Original Sin and the Two Adams

The relationship between the first Adam and second Adam (Christ)

Biblical “Original Sin” (not the Catholic version)

The Two Adams – What do we receive from them?

Original Sin & The Two Adams

1st Adam — by one man’s disobedience (Adam)

2nd Adam — by one Man’s obedience (Jesus)

“To a large degree Satan has succeeded in the execution of his plans. Through the medium of influence, taking advantage of the action of mind on mind, he prevailed on Adam to sin. Thus at its very source human nature was corrupted. And ever since then sin has continued its hateful work, reaching from mind to mind. Every sin committed awakens the echoes of the original sin.” – Review & Herald, April 16, 1901 par. 5 – Ellen G. White

Galatians 3:22 (KJV), “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”

Romans 3:19-26 (KJV), “19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Romans 5:6-21 (KJV), “6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 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: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto ** justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Note: ** probationary life, a second chance. – not to be confused with justification or pardon of sin.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (KJV), “1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

Note: Scripture concludes that we are all under sin and being born a sinner (by one man’s disobedience we are all made sinners) means that you are born into a fallen world, with a fallen nature, with an inborn enmity to the law of God, with a carnal mind, with no power or desire to walk in righteousness, with a bent towards evil, with propensities or tendencies to sin, that you are corporately guilty of Adam’s sin and share his guilt and shame and sentence of death (temporal and eternal), and that you will, as soon as opportunity affords, sin and continue to sin. Your carnal, natural heart is selfish, self-centered, corrupt, and desperately wicked by nature. The law of sin and death is operating in you and will drive you to sin. Your only hope is faith in Christ (your parents faith comes first and then your faith when you are able to exercise it for yourself) and being born again with a new nature and the Spirit of Life (Holy Spirit) to keep you from sin. You must be willing to die to the old self, crucify the old man, follow the Spirit and not the flesh (carnal mind). In Adam we are lost, doomed, destined to destruction and eternal death and in Christ we find salvation and abundant life. Jesus is the second Adam and He is our only hope. We are now living in probationary time and need to make that choice. We are by nature children of wrath and it is time to change families from the first Adam to the second Adam, from slavery to sin to freedom in righteousness, from eternal death to eternal life, from Lucifer (Satan, Adversary, Usurper, Serpent, Dragon, Devil, Demon, Fallen Angel) to Christ Jesus, our Savior (Divine/Human Son of God/Man, Michael, Jesus, Yahshua, Isa, Iesous, I AM, Jehovah, Comforter, Counselor, the Mighty God, Redeemer, Our Brother).

There are different teachings regarding the idea of original sin and many others reject the idea outright. The only ideas that really matter are those given to us by God Himself. Holy Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy writings of Mrs. Ellen G. White are our only inspired sources, where we can get authoritative ideas regarding Adam’s fall in Eden and how that one act of sin affects us all today. Adam is spoken of in Holy Scripture as the “first Adam” and Jesus is spoken of as the “second or last Adam.” Each was the son of God “directly”, as a man, and each was the “Representative” or “King” over planet earth and it’s inhabitants. Jesus was also the Son of God before His birth on earth, as the divine only-begotten Son of the Most High God. He is the pre-existent, self-existent Son (divine in nature by inheritance) of the Infinite and Eternal God, the Father of all, who is in all, through all, and in us all (all who trust and obey God). When Adam fell he forfeited his right as “King” of earth and Lucifer [Satan, the adversary, the dragon] claimed possession of our planet and we became the “lawful” prey of Satan. We are all born in Adam’s fallen and corrupted lineage, therefore we must be “born-again” to be in Jesus’ lineage of holy ones. In Adam we are lost and without hope, yet in Jesus we can gain salvation and have the joy of eternal life. We have glorious hope and a bright future.

This website is an active and ongoing study regarding the biblical teaching of original sin and will be expanded and updated from time to time. May God bless and guide you as you dig deep into the mine of eternal truth.

Note: Spirit of Prophecy quotes are from the writings of Mrs. Ellen G. White. (1827-1915).

The Consequence of Adam’s Sin

Note: This brings us to a Bible principle which I would like to consider. It is found in Hebrews 7:9-10 and also Genesis 25:21-23.

