The Meaning Of Chief Of Sinners

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Hi T____,

Thanks for your question. You are exactly right. It is our association with Adam and the simple acknowledgment that “in Adam” we are “required the blood of all the righteous prophets from Abel to Zecharias,” which makes us “chief of sinners.” We did not personally commit the murder of Abel or the murders of the millions of Jews, Russians and Chinese who were slain by Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, but “in Adam” we have partaken in “all things” both past present and future:

Luk 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and [ some] of them they shall slay and persecute:
Luk 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1Co 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

That is the “two- edged” nature of God’s Word. If we are purified of our sins in Christ, we are also “guilty of all” in Adam.

Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

That why Paul cried out:

Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

But Paul also rejoices in the answer to his own question:

Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

I hope this helps to clarify what I meant by saying that ‘we are manifestly not the worst person who has ever lived.’ While God may have hedged the worst things of the flesh, out of our lives, that do not mean that it is not in our flesh, just waiting for the right circumstances and conditions to bring it out of us. If Christ is not in us, then the first Adam is.
Your brother in Christ,

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