. Sin doesn't come from imitating others but is inherent in human nature from birth. It's the inward root of all sins.
  18. Original sin has two parts: original guilt and original pollution. We inherit guilt and pollution from Adam's sin.
  19. Many reject original guilt, believing we inherit only pollution from Adam and are not guilty until we actually sin. But the Bible teaches we inherit guilt for Adam's actual sin.
  20. Romans 5:12-19 teaches this clearly. Through Adam's sin, death and condemnation came upon all people. All sinned in Adam and are made sinners through his disobedience.
  21. Paul draws a parallel between Adam's sin being imputed to all humanity and Christ's righteousness being imputed to believers, even though they did nothing. People from Adam to Moses died even though they didn't sin like Adam, showing they were guilty of Adam's sin.
  22. We must accept the doctrine of original guilt as well as pollution to have a biblical view of original sin.

Great Biblical Doctrines

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.