When death made its entrance into human history

Pastor Jeff Struecker

We will deal with some pretty important theology as we look at the following concept about our original parents and how humanity fell into sin. We’ve been talking about our God, who is pure. He and everything that He does is perfect.

God created human beings and created us in His image, which means He put His perfection into us. And when God made those first human beings, He made them pure and perfect.

Last week we looked at the biggest theological challenge of all time when we started to talk about the problem of evil, “Why does evil exist?”

I want us to go back to the book of Romans because chapter five lays out what happened with our first father, Adam and how he was kind of a representation of the ultimate man that would come to Earth. I want to challenge everybody from 2Cities. Would you join in, and would you commit this verse to memory?

Memory Verse

The Coming One was capitalized because that is a reference to King Jesus. The Bible tells us in Romans 5:14 that Adam is a prefigure, except Adam committed the original sin. And the Bible tells us in this verse that death came to all of us as a result of Adam’s 1st sin. 

St. Augustine used three phrases to describe the difference between us, Adam before the fall and God in heaven. 

  • Posse non Peccare

  • Posse Peccare

  • Non Posse Non Peccare

The first phrase is Posse non Peccare. The word Posse means possible; Peccare is the Latin phrase for sin and what the Bible is saying in this first phrase is one of these three categories were possible not to sin. That’s a reference that St. Augustine used to refer to Adam. Adam is pure and perfect. He doesn’t have to commit the first sin in the garden. He could have walked by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the one tree that God said don’t eat from, and he could have walked by that every day for all of eternity. You and I will be walking around that tree today if Adam did not sin. 

The following phrase is Posse Peccare, which means it is possible to sin, which is a reference to you and me. That second phrase is a reference to God and what it’s saying is God is not capable of sinning because God is pure and perfect. He made Adam to be pure and perfect. So Adam doesn’t have to sin either. 

But did you notice the third phrase that says Non Posse Non Peccare? And what this phrase says is that we have been so impacted by what Adam did that you and I cannot be around sin for a lifetime and not give in to it. 

Now, Augustine is not saying that you will always sin every time you get the opportunity. He’s saying that something broke inside humanity, and now you can’t live for a lifetime and not commit a sin. It’s impossible. 

It’s important to understand these Latin phrases that St. Augustine came up with because maybe it will help you think through this question below.

A Challenge

You were born into a family that was impacted by your own parents’ decisions. You didn’t have anything to do with that, but you were born into that, and what the Bible is telling us is that you and I didn’t have anything to do with Adam’s original sin, but we were impacted by it even thousands of years later.