When God created Adam, he gave Adam a covenant that seems reprehensible to so many people today. The system of the Bible can be understood as representing a federal system of the Old and New Covenants with the New Covenant taking authority over the Old Covenant, yet with the Old Covenant still being in effect today both in the history that it teaches which remains valid and for the moral precepts of the Law which can be understood as still being in effect where they are not superseded by the Royal Law of the New Covenant. This should not be confused with the false rationalism that has entered the Church under the pretense of being a support of the Biblical logic with the ultimate rejection of the fundamentals of the Bible and the slide towards deism. There is a true biblical wisdom that is in its foolishness wiser than the greatest wise men of the world because it comes from the wisdom of the Almighty God.
In fact so many people are so angry at that covenant which God made with Adam that they use the doctrine of original sin as a basis for their rejection of Yahweh as their God. God established a covenant of works with Adam. In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam that he was to have only one commandment: that he could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So many people like to say that the Yahweh of the Bible did not want Adam to eat from the tree of knowledge, and those who scoff at the Bible use this as a means for saying that the God of the Bible is against knowledge. However, it is very important to note that Adam obviously had a great intellect and could name all of the animals in one day and get married. He was smart already. The distinction was that the tree was the tree not just of knowledge but of the knowledge of good and evil. This was a simple command that Charles Hodge said was significant as a symbol of Adam’s willingness to obey God not just in this particular but in all things.
The objection lobbied by the scoffers and the mockers of the Bible is that they do not want to believe in a god who would punish them for what Adam did many thousands of years ago. This objection fails because on the natural level we can understand how significant the decisions made by the rulers of a nation are for the people of that nation; or the decisions that a parent makes for their children. Moreover, the objection is flawed because there is no basis for rejecting God simply because we do not like the decisions that He has made and that we cannot understand with our limited understanding verses His infinite understanding. Not liking Obama does not make McCain or Romney President. Obama is still the President whether we like him or not, whether we can prove he was born in this country or not. The Christian God is still God whether we like Him or not. Not liking the doctrine of original sin as God has revealed it, does not mean that we can change the reality of the matter but rather that we should seek to understand the matter as God has revealed it.
While we do live in the Christian Era and the New Testament represents the faith in Jesus Christ which is necessary for all men to have in order to be saved, there still is a fundamental aspect of the covenant of works that God established with Adam that is still in effect to this day.
Rom 2:6-8 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
From even the New Testament Scriptures we can see that God will still judge us as individuals based upon our works in the same way that there was a covenant of works that was established with Adam our first father. It is from the understanding of this covenant of works that we can all take a step back from the doctrine of original sin and come to the understanding that man is a race that is drowning in a sea of sin. Man everywhere sins. Simply look at our own lives and try to spend even a day or an hour without sinning and the heart that is truly introspective will see that we can hardly keep from committing some level of sin at every turn. Original sin or not, all men are full of sin and we are all in need of a savior; however, because the covenant of works still stands if a person could show that he is sinless then there is no reason to think that God would reject him. Yet no man could say that he is sinless. We all need Christ’s sacrifice.