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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

How One Man's Sin Produce Death for All Man

Romans 5:12-1`7 Doctrine of Hamartiology and Thanatology


Charles e Whisnant, Teacher


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
Therefore -

AS By One (5618) (hosper) is a conjunction which introduces a comparison. The main point in Romans 5:12-21 is the comparison between Adam and Christ, explaining how Adam on one hand was the means of bringing in sin and death, while Christ on the other hand was the One who brought in justification and life

One man - Although not name in this verse, this is clearly Adam. As Barber discusses above, in Genesis 2:16,17, God gave one command to eat from every tree in the Garden except the Tree of Knowledge, for if he ate of this tree he would surely die.

Man (444) (anthropos) is a generic name for human beings in general. Anthropos is distinguished from aner, which refers to the male sex. Anthropos on the other hand signifies a member of the human race, without reference either to sex or nationality.

the) SIN ENTERED THE WORLD AND DEATH THROUGH SIN AND SO DEATH SPREAD TO ALL MEN: he (definite article) hamartia (sin) eis ton kosmon eiselthen (3SAAI) kai dia tes hamartias ho thanatos: (Ro 6:23; Ge 2:17; 3:19-24; Ezek 18:4; 1Cor 15:21; Jas 1:15; Rev 20:14,15)
This passage is often referred to when one seeks to explain the doctrine you may have heard described as original sin. Original sin is a term used to describe our inheritance of a sinful nature from Adam. The sinful nature originated with Adam and is passed down from parent to child. We are by nature children of wrath (Eph 2:3).

The Sin (266) (hamartia) is the Greek word hamartia [word study] which originally conveyed the idea of missing the mark (as when hunting with a bow and arrow and not hitting the target - see this literal use of the most common Hebrew word for "sin" - Jdg 20:16!) and then came to mean missing or falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose.
In the theological sense as used most often in Scripture the word sin describes one's thoughts, words or deeds which so often miss the ultimate purpose that God would intend them to have (i.e., they "miss" His will). Stated another way, our thoughts, words and/or deeds fall short of God’s perfect standard of holiness. Now here is where the definition of Sin as used in Romans 5-8 can become a bit confusing.

Entered (1525) (eiserchomai from eis = into, a preposition of motion into any place or thing + erchomai = come) literally means to come into and so to enter into. is in the aorist tense and the indicative mood which signifies that at a certain point in time sin "went in the world's front door (by means of Adam's sin)" Sin is personified as an evil that invaded the perfect Garden setting. Adam sinned, and at that point in time, the consequence of his sin was immediate for at that moment, the "deadly virus" named the sin entered into the world and spread to "infect" the entire human race.

World (2889) (kosmos] related to kosmeo = to arrange or put in order from komeo = tend, take care of) according to W E Vine means "a harmonious arrangement or order," then, "adornment, decoration," came to denote "the world, or the universe, as that which is divinely arranged." What a tragic irony that the sin and its corrupting, destructive effects entered into a place of such "harmonious arrangement and order"! is often thus used to denote human beings--the race, the human family. is the same word used in John 3:16 where God so loved the world, the sinful human family composed of sinners.

Death (2288) (thanatos) indicates the opposite of life and the absence of life and in the NT is seen as the consequence and punishment of sin. Death speaks of separation, physically of the soul from the body and spiritually of the soul from God. Note that death does not signify either annihilation or extinction. Here in Romans 5:12 Paul speaks not of death in general but "the death", in a sense personifying death as using sin as its point of entry into the world. Before the sin there was no the death.

Passed (1330) (dierchomai from dia = through + erchomai = go) means literally to go through or to pass throughout. It speaks of complete movement in a particular direction. To spread means to to send or be sent out in all directions, as for example a highly contagious deadly virus disseminating and spreading completely through an entire population. Paul uses this verb to describe the veritable diffusion of sin and death among mankind. His phrase "upon all men" emphasizes that the diffusion is universal in scope.

All (3956) (pas) means all without exception. It includes the idea of the whole (of humanity in this context).

Sinned (264) (hamartano) means to miss the mark and so to miss God's will and purpose for one's life. The aorist tense is constative (summary) aorist which in simple terms means that at one point in time all men sinned. To what point in time does Paul refer? It was the time when Adam first sinned. His sin became mankind’s sin, because all mankind were in his loins, so to speak.

All (3956) (pas) means all without exception. It includes the idea of the whole (of humanity in this context).

Sinned (264) (hamartano) means to miss the mark and so to miss God's will and purpose for one's life. The aorist tense is constative (summary) aorist which in simple terms means that at one point in time all men sinned. To what point in time does Paul refer? It was the time when Adam first sinned. His sin became mankind’s sin, because all mankind were in his loins, so to speak.

