The link between the sin of the first man (Adam) and the continued sinfulness of the human race has been described as a riddle of sin, however understanding it as a riddle of unity produces significant insights into the profound connection between all humans.

What needs to be understood is that the sin of Adam cut the human race off from God who is the source of life and love. Relationship (unity) with God is an important part of the human environment, without it life as God intended is impossible. Therefore the life lived apart from God is not life, but is in fact death (Genesis 2).

The living dead
Because the flesh of Adam has been removed from its natural environment (unity in God) it will slowly deteriorate until it dies. No matter how much life in disunity looks like the real thing it is only a shadow of true life (unity) in God.

When God first gave Adam the command not to eat, God warned him that if he ate of the fruit (of the knowledge of good and evil) he would die (Genesis 2:15-17). Because the fruit did not prove to be poisonous, as they did not expire immediately after they ate, death needs to be viewed as more than just a physical event. What becomes clear is that the flesh of Adam will continue on, for a time, until it expires. Which essentially means that for a time Adam will live on as a dead man.

Adam’s status as “living dead” is ultimately confirmed when God curses him “…in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;” (Genesis 3:17) “…till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (vs19)

Original sin (love lost)
As previously mentioned Adam and Eve still share the same flesh and they are still married, what did change was their attitude to both (their marriage and flesh). What mankind lost in the fall is in fact the self-sacrificial love of God required for unity (this will be expanded on in later posts). Meaning that Adam and Eve (all humanity) are incapable of relating to God, one another and creation properly (love in unity).

If God truely is love (1 John 4:7-8), there can be no love apart from unity with him. While Adam and Eve’s new nature seems to have become exclusively human, it is still in fact defined with respect to the nature of God (only now in the negative sense,i.e. not like God). Therefore the nature of mankind is “not love” (not good, sinful and evil).

By breaking unity with God Adam cut himself/humanity off from the source of love and life. If the break in the union were to have no effect on the life force and nature of mankind then it would be right to say that unity with God is superfluous (non-essential). However given that sin and death are so pervasive in humanity it is safe to conclude that unity with God is essential for true life to exist.

This is how the sin of Adam was transmitted to all humanity:
1. To be human is to share in the flesh of Adam through the process of marriage, sex, conception and birth.
2. At the time of the fall all mankind was yet unborn and still in Adam’s flesh when he rebelled against God.
3. Therefore each new human is born into a state (relationship) of disunity with God, cut off from life and love himself (God). Unable to please God because they do not have access to (Godly) love in unity. In this way Adam cut his entire race off from God condemning them to a perpetual state of sin and death.

The writer of Hebrews seems to understand how the union of the flesh of Adam works. In speaking of Melchizadek and Abraham he says:

See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
(Hebrews 7:4-10 ESV)

Seeing that there is still some small semblance of unity in the flesh (of Adam), Levi yet unborn and still residing in the flesh of Abraham can be seen to be tithing to Melchizedek. This is how it was with all mankind, who were united in the flesh of Adam when he broke union with God (who is love and life itself). Therefore because of the sin of Adam all who are born into his flesh are destined to share in his fate and live apart from God (unable to please him).


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