Friday, November 23, 2018

Our Representation in Adam

"Therefore, … sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12).

Can I be held responsible for what someone else does? More particularly, can I be held responsible for what someone else does for me? The answer to these questions is yes. If I hire a gunman to kill someone, I am still responsible, even though I am not the person who pulled the trigger. Similarly, in a free society, we have a voice in the selection of those who are to be our representatives in civil government, and we must live with the consequences of their decisions.

The Bible tells us that we inherit the judgment for Adam’s sin because Adam was our representative. That judgment is death, and all men are conceived under the sentence of death. Thus, even little babies and children yet unborn experience death sometimes.

Is this fair? We may admit that if we end up with poor government, it is our own fault for voting in poor rulers. But we did not vote for Adam to be our representative. Consider: If I appoint your representative, you will almost certainly be unhappy. Why? Because you want to have a say in the matter. You want to make sure your representative carries out your desires, and not mine.

Now let’s move a step farther. Have you ever asked someone to represent you at a meeting or in public office, and then been disappointed in how he or she acted? I think most of us have experienced this. This is because your representative is fallible. You are also fallible in selecting your representative.

Suppose God Himself selected a representative who was completely sinless. We would have to agree that such a situation would be unobjectionable. That is exactly what happened. God created Adam to be our perfect representative. He acted as we would have had we been there. Adam was created sinless and was perfectly designed for his job.

As Christians, we need to be able to explain the Christian faith to others. Today’s lesson covers one of the central doctrines of our faith: our representation in Adam. There are five basic points in these five paragraphs. Can you explain them to someone else? Study this lesson and then find someone with whom you can rehearse the argument.