“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Rom. 5: 12)
If the legalists had it all wrong and Jesus was explaining things, the definition of sin is, “unbelief” in him (John 16: 8-11).
Plugging the word into place into Rom. 5: 12 reads then, “Therefore, just as unbelief entered the world through one man, and death through unbelief, and in this way death came to all people, because all have not believed.”
It takes the mysticism out of the word, “sin,” and changes the discussion.
Then, what was the sin (unbelief) in the garden? Was it the disobedience? Or was it eating the fruit?
It takes belief to disobey.
But it takes unbelief to weigh whether something is good or evil (judge). And we just won’t leave that fruit alone.
“After he drove the man out, he (God) placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Gen. 3: 23, 24
I started watching a Netflix original suspense series. I forget the title, but it opens to a modern Roman orgy of writhing naked bodies (not what I expected). I backed out of it, but the shock value made me think, Jesus came into a polarized society of acceptable fleshly indulgences like this (Roman culture) vs his own custom-designed, orderly and proper Jews.
It was the Roman-type society that produced the wickedness which resulted in the flood (Gen. 8)—and God wasn’t going to let that happen again (Gen. 9: 11). But Jesus didn’t come to the immoral. Counter-intuitively, he came to the moral ones—and proceeded to chastise the most righteous among them (Matt. 5:20) despite their noble intentions.
But Jesus aim wasn’t just for the Jews, it was especially for the immoral Roman-types. “For God so loved the world…”
I love deliberate misdirection.
People like to short-circuit the Gospel, jumping right to “love one another.” But the Gospel is more like John 3: 16. And you have to literally follow Jesus to understand where he’s going.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16