It is fitting that we start with Adam, because Adam was the first head of the human race. By looking at Adam’s life we can discover the beginnings of our problems… and solutions. Adam is perhaps the one man in these genealogies with the greatest connection to Christ.
Rom 5:12-21, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned”
When God created Adam, He gave him the legitimate authority to rule planet earth When God created Adam, He created him body, mind, and spirit.
Adam’s human spirit formed the basis for his relationship with God in the Garden.
Adam’s body gave him the basis for logistical provision in time and space.
Adam’s mind gave him the basis for volitional decision and true worship of God.
When Adam sinned, the following things happened.
He surrendered his authority to rule planet earth to Satan.
His human spirit was removed from his body, causing spiritual death. He could not pass on this human spirit to future generations.
His body received an old sin nature, which would be genetically transmitted to all future generations.
His mind became corrupted by the old sin nature, but still remained functional. He still had a conscience, which contained a frame of reference for right and wrong.
Therefore, all of Adam’s progeny would suffer the following consequences:
They would be born spiritually dead, sharing the condemnation for Adam’s sin.
They would be born with the indwelling presence of the old sin nature in the cell structure of their bodies (and yes, genetics confirms this).
They would be born with a soul, and thus would be able to choose for themselves the courses of their lives (and so genetics means very little).
They would be born with a human conscience, and thus be able to discern right from wrong,
Romans 2:14-15, “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…”
Romans 5:13,14, “for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed though [concessive use of the present participle] there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”
The first part of this statement communicates the utter degeneracy of the post-sin, pre-flood era, and their great hope in the last Adam.
The Law of Moses provided very much in the way of Divine Establishment restraint on the old sin nature.
Without that restraint, the human race became extremely involved in the cosmic system, even to the point of sexual relations with angels.
- And yet even at that time, their personal sins were not imputed to them. They were instead reserved for imputation to Jesus Christ
The second part of the statement has to do with the continued effects of spiritual death.
Although their personal sins were not imputed to them, spiritual death still continued unrestrained.
This shows the heart of the matter. Real spiritual death has to do with the imputation of Adam’s sin. Salvation has to do with the imputation of our personal sin into Adam.
We did not commit Adam’s sin - Adam did. We do receive the imputation of that sin at the moment of human birth.
Romans 5:15,16 contrasts the two Adams:
“But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.”
Adam’s original sin resulted in the spiritual death of the entire human race, except for the second Adam, Jesus Christ.
The work of Christ on the cross in receiving the imputation of the personal sins of the human race resulted in the opportunity for the human race to regain spiritual life in God.
Salvation is a free gift, but it must be taken - accepted. It is offered to the entire human race without exception.
Salvation arose from the sins of all being imputed to the one.
Spiritual death arose from the sins of one being imputed to the all.
Romans 5:17 tells us about realms of power and authority related to sin.
“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
Adam’s sin put Satan into authority in the world and in the human body. As a result the entire world was enslaved to Satan through the world branch of the cosmic system.
The individuals of the world were enslaved to him through the individual branch of the cosmic system; But Christ’s substitutionary spiritual death gave the human race the authority to take their lives back.
The abundance of grace is a brief description of post salvation spiritual assets.
The gift of righteousness is the imputation of the work of Christ into the new believer at salvation.
Therefore even in the devil’s world we can rule our own lives through God’s control.
Romans 5:18 provides a further explanation of the principle.
“So then just as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [a judicial sentence, handed down by a judge] there resulted justification of life to all men.”
The Greek word δικαιομα indicates a judicial sentence passed down from a judge.
In this case, it is the death sentence passed down from God the Father to Jesus Christ. Christ died under the sentence of death for us.
The judicial decision is permanent - and thus lasts for all eternity. God will never rescind His judgment of our sins in Jesus Christ. We are secure forever because of this.
This judicial sentence is also an act of righteousness for the perfect Christ chose to die for sinful mankind.
Because of God’s judicial sentence and Christ’s righteous act provide the basis for our justification.
The righteousness of Christ is then imputed to everyone who believes in Christ.
This righteousness is used by God in order to justify our salvation. We are qualified to live forever with Him.
Romans 5:19 begins the summary,
“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”
Adam’s sin was imputed to all, and therefore all were made sinners.
Christ’s work of righteousness on the cross will provide righteousness to all who believe on Him.
- The final two verses of the chapter:
Romans 5:19,20, “Now the Law came in the side door [pareiserchomai] so that the transgression [unbelief - the unforgiveable sin] might increase [grow in importance as an issue]; but where the sin increased [as an issue], grace abounded all the more [salvation provision] that, as the sin reigned through [spiritual] death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The purpose of the Law is not to increase personal sin. Actually it limits it.
The unforgivable sin, unbelief, is in view here. The unforgivable sin is the rejection of Christ’s work on the cross.
Because of spiritual death, the imputation of Adam’s sin, the unforgivable sin ruled and does rule over all those who refuse to believe in Christ.
The Law increases the unforgivable sin as an issue, because the Law defines both sin and the grace provision of God.
As sin increased as an issue, so also did grace, and the grace provision of God.
Eternal life is the sum total of life after salvation for both time and eternity.
We live eternal life if we take hold of our portfolio of post salvation provision, and if we live eternal life, then we rule over all aspects of the cosmic system.
Therefore, in Adam we all died. In Christ, we can all live. This is the essence of the baptism of the Spirit.
1 Cor 15:20-28 and 35-49, tells us what Adam has to do with our future life in God.
I Cor. 15:20-22 introduce the matter.
“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”
This passage points out there is more to human life than life, and more to physical death than death.
Physical death is only a tragedy if it occurs while one is also spiritually dead. Human life is only meaningful insofar as it is spiritual.
