So, God has taken the sinless Christ and poured into him the sins of the world. And in exchange, God poured his goodness into us. Therefore, it is with Christ, the same as it was with Adam. The independent actions of each of these men affected the entire human race. First, there was the principle of imputation that reduced all men to the same ultimate condition, making all men sinners, because of the offense of one man. Then, there was the principle of imputation that provided for all men the same ultimate answer, giving all men the opportunity to become the righteousness of God, because of the obedience of another man.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy (made of the dust): the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy (man of dust), such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy (man of dust), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (I Corinthians 15:45-49).
Adam was the first man and the forefather of the entire human race (Genesis 2:19). Adam was the federal and seminal head of the human race. As Adam’s sin resulted in a sinful race, the gift of grace through the righteous act of Christ resulted in a spiritual race. Like the first Adam, Jesus, the last Adam and the second man, became the federal and seminal head of the spiritual race. Just as Adam had the government of mankind upon his shoulders when he disobeyed God, Jesus too had the government of mankind upon his shoulders when he obeyed God.
It was the first man, Adam who came from the earth, who was made a living soul. It was Jesus who was first made in the likeness of earthy man then upon his resurrection was made a quickening or life-giving spirit. For first came the natural man and then came that which was spiritual. And as we have bore the image of the earthly man, we now have the opportunity to bear the image of the heavenly man; for we have the opportunity to put on a spiritual body that comes directly from God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).
And we are fully aware that all things work together for the good to those who have love for God. It is those who have this love for God that have come to him and it is them that he has declared not guilty, and filled with the goodness of Jesus Christ. He has given them right standing and given them his glory. For God knew before the beginning, pre-destined, if you will, that those who would come to him would bear the likeness of the only begotten son of God, that he, Jesus Christ might be the firstborn among many brothers.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming (I Corinthians 15:19-23).
If our hope in Jesus rest solely in this present life, then we have completely missed the boat. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead to become the firstfruits of them who have died or slept. He is the firstfruits of the first resurrection. This be the resurrection from the dead that came to all men because of what Jesus himself did. It is in this life, this resurrected life, that we are to rest our hope. We know that everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, being members of his sinful race, and wherever there is sin, death results. And because all who are in Christ are related to Christ, then all will rise again.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead, and the prince (ruler over) of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:5-6).
Jesus, who reveals the truth to us because he is our faithful witness, is the first to come back from the dead. He is the first who will die no more. It is because of his obedience that he has been made ruler over all of the kings of the earth. It is because of his obedience that he has been able to make us clean, free from sin by the outpouring of his blood for us. It is because of his obedience that we are gathered into the kingdom and are made king and priest unto God the Father.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (first in rank) of (over) every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in (on) earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities): all things were created by (in) him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence (Colossians 1:15-18).
And while Jesus Christ is the visible representation of the invisible God, he is also the beginning of things new. In being the firstborn from the dead, he has preeminence that is the first and foremost place in all things. Like his counterpart Adam, who was the first representation of the invisible God, it is now in Jesus that all things have been made in heaven and on earth, those things that are seen and those things that are unseen, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (rulers), or powers (authorities); all things have been created in him. Remember, it was first Adam, in whom all things were created and who was before all things. It was because of Adam that sin entered into the world and death followed. And it was because of Adam that death passed to all men. It was because of Adam that man lost all that was given to him by God in the beginning. But now Jesus Christ is before all things and in and through him all things have their being.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
And while there were many things lost because of the disobedient actions of the first man, it was the obedience of the second man that restored all that the first man lost. Among the many things that the second man restored was our right standing with God, which was by far the most important. As we read through the scriptures, we see they go on to shed some light as to God’s redemptive plan for mankind as first predicted in Genesis 3:15, which has long been recognized as the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. Truth be told, through much of what we read in the Bible, we see that the scriptures continue to contrast the differences between Adam and Christ and the effects of one man’s disobedience to that of another man’s obedience. (to be continued…)
Enjoy your blessings - KW