“And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.” — Hebrews 7:9-10

Note: As we can see, the act of paying tithe was attributed to Levi through the action of Abraham. Levi was not yet born. Here is another example of the same idea:

“And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” — Genesis 25:21-23

Note: Here we have two entire nations represented by the unborn sons of Rebekah, each with its own history. How much more we can apply this principle to Adam, the father of our race and the appointed ruler of this Earth. The whole human race was present in Adam’s loins, so to speak, so his act of disobedience was attributed to us also.

“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.” — Romans 5:12


The Spirit of Prophecy confirms the same idea:

“As related to the first Adam, men receive from him nothing but guilt and the sentence of death. But Christ steps in and passes over the ground where Adam fell, enduring every test in man’s behalf. He redeems Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall by coming forth from the trial untarnished. This places man on vantage ground with God. It places him where, through accepting Christ as his Saviour, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Thus he becomes connected with God and Christ.” — Letter 68, 1899

“We have reason for ceaseless gratitude to God that Christ, by His perfect obedience, has won back the heaven that Adam lost through disobedience. Adam sinned, and the children of Adam share his guilt and its consequences; but Jesus bore the guilt of Adam, and all the children of Adam that will flee to Christ, the second Adam, may escape the penalty of transgression.” — Faith & Works, p. 88.3

“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. . . . Even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden caused all to sin; but in the Garden of Gethsemane Christ drank the bitter cup of suffering and death, that whosoever believes in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life.” — Signs of the Times, June 13, 1900

“Seth was a worthy character, and was to take the place of Abel in right doing. Yet he was a son of Adam like sinful Cain, and inherited from the nature of Adam no more natural goodness than did Cain. He was born in sin; but by the grace of God, in receiving the faithful instructions of his father Adam, he honored God in doing his will. He separated himself from the corrupt descendants of Cain, and labored, as Abel would have done had he lived, to turn the minds of sinful men to revere and obey God.” — Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, p. 60.2

“Adam was required to render perfect obedience to God, not only in his own behalf, but in behalf of his posterity. God promised him that if he would stand the test of temptation, preserving his allegiance to the Creator during the great trial to which he would be subjected, his obedience would ensure his acceptance and favor with God. He would then be forever established in holiness and happiness, and these blessings would extend to all his posterity. But Adam failed to bear the test. And because he revolted against God’s law, all his descendants have been sinners.” — 9MR 229.1

“The fall of Adam was a terrible thing, and the consequences of his sin so fraught with evil that language cannot portray it. By his disobedience of the divine law, the world was thrown into disorder and rebellion. Because of his disobedience, man was under the penalty of breaking the law, doomed to death.” — Signs of the Times, January 8, 1894 par. 5

“Christ looked upon our world before He came to it, and He saw that Satan’s power was exercised upon the human family. And because of the transgression of Adam he claimed the whole human family.” — CTr 209.3

“To a large degree Satan has succeeded in the execution of his plans. Through the medium of influence, taking advantage of the action of mind on mind, he prevailed on Adam to sin. Thus at its very source human nature was corrupted. And ever since then sin has continued its hateful work, reaching from mind to mind. Every sin committed awakens the echoes of the original sin.” — Review & Herald, April 16, 1901 par. 5

“Christ is the “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:9. As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light. Not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Co-operation with that power is man’s greatest need. In all educational effort should not this co-operation be the highest aim?” — Education, p. 29.1

Note: Not only did Adam’s sin bring upon us guilt, death, and the consequences of sin, but the full salvation, brought by Christ, is given only to the person who “accepts Christ as his Saviour,” “that will flee to Christ,” “whosoever believes.”

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” — John 3:18

“As a result of Adam’s disobedience, every human being is a transgressor of the law, and is sold under sin. Unless man repents and is converted, he is under bondage of the law, serving Satan, falling into the deceptions of the enemy, bearing witness against the precepts of Jehovah. Only by perfect obedience to the requirements of God’s holy law can man be justified. Let those whose natures have been perverted by sin, ever keep their eyes fixed on Christ, the author and the finisher of their faith.” — 8MR 98.1

“Through transgression the sons of man become subjects of Satan. Through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ the sons of Adam may become the sons of God. By assuming human nature, Christ elevates humanity. Fallen men are placed where, through connection with Christ, they may indeed become worthy of the name “sons of God.”” — Steps to Christ, p. 15.1

“Those who thus accept of Christ are looked upon by God, not as they are in Adam, but as they are in Jesus Christ, as the sons and daughters of God.” — Signs of the Times, June 6, 1895 par. 4

