Paul is making the direct correlation of the historicity of Adam with the historicity of Christ
who is the second Adam. Our Christian life and victory is all about inheritance and identity. These two words explain why we are the way we are as sinners, and why we have death in this world. But they also gives us hope that death is not the ultimate end. I have always said, and you can quote me, “You did nothing to become a sinner, and you can do nothing to become a saint.” You received sinfulness from Adam and you must receive salvation from Christ. It is the work of both Adam and Christ on your behalf. Adam, as your earthly ancestor alone made you a sinner, and Christ – God alone can save you from that condition. Then to make things personal, God gave man the Commandments to make each one of us see our sin in comparison to His Holy righteousness; like a mirror shows us that we are dirty but cannot able to clean us. My point is that it takes just as much faith on your part to trust what God says in his word about your being a sinner in Adam as it does that Christ can make you holy. You must be lost before you can be found, and sick before you will seek a doctor. That is the whole job of the Old Testament. It shows you your sick lost state before giving you the hope of the New Testament.
Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ
Rom 5:12 – 21 Use this link for the NIV. Highlight verses 12, 14b, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20a.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who created man to live forever. But the first man, Adam, chose to disobey and live independently from me and the consequence brought death to your entire world. Just like I knew he would and warned him about. That did not take me by surprise though. In my sovereignty, I planned to rectify the situation so that all mankind could be reunited with me should they choose by means of the death of my son. Just as all men were made sinners by the work of the first man – Adam, so too, now all men can be made righteous – justified – alive before me by the work of the “second Adam” – Jesus Christ.
I AM the Holy Righteous God. No man can come into my presence because I am perfectly holy and cannot be in the presence of sin. Unless I make you holy by my standard, you will never be allowed to stand in my presence except to stand before my throne of judgment. Allow me to make you holy now. Let my Son give you his righteousness. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness on your behalf by his life on this earth. He paid for your sin by his death. Now let me give you my righteousness and salvation by my resurrected life. Believe to receive.
I AM the God who does not make idle threats. If you try me; if you disbelieve me, like Adam did, you will find yourself on the losing side. You are warned. My grace will remove your sin, but only if you let me and only if you do not wait too long. If you sense my drawing, do not resist me, receive my grace while you still can and you will live forever, but disregard me and you will have to answer to me in the end and you will experience my justice against you. If you do not receive the “second Adam”, you will receive the “second death” as mentioned in Revelation. Remember every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD –YAWEH to the Glory of God. This includes you, the choice is yours, so do it now while there is still time.
In Adam – In Christ, our federal headship
Positional truth is one of the most important topics of the entire Bible to understand and its practice is key to successful Christian living. This is the concept of federal headship. Paul Always affirms for us the basis for any Christian service by establishing our thinking back to the source of Christianity –our position in Christ. Without understanding our natural bend, our default mode in Adam, we cannot come to grips with living our position or “new life” in Christ. Position is everything. When we as true believers, confuse our positional standing before God, we tend to force conformity to religious standards by our natural means making us “religious” with all the emotional highs and lows of success or failure. When we understand our new position in Christ, we have the source and power by faith to experience God living his “divine life” through us. You might have heard the saying “Let the facts of your position control the emotion of your condition.” Not understanding your position makes you get this in reverse. God only sees us in Christ. We on the other hand only tend to see our condition because of Adam. We need God’s estimation of us to rule our emotions so we can live as he intends us to – His children – Kings kids.
Adam was just as real as Christ who was just as real as us.
Without a historical interpretation of the Genesis account of origin and the fall of man, Paul could not make this argument in practical terms and it would simply be a mental exercise with no real power to assist us in our struggle against sin in our lives. No wonder Satan will do anything he can to discredit the Genesis account as myth or Jewish poetry. He is trying to destroy the one thing that can give us victory over sin in our lives – the understanding of our identity in Adam and subsequent victory in Christ. The historical reality of Adam is just as important as the historical reality of Christ for our success or failure in the Christian life. If Adam was not a real person, then neither was Christ, because Christ referred to him; but if you believe in Christ, then you must believe in what Christ thought was true in Adam. As sinners in Adam, we fail to please God. As victors in Christ, we can go through this life with confidence that God is in control of our circumstances, that he has forgiven all of our sin, that we are one in his Son, that he can use us for his glory in this life, and that we have a future home in his presence in heaven where we will praise him forever more because of his grace. Let that sink in and control your life. This is the hope of our calling making Christianity more than just a religion.
More to come,