Wednesday, 8 April 2015
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45
In the previous verse, Paul noted that, “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” In support of this, he returns to Scripture to establish that this is an indisputable truth. Here he cites the Greek version of the Old Testament from a portion of Genesis 2:7 –
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
He adds into the thought the words “first” and “Adam” to show the contrast between our first father, Adam, and our Redeemer, Christ. Even though Jesus isn’t mentioned directly in this verse, it is obvious that he is substituting His name for the term “the last Adam.” It is similar to what he submits in Romans 5:19 –
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
These contrasts are given to show us a distinction between our mortal, human nature and our anticipated eternal nature through the work of God in Christ. God breathed life into the mortal man, Adam. At that time, there was no anticipation of death, but there is also the truth that he was fashioned from the dust and is thus closely connected to it. After his creation, he was told that there would be consequences for disobedience. The account goes on to show that he disobeyed and he “died.” This was first a spiritual death; a spiritual disconnect from God. This eventually led to his physical death as well.
In contrast to this sad state (which is inherited by all of Adam’s fallen seed) there is Christ, “the last Adam.” He was not born with Adam’s inherited sin and He lived in sinless perfection under God’s law. Having paid the price for the sins of man through His death, He “became a life-giving spirit.” Paul speaks of this in Romans 8:11 –
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
As Matthew Poole says of this verse, “Adam was the first, with respect of natural and carnal propagation, so Christ was the last Head, in respect of grace and spiritual regeneration, he was made a quickening spirit.”
Life application: We still bear Adam’s fallen nature. Until this corruptible body is done away with, we struggle against the flesh and the weaknesses of this life. However, for those who have called on Christ, these things are already defeated and are only awaiting their final realization. Be fully confident that whatever weaknesses and temptations you face now, they will be done away with when Christ comes to change us and bring us to Himself.
Lord God, I am still in my first father Adam. I face trials, temptations, weaknesses, and failings. There are days where I can’t seem to get anything right. Frustrations arise and I get disheartened. I long to be clothed in my eternal body and to be taken away from these present shortcomings. Until that day, I have the sure hope that it will come to pass. Jesus prevailed over death and He has saved me, promising to return and grant me that life which is true life. How I long for that day! Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.