Romans 5:12, 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.
Well, let’s look at the initial charges related to sin. Paul is very clear that sin came into the world through Adam and became the original pandemic! In fact, the curse of sin is inescapable. In a medical pandemic many people are affected by the disease others seem to escape. In the sin pandemic everyone is impacted. How did sin begin and what has it cost?
We turn to the very beginning. Genesis 2:15-17, The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The word “sin” does not appear in this passage. But it is certainly referenced by the terms laid out. Last week I gave a definition for the word “sin”. Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in action or attitude. The Lord God gave the man one negative command. You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was included in a statement that gave to the man every plant and its fruit as food. There was a magnificent variety of food available. Only one fruit was denied to Adam. Just one! This is not a hard thing! Adam’s sin did not make sense. From the very first sin forward to every sin that will be committed — all sin is foolish. Adam chose to believe the serpent and that choice was a foolish act. Adam did not deny the existence of God. He could not have done so! He walked and talked with God continually. What he did was to deny the authority of God in his life.
The Psalmist twice tells us, in Psalm 14 and 53, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’”. Atheism, denying God’s existence, is basic to sin. Looking back further, it really did not make sense for Satan to rebel against God expecting to be able to exalt himself above God. Why would Satan think he could defeat the Lord God? He had been present in Eden. He had been present on God’s holy mountain. He had walked among the stones of fire. He was blameless from the day he was created until unrighteousness was found in him. (Ezekiel 28). With a clear vision of the power of God and all the glory that surrounded him Satan still rebelled. At first consideration, this heavenly rebellion should not have had any effect on the human that had been placed in the garden of Eden. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, gave us a clear presentation of what the sin cost Adam. When Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil he did not immediately die! But he did surely die! The process of death began in his physical body at that event. Not just in Adam but in all of us! Adam did not only begin to die physically, he died spiritually! He passed that condition of spiritual death to all his descendants. There is no way he could’ve understood the consequences of his sin. He would very soon see what he had released.
The story found in Genesis chapter 3 begins the process. First, their unique relationship to God ended. They were removed from the garden where they had enjoyed a wonderful life. They had walked and talked with God and gathered fruit anytime they were hungry. Shame entered their life and suddenly they were aware that they were naked. God made clothes for them out of animal skins. That meant the animals had to die through no fault of their own.
Having broken the one rule they now had to eat their food in the sweat of their brow. That was just a minor inconvenience compared to the fact that their first two sons, Cain and Abel, fought and Cain killed Abel. This certainly would not have happened had Adam obeyed God!
The history of the human race as presented in Scripture is a history of man in a state of sin and rebellion against God! All of that rebellion grew out of Adam’s sin. Let’s look at some scriptural examples.
The pandemic that began in the garden Eden led — in eight generations — to a condition described in Genesis chapter 6. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5. Only one man with his family survived the worldwide flood that God used to cleanse the earth. Noah and his family began the repopulating of the earth.
For example let’s look at one family and see the consequences of sin.
This is not a pretty story.
As David settled into his role as King his lifestyle changed. 2 Samuel chapter 11 begins with the words, “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab…” Late one afternoon, David was bored. His troops were out fighting his battles for him he was lying on his couch with nothing to do. He went up on the roof of the palace and. On a nearby roof he saw a woman bathing. Folks, I’ve actually had people blame Bathsheba because she was bathing in public! I have also heard people refer to David’s sin as adultery – that’s not right! David’s sin was rape! Bathsheba had no choice. The resulting series of events were not Bathsheba’s fault! All the responsibility falls on David. First, David sent some of his household staff to see who this woman was. The report they gave was pretty clear. Her name was Bathsheba who was the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
Uriah was one of David’s mighty men. That’s not just a title! He was listed alongside 36 others as the best of the best — the toughest of the tough. As we’ll see in just a moment he was an honorable man and a faithful servant of the king.
David, having looked with lust, sent some of his servants and had the woman brought to his bed. A few weeks later she sent word to David that she was pregnant. David had lots of opportunities to do the right thing. First of all he should have been busy running the country. Second, he should have turned away from the scene. Perhaps he could not have prevented the first look but he certainly could have prevented the second. Third, he should’ve honored the relationship that he had with his warrior.
After he committed the rape he should have sent for Uriah and apologized. He should have done whatever was necessary to heal the relationships that he had damaged.
Instead, he sent for Uriah, and asked him to report on the battle. After he got the report he told Uriah to go to his own house for the evening. This would solve the problem. Uriah would be the father the child!
Uriah checked into the local barracks rather than going to his house. When David got this report he sent for Uriah and asked him why he did not go home. He gave David an answer that should have filled David with shame. He said, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” (2 Samuel 11:11) Under those conditions such a visit with his wife would’ve been dishonorable!
