Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here is this week’s question: “Dear Dave and T.A., I’m relatively new to the Bible, and I’m going through Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Although it’s a struggle at times, I am thoroughly enjoying it. My question has to do with chapter 5, verses 12 through 13. First of all, verse 12 states that, “as by one man sin entered the world.” I’ve been told that refers to Adam. Why not Eve? Verse 13 seems to imply that God didn’t hold man accountable for sin before the law. How can that be?”
Tom: Dave, let me read—let’s begin with reading Romans:5:12-13: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” So, let’s start with Eve—first question: “As by one man sin entered the world….” Most people who know, at least Genesis, know that Eve ate first.
Dave: Yeah, actually these verses are talking about two different things. Verse 13 moves way on down to the law. There was no law—in the Garden of Eden, there was one law, and that was “Don’t eat the fruit of that tree.” Well, Eve is the one who did it. Then she enticed her husband. We know from scripture that Adam was not deceived, so his sin was even greater. Eve was deceived; she thought this was a good thing, and Adam was not deceived. But why does it say, “by one man”? Well, I think that reflects the relationship between men and women, which goes back to your transgender thing. There is a difference in genders. You can’t change it—it’s in the chromosomes. And there is a difference, and God has designated a difference. Women bear children, men don’t! Men go to war, women don’t go to war.
And in the church, there is leadership by the man—and the husband, the scripture says, is the head of the wife—the leader of the wife. And he is accountable, responsible, and I think that is reflected in this. So, Adam has to shoulder the responsibility and the blame. He did this with his eyes open. He knew it was wrong. He didn’t want to lose his wife. So, he chose her over God.
But anyway, it was one man—he is accountable to God, he is responsible—and this is what happened. He didn’t have his family in line, Tom. The husband is the head of the family, and he is accountable for what happens within his family, the wife as well as the children.
Tom: Yeah. Also, Dave, I think we could add that the commandment was given to Adam. Eve, according to the scriptures, was not even formed yet.
Tom: So, it does fall upon him.
Dave: But she knew about it.
Tom: There’s no doubt about that. All right, he goes on to ask, he or she, or whoever presented this question: “Verse 13 seems to imply that God didn’t hold man accountable for sin before the law; how can that be?”
Dave: Well, I don’t think it says He didn’t hold man accountable. It says, “sin was not imputed.” In other words, if you haven’t been given a law—let me go over to chapter 7:7-10: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law, sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.”
So, Paul is saying that if you don’t see a sign that says, “Do not walk on the grass,” and you walk on the grass, you’re not breaking the law. But if the grass is not to be walked on because God has a higher law but you don’t know about it, then He’s not going to charge you with that sin. Nevertheless, it says, “death reigned,” because death came through Adam’s sin. And it goes on and says, “all have sinned.”
Tom: And “the wages of sin is death,” so if it’s sin, again, against our conscience, what God has placed in our conscience, whatever it might be, there are going to be—there will be ramifications to it.
Dave: And Christ came, and He, the second man, the last Adam, and He took the penalty, the wages of sin, He took it for us. He tasted death for every man, a death that no one has really ever tasted yet. Ultimately, it will be the second death in the lake of fire, and Christ endured all of that for us so that God could be just and forgive those who believe in Jesus. And that is available to everyone by faith. Just accept it. Believe that Christ died for your sins.
Tom: Dave, we referred in the earlier segment to John Wesley, but I think of Charles Wesley, the hymn writer—his brother, the hymn writer: “Amazing love, how can it be that thou, my God, wouldst die for me?” It’s a free gift for whosoever will.