Adam’s sin resulted in the spiritual and physical death of all mankind. Christ’s death resulted in the provision of salvation for all mankind.
Christ’s resurrection resulted in the provision of a resurrection body for all believers. Christ was the first to be resurrected, but there will be many more.
1 Cor. 15:23 and 24 set forth the order of resurrections.
“But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when he has abolished all rule and all authority and power.”
The word for order in this passage has to do with human organizations of various kinds. Primarily, it is a word used of military formations. In a military formation, things always happen in a certain order, and that is what is in view here.
First, Christ is resurrected.
Second, all believers from the church age receive their resurrection bodies.
Third, all believers from all other periods of history are resurrected.
It is at the end of history that all rule is abolished.
ἀρχη is the word for rule, and it serves as the general category.
ἐξουσιας and δυναμις define the two types of rulership; ἐξουσιας for legitimate authority, and δυναμις for illegitimate.
It is all abolished because the kingdom of heaven is put into place, where Christ rules all.
The kingdom which Christ delivers is His millennial kingdom.
I Cor. 15:25 and 26 explain the reason for the extension of Christ’s millennial rule,
“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.”
Christ will reign in His kingdom until the job is completely finished. He reigns from the right hand of the Father even now. He will reign on planet Earth in the millennium.
In this case, reigning or ruling means more than just sitting on a throne. It means an active and benevolent rule towards all who are His rightful subjects. All who believe in Him remain just that - His rightful subjects.
There are many enemies of Jesus Christ: humans and angels - and even death.
Death will be the last of these enemies to fall to the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
Death was brought into the world by Adam, though Satan was Christ’s first real enemy.
1 Cor. 15:27 and 28 comment on the victory that has already been won.
“For he has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when he says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.”
God the Father has placed all things under the rulership of Christ - positionally. The cross and the resurrection were the dual strategic victories that absolutely assured the overall victory of God in the angelic conflict, and completely reversed the adverse effects of Adam’s sin.
The cross was the strategic victory over sin; all the sins of man were imputed to Christ on the cross, and judged in Him.
The resurrection was the strategic victory over physical and spiritual death. Physical death because of the resurrection body; spiritual death because of the resurrection mind.
The conflict will continue, even though the handwriting is really on the wall at this point. Evil fights on though completely beaten.
God the Father is the exception to the rule. All is under Christ’s subjection because of the cross, resurrection and ascension. God the Father is the exception to that. He will remain in authority over the Son forever.
The purpose of this subjection is so that from beginning to end, God might remain in authority - and it is fitting that He is.
He was in authority over Christ in eternity past.
He remained in authority throughout human history, and even until now.
And therefore it is right that he remains forever.
(Verses 29-34 form a parenthetical statement that is not pertinent to our study, so we will skip them
1 Cor. 15:35 picks up the subject of the actual resurrection.
“But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?’”
We know how death came into the world - through Adam’s original sin came both spiritual and physical death. We should also come to understand how life will come again.
Paul begins his explanation of the mystery with an analogy from the world of agriculture. “That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.”
The seed is planted in the shell of the human body, and the human body must die in order for the seed to grow.
An entire corn stalk is not sown in order to grow another; just a seed, and that is it.
An entire resurrection body is not placed inside of our own; just the kernel, the seed of one is placed.
1 Cor. 15:38,39 are an explanation of the individuality of the resurrection bodies of all creatures.
“But God gives it a body just as He willed, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.”
God made a sovereign decision to make our resurrection bodies in a certain way. Since it is God’s decision, it is going to be a wonderful body.
The flesh of each order of creatures is different, and so are the resurrection bodies of all humans.
Heaven means inequality - among resurrection bodies.
It is impossible to tell from a seed what it will grow into. So it is with the resurrection body. You cannot tell from looking at someone how they will turn out in heaven. Only God can tell.
The resurrection body is the result of what you do on earth with your human spirit, which is the seed.
If you cultivate it and nourish it, it will grow into something fantastic. If you neglect it, it will be not much.
1 Cor. 15:40,41 continue the explanation.
“There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.”
The heavenly bodies are used to analogize the difference in the glory of the earthly categories. The sun is great and glorious - the moon just its reflection. Stars are far off and dim. All are different according to the will of God.
1 Cor. 15:42,43 tell us the about the soil into which the seed of the resurrection body is sown.
“It is sown in a perishable body, it is raised in an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonorable, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a soulish body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”
The soil into which the seed is planted is the human body. The body is the perishable, the dishonorable, the weak, the soulish.
The soulish is from the Greek word ψυχικος. Soulish is used elsewhere in Scripture (1 Cor 2:14; James 3:15; Jude 1:19) to connote a person without a human spirit.
The weakness is from the Greek word ἀσθενεια, which emphasizes the inability of the human to make the conversion.
The perishable is obvious.
The dishonorable points the old sin nature in the cell structure of the human flesh.
And now a comparison is made between the earthly body of Adam and his race, and Christ and His followers.
1 Cor. 15:45,46, “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a lving soul.’ The last Adam [Christ] became a life-making spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.”
Adam’s bad decision resulted in the spiritual death of the entire human race. This is summed up in the phrase ψυχη ζοσα - living soul.
A living soul is one that has human life, but not spiritual.
Human life is the sum of biological and soul life, or psuche zosan.
The second man’s, Christ’s, good decision resulted in the spiritual life of all who would believe in Him.
All who believe are given spiritual life in the form of the human spirit. All who receive the human spirit have human life, and eternal life.
The order of things was for Adam to come first, and then Christ. The problem must appear before the solution.
The conclusion is in 1 Cor. 15:47-49.
“The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”