Article 1: God's Right to Condemn All People
Since all people have sinned in Adam and have come under the sentence of the curse and eternal death, God would have done no one an injustice if it had been his will to leave the entire human race in sin and under the curse, and to condemn them on account of their sin.
As the apostle says: The whole world is liable to the condemnation of God (Rom. 3:19), All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).
This quote is taken from the Canons of Dorth, article one.
This basically sums up what Reformed circles say about the issue of "born in sin".
Let us say a few things about it:
And I quote:
"Since all people have sinned in Adam and come under the sentence of the curse and the eternal death"
In some ways they are perfectly right, yet it is deceiving.
If we consider the words of Paul in Romans 5: 12 we see that he wrote this:
(Romans 5: 12 is the heart of the matter for this teaching)
Rom 5:12 Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:
Here it tells us that death passed upon all men "FOR THAT ALL HAVE SINNED'.
This verse says the following.
1. Through one man (Adam) sin entered the world.
2. And because of this transgression death came into this world.
3. Death did pass unto all men FOR ALL HAVE SINNED.
So, death did not come to all men because of Adams sin. Adam only introduced sin into this world and as a result of sin death. In that sense he is our head.
But why did death come eventually to all men?? because ALL HAVE SINNED.
In this passage in Romans Paul simply takes Adam as the first one who sinned and contrast him with Christ who introduced life into this world.
(verse 12- 18)
Otherwise, when we say that we are not born in sin what do we mean:
1. We do not mean that we do not suffer conseqences on account of Adam.
2. He made it so that we are living in an imperfect world. (Rom. 8: 22)
Also, this article 1 (of the Canons of Dorth) says that we have all come under the curse of eternal death because of Adams sin.
This means that all people are automatically condemned eternally because of Adams sin.
We have allready shown that death comes to all men BECAUSE ALL HAVE SINNED.
Let me quote a few other verses from Paul:
Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Howbeit, I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet:
Rom 7:8 but sin, finding occasion, wrought in me through the commandment all manner of coveting: for apart from the law sin is dead.
Rom 7:9 And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died;
Rom 7:10 and the commandment, which was unto life, this I found to be unto death:
Rom 7:11 for sin, finding occasion, through the commandment beguiled me, and through it slew me.
Rom 7:12 So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good.
What does Paul say here:
1. Paul would not have known sin except through the law.
2. Apart from the law sin is dead.
3. Paul says: HE WAS ALIVE WITHOUT THE LAW ONCE. This means that Paul was alive at one point in his life.
(He was alive when he was living without the commandment)
He explains how this worked:
A. At a certain point in his life the commandment came.
B. Sin revived.
C. He died.
First question: If Paul was allready sentenced to death on account of the sin of Adam, what death was he talking about here??
Second question: When was he alive?? Before the commandment came.
This means that there was a time in his life that there was no commandment.
This is the Biblical teaching how a person dies spiritually. When the commandment comes, man is incapable of keeping it completely. When he fails, he dies spirutually.
This teaching of Paul in Romans 7 is perfectly consistent with what he wrote in chapter 5: 12.