Hi, Everyone, I’ve been working this through my mind for a bit because of hearing some teaching from a highly respected pastor/teacher of the Faith. This person was teaching humanity’s corporate guilt for sin in relation to Adam’s sin. However, I am thinking that this needs to be thought out a little better–or at least better than I understood it at the time and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts to offer that may help my understanding along or change it.
My idea of what happened with Adam’s sin is that we are not corporately guilty for Adam’s sin specifically. That is guilt by association. Rather, Adam and Eve, through their actions, introduced sin into the world. That is different than saying, “Because Adam and Eve sinned, we all are responsible and guilty for that sin.” My current understanding of how sin affected humanity was that when Adam sinned, it distorted something within human nature and that is what has been passed on to his descendants like an infection, which causes all of humanity to be guilty of sin–not Adam and Eve’s specific actions. That is why we are born sinners. I am not sure if it has anything to do with this, and maybe someone who is more knowledgeable would be able to tell me, but the Scripture states this: “When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth” (Genesis 5:3, New International Version). It is interesting to me that the Bible would seemingly emphatically state that Adam’s son was born in his “own” image and likeness. Now, I understand that this could be an expression of “according to its kind,” but I am not sure this would be expressed about Adam had something not been altered. In Genesis 1, when God created all the other living things, everything was “according to its kind,” and yet when it came to people, God created them in His image. There is no “according to their/its kind” in relation to God’s creation of man." Now my mind analyzes everything to death, so this could be nothing, but then again, it could be something.
I guess I am trying to figure out if there are different variances of corporate sin or if I am misunderstanding something. We are corporately a sinful race, but the Bible also makes it clear that we would be judged by our own works (not someone else’s because of some corporate sin leading to guilt by association).
I hope this is clear. I am still trying to hash out what I am thinking, and the words to describe what I am thinking are not quite “there” yet. But I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts about this?