Monday, 16 March 2015
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22
Paul’s previous words stated, “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.” Our “For” now builds upon that. Death came by man and so life also comes by Man. The man through whom death came was Adam. The Man through whom life comes is Christ.
Adam transgressed God’s commandment and plunged humanity into death. This was noted in Genesis 3. But there is more to be understood in this than physical death. In Genesis 2, the Lord told Adam –
“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16, 17
However, after eating of the fruit, it says that Adam continued to live until the age of 930 years. Therefore, the death that occurred was spiritual death. The connection between God and man was lost; severed completely. Adam lived in time, and time was moving forward. He could not go back and undo what he had done. After his transgression, he had children, all of whom were born with the same spiritual disconnect from God. This has continued to be inherited by all humans since then, thus “in Adam all die.”
Christ came to repair this spiritual rift though. Through His work we are spiritually restored to God. He was born without Adam’s sin. As His Father is God, He did not receive Adam’s sin nature. After this, the Bible records His life. He lived without sin and died without sin. Therefore, the natural, logical, and only possibility was that He would resurrect. Without sin, the spiritual connection to God remained.
In this then is the truth that our physical death also came as a result of inherited sin. If the spiritual rebirth doesn’t occur before the physical death comes, then we will remain spiritually dead; forever separated from our Creator. This must be true because Paul says that “in Christ, all shall be made alive.” Many people have called on Christ, and to this day, all of them have or will physically die. However, if we are “in Christ” and this was speaking only of physical life and death, we would never die.
Therefore, this must be speaking first of “spiritual life.” As Jesus Himself said, “…whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26). Because all have or will physically die, even since Jesus said this, then He must have first been speaking of the “spiritual” state of the person. Once this has been corrected, the inevitable outcropping of it is physical resurrection. If we are “in Christ” and now deemed without sin, then death no longer has mastery over us. Therefore, we shall come to eternal physical life at the call of the Lord as well.
In this then, Paul’s words “in Christ all shall be made alive” are speaking of those who are “in Christ.” Those who remain “in Adam” cannot be counted in this “all.” It is dealing with rebirth, not continued death. All will, in fact, be raised. Those “in Christ” will be raised to eternal life at the resurrection. Those “in Adam” will be raised for judgment and condemnation. All of this is explained elsewhere in the Bible.
Life application: One is either “in Adam” with their father as the devil, or “in Christ” with their Father as God. These are the only two possibilities for humanity. Choose wisely; choose Christ.
Lord, your word shows me that just one infraction of the law breaks the entire law and therefore I am guilty of the whole law. If Adam’s one sin plunged the whole world into death, then how just is my condemnation! Even if I spend my whole life trying to live out the law as best I can, it will never undo what has been done. Understanding this, I look to the grace of Jesus and am so grateful for what He did. In Him, the law is nailed to the cross. In Him is life anew. In Him is eternal joy in Your presence. I choose life! I choose Jesus! Amen.