Now the question that comes to mind is why?

How did death come to be the reigning monarch of the world?

We are looking then at the influence of one man so that he dominates a whole flow of human beings by his one act. Because of Adam's sin, all men are condemned. Because of Christ's obedience, all men are offered pardon.

Now let's begin by looking at Adam and the reign of death.

Now the first point: Sin entered the world through one man.

That's what it says in verse 12, "As by one man sin entered into the world."
It does not say that Adam originated sin. Sin had already originated prior to Adam. For the Bible says the devil sinneth from the beginning.
Satan made the product; Adam just introduced it into the marketplace. First John 3:8:

Now would you notice it says in verse 12 that by one man sin entered the world, not sins.

God made us as a procreating race so that what we are is passed on to who we bear.
And you have Adam and Eve, as well, sinners with a corrupting defiling principle in them. And when they procreate, they will procreate sinners and more sinners and more sinners and more sinners and here we are. And it all started when Adam sinned.
The world of mankind was corrupted.
John Donne was right when he wrote, "No man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod is washed away, Europe is less, as well as if a promontory were or a manor of thy friends. Every man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
When Adam sinned he was the whole human race. He was mankind sinning. And in his loins was the seed that would bring forth every human life, every human life.
When he was polluted, it guaranteed that everybody born out of his loins would be polluted. In fact, the pollution intensifies through history and Paul says in 2 Timothy that evil men get worse and worse. Instead of evolution, it's devolution, it gets worse and worse, it's degenerating, it's breaking down. The whole of mankind was in the loins of Adam. And all human history is encapsulated in Genesis chapter 3.
Now the Jews understood this concept of what we call corporate personality. (which I have never heard of before)

The Jew never thought of himself as an isolated individual.
He didn't see himself that way. He thought himself a part of a tribe, a part of a family, a part of a nation. And in the Old Testament God treated people as whole units.

So Paul presents Adam acting as mankind.

That is, by the way, what his name means, mankind. He is the solid mass of humanity. By the way, I believe he was all the humanity there was then, he and his wife who is seen as one with Him for they two had become (What?) one flesh. And he introduces rebellion and evil into the human stream.
So his is the act of humanity. He is not acting as a man, he is acting as man. And so he's the cause of all men becoming sinners. And that is why 1 Corinthians 15:22 says this, "In Adam all die." In Adam all die. All men inherit corruption from Adam. We were there, as it were. As God views it we were there and we might as well have been there because we have inherited, as Augustine used to say, it is the seminal (influential, groundbreaking,) transmission of the sin principle

Principle number two — death entered the world through sin.
"In the day you eat you shall surely (What?) die."
So when the corrupting principle came, so did its penal (the prescribing the punishment of offenders under the legal system) consequence.

Death came as the penalty for sin. Death then is the unfailing fruit of the poison that entered Adam's heart. And solidarity and guilt involve solidarity and penalty. Sin and death will never be separated. And that's why Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed unto men once to die." Adam died, so everybody who comes out of Adam's loins is going to die. The sin principle, its penal consequence is there.
Now notice again that it keeps using the word "sin."
It says that by one man sin entered the world, and the second principle, death by sin.
Death comes not because you commit sins, but because you bear in you a sin principle, a corrupt nature.
We are always trying to live longer! But 55 million will die this year.

Now what kind of death is it?
And I'll give you a little thanatology here. Never heard of that term: Do you know what it is?
Thanatology is the scientific study of death. It investigates the mechanisms and forensic aspects of death, such as bodily changes that accompany death and the post-mortem period, as well as wider psychological and social aspects related to death. It is primarily an interdisciplinary study offered as a course of study at numerous colleges and universities.
First, spiritual death.
When Adam sinned did he die on the spot physically? Did he die eternally? No. He just died spiritually. What does that mean? Separation. Death is separation. Physical death is separation from the living. Spiritual death is separation from the living God. Eternal death is eternal separation from the living God and the living who are living in the presence of the living God.

A third principle — death spread to all men because — all sinned.
Here's the difficult part. And here's where you get back into the solidarity concept. It says there in verse 12, "Death passed on all men."
Death passed on all men. Death came to all men. Nobody escapes. A very important theological truth, everybody dies because everybody sins because everybody has a sin principle because Adam sinned and introduced the whole thing and passed it on. And just like we got eyes and ears and noses and arms and legs, we got sin from him. But then we could have just left it there and we would have been so easily satisfied, I think, but then he adds that thing at the end of verse 12, "For all have sinned."

a fourth point. And this sums it up. History proves this to be true.
History proves it to be true. Sin came through one man, death came through sin, death spread to all men and history proves it to be true. Verse 13: "For until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there's no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression." And we'll stop there