Human Nature after the New Birth

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” — John 3:7 (KJV)

“… the whole character is to be transformed, the image of Christ is to be revealed in words and actions. A new nature is imparted. Man is renewed after the image of Christ in righteousness and true holiness.” — (Letter 2a, 1892) — 6BC 1117.15

“God requires the sanctification of the entire man, body, soul, and spirit. The Holy Spirit implants a new nature, and molds through the grace of Christ the human character, until the image of Christ is perfected. This is true holiness. . . .” — The Upward Look, p. 27.4

“With Christ’s Word abiding in us, we shall give evidence that we have wholly received Him who in His humanity lived a sinless life. In the strength of divinity we shall overcome every tendency to evil. . . .” — The Upward Look, p. 289

“Human nature is depraved, and is justly condemned by a holy God. But provision is made for the repenting sinner, so that by faith in the atonement of the only begotten Son of God, he may receive forgiveness of sin, find justification, receive adoption into the heavenly family, and become an inheritor of the kingdom of God. Transformation of character is wrought through the operation of the Holy Spirit, which works upon the human agent, implanting in him, according to his desire and consent to have it done, a new nature. The image of God is restored to the soul, and day by day he is strengthened and renewed by grace, and is enabled more and more perfectly to reflect the character of Christ in righteousness and true holiness.” — Review & Herald, September 17, 1895, par. 7

“But Christ did not forget John. In the lonely prison he manifested himself to him, showing him that erelong he himself was to suffer a most shameful, ignominious death. Not only that, but he was to bear the penalty of the transgression of the law of God, not to give men liberty to continue in sin, but to take away their inclination to sin, that they might not desire to transgress. Those who receive Christ are obedient to his commands; for his mind is given to them. He imbues them with his spirit of obedience, and they return to their loyalty.” — Youth’s Instructor, April 6, 1899, par. 3

“Every defect in character condemned by the law of God, must through the grace of Christ, which is freely given to every soul who desires it, be overcome. Every hereditary and cultivated tendency to evil must be seen, subdued, and cleansed, that the soul temple may become fit for the indwelling of the Spirit of God. The divine will must be accepted, and the human will brought into harmony with God, though it cause bitter agony and tears.” — Signs of the Times, July 18, 1895, par. 7

“No man receives holiness as a birthright, or as a gift from any other human being. Holiness is the gift of God through Christ. Those who receive the Saviour become sons of God. They are His spiritual children, born again, renewed in righteousness and true holiness. Their minds are changed. With clearer vision they behold eternal realities. They are adopted into God’s family, and they become conformed to His likeness, changed by His Spirit from glory to glory. From cherishing supreme love for self, they come to cherish supreme love for God and for Christ.” — Signs of the Times, December 17, 1902 par. 2

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” — John 3:3

Christ’s Nature

Romans 8:1-9 (KJV) — “1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

“Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his [Adam’s] posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.” — 5BC 1128.4

“Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called “that holy thing.” It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves; for it cannot be. The exact time when humanity blended with divinity, it is not necessary for us to know. We are to keep our feet on the Rock Christ Jesus, as God revealed in humanity.”— 5BC 1128.6

“When Jesus took human nature, and became in fashion as a man, He possessed all the human organism. His necessities were the necessities of a man. He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved. By prayer to the Father He was braced for duty and for trial.” — Letter 32, 1899 – 5BC 1130.2

“The divine nature, combined with the human, made Him capable of yielding to Satan’s temptations. Here the test to Christ was far greater than that of Adam and Eve, for Christ took our nature, fallen but not corrupted, and would not be corrupted unless He received the words of Satan in the place of the words of God. To suppose He was not capable of yielding to temptation places Him where He cannot be a perfect example for man, and the force and the power of this part of Christ’s humiliation, which is the most eventful, is no instruction or help to human beings.” — 16MR 182.3

“Christ did not possess the same sinful, corrupt, fallen disloyalty we possess, for then He could not be a perfect offering.” — Manuscript 94, 1893 – 3SM 131.1

“He “was in all points tempted like as we are.” Satan stood ready to assail Him at every step, hurling at Him his fiercest temptations; yet He “did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” “He. . . suffered being tempted,” suffered in proportion to the perfection of His holiness. But the prince of darkness found nothing in Him; not a single thought or feeling responded to temptation.” — Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 422 – 7ABC 450.8

