Why Does God hold us guilty of the sin of Adam?
Many people, even some theologians, cannot reconcile the reasoning that causes God to hold all of mankind accountable for the original sin of Adam and Eve. This comes from a lack of understanding of what actually happened when Adam and Eve chose, of their own free will, to disobey God in the one thing God said they could not do.
Adam and Eve were created to be like God, in His likeness. God had also given them a marvelous gift, In the garden were many wonderful things, but two of these items were critical to the future of not only Adam and Eve, but for all of mankind. They were the tree of life which, if they had eaten from it, would have given them eternal life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was the one and only thing God had expressly forbidden them. However, there was an even greater gift God had given them, which was greater than anything else in the garden. This marvelous gift He gave them was free will, the ability to choose.
God did not want robots, who would follow him because there was no other choice. He wanted a relationship with mankind and that required people who would willingly choose to love and obey Him. However, when given the choice to believe that what God said was true, they chose to believe the lie of the serpent instead. When that happened, they received the dominion of death over them. The evidence of this was they immediately became aware of their shameful state and their nakedness. God had said they would die, “the day you eat thereof.”
Why did their bodies not drop dead on that very day? God, in His great mercy, chose to accept a substitute on their behalf. God himself killed animals, then took their skins and made coverings for Adam and Eve to “atone” for their sin. (The word “atone” means “to cover.”) Because of this, their bodies did not die, but their spirits were cut off from the source that gave them life and they became spiritually dead.
A natural man has no connection with God, who is the source of life, so he lives in a state of spiritual death. God is the only source of eternal life and when man exists separated from God he is a mortal being, incapable of living forever. He has a semblance of life, but it is not true life. It is only a shadow of life the way God had created it in the beginning. From the day they sinned in the garden forward, as a result of their disobedience, death gained dominion over their mortal bodies.
“….. as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 5:21)
When God created the universe, He established laws that govern it. Those laws are what maintain all of His creation and hold together the very fabric of time and space. One of those laws is that all living things reproduce “according to its kind.” Everyone knows you cannot plant an acorn and expect to grow pumpkins and if you have two chickens, they will not have a litter of kittens. Because of this law, Adam and Eve could not pass on any trait their own natures did not possess. Since Adam and Eve were mortal, fleshly beings, living under the dominion of sin and death, their offspring had those same characteristics passed on to them through the DNA of their parents. Their spirits did not contain eternal life, so they could not pass it on to their children.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
“To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.” (Rom 2:7)
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called.” (1 Tim 6:12)
“…..until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim 6:14-16)
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
Immortality and eternal life are ONLY found in Christ. Adam and Eve did not possess this, so they could not pass it to their children. I hear people say the words for life here only mean life with God, but there is no distinction of that sort in the scriptures at all. You have to read into the Bible something that it just does not say. Life is only found in Jesus Christ.