#14 The Two Adams
The theme of the Epistle to the Romans is the Righteousness of God. The reason this theme is so important is that it shows us the only way to God and Heaven.
In earlier messages in this series we covered:
Man’s desperate need of God’s righteousness. Romans 1:18-3:20. We need that righteousness because we are sinners and God will not allow sin in Heaven.
God’s method of declaring us righteous and fit for Heaven is called Justification. Romans 3:21-5:21. God justifies us by offering us His righteousness totally by His grace, apart from any works of our own. God provided it for us by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to pay the penalty for our sins by shedding His innocent blood and dying in our place. God proved His pleasure and satisfaction in this sacrifice by raising His Son from the dead three days later, as prophesied.
Salvation is available to those, who recognizing their total helplessness to change their lives and make themselves fit for Heaven, come in humility and receive by faith the saving work of Christ.
Justification includes two concepts we need to understand.
1. Propitiation is mentioned in Romans 3:25. Unlike the concept of doing penance for our sins, as is taught in false religions; propitiation is the concept that Jesus has already borne God’s wrath for our sins. God’s wrath for our sins, which should have fallen on us for eternity, has already fallen on Jesus and God is propitiated, fully satisfied by that Sacrifice. This concept of propitiation is also taught in I John 2:1-2 and 4:10.
2. Imputation is the other concept. Taught in Romans 4:6-9, imputation is God’s transference of our guilt to an innocent sacrifice in our place. As the Israelites in Old Testament times by faith brought innocent animal sacrifices to theTemple to be sacrificed in their place; so we are saved from the penalty of our sins as by faith and gratitude we accept God’s transference of our guilt from us to Christ; believing that His Sacrifice saves us, making us fit for Heaven.
Leviticus 1:1-5 describes this. When a sinner brought a lamb or bullock to the temple to be sacrificed in his place, in faith in God’s provision, he placed his hand on the head of the animal sacrifice as a symbol of transferring his guilt to the animal sacrifice. Then the priest carried out the slaying of the animal, as proscribed in Leviticus. With the death of the animal sacrifice, the Israelite was forgiven of his sin.
Of course, the problem with this plan was that Israelites had to repeat the sacrifice constantly as they continued to sin. Hebrews 10:1-10 deals with this problem, showing that Christ is the permanent sacrifice and solution. to the sin problem. Hebrews 10 is well worth reading and rereading until you understand it.
This sacrificial animal was a type of Christ, foreshadowing what Christ Himself, in the fullness of time, would accomplish on the cross.
Now let’s get into the matter of the first and second Adam, taught in Romans 5:12-21, as we conclude our study of the doctrine of Justification.
To help us better understand and appreciate this topic, take time to consider this thought-provoking question.
IN WHAT THREE WAYS MIGHT GOD HAVE CHOSEN TO SAVE US?
1. God might have overlooked our sins and allowed us to enter Heaven simply because He loves us. But that would be impossible! That solution would have been contrary to God’s holiness. God’s love and holiness never contradict one another. Heaven would become like Hell.
2. God could have planned to allow only those measuring up to His holy standards to go to Heaven. But that also is impossible! That would rule out the entire human race, for all of us are sinners, having inherited that sinful nature from our first father, Adam.
3. That leaves only one other option. God Himself could become a man and come down to earth to be sentenced to death in our place, the death that we deserved as sinners. That’s exactly what God did. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. God poured out His wrath, which we deserved, on Christ as He became the sacrifice for our sins that we might have imputed to our account, His righteousness. Read II Corinthians 5:21 repeatedly until you understand it.
Now, let’s get back to Romans 5:12-21 as we consider the two Adams.
THE FIRST ADAM
God in His wisdom and foreknowledge, knowing the end from the beginning, created Adam, the first man, from the dust of the earth and breathed the breath of life into him; and man became a living soul. Later, when Adam was emotionally prepared for a wife, God created Eve from Adam’s rib and brought him to Adam to love and to cherish for as long as they lived.
He placed them in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place He had prepared for them with no sin nor the curse of sin to spoil their perfect life together. You are no doubt familiar with the story of their perfect life until Satan, as a beautiful serpent, came to Eve to tempt her and spoil their perfect life, free of sin and its curse. The full account of their temptation and sin is found in Genesis 3.
Eve listened to the serpent and we learn in I Timothy 2:11-14 that she was deceived. She ate the forbidden fruit and gave some to her husband who also ate. There is no indication that Adam was deceived; but he walked into this sin of disobedience with his eyes wide open.
Up until this time, both were naked and not ashamed. Now they both recognized their nakedness and guilt and tried to hide themselves from God among the trees of the Garden. Of course, no one can hide from God and it didn’t take God long to find them and confront them about what they had done.
They both attempted to make excuses to God; but God was not impressed with their excuses. They made excuses and played the blame game; but God cut through to their disobedience and pronounced a curse on them and on the Serpent, Satan.
Then in Genesis3:15, God announced the future course of history and the basic plot of the Bible.
1. Enmity between God and His family vs. Satan and his family.
2. God’s SEED (eventually Jesus) would mortally wound and permanently destroy Satan
3. In the meantime, Satan would do some relatively temporary, minor damage to God’s family.
This thumbnail sketch of history has been and will ultimately conclude the history of mankind and the struggle between God and Satan and the ultimate destruction of Satan. That is the story line of the Bible.
Some of you are thinking, “But this plan is not fair. Why should God condemn me a sinner for what Adam and Eve did years ago? Let me finish the story and then you can decide how fair God is.
THE SECOND ADAM
God, knowing that Adam would sin and plunge the entire human race into sin and death, in His great wisdom and love devised a plan of salvation even before He created the world. Jesus is seen in Revelation 13:8 as the “Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”
Read Romans 5:15-21 and I Corinthians 15:21-22. Note, as you read these passages the words ONE and MANY. God has two federal heads of the human race. Adam is the head of the human race that sinned and died. Jesus is the Head of the redeemed human race who by faith in Him is given eternal life.
THE ESSENCE OF SALVATION
Through faith in Christ we leave the doomed family of the first Adam and are placed supernaturally into the redeemed family of the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Second Adam
1. We are justified and have a perfect legal standing with God.
2. We have a regenerated and recreated soul that loves righteousness and hates sin.
3. We experience the grace and love of God.
4. We have Peace with God. Romans 5:1
5. Not only are we counted righteous, but we are being made righteous, as we will see in our study of Romans 6 through 8.
What about the Law of God? We can’t just ignore it. Romans 5:20. explains that though we fall far short of it; thank God, where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Grace is more than a match for it.
The New Testament epistles use the phrase IN CHRIST. II Corinthians 5:17 teaches that salvation is the state of being In Christ. We were all born in Adam. Are you still IN ADAM or are you now IN CHRIST? If you are IN CHRIST the old life you lived before salvation is passing away and your new life as a Christian is becoming more evident as you seek to allow Christ to control your thinking, your desires and your actions.
IN WHICH ADAM ARE YOU?
The first Adam who sinned and brought the curse of sin on all of us?
Or, the second Adam, Christ Himself, who took the curse of sin for us by shedding His blood for us on the cross?
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