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How did sin travel from Adam to us?


Thank you for this great question about sin and how it travelled from Adam to us.

Quite often, analogies can help us to understand a concept, and this is one such instance:

In the past one man signed a piece of paper which meant that all people subsequently born in the UK would also be born as a member of the European Union. From one man's actions a whole race of people were affected.

Now the effect of being part of the European Union, or a European citizen may not be such a bad thing (depending on your political views).

However, the effects of Adam have since affected all humans who were born after him.

God made Adam to be very good (Genesis 1:31). However, when Adam turned away from God and did the one thing that God asked him not to do, it broke their relationship (Genesis 3). This imperfection then spread to Adam's children, their children and for all people born since. We are born 'in Adam' (Romans 5:12)

Jesus came to rework the relationship with God. He took the punishment that we deserve for our wrongdoing and now we can be 'in Christ' (Romans 5:17). When God looks at a follower of Jesus he no longer see's Adam and sin, but Jesus and life. Consider these Bible verses:

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:12-21)

Or put more simply:

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22)

We will all physically die because of the effects of sin on our mortal bodies, but in Christ we can have new life here on earth and eternal life with God in heaven when we die.

Another example is if my parents chose to move to Australia, and I was born there, I would have a different nationality.

Christ gives us the chance at a new nationality:

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself (Philippians 3:20-21)

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at

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