There is a difference between “the sin” and “sin”.
“The sin” being referenced in Romans is “the sin” from Adam (the transgression of Adam) as indicated in Romans 5:12.
Romans 5:14 shows us that there is a difference between “the sin” and “sin” in general. There were men who sinned but did not sin the same way Adam did (who sinned in “the sin”) but the death still entered into the world and reigned over them nonetheless.
Romans 5:14 Young's Literal Translation but the death did reign from Adam till Moses, even upon those not having sinned in the likeness of
Adam's transgression, who is a type of him who is coming.
“The sin” did enter the world through one man (Adam) and so did “the death” through “the sin”. The death passed through “the sin” of Adam to all men for all did sin (even over those who did not do “the sin” of Adam).
Young's Literal Translation Romans 5:12 because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin
the death; and thus to all men the death did pass through, for that
all did sin;
Sin (without the definite article “the”) was already in the world before law was given. Sin (without “the”) is not reckoned when there is no law.
“THE sin” was not in the world yet until law was given but “sin” was in the world already.
But which law is being spoken about here in Romans 5:13? I used to assume that it was the Law of Moses being spoken about but let us reconsider that thought.
Young's Literal Translation Romans 5:13 for till law sin was in the world: and sin is not reckoned when there is not law;
Sin was already in the world but the sin and the death were not (as sin was not imputed without law) until the law of THE sin and THE death first entered into the world here in the commandment given from God to Adam.
The law of “the sin” (But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it) and “the death” (for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die) entered in and so all men are dead through the transgression of one man…. Adam.
Genesis 2:16-17 KJV (16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (17) But of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for
in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
It is my belief that Adam was the first man to KNOW God….to have a relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit (the breath of lives plural in Hebrew) that was breathed into him which separated him from other earthly men who did not have the Spirit (the “adamah”).
Adam was taken and formed from among earthly man (the “adamah”) at the time and was the first earthly man given the Spirit of God. (Jesus is different because He is the “second man from Heaven” and was not taken out from among the common, earthly men….the adamah). Yet, Jesus the man from Heaven was made in the likeness of earthly men.
Adam’s mission was to preach through that breathed-in Spirit (the Spirit of lives…plural) the knowledge of God to the world who did not know God at the time.
The law of “the sin” and the death was given to the first man who had the Spirit of God within him and whose primary job was to preach to this world about God with the Spirit of lives. This why Jesus is called the “last Adam” because He was sent into this world from Heaven to speak the heavenly words of God to all men through the Spirit which was given to Him without measure.
The first Adam was given the "great Commission" so to speak to go out and preach to the world with the Spirit of lives but that commission was derailed by "the sin".
Adam was not the first man upon earth as there must have been others before him. Sin (without the definite article) was already in the world before the giving of the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and sin was not imputed to anyone until then.
Now the “Law” spoken about in Romans 5:20 is the Law of Moses that came into the world later so that the “the sin” from the beginning did abound and grace would over abound in the coming of Jesus Christ (the last Adam).
Young's Literal Translation Romans 5:20 And law came in, that the offence might abound, and where the sin did abound, the grace did
So what is “the sin”? Let us analyze this in Genesis 3:
Genesis 3:1-6 KJV (1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman,
Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Notice: The woman adds a commandment (“neither shall you touch it”) to God’s commandment and then presents it as though God had commanded it when that was not in His original commandment (the law of the sin and the death).
(2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in
the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it,
neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Breaking down “the lie” of the serpent:
“You shall not die” - should be translated as “dying, you shall not die” or rather by “killing, you shall not die”. This is about “killing” another by speaking evil of another in judgment over a carnal commandment ( for example: “neither shall you touch it”). There is no “peace and safety” to judge others …being judge, jury and executioner of others (calling them “evil doers”) because they do not follow one’s particular carnal commandment. The wages of “the sin” is death.
(4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
“For God does know in the day you eat thereof…” speaks of doing judgment/speaking evil of another supposedly in God’s authority. Did we not cast out devils in Your Name (authority)? (see Matthew 7:22). We must not judge others as “evil doers”...casting out others as “devils”... using the teachings and commandments of men as a basis (or any basis for that matter). None of these things are really done in His authority for He did not command it. “I never knew you”.
“Your eyes shall be opened” speaks of being seen as “wise”. People want to be seen as the “wise” one and so speak evil of others in their judgment of them in order for them to look wise. But professing themselves as “wise”, they become fools. The woman coveted the tree in her desire to be seen as “wise” (to make one wise). This is seeking after one’s own “vain glory”.
“You shall be as ‘gods’”…. that is, as JUDGES (Elohim = judges, gods). A “judge” knows what or who is “good and evil” supposedly based on laws. Those who love and practice “the lie” think that they are doing this thing (being a “judge” knowing who is “good and evil”) supposedly for God…in His Name or authority.
*(5) **For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.***
The woman coveted after the tree and took the fruit thereof and did eat.
(6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one
wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto
her husband with her; and he did eat.
Death and life are in the power (hand) of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Proverbs 18:20-21 KJV
(20) A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
(21) Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Using our tongues to speak evil of others in judgment (supposedly for God) brings forth death. Men use the same tongue to bless God and also to curse other men. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing which should not be. There is no peace and safety in this. Either make the tree good and its fruit good or the tree bad. It can’t be both ways.
James 3:8-12 KJV (8) But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (9) Therewith bless we God, even the
Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the
similitude of God. (10) Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and
cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (11) Doth a
fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (12)
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine,
figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
When one speaks evil of another based on a commandment of man (for example: “neither shall you touch it”), he sees himself as a “judge” (knowing who is “good and evil”) for God and yet is not doing the commandment of God to have love for one another.
James 4:11-12 KJV (11) Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh
evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou
art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
There is only One Lawgiver (who did not say “neither shall you touch it” as the woman added) who is able to save and to destroy. There is only One Judge….One God.
Yet, many continually judge others (being judges/gods, jury and executioner) as “evil doers” because they do not follow their particular carnal commandment of men. They think that they do these things as judges for God.
(12) There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
People lay aside/reject the commandment of God (to have love for one another ) in order to hold the transmission of men…their teachings and commandments which they use to judge others.
Mark 7:7-9 KJV (7) Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (8) For laying aside the
commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of
pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. (9) And he said
unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may
keep your own tradition.
Through the continuous practice of “the sin” (using the mouth supposedly in God’s authority to speak evil of/judge their brothers using the commandments of men as a basis for in order to be seen as “wise”), many sin other sins as they provoke one another with their judgments and commandments. There is envy, strife, wrath, hatred of one another, etc among those who love and practice “the lie”.
“The sin” is a root cause for many other sins among His people. They believe “the lie” of the serpent from the beginning. "The sin" begets all unrighteousness in them who take pleasure in it as they seek after their own "vain glory" to be seen as the "wise" one for God supposedly.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 KJV (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the
love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
(12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but
had pleasure in unrighteousness.