Does Romans 5:12-21 Teach “Original Sin” ?

Romans 5:12 reads, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

Verse 12 and the context teach two indisputable facts:

1. Sin entered into the world through Adam, and death by sin. So men die spiritually due to Adam’s sin only in that he started it. He sinned, therefore he died spiritually. That opened the door for others to do the same. But they all die spiritually due to their own sin. That brings us to the second fact …

2. Death (spiritual) passes upon all men, because “all have sinned.”

Romans 5:12-21 blames Adam for the introduction of sin into the world, but puts blame on us for our own spiritual death.

Other verses in the context, e.g., verse 19 (“by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners”) are true in that through Adam, sin entered into the world. He got the ball rolling. But verse 12 adds that “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” This point can be illustrated by the “Jackie Robinson” story …

A parallel to verse 12: “Wherefore, as by one man black players entered into Major League Baseball (MLB), and big money to black MLB players; and so big money passed upon all black MLB players, for that all black MLB players have played.” You wouldn’t think all the black players inherited Jackie Robinson’s salaries would you?

A parallel to verse 19: “For by one man’s play many blacks were made MLB players.”

Jackie Robinson paved the way for other blacks by being the first. He got it started; he got the ball rolling.

Adam paved the way for other people to sin by being the first to sin. He got it started; he got the ball rolling.

Romans 5:12b proves the Calvinist wrong: “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”!

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