Two Adams

January 5, 2016

 

Romans 5:12-20

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For 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.

20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Two Adams

What this passage in Romans 5 speaks to is spiritual principles and acts that have global and eternal impact upon all of creation and in particular, humanity.  Verse 14 says that “Adam was a pattern of the One to come.”  Now a pattern is a prototype after which all things that are made from that pattern look like.  Adam was the example of what God intended from the beginning to have in His relationship with man.  Adam is like us, in Christ and perfected with one exception.  His righteousness was in his obedience, but not out of faith in Christ as ours is now.  Adam was allowed to partake of all of the trees of the Garden, but two trees in the midst of the Garden or we might say the “heart” of the garden had far reaching eternal spiritual weight and ramifications. There was no prohibition from partaking of the “Tree of Life”  because it would only perpetuate the state of godly relationship Adam enjoyed with God in the Garden.  It was that other tree that was the Pandora’s box to a spiritual dimension that even Adam could not have imagined.  

It was obedience that kept Adam in his perpetual state of bliss.  The principle we see here is that obedience that is not tried and tested is not obedience that is of proven character.  

Jesus was the last Adam.  1 Corinthians 15:45 declares, So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”  Adam may have represented the best of man, but it was outside the life-giving Spirit that could only come through Christ.  He no doubt did well for an indeterminate amount of time, but there came a day of testing, trial and temptation and this living soul, the pattern of the one to come, gave place to disobedience.  When he partook of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he brought death and condemnation spiritually and physically, not only to himself, but to all of mankind and creation.  

What made Jesus different?  Well, first and foremost, He was the Son of God and yet clothed in the frailty of a human body with like passions and weaknesses.  Jesus Christ came in the midst of a sinful and perverse world wrapped in the body of a fallen creation man.  There was only one way this  Christ man could bring all of creation out of the bondage that had been released upon it through Adam’s one disobedient act.  It was now the act of unfaltering obedience that would be needed to bring creation back out of its bondage and into the eventual fullness of restoration that God had purposed from the beginning.  It was the act of obedience on the part of Jesus that would determine the fate of creation.  If He failed then all hope of creation would fail with Him and the destruction of creation would be inevitable.  

Praise God in the highest and His Son Christ Jesus; He didn’t fail, but was obedient even unto the death of the cross.  The difference between Adam and Christ is brought out in Hebrews 5:8, “Although Jesus was the Son [of God], he learned to be obedient through his sufferings.”  Jesus is now that pattern Son for us.  If He learned obedience through sufferings, then we will learn the same way.  The proof of what is in the character of a person is not fully seen until it is tried and tested.  

Just as the many were made sinners through one man’s act of disobedience, many will be made righteous through one man’s act of obedience.   It is our faith in Him who is our obedience that appropriates that righteousness to us.  When the sinful nature of Adam was crucified on the cross in the mortal body of Jesus, the last Adam, Christ, became a quickening, life-giving spirit through the resurrection power of the Spirit of God.  

As we have comprehended in our spirits this truth we now, by faith put off the old man, identifying it with the death of Jesus on the cross.  We now, by faith, put on the new resurrection Man that is a life-giving Spirit that has set us free from our former curse of condemnation inherited in our first man Adam.  We are now after the order of a new pattern and prototype that is Christ Jesus.  Even though we still live in a world that is plagued by the state of the first fallen Adam we have risen in our spirits into the state of the resurrected last Adam.  In Christ is the hope that is being manifested through us.  

Romans 8 speaks to the purpose that is now in us who have acted by faith in partaking of the obedience of Christ.  Romans 8:12-25 declares, “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  

It is in this hope and patience that we press into the high calling that is ours in Christ Jesus.  It is in that faith, hope and patience that we exercise ourselves in godly faith, so that as many of us as are being led by the Spirit of God, we are the sons of God.  The body of Christ is the key to completion, reconciliation and restoration for creation through what Jesus finished upon the cross. 

“Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For 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 5:18-19)”

Blessings,

#kent

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