In an act of great love, Jehovah sent his only-begotten Son to help humans. Paul expressed it this way: “God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) Think of one fact there mentioned: “We were yet sinners.” All need to know how that came to be so.
Paul outlined the matter, starting with this point: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) We are in a position to understand this because God had a record made of how human life began. Jehovah created two humans, Adam and Eve. The Creator is perfect, and so were those first humans, our ancestors. God gave them but one limiting directive and informed them that disobeying that law would bring a death sentence. (Gen. 2:17) However, they chose to act ruinously, violating God’s reasonable directive, thus rejecting him as Lawgiver and Sovereign.—Deut. 32:4, 5.
It was only after Adam had become a sinner that he fathered children, passing on sin and its effects to all of them. Of course, they had not violated the divine law as Adam had, so they were not charged with the same sin; nor had any law code yet been given. (Gen. 2:17) Still, Adam’s descendants inherited sin. Thus, sin and death ruled down to the time when God gave the Israelites a law code, which clearly showed that they were sinners. (Read Romans 5:13, 14.) The effect of inherited sin might be illustrated with certain inherited diseases or defects, such as Mediterranean anemia or hemophilia. You may have read that Alexis, son of Russian Czar Nicholas II and Alexandra, inherited the bleeding disorder hemophilia. Granted, even in such a family, some children do not suffer from those diseases, but they still may be carriers. Not so with sin. The defect of sin from Adam was inevitable. All are subject to it. It is always fatal. And it is passed on to all children.