Jonathan Edwards on Original Sin (Part 25)
I. "Death" in Romans 5:12 ff. indicates more than just physical death.
A. "Death" in this passage is contrasted with "eternal life" (Rom 5:20).
B. "Death" refers to "the proper wages and punishment of sin, including death temporal, spiritual, and eternal."
C. "Death" may sometimes be discussed with particular emphasis on one aspect (physical or spiritual), but this does not change the fact that "death" refers to all these aspects. (Edwards gives the example of the phrases "Peter was naked" and "Peter was grieved;" the first phrase emphasizes something about Peter's body, and the second something about Peter's soul, but "Peter" still refers to the whole man: body and soul.)
II. Adam's sin impacted not only himself, but all mankind.
A. Up to this point [Romans 5] in the text, the Apostle has been striving to show that the entirity of both the Jews and Gentiles are exposed to death and condemnation, and his discussion of Adam is meant to begin providing an explanation for why this state of universal death and condemnation exists.
B. "By one man sin entered into the world" MUST mean more than that Adam was the first sinner, for technically Eve was the first to commit transgression.
III. Romans 5 clearly establishes Adam's sin as the cause for death coming to all of mankind.
Labels: Reformation Theology