“In taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. He was subject to the infirmities and weaknesses by which man is encompassed, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He “knew no sin.” He was the lamb “without blemish and without spot.” Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Saviour’s head. As it was, he could only touch His heel. Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished. Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and the church would have been without hope.” — 5BC 1131.3

“He for our sakes laid aside His royal robe, stepped down from the throne in heaven, and condescended to clothe His divinity with humility, and became like one of us except in sin, that His life and character should be a pattern for all to copy, that they might have the precious gift of eternal life.” — The Youth’s Instructor, Oct. 20, 1886 – 7ABC 453.1

“In His human nature He maintained the purity of His divine character.” — The Youth’s Instructor, June 2, 1898 – 7ABC 454.4

“He (Christ) was born without a taint of sin, but came into the world in like manner as the human family. He did not have a mere semblance of a body, but he took human nature, participating in the life of humanity.” — Letter 97, 1898, pp. 4, 5, 7

“He (Jesus) was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet He prayed, and that often with strong crying and tears. He prayed for His disciples and for Himself, thus identifying Himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from His Father.” — 2T 508.2

unsullied |ˌənˈsəlēd| adjective not spoiled or made impure his unsullied reputation: spotless, untarnished, unblemished, unspoiled, untainted, impeccable, undamaged, unimpaired, stainless, immaculate, flawless, unflawed. ANTONYMS tarnished.

“The Saviour, during his life on the earth, was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. In him the weakness of humanity was united with the strength of divinity. Because he experienced the temptations of humanity, he knows how to succor all who are tempted; because his humanity was united with divinity, every young man, every young woman, who chooses to follow in his footsteps, may be a partaker of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.” — CUM, September 3, 1907 par. 5

“But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured. . . . In man’s behalf, Christ conquered by enduring the severest test. For our sake He exercised a self-control stronger than hunger or death.” — The Desire of Ages, p. 117 – 7ABC 451.3

“It was a difficult task for the Prince of Life to carry out the plan which he had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing his divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts, and was familiar with absolute power. It was as difficult for him to keep the level of humanity as it is for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures, and be partakers of the divine nature.” — Review & Herald, April 1, 1875, par. 2

“The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God’s right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ’s propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. Then gracious answers are returned.” — 1SM 344.2

Note: Did Christ have any advantage over us? One does not have to have sinful propensities in order to be tempted. Satan knew that and tried to tempt Him to sin during His entire lifetime. The fact that He could have sinned is sufficient evidence to know that He had no advantage over us. Instead He had harder struggles and temptations than we do. He was divine and yet He humbled Himself to our fallen nature.

“Christ was tempted by Satan in a hundredfold severer manner than was Adam, and under circumstances in every way more trying. The deceiver presented himself as an angel of light, but Christ withstood his temptations. He redeemed Adam’s disgraceful fall, and saved the world.” — Youth’s Instructor, June 2, 1898 par. 7

“Would that we could comprehend the significance of the words, “Christ suffered, being tempted.” While he was free from the taint of sin, the refined sensibilities of his holy nature rendered contact with evil unspeakably painful to him.” — Review & Herald, November 8, 1887 par. 8

Justification vs. Justification of Life

Note: At this point many bring up the verse found in Romans 5:18 where is says that “justification of life” came upon all men. Let’s see what this phrase actually means.

“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” — Romans 5:18

Note: Our dilemma seems to be centered around the word “justification.” We have to make a distinction between justification itself and justification of life. I will start by showing in the following quotes what justification is—complete pardon of sin. According to these statements justification or pardon of sin cannot be automatically applied to the whole race; it is only given to those that accept Christ, to those that believe, to those that have genuine faith in Christ. This is so, because justification is not just a legal act, it is also forgiveness and transformation of character and it can be given only to those that have this experience of genuine faith, therefore it is not given to the whole human race. There are conditions for receiving justification, as you will notice below.

