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Adam: why we need a savior
(verses 12-14)

Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die. Sin was in the world before the Law came. But no record of sin was kept, because there was no Law. Yet death still had power over all who lived from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. This happened, though not everyone disobeyed a direct command from God, as Adam did. [verses 12-14, CEV]

It's been said that while you cannot prove logically that God exists, you can prove that sin exists: we see the evidence of it every day. We know that for all the beauty and love that exists in the world, problems abound. People are hurt, people struggle with pain and loss and frustration. Dreams are dashed and hope is denied again and again. Then, we all die, no matter how much we love life and desire it to go on. Yet, we do have these dreams of what life could be. Those dreams seem as key to being human as the sin.

And we know that we aren't going to change this situation. Aggression may be programmed into our species. Cancer and the decision of cells to die is woven deep into our DNA and biology. Nature depends on species becoming food for other species.

Notice that Paul does not say that Adam's sin was transmitted to the next generations. Paul says that we are all sinning, just like Adam. Adam becomes a symbol of humanity or a shorthand way of referring to the problems and hope of being human.

Moses is a shorthand way of referring to the various rules and laws (including the ten commandments) in the Old Testament. Moses was the one credited for having assembled all these words of God and written them down. Paul points out that there is sin without the law: that is, sin isn't just breaking some rules, sin has to do with our hearts and our intentions.


Last updated 12/16/00; © 2000 John P. Nordin