WONDERFUL WORDS OF LIFE RADIO SERMON August 15, 1976 THE ONE LIKE ADAM Romans 5:14 19 In the plan of God there are two Adams. The first Adam was created by God from the dust of the ground on the sixth day of creation. The last Adam was made of woman under the law. The first Adam was meant to be a type of the last Adam. These two are brought into consideration by Paul in our text. He reminds us that Adam is "the figure of him that was to come.''
"Typos" is the Greek word for "type". It was used of the large print put at the head of the page to teach the child how to read. The word calls attention to the similarities between two things. Your first impression is that there is absolutely no similarity between Adam and Jesus our Lord. Yet Adam is called the figure of the coming Christ. Where are the points of similarity? Understanding these points of similarity will help you appreciate the place our Lord Jesus has as the last Adam. For the sake of our study, let us consider three of the similarities.
CHRIST JESUS IS LIKE ADAM IN THAT BOTH WERE APPOINTED BY GOD Adam was created by God to be the head of the human family. This was the mind of God from the beginning. As such, Adam was told to have dominion over all of creation He was commissioned to give a name to everything that was created. The very act of naming it was an expression of his headship over creation. It was not a position that he chose for himself, but one that was bestowed upon him by God. In this he was a type of the last Adam, for Jesus was also appointed to His place of headship. Adam was a type of the one who would indeed gain and exercise complete dominion over Creation, and would be the head of a new humanity. What Adam was to the old order, Christ is to be to the new and eternal order. It is for this reason that he wears the title "last Adam". He was not the second Adam but the last Adam. This means that His order will be the final and eternal one.
CHRIST JESUS IS LIKE ADAM IN THAT BOTH ACTED FOR THEIR SEED "The one man" is the focus of attention in this passage. Adam acted as the one for the many, and so did Christ. When Adam listened to the serpent, chose to disobey the Word of God, he acted as the first Adam, the head of the whole race. Each of us was present in him when he acted. But in his acting for the whole family of man, he was a type of Christ. God was demonstrating in his act, that it is possible for the one man to act for the many. This is exactly what Christ Jesus our Lord did. "Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteous¬ness of the one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.''
This truth will become so basic in the presentation of the Apostle. You will never understand the Christian Gospel unless you can understand the one acting for the many. Our Gospel is exactly this that Christ acted for us in the deed of the Cross. We were present with Him in His death, His burial, His resurrection, and His ascension.
CHRIST JESUS IS LIKE ADAM IN THAT BOTH PASSED ON TO THEIR SEED THE CONSEQUENCE OF THEIR DEED The fact that they passed something on to their seed is the point of similarity. However, it must be admitted that there is sharp contrast in what they passed on. Adam acted in disobedience and passed on to his seed, sin, guilt, condemnation, and death. These are the words that are used in the text. "For if through the offence of one many be dead". This is self evident. "For the judgment was by one to condemnation." "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one." "Therefore as by the offence of one judg¬ment came upon all men to condemnation". "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners." These passages make the point clear. Adam acted for us in the Garden of Eden. The consequences of his choice have been passed on to us. They are guilt for sin, condemnation before God, and death physical, spiritual and eternal. We are the recipients of his act.
In the same way we have been made the recipients of the benefits of the righteous deed of Christ. He, too, passes on the consequence of His act. The contrast is in the thing passed on. "Much more the grace of God, and gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." "But the free gift is of many offences onto justification. Much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ". "Even so by the right¬eousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. So by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
There is a direct contrast in the thing the two Adams pass on to their seed. The first Adam passes on sin, the last Adam passes on righteousness. The first Adam passes on condemnation, the last Adam passes on justification. The first Adam passes on death, the last Adam passes on life. The first Adam puts death on the throne, the last Adam puts grace on the throne. The first Adam brings the disfavor of God, the last Adam the grace of God. But they are alike in that they pass on to their seed the consequence of their deed.
What is this one thing that Christ did to bring so much benefit to us? In this paragraph it is simply referred to as "the righteousness" and "obedience". Remem¬bering that this paragraph is connected to the last by a "wherefore" will help. In this passage we were told of the love of God demonstrated in the death of Christ upon the Cross. Christ died for us. The shedding of His blood upon the Cross was the righteousness, the obedience. He did that for us which we could not do for ourselves. He handled all of the guilt brought about by the fall of the first Adam, and made available to us life and righteousness.
Your part in the first Adam is a settled conclusion. You were born into a partnership with him. Your part in the last Adam is a matter of choice. Not every¬one receives the benefits of His deed. It comes unto only those who place their faith and trust in Him. Have you made such a commitment of your life? If you are to ever receive the benefits offered by the last Adam, you must choose them. You must choose to turn from your sin and place your faith in Him. To be in the last Adam is to be in Christ, and thus to be in life and salvation.