Adam Federal Head of All Mankind

There is a biblical doctrine referred to as the "doctrine of federal headship." This doctrine teaches that when Adam was in the Garden of Eden and was given the "covenant of the law of sin and death" that he represented not just himself in that covenant, but stood as the covenant representative of all mankind. Thus the effects of breaking that covenant applied not just to him, but also to all that he represented.

The covenant of the law of sin and death is stated in Genesis 2:16, 17 as follows: "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

The "doctrine of federal headship" is alluded to in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." From this, of course, we gather that all that were in Adam, die. Just as we gather that all that are in Christ are made alive. The most comprehensive teaching on the "doctrine of federal headship" is found in Romans 5:12 19.

Romans 5:12 reads, "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." Paul wrote this nearly two thousand years ago, long before any of us existed except in the mind and purpose of God. Thus none of us alive today had ever personally sinned when Paul wrote this epistle. Yet Paul affirms that death passed upon all mankind for that all mankind had sinned. Since we had not personally sinned, then how had we sinned? The answer is "we sinned in Adam" as we were seminally in Adam and Adam was our representative before God. Thus when the sentence of death passed upon Adam as a result of his sin, that same sentence of death passed upon us.

Romans 5:13, 14 reads, "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 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." Simply stated the above teaches us that God does not impute sin to us when there is no law. A law must be given in order to have sin imputed against us. From Adam to Moses no additional law, besides the "law of sin and death," had been given to mankind. Furthermore, God had driven man from the garden and fixed it so that man couldn't return to the garden. Thus none of the subsequent offspring of Adam could return unto the garden and eat of the forbidden fruit. They could not sin after the similitude of Adam's transgression. Notwithstanding, death reigned over all mankind from Adam to Moses even though they had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression and even though no other law had been given by which sin could be imputed to them. What caused this reign of death? Though they had not personally sinned, yet they sinned in Adam, as he represented them in the garden of Eden.

Next, Romans 5:15 teaches us that by the offence of Adam, the many in Adam are dead. Furthermore, in Romans 5:16, we are taught that God's judgment was, as a result of Adam's transgression, to condemn all mankind. Again in Romans 5:17 we are taught that as a result of Adam's offence death reigns over us. Romans 5:18 reads, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation..."

Finally, verse 19 says in parts, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners..."

The results of all this can be summarized as follows:
1. Adam represented all mankind in the garden.
2. When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, because he represented us, it was as though all mankind had eaten of the forbidden fruit.
3. God's sentence of death upon Adam because of sin was also a sentence of death upon all mankind because of the sin of Adam.
4. Death in all its aspects not only reigned over Adam, it reigned over all mankind which were seminally in Adam and sinned in Adam.
5. When Adam transgressed, his nature fell to a sin cursed state. We were made sinners because of Adam's disobedience and our nature is the same as Adam's sin cursed nature.
The bible teaches that "the wages of sin is death" and because "death reigns" over us as a result of Adam's sin. We will consider the subject of death in our next bible forum essay.

In similar fashion as Adam was the federal head of all mankind, Christ is the federal head of all the chosen elect family of God. We will cover this aspect of federal headship at a later time.