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THE LAST ADAM

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THE LAST ADAM

The Apostle Paul taught that the human race consisted of two groups-those who were “in Adam” and those who were “in Christ.” In presenting this contrast, he used several comparative names of Christ, including “the Last Adam” (I Corinthians 15:45) and “the Second Man” (I Corinthians 15:47). These two related titles are fundamental to the doctrine of imputation, the means by which God reckons our sin to Christ and His righteousness to us. When we speak of “the headship of the race,” we do so in two senses. First, Adam was the Federal Head of the race and when he sinned, we sinned in the same sense that when our representative government takes a course of action, we who elected certain candidates as our leaders are also involved in the decisions they make. Secondly, Adam was the Seminal Head of the race in that he was the physical father of the human race. When Adam sinned, he became a sinner by nature, a nature which we as Adam's descendants also received, much as the child of a mother who is a drug addict may be born with an addiction to that drug. Christ as the Last Adam and Second Man is the head of a new race in the same way Adam was the head of the old race. When He died for us, He paid the price for our sin on our behalf much as a government might pay off its national debt, which is the debt also of those who elected that government. When Christ rose from the dead, He did so as a quickening or lifegiving spirit, able and willing to impart new life to all who come to Him. History and society are the result of two men and their respective acts. Adam, by disobedience, plunged this world into the slavery of sin. Jesus, by obedience, brought this world back to Himself. Because of what the first Adam did, we need to be saved. Because of what the Last Adam did, we may be saved. In order to be saved, we must be “in” the Last Adam.

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