David had deteriorated he was no longer a man of honor! Needless to say he tried again to get Uriah to spend the night with his wife. When his plan failed he sent Uriah back to the Army with a special order for Joab his commander. Joab was to approach the enemy in battle with Uriah on the point and when the enemy killed Uriah he was to withdraw his army. David! God’s chosen King! How could he do such a thing? Such are the consequences of sin!
When the report of Uriah’s death came to his wife she went into mourning. When the time for mourning was over, David brought her to his house, she became his wife and bore him a son. I can imagine the king believing that it was all over. But the Scriptures tell us, “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.”
(2 Samuel 11:27b).
The story goes on. There was a prophet by the name of Nathan! He came to the king and told him a story. There are two men who lived near each other one very rich the other was very poor. The rich man had everything you can imagine. The poor man only had one little ewe lamb. That lamb was a loving pet in the house of the poor man. One day the rich man had a visitor come to his house. The rich man took the poor man’s lamb and had it cooked and fed to is the visitor.
When David heard the story he was very angry. He pronounced judgment on the man. The man who did this deserved to die. He must restore the lamb fourfold.
Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”. Nathen then told how God had blessed David. David repented of his sin and the prophet told him that God accepted his repentance nevertheless the child would die. For those who hold the idea that confession and forgiveness will stop the consequences of sin it’s just not true. The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what was in God’s mind with regard to David’s baby boy. In my opinion, everyone knew what had happened. The soldiers in the Army knew about the death of Uriah. The people of Jerusalem knew about the rape of Bathsheba. If the king could get away with such things anybody could. There must be immediate consequences. There would surely be many more evil consequences.
The consequences David’s sin began immediately. Bathsheba bore a son. David loved him but he got sick. For seven days David fasted and prayed for the child to live. On the seventh day the child died. That was not all -- the judgment David proclaimed must be fourfold!
David repented and confessed his sin but that did not stop the consequences. After a period of time Bathsheba had another baby boy. David named him Jedidiah which means “beloved of the Lord”. His official name was Solomon!
As time went by one of David’s many sons named Amnon, raped his sister, Tamar! Another son of David named Absalom took Tamar into his home and comforted her with the assurance that he would take care of it! Absalom developed a plan and threw a party. During the party Absalom’s servants killed Amnon! The judgment was fourfold! Two down two to go.
Absalom left Jerusalem and waited to see what David would do. After a period of time Joab, David’s military commander developed a plan to bring Absalom back. Over a period of time, Absalom rose in power and led a rebellion against David. In the course of the rebellion Absalom was killed. It’s quite a story!
The judgment was fourfold! Three down and one to go.
As David grew old the palace intrigues got more intense. When he died who would be the king in his place?
Adonijah, born next after Absalom set a scheme in motion. When he traveled about the city he had 50 men who ran before him. He had chariots and horsemen. It looked as though the election was over.
Nathan the prophet came to Bathsheba and warned her about Adonijah’s plans. If he became king her life and Solomon’s would be in danger. Bathsheba went in to see the king and asked if it was David’s intention to put Adonijah on the throne? David had already promised that Solomon would be king after him. Then Nathan the prophet came to the king with the same story.
David was old but he was not stupid. He brought Solomon in and called for the chief priest. He had Solomon all decked out in finery had him put on David’s mule! And Zadok the priest anointed Solomon as King.
Immediately Adonijah knew his life was in danger. He pledged allegiance to Solomon and it looked as though everything was going to be all right. One day he came to Bathsheba and asked her to intercede on his behalf. David had a young woman as a caregiver during his last days on earth. Adonijah asked Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him this young woman as a wife.
Solomon told Bathsheba that would be a very bad political mistake. As soon as Adonijah knew about Solomon’s reaction. King Solomon sent the commander of his guard to take Adonijah’s life. The judgment was fourfold!
Please don’t take this story mean that one has to be a king or a personal kingly power to have these bad things happen in their life. God will get our attention one way or another. We must remember that everyone is simple before God. David himself says, “no man living is righteous before you” (Psalm 143:2).
John, the beloved disciple, who was very close to Jesus said, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)
John continues, My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2).
Come with me in a walk down the Roman road.
All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory — Romans 3:23
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord — Romans 6:23.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. – Romans 10:9.
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. — 2 Corinthians 5:20.
Sin always has evil consequences. Just as Adam and Eve were promised a wonderful world of knowledge by disobeying God. Satan promises good things for us. The Bible says there is pleasure in sin for a season. But seasons always come to an end.
Have you trusted Jesus for your salvation? Today could be your day.
All scriptures quotes are from: The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.