The Fall of Man
Through the transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, all men were separated from the presence of God, both spiritually and temporally. This is because no unclean thing can dwell with God. Hence God commands us to “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:16 and Leviticus 20:7]. Thus all men became unclean through the sin of our first parents, and so “by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” [Romans 5:12].
However, men are not judged simply because of the sin of their parents, as Apostle Paul wrote, “For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned…” [Romans 5:13-14]. In other words, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23], but yet without a law, how can men be judged or even know that they have sinned? Nevertheless, the consequence of sin, death, still reigned over all because of our disobedience, regardless of whether or not our disobedience was after the similitude of Adam’s, meaning an open rebellion against God. For Adam had a perfect knowledge of God’s commandment, unlike so many in the world today, and still rebelled against it. The judgment that Adam will incur will be different than an individual who never knew God.
This is why Paul wrote, “For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)” [Romans 2:11-15].
The Lord Jesus Christ also said, “And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” [Luke 12:47-48]. Should a child be punished to the same extent for telling a lie as an adult? Of course not, for the adult should know better. Yet is not the consequence for lying still the same?
The same is true of sin, for we know that all are dead, or separated from God, and are in a lost and fallen state because of transgression. Yet there was a great plan of redemption prepared from the foundation of the world so that we might be brought back into the presence of God. The Scriptures testify that by Adam came the fall of man, and because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man. Without the grace of God, which He has shown through Jesus Christ, we would have been lost forever. Thus, Peter testified, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12].
Scriptures to Consider
Romans 5:12-21 (KJV)
5:12 Wherefore, as by one man [meaning Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come [meaning Jesus Christ]. 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. [Can one be made righteous without choosing works of righteousness?] 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Genesis 3:22-24 (KJV)
3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: [Who is part of the us?] 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Romans 3:22-26 (KJV)
3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [atonement] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.