Was Adam’s sin more serious?
While some believe that Adam was the representative head of the human race and merely brought sin into the world because he was “head” (i.e. some say he was the covenantal head of humanity) the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin was more serious than Eve’s and it was the seriousness of his sin that brought humanity along with him into inherited sin.
Before we consider the seriousness of Adam’s sin, let’s make sure it was only Adam who brought sin into the world.
Romans 5:18, NASB says:
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men
Who was the one who committed this one transgression? Romans 5:14, 15 NASB:
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
So it is clear that Adam alone brought sin into the world. But what is the “likeness of the transgression of Adam”? First of all let’s understand that it is not the “headship” of Adam that brought sin into the world but the “transgression” of Adam. Romans 5:15 does not say “For if by the headship of the one the many died” but “For if by the transgression of the one the many died”
God describes Adam’s sin
Why was Adam’s transgression so serious? Hosea 6:7 says:
But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.
So Adam willfully transgressed God’s covenant and by sinning in this way he dealt treacherously against God. What does scripture say about those who sin defiantly against God? Numbers 15:30, 31:
‘But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.'”
Adam broke God’s commandment in a willful way because the scripture says Adam was not deceived by the serpent’s lies (1 Timothy 2:13). Because Adam sinned and broke God’s covenant by disobeying God’s prohibition, scripture says that his guilt was on him. And since we were “in” Adam when he sinned, his sin was passed on to us by inheritance.
But what about Eve? Why was her sin not judged as strongly as the sin of Adam? Why did Eve not bring sin into the world? This discussion will continue in part two of “Why was Adams sin more serious than the sin of Eve?”