“Justification by faith in Christ will be made manifest in transformation of character.” — 1888 Materials, p. 1532.2

““Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:24-26) Here the truth is laid out in plain lines. This mercy and goodness is wholly undeserved. The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God’s forgiving grace.” — 6BC 1071.8

“It is the righteousness of Christ that makes the penitent sinner acceptable to God and works his justification. However sinful has been his life, if he believes in Jesus as his personal Saviour, he stands before God in the spotless robes of Christ’s imputed righteousness.” — Faith & Works, p. 106.1

“I was attending a meeting, and a large congregation were present. In my dream you were presenting the subject of faith and the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith. You repeated several times that works amounted to nothing, that there were no conditions. The matter was presented in that light that I knew minds would be confused and would not receive the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided to write to you. You state this matter too strongly. There are conditions to our receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression upon many minds. While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works. God saves us under a law, that we must ask if we would receive, seek if we would find, and knock if we would have the door opened unto us.” — Faith & Works, p. 111

“When men and women receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they will confess their sins, and, pardon, which means justification, will be given them.” — This Day With God, p. 318

“But while God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins, or neglecting known duties. God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place; and in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience, through active, living faith that works by love and purifies the soul.” — 1SM 366.1

Note: Below are statements about “justification of life.” This phrase is found only one time in the Bible and applies to the whole human race. The meaning of “justification of life” is revealed in the following statements:

““Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Rom 5: 18… The promise of the Father was pledged that if Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, if He endured the test that Adam failed to endure, His obedience would be counted as righteousness to His people. Thus He would conquer in their behalf, and place them on vantage ground. Thus they would be given a probation in which they might return to their loyalty by keeping God’s law. And in this Christ would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied.” — Signs of the Times, June 28, 1899 par. 9-12

“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. . . . Even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden caused all to sin; but in the Garden of Gethsemane Christ drank the bitter cup of suffering and death, that whosoever believes in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life.” — Signs of the Times, June 13, 1900

Note: Did you catch that? “Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden caused all to sin.” We see again how the entire human race is related to Adam’s act of disobedience. Everlasting life is given, not to the entire human race, but to “whosoever believes” “by exercising faith in the merits of Christ’s righteousness.” Also, what happened in the garden of Eden was made right by what happened in the garden of Gethsemane. What else does “justification of life” include? What else is Christ giving us along with the second chance?

“As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light. Not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Co-operation with that power is man’s greatest need.” — Education, p. 29.1

“The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race. He was the Redeemer before as after His incarnation. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. He has given light and life to all, and according to the measure of light given, each is to be judged. And He who has given the light, He who has followed the soul with tenderest entreaty, seeking to win it from sin to holiness, is in one its advocate and judge. From the opening of the great controversy in heaven, Satan has maintained his cause through deception; and Christ has been working to unveil his schemes and to break his power. It is He who has encountered the deceiver, and who through all the ages has been seeking to wrest the captives from his grasp, who will pass judgment upon every soul.” — Desire of Ages, p. 210.2

“The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall, there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. To all men this covenant offered pardon, and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God’s law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation.” — Faith I Live By, p. 77.2

“God has given to every man his measure of faith, and each is to walk in faith. He is to show that he has that faith that will rely upon God for help. As God has given to every man his measure of faith, he is to put it into exercise. He is to let his light shine.” — 2SAT 133.3

“The Son of God, undertaking to become the Redeemer of the race, placed Adam in a new relation to his Creator. He was still fallen; but a door of hope was opened to him. The wrath of God still hung over Adam, but the execution of the sentence of death was delayed, and the indignation of God was restrained, because Christ had entered upon the work of becoming man’s Redeemer. Christ was to take the wrath of God, which in justice should fall upon man. He became a refuge for man, and, although man was indeed a criminal, deserving the wrath of God, yet he could, by faith in Christ, run into the refuge provided and be safe. In the midst of death there was life if man chose to accept it.” — Confrontation, p. 19.3

“Adam and his companion were assured that notwithstanding their great sin, they were not to be abandoned to the control of Satan. The Son of God had offered to atone, with His own life, for their transgression. A period of probation would be granted them, and through repentance, and faith in Christ, they might again become the children of God. The instant man accepted the temptations of Satan, and did the very things God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying, “Let the punishment fall on Me. I will stand in man’s place. He shall have another chance.” — Faith I Live By, p. 75.3

“But when Satan heard the declaration that enmity should exist between himself and the woman, and between his seed and her seed, he knew that his efforts to deprave human nature would be interrupted; that by some means man was to be enabled to resist his power. … It is the grace that Christ implants in the soul which creates in man enmity against Satan. Without this converting grace and renewing power, man would continue the captive of Satan, a servant ever ready to do his bidding. But the new principle in the soul creates conflict where hitherto had been peace. The power which Christ imparts, enables man to resist the tyrant and usurper. Whoever is seen to abhor sin instead of loving it, whoever resists and conquers those passions that have held sway within, displays the operation of a principle wholly from above.” — Great Controversy, 1888, p. 506.2

