adam's sin as affecting us
The so-called “Adamic Sin,” as bearing upon his race, is not clearly understood by some in our body. The question has been put to the writer, in varied forms, as follows: “When are we forgiven Adam’s sin?” “When are we cleansed from the Adamic sin?” “When are we freed or justified from Adam’s sin?” The questions have originated from the influence of a certain teaching in our midst; even from a teaching that surprises us greatly.
What is sin? The apostle John says that “Sin is the transgression of law,” and, “all unrighteousness is sin” (1Jno 3:4). The sin of Adam was a transgression of Edenic Law. It was an action, with a mental consent of the actor. It was therefore moral in it’s characteristics; but, though moral in character it had physical consequences as the effect of the sin. By the transgression, the law of sin became a law in Adam’s nature; and since sin brought forth death, the law of Adam’s nature became “the law of sin and death”. This law is in the nature, and all possessing that nature feel the motions of the law of sin in their members, or feel the motions of sin in their members. The flesh and the mind of the flesh work in unison, and are thus both defiled by the working of sin. From Adam we inherit a sin-defiled nature, which, by the motions of sin in it, leads us into a moral defilement by our personal transgressions. Our personal sins are the only ones that can be forgiven us, because they are moral sins. It will not do to say that we are “forgiven Adam’s sin,” for we are not forgiven that sin, but it’s consequences will be removed from our nature in due time, as they have been removed from Christ’s nature.
Christ Jesus was not forgiven “Adam’s sin.” It is wrong to say that in relation to Christ. He possessed Adam’s sin-defiled nature, and sin was condemned in it in his sacrificial death. Our sins and the sins of all of God’s children were laid upon him in his death to destroy sin. In his own nature, which was that same as ours (the Adamic), he destroyed sin by his death, and sin will also be destroyed in our nature when we come to be made in the likeness of his resurrection (Rom 6:5), which will be at “the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:23), which is our hope, and which will be our full adoption, when we will be like Christ, and all sin destroyed in our nature, as it is in Christ’s nature.
I wish to emphasise the above teaching by repeating it in a somewhat varied form. It is wrong to say that “we are forgiven Adam’s sin”; but we are forgiven, in and through Christ, our own sins, when we put Christ on in the obedience of the faith; and we will in due time be saved from all the consequences of Adam’s sin, if we walk obediently in the Christ-name. Christ had no sin of his own, or no personal sin; and was thus forgiven no sin, but suffered, in his death, the penalty and condemnation of sin, that he might save the faithful from their sins, and that he might destroy sin from off the earth.
I know that there are some among us who say that “we are forgiven Adam’s sin at our baptism.” How can we be forgiven another man’s sin? We can be saved from the consequences of another’s sin, if those consequences reach unto us, as they do in Adam’s sin; but it is absurd to say that we are forgiven ANOTHER’S SIN. We are forgiven our sins, and in due time, will be rescued or saved from the consequences of Adam’s sin, if we continue to walk obediently in the truth; otherwise, we will not be saved from those consequences.
The sin of Adam, in its effects, became the “devil” in his nature, and descended to his race as bearers of his nature. That sin, or “devil” is to be destroyed, not forgiven us. Christ Jesus has destroyed it, or him, in his own nature (Heb 2:14), and will do so in our’s when we are raised up in the likeness of his resurrection body. We have the assurance of this, if we walk faithfully in him who hath overcome sin and destroyed it in his own nature, rescuing that nature from the power of sin, of death, and of the grave by a great salvation wrought out in himself. Happy is it for us that he has wrought out that great salvation. Our hope, our salvation, our life, our all is in him; and if we are in him by belief and obedience of the Gospel of Christ, and abide in him, then we are safe. Failing to abide in Christ, we will fail in the destruction of sin in our nature, and thus fail to attain unto the great salvation that is in Christ Jesus.
Morally and as to our mind, we are free from the dominion of sin. “The truth as it is in Jesus,” and being in us and ruling our minds, makes us free from the dominion of sin. We are no longer the servants of sin, but the servants of righteousness. We have been made free from the dominion of sin by our union with Christ through our belief and obedience of the Promises, that we may bring forth fruit unto eternal life by works of righteousness wrought out in Christ Jesus. As to our flesh, sin still reigns there, but it has not dominion over our minds.
I am well aware that there has been a lot of “legal” machinery put to work to evolve a different teaching than the foregoing: but I am a stranger to that machinery, and have no desire to seek to solve it’s complex subtleties.”
L B Welch, 1879