What was Last Adam’s Greater Work?

The history of the world, as told by some people, runs like this: Adam disobeyed God and as a result brought death to all mankind, but Jesus came and put everything back the way it was. This sort of thinking puts Adam and his everyday sin on the same level of Christ and His incomparable gift.

What was Jesus’ greater work? In my last post I argued that the common answer to this question – Jesus made everyone alive – is dead wrong. I provided a few reasons as to why this is so but if you need more, I encourage you to look at my study notes on Romans 5:12-21. I don’t normally publish my notes, but since this passage of scripture is such an important and misread set of verses, I have made an exception. Much of what follows comes straight from these notes.

Jesus did not come from heaven to earth simply to resurrect the corpse of humanity and repair Adam’s sin. Certainly, Jesus did right Adam’s wrong, but if that was all He did, then His wouldn’t be a greater work and Jesus wouldn’t be the Great Redeemer. He would just be a cosmic Mr. Fix-It.

So in what sense did Jesus do a greater work than Adam? For the sake of convenience, I shall reduce the splendor and majesty of His finished work to three words beginning with R. I appreciate that much wonder will be lost in doing so but I trust you will see past my clumsiness, be inspired, and then ask the Holy Spirit to fill in the rest of the picture.

What did Jesus accomplish on our behalf?

1. Redemption: The guilty verdict has been over-turned. In Adam we were branded sinners but in Christ we are declared righteous. We are no longer counted with the condemned but are numbered with the justified. Satan has nothing to accuse us of and God remembers our sins no more. Happy is the man whose sin the Lord never counts against him (Ps 32:2). If you would know how much better the gift is than the trespass, then go ask someone on death row whether they would prefer freedom to captivity.

How did He do it? When you put your trust in Christ, He gave you a glorious new pastHis past. You were included in His death on the cross severing all ties with your old man (Rom 6:6). The person you used to be is dead and gone along with your sin and any relationship you had with the law (Ps 103:12, Rom 7:6). The world as you knew it is no more (Gal 6:14). Your old sources of identity and security have been replaced with something infinitely better and your past has never looked so good!

2. Resurrection: You have been raised to new life. This is not more of the same; it is brand new zoe-life. Now Christ is your life (Col 3:4).

How did He do it? If we died with Him we shall live with Him. He has given us His life which includes His acceptance (Eph 1:6), His faith (Gal 2:20), His Spirit (Rom 8:11), His righteousness (Rms 1:17), His holiness (1 Cor 1:3), indeed, His eternal perfection (Heb 10:4). As He is so are you in this world (1 Jn 4:17), so obviously you do not have a sinful nature. You are not one person on Sunday and another on Monday. Sure, you can still walk after the flesh and reap what you sow, but you are not defined by what you do. And when you do sin, you have a mighty Advocate who speaks to the Father on your behalf (1 Jn 2:1).

3. Reigning: The grace cure is greater than the disease. One sin cell infected the human race with the fatal condition of sinfulness; grace not only cures us it inoculates us against re-infection. We have been made new. We have been rewired to resist sin and please the Father. Grace doesn’t just remove all traces of past sins, it empowers us to sin no more! Grace is both favor and divine influence through the Holy Spirit. We are not just freed captives; we are kings and priests called to reign with Him. This is not some reference to the hereafter for Paul says we will “reign in life” (Rom 5:17) meaning here and now. Through the power of the Spirit we can reign over forms of death such as sickness and all the things that lead to sickness (e.g., bitterness, unforgiveness). We are no longer victims; we are more than conquerors through Him who called us.

How did He do it? Jesus has not returned us to the Garden, He has taken us to Heaven (Eph 2:6)! From the position of rest we rule and reign with Him here on Earth.

Happy Easter!

Jesus did a complete number on us. His act of obedience dealt with our past (redemption), our present (resurrection life) and our future (reigning with Him). If anyone is in Christ, he is a completely new creature. The old Adamic way of life has gone. Since redemption always leaves you better than you started, the brand new zoe-life we now have in Christ is infinitely superior to the lonely and unaided life experienced by unfallen Adam. This is the greater work Jesus has done. Unfallen Adam tried to rule alone and failed. We get to reign with Christ forever and ever.
___
Related posts:
- First Adam vs last Adam
- What happened to me on the cross?
- Did all die with Christ? (And what does it matter?)

Comments

  1. Fantastic Paul. Right on the button.
    Thanks
    Peter Wilson

  2. awesome truths!

  3. Hi there Paul! I would just like to ask if you have anything/planning on posting something about the news of the End-Times/Christ coming back sooner than we think (and the fear rising from that), that’s something that I believe a lot would love to see clarified and it would be a great help. Thanks!

    • Hmm, not sure about that one. I’m so excited about the fact that Christ has come that I have little space left over to tell people that He’s coming again. That said, I appreciate that a generation of radical Christians took themselves out of the game in the 1970s after reading Hal Lindsay’s book The Late Great Planet Earth and then the same thing happened to another generation in the 1990s with Left Behind. Two generations were lost because they chose to sit in the lifeboats when they could have been saving the ship. I talk about this in my half-written book so I guess it will filter through onto the blog at such stage.

  4. Roshan Easo says:

    You say that He’s taken us to Heaven – and He has – like how Peter, James, and Paul experienced Jesus, Moses, and Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration or like Paul’s blinding vision. However, He’s not left us in heaven – and while that may be obvious to most, Paul in 2 Timothy 2:18 counseled against those who say the resurrection has already occurred, destroying the faith of some. We peer into the heaven and the ages to come, sometimes even experience them, but the resurrection has not happened! There still remains hope locked up in these bones.. :-)

    • I can’t take credit for saying that – Paul said it first: “But God, who is rich in mercy… made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). If you are in Christ, and Christ is in heaven, then you are in Heaven – even as you live and walk here on Earth.

  5. You can add Likeness to that list “The glory You gave me I have given to them”. The Church is “the fullness of Him who fills all in all”. We are united with Christ in His death and resurrection. When we see Him we shall be like Him. As He is, so we are in this world.

  6. Onesmus gitonga says:

    I’m humbled! Surely Christ is The Great I Am!

  7. This is good Paul.There are so many different teachings that try and lead us away from Jesus and put trust in some vain teaching that has nothing to do with Christ which I also think Paul (Saul) was always leading his beloved back to Jesus all strange teachings came in like the one that was mention early on in this post and Paul again put it right by showing them back to Christ.Which I know I need of reminding as well.Thanks

Tell us what you think (<250 words)...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s