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.


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18 Comments on What was Last Adam’s greater work?

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

  2. 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.

  3. Roshan Easo // April 13, 2012 at 8:46 am // Reply

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Onesmus gitonga // January 21, 2013 at 6:48 am // Reply

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

  6. 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

  7. This awesome though am finding this blog too late,,,,wish i saw it long time ago

  8. lutwama marvin // September 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm // Reply

    paul,this is awesome that we did put our trust in a glorious king of all life and has qualified us to share in this glorious and honourable position in this life.paul this subject should work as a reminder to us who enjoy this site and the entire church that,just as we are not on the same league with adam neither inferiors to him but superior in all ways call it in nature glory and in reigning. And To Those Christians Who Think That The Devil And His Co-horts May Someday Prevail Over Church, Are Just Unfruitful Dreamers Because The Church Is In Fellowship With God The Father,God The son And God The Holy Spirit.Men In This Fellowship,not Even Angels Match It.Why Can’t The Church Know And Believe This Simple Truth, Ap:Marvin.

  9. Mercy Kûi // April 6, 2015 at 2:01 am // Reply

    Amazing post. Nothing like the Word of God to bring joy to my heart on this day!

  10. This is sad but my recovering mixed grace self read this statement “We have been rewired to resist sin and please the Father. ” and saw “we have been rewired so that we can resist sin and please God.” Thankful for new lenses this Easter and the revelation that Jesus overcame sin so that I dont have to, I can walk in my new self free from sin totally at rest. I dont have to “do” anything to please him, i please him because of who and whose I am, his alone. This exhausted recovering mixed grace daughter is thankful for the truth which brings rest.

  11. Giselle Clarke // March 4, 2016 at 6:35 am // Reply

    I have been secretly having to battle condemnation although I confess grace. I believe that I was nudged by God to do a study on his love/ grace to deal with the condemnation I was experiencing. Today is my first day of study on his love and your website is the first I stumbled on today. I think me stumbling on this site, is simply God confirming his word that my first study should be on his grace and blessing me at the same time. Today, you made me weary messages that mix grace and works and you also showed me that I am chiefly a son/ daughter/ child of God. There is nothing that deals with condemnation like knowing you are a child of the King. I’ll be a regular visitor to your site. Continue your wonderful work. Blessings to you, from me and my daddy (God Almighty)!

  12. I’ve always had issues with both views. To be honest I don’t know for sure what will happen in the afterlife. I’m not saying universalism is right. I am saying it has merit. Jesus commands for us to judge for ourselves what is right. And I know that a punishment that never ends is not right.

    Plus, how could God create billions of people knowing most will be separated from him? There’s the free will argument but, if you think about it, considering God is all-powerful he could get someone to believe in him without violating their free will. It’s what he did with Paul. He knew the exact way to get him to believe in him yet it was still his choice.

    Besides, why would God tell us to love and forgive our enemies while refusing to do the same himself? One of the most important things I’ve learned about God is that he follows his own rules.

    Bottom line, no matter how much you try to sugarcoat it, the fact remains that what we basically tell people is that they will go to hell if they don’t believe in God. Meaning most of us worship him through fear than true affection. Besides, it’s great if you’re born into the club like I was. I was born in a Christian family and have learned about God my whole life. But compare my upbringing to an orphaned girl living on the streets in India. At worst she would be kidnapped into being a sex slave. At best she would be adopted by a loving family, but even then they would most likely teach her Hinduism.

    Just some food for thought. Not a monopoly on truth.

  13. Plus we are all sinners because of Adam’s sin. The Bible says sin entered the world through Adam’s sin. And it’s the father’s seed that passes on the sin nature to a child. That’s primarily why Jesus was without sin, because he didn’t have a human father.

  14. Yeah this is so awesome. Thank you for going so far and standing with the Lord in the Pure truth. Praise God forever! The one thing I love about the Lord so much is how amazingly free he is. Free to BE love, with exceeding joy behinds description! And now we get to live as free as he is!!! Because we are in him, free as can be, and overflowing with overcoming Joy in him! He is OUR FREEDOM, and our Grace. He is really blessed and now because of grace so are we with him.

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