Note: Many consider 1 Corinthians 15:22 (“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”) to mean that Christ death redeemed the whole human race and everyone is saved, until they commit sin themselves. Let’s let the inspired word of God explain itself:

“In consequence of Adam’s sin, death passed upon the whole human race. All alike go down into the grave. And through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves. “There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;” [Acts 24:15.] “for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” [1 Corinthians 15:22]” — Great Controversy, 1888, p. 544.2

Note: It is the resurrection of the dead, both just and unjust, that Christ made possible through His sacrifice, not the automatic justification or redeeming of the entire race. Salvation is available to all, but each individual must accept Christ by faith to benefit from that salvation. Each person must be born again to inherit eternal life in Christ.

Our Children

Note: What about our children? Many inquire whether our children are conceived and born in a corrupted condition, or not? If we, human beings are on trial (probation) and have to demonstrate whom it is that we want to serve, what about the children who, as yet, have no knowledge of salvation?

Children are the lawful prey of the enemy, because they are not subjects of grace, have not experienced the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, and the evil angels have access to these children; and some parents are careless and suffer them to work with but little restraint. Parents have a great work to do in this matter, by correcting and subduing their children, and then by bringing them to God and claiming his blessing upon them. By the faithful and untiring efforts of the parents, and the blessing and grace entreated of God upon the children, the power of the evil angels will be broken, a sanctifying influence is shed upon the children, and the powers of darkness must give back.“ — Review & Herald, September 19, 1854 par. 11

Note: It says that, LEGALLY, the children are Satan’s prey, lawful prey. And rightly so, because Adam sold us all out to Satan. Children are not automatically subjects of grace. If we are inclined to think that Christ’s sacrifice redeemed the human race, apart from faith, then why have they not experienced the cleansing power of the blood of Christ? Why do evil angels have access to claim these children? The answer is that only by the efforts of the parents and the blessing of God that the power of the evil angels will be broken. From what we just read, it seems that Satan is claiming his right to our children. Also, chronologically, Ellen White is writing these statements long after Christ’s death on the cross. If Christ’s sacrifice had indeed automatically reversed the consequences of Adam’s sin and had truly brought “justification” upon all, as so many like to assume that Christ’s sacrifice justified the whole race, then why are our children the “lawful prey” of Satan?

“Some parents allow Satan to control their children, and their children are not restrained, but are allowed to have wicked tempers, to be passionate, selfish, and disobedient. Should they die these children would not be taken to heaven. The parent’s course of action is determining the future welfare of their children. If they allow them to be disobedient and passionate they are allowing Satan to take them in charge and work through them as shall please his satanic majesty, and these children, never educated to obedience and to lovely traits of character, will not be taken to heaven, for the same temper and disposition would be revealed in them.” — 3SM 314.4

“Parents stand in the place of God to their children and they will have to render an account, whether they have been faithful to the little few committed to their trust. Parents, some of you are rearing children to be cut down by the destroying angel, unless you speedily change your course, and be faithful to them. God cannot cover iniquity, even in children. He cannot love unruly children who manifest passion, and he cannot save them in the time of trouble. Will you suffer your children to be lost through your neglect? Unfaithful parents, their blood will be upon you, and is not your salvation doubtful with the blood of your children upon you? children that might have been saved had you filled your place, and done your duty as faithful parents should.” — Review & Herald, September 19, 1854 par. 4

“Parents have a more serious charge than they imagine. The inheritance of children is that of sin. Sin has separated them from God. Jesus gave His life that He might unite the broken links to God. As related to the first Adam, men receive from him nothing but guilt and the sentence of death. But Christ steps in and passes over the ground where Adam fell, enduring every test in man’s behalf. He redeems Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall by coming forth from the trial untarnished. This places man on vantage ground with God. It places him where through accepting Christ as His Saviour, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Thus he becomes connected with God and Christ. Christ’s perfect example and the grace of God are given him to enable him to train his sons and daughters to be sons and daughters of God.” {9MR 236.1}

“These dear children received from Adam an inheritance of disobedience, of guilt and death. The Lord has given to the world Jesus Christ, and His work was to restore to the world the moral image of God in man, and to reshape the character.” {13MR 14.1}

