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Catechism Study – Question #7

Catechism Study – Question #7

Are all people affected by the fall of Adam? What does that mean for us?

When God made a covenant (agreement) with Adam, it not only affected Adam, but every person that would ever come from Adam’s seed. The result of the fall of Adam is that we ALL sinned, and therefore are guilty before God.

“For ALL have sinned and fall short of the the glory of God.”
-Romans 3:23

“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners…”
-Romans 5:19a

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
-Romans 5:12


This understanding that every person in the world is sinful, is one of the hardest things for us to accept. It is the very thing that separates Christianity from every other type of religion in the world. The universal affect that Adam’s disobedience produced not only affected him, but every single person that has ever lived. This is essential to understanding the Christian faith.

For ALL have sinned…

No one likes to hear that they have a disease that is going to kill them. Many people put off going to the doctor to see if they are infected with a disease for the very reason that they think not knowing is better. Well the infection of sin is worse than any disease that a doctor can ever tell you about. Without the knowledge that were are sinners, we will never seek for a recovery from that sin.

Its not hard to prove that all people are sinners. Just look at the fact that all people die. Why do we die? Just as Romans 5:12 says, “Death came through sin”. All people would agree that everyone dies. The difference for the believer and unbeliever, is that the believer has a reason for why we all die. We die because we are sinners. Sin is the death sentence of all mankind.

Our relationship to Adam.

In order to understand why we are sinners, its important to understand our relationship to our first parent, Adam. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that we were not the ones that ate from the tree that day in the Garden. So why does it affect us?

Well, think of it this way. Do you look like your natural mom and dad? Do you have some of the same facial features? Height? Personality? Why is that? The answer is simple. Because you came from them, you share the same characteristics as they do.

Same is true with our relationship with Adam. All people that have ever lived came from Adam, and therefore we all share in the characteristic of sin that he had. Just like we have our parents eyes or nose, we have Adam’s sin. Everyone does.

Is this fair?

The common objection to this truth is that it is not fair. Most people will say that “I wasn’t the one that sinned. Why do I have to pay for the mistake of someone else?” The major mistake in that understanding is that we do not see ourselves being united to Adam in this life. Adam was not just a man, but the representative of all mankind. What he did affects all people, because we all fall under his representation.

Just like the decisions of our president affect the entire country, so does the decision Adam made affect all of humanity.

Why did God have someone else represent us?

Some people believe that they would have done better if they could just have represented themselves. But this is just another affect of being sinful. Its the wrong understanding that we are more intelligent than the eternal God! How crazy is that? Without Adam being our representative at first, we could never have another representative to replace him.

Christ – Our needed Representative.

All people will stand before God under one of two representatives. Either they will stand before God with Adam as their representative, or they will stand before God with Christ as their representative. The Bible is clear, that only those who have received the righteousness of Christ (those who are represented by Him), will enter the kingdom of God.


Therefore, we must praise God that He allowed us to be represented by Christ. If we were to stand based on our own life, we have no chance to be restored to God. It is only through this “change of representatives” that we receive eternal life.

Study Questions:

1. Who is affected by the fall of Adam? Why?

2. What is the reason why all people die?

3. What is our relationship to Adam? What does that mean for us?

4. What is our relationship to Christ? How do we get into that relationship?

5. Explain how people fall into two categories of representation before God. What does each category result in for eternity?

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All Comments 1

Alright, I have been wondering for a while now (not that it is a huge issue... just wondering) where you guys come down on the covenantal or dispensational side of things. The catechism (of course very similar to the LBCF or Westminster) tends to make me believe possibly covenantal? Again, certainly shouldn't be a divisive issue among those who love the gospel just "Talking dispensations and covenants. Why? For the love of it!"

– Feb 6 2008

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