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If Adam and Eve had repented, would we be free of sin?

We do not know if Adam and Eve repented, since the Bible makes no mention of their repentance. Since Adam lived a long time (930 years – Genesis 5:5), it is quite possible that both he and Eve did repent, especially after the murder of their son Abel by his brother Cain. That act must have been devastating to our first parents and very likely impressed upon them the terrible consequences of their sin. 

However, we do not believe that neither Adam nor Eve lost their love or appreciation for God and His plan for redemption. Evidence of this appreciation is borne out by Eve’s statement after the birth of her third son Seth, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” (Genesis 4:25) In this statement she was referring to God’s promise that her seed would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). 

If Adam and Eve had repented, would we then have been free of sin? No, we would not be free of sin. Why? Unlike all of us, Adam was created perfect. He was intelligent. His thinking was not flawed. He possessed moral discernment and had free will to choose between right and wrong. God warned Adam in Genesis 2:17 that if he obeyed God’s law, he would live—but if he disobeyed, he would die. 

Because Adam was perfect the sentence of death was already passed on him if he sinned and that sentence was made very clear to Adam. Nonetheless, by his own free will, Adam chose to disobey so that he could die with his wife and not be alone. In order for Adam’s sin (and, in fact, the sins of all of his yet unborn progeny) to be forgiven, God’s justice was required—a perfect life for a perfect life. The scales of justice needed a perfect sinless man (Jesus) to die for the perfect sinful man (Adam). When Jesus died and was resurrected he not only redeemed Adam, but also the entire human race. 

God’s plan was all encompassing. Had Adam and Eve not sinned, each of their children and grandchildren, etc. down through time would have to be tested throughout their lives in order to maintain a perfect everlasting life. The testing would be ongoing. Some might pass the tests. Others would fail. Some would need a redeemer. Others might not. Each perfect sinful human would then need his own perfect sinless redeemer. That certainly would not have been a good plan. 

But, God in his infinite wisdom and foreknowledge knew Adam would sin, so he planned all of humankind’s redemption through one man’s death (Jesus’ death) long before the foundation of the earth (1 Peter 1:18-20).

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19 

When Jesus died for Adam’s sin He died for all of Adam’s yet unborn progeny as well. 

“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 

What a wonderful plan! Each of fallen humanity has an opportunity to experience the sinfulness of sin and its consequences and yet each will have an opportunity for everlasting life in the future due to our Redeemer’s one time sacrifice. 

To learn more about Jesus’ ransom for Adam listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and our Salvation the Same?”