Note: The work that Christ does for our restoration is to reshape our characters into His likeness. At birth we are born into Satan’s likeness. Character development has to do with choices; and choices come to us in life when we are capable of making choices for ourselves. That is why the parents’ job is crucially important for the salvation of their children. Are our children born saved, without sin? No. If that was true, then why aren’t parents told to not worry, that their children are safe until the age of accountability? After all, the spirit of prophecy was written long after Christ’s death on the cross, so the babies should not be under condemnation now. But, instead, the counsel is:

“Some questioned whether the little children of even believing parents should be saved, because they have had no test of character and all must be tested and their character determined by trial. The question is asked, “How can little children have this test and trial?” I answer that the faith of the believing parents covers the children, as when God sent His judgments upon the first-born of the Egyptians.” — Last Day Events, p. 293.2

“Even the babe in its mother’s arms may dwell under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mould our little ones, even from their earliest moments.” — Adventist Home, p. 274.3

“When the destroying angel was to pass through Egypt, to destroy the first-born of man and beast, Israel was commanded to gather their children and families into their houses with them, and then mark their door-posts with blood, that the destroying angel might pass by their dwellings, and if they failed to go through with this process, there was no difference made between them and the Egyptians. ¶ The destroying angel is soon to go forth again, not to destroy the first-born alone, but “to slay utterly old and young, both men, women and little children” who have not the mark. Parents, if you wish to save your children, separate them from the world, keep them from the company of wicked children; for if you suffer them to go with wicked children, you cannot prevent them from partaking of their wickedness and being corrupted. It is your solemn duty to watch over your children, to choose the society at all times for them. Learn your children to obey you, then can they more easily obey the commandments of God, and yield to his requirements. Don’t let us neglect to pray with, and for our children. He that said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not,” will listen to our prayers for them, and the seal, or mark, of believing parents will cover their children, if they are trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” — Review & Herald, March 28, 1893

“The word of God came to the Israelites in bondage to gather their children into their houses and to mark the doorposts of their houses with blood from a lamb, slain. This prefigured the slaying of the Son of God and the efficacy of His blood, which was shed for the salvation of the sinner. It was a sign that the household accepted Christ as the promised Redeemer. It was shielded from the destroyer’s power. The parents evidenced their faith in implicitly obeying the directions given them, and the faith of the parents covered themselves and their children. They showed their faith in Jesus, the great Sacrifice, whose blood was prefigured in the slain lamb. The destroying angel passed over every house that had this mark upon it. This is a symbol to show that the faith of the parents extends to their children and covers them from the destroying angel. Christ blessed the children brought to Him by the faithful mothers. He will do this now if mothers will do their duty to their children and teach their children and educate them in obedience and submission. Then they will bear the test and will be obedient to the will of God, for parents stand in the place of God to their children.” — 3SM 314.3

“The multitude looked on with bated breath, the father in an agony of hope and fear. Jesus asked, “How long is it ago since this came unto him?” The father told the story of long years of suffering, and then, as if he could endure no more, exclaimed, “If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” “If Thou canst!” Even now the father questioned the power of Christ. Jesus answers, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” There is no lack of power on the part of Christ; the healing of the son depends upon the father’s faith. With a burst of tears, realizing his own weakness, the father casts himself upon Christ’s mercy, with the cry, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.” — Desire of Ages, p. 428.6

Note: Our sinful, corrupt, deranged nature places us in the camp of Satan, because Satan took from Adam his dominion and posterity. Christ redeemed us from Satan and placed us at the starting line again, justification of life, to be given another opportunity (a second probation for the human race) to chose Christ. A human baby is conceived with the same sinful, corrupt, deranged nature as that of their parents, therefore, the parents are, in a large measure, responsible for the formation of the child’s character and their salvation. Until children are old enough to understand these vital issues for themselves they are covered by the faith of the believing and trusting parents, so long as those parents teach their children to love and serve God and they make every effort to restrain the evil propensities of their children. God is infinitely just and merciful and He takes into account all the circumstances and influences that come to bear upon a child, including prenatal influences. God knows the heart of the child, the thoughts and intents of the heart, and whether they accept or reject the heavenly light they know and understand. Whether a child is lost or saved in the end, apart from the large responsibility of the parents, is fully in the hands of God. He is a righteous Judge. God is love.

Resources for further study:

The Baker Letter by EGW — Visit Page

Revival Seminars — By One Man’s Disobedience

PDF Compilation — Hope for a Hopeless Race