Adam and Christ: December 2010

Table of Contents

1. Adam and Christ
2. Adam
3. The First Man Is Under Judgment
4. Adam and Christ
5. A Man in Christ
6. New Creation
7. Christ, the Last Adam and Second Man
8. Oneness and Union
9. Worthy the Lamb

Adam and Christ

The Bible has been referred to as the history of two men, Adam and Christ. They are the heads of two races of men. The first race begins with Adam created from the dust of the earth in the image and likeness of God. But Adam sins against God, ruins his nature and brings death upon himself and his offspring. The Old Testament traces his sad history. Christ is born of the woman to participate as a man, but without sin, in the creation where sin reigns. The New Testament traces His glorious history. As Saviour, He takes up the responsibility of Adam’s race and its failure and presents Himself to God for judgment. He is made sin, bears the sins of many and dies. Then He rises triumphantly from death and becomes the head and life-giver of a new race, a new creation. In the first Adam all die, but in Christ all live, and He is the last Adam, for there will never be another race of men. The first Adam was of the earth, earthy, but He is the second Adam who is of heaven, heavenly. Every one either stands before God as part of Adam’s race under the sentence of death or stands before God in Christ as part of a new creation where death and judgment will never come. For us who are a new creation in Christ Jesus, “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


Adam is a very striking figure or type of Him that was to come (Rom. 5:14). He was made in God’s image, after His likeness. Adam received from God dominion over the birds of the heavens and fish of the sea, over cattle, over all the earth, and over every living thing that moves upon it. He was the only one on earth to become a living soul by Jehovah Elohim (the Lord God) breathing into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). Therefore, his soul was immortal. He alone had a spirit that, instead of going downward to the earth like a beast’s, went upward to God that gave it (Eccl. 3:21; 12:7). Therefore shall each one give an account of himself to God before the judgment-seat of Christ, that each may receive the things done in the body whether good or bad (Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10).
Adam in responsibility soon became an object of judgment. Being surrounded by every natural good, he was subjected to the simplest divine command — to abstain from the fruit of a single tree. It was the test of his obedience. This he violated at the first temptation of the enemy, following his wife into evil instead of guiding her in good. Therefore, as disobedient, he was driven out of Paradise under the sentence of death, and after having fallen, he became the father of the race.
The Blessed Contrast
But the holy and righteous Lord God sought Adam the very day he sinned. He drew the guilty pair from their hiding-place and, after showing them their guilt and His respective judgment of the serpent, revealed the triumph of His grace who in the woman’s Seed would be the Second Man and Last Adam (Gen. 3:15).
And how blessed the contrast of Him who was thus set forth from that early day, the one object of faith and hope! Now we know the Son of God is come and has given us who believe understanding that we may know Him that is true. Both the Old Testament and the New bear witness to His glory and His humiliation. They reveal how He poured out His soul unto death and has been exalted to God’s right hand and will be eventually and visibly over all peoples, nations and languages, yea, all creation.
Death and Life
Meanwhile, as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned, so the grace of Christ brought in transcendent blessing, presented unto all men in the gracious appeal of the gospel. This is for “all  ...  that believe” (Rom. 3), for as through one offense the bearing was unto all men for condemnation, so through one righteousness the bearing is unto all men for justification of life. As through the one man’s disobedience the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of One shall the many be constituted righteous (Rom. 5:12-19). Was it not then worthy of God to bring in for the race a still better and more enduring good through the one man, His own Son? And as the blessing is of God’s grace unto all, so it is preached to all and is received by faith instead of depending on the law. The gospel is universal in its appeal. It takes effect only in those who believe, but it is equally presented to all.
Adam while innocent stood on his obedience, but being swayed by his wife who was deceived by the tempter, he too disobeyed. He sought to be as God, knowing good and evil, and he fell. Christ, on the contrary, came in flesh to glorify God and save sinners, carrying out His obedience unto death in contrast to Adam’s disobedience to death. Christ did this perfectly, suffering to the utmost in the difficulties and ruin which man’s sin had made, while Adam fell when he was tried in the least degree with all circumstances in his favor. Wherefore also God highly exalted Christ and sends out the glad tidings to all creation. Christ has vindicated God’s love, while Adam acted upon Satan’s lie which defamed His love as if God kept back something good. For that little thing, the forbidden fruit of the tree, Adam gave up God who so loved the world as to give His best, His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Eternal Life
Adam only became a father after he had fallen; Jesus stands risen from the dead as the life-giving Spirit, after having once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust. He comes that His disciples might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. It is resurrection life from Him who bore their sins in His own body on the tree. Thus the believer has eternal life and comes not into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Is it thus with you? If you hear His word and believe on His Son Jesus whom He sent, you are entitled to this portion which God’s grace now gives to those who believe in His name. Beware of the tempter — the liar and murderer from the beginning. Christ is the way, the truth and the life. And the Holy Spirit now bears witness to Him.
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you” (Acts 13:38-41).
Adapted from
The Bible Treasury

The First Man Is Under Judgment

We learn what the cross of the Lord Jesus has effected when we learn that it has eternally settled for God the question of sin and sins. It has settled these two things, and it is most important to see how they have both been settled. We have the forgiveness of our sins in the work of the cross, but the nature which committed them, sin, is never forgiven. It has been eternally placed by God under judgment.
Two Men
Now in order to make this simple to our understanding, the Word of God considers the Christian as if he were two men. He is solemnly warned and exhorted never to act like the one, while over and over again he is encouraged to act as the other. When the Apostle says, “I am crucified with Christ,” he is contemplating the judgment of God recorded in the cross as to the first man and speaking of himself as that man. When he says, “Nevertheless I live,” it is the new man, or the power of the life of Christ daily displayed in him. The difference is immense. As to the first man, who is controlled always by the evil nature, that man is under the judgment of God and never is anywhere else in God’s account. As to the new man, “created in righteousness and true holiness” and “created  ...  unto good works” (Eph. 4:24; 2:10), to him death and judgment have nothing to say.
The believer is so addressed because he has still the old nature within him, as well as the new, and every action of his life comes from either the one or the other of these. If we refer to 1 Corinthians 3:3, we read, “Are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” To walk “as men” is a reproach, because it is walking according to the old nature. So we read, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk” (Eph. 4:17). On the other hand, when we are addressed as having the new nature, we read, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).
The First Man Under Judgment
To own in our daily life that the cross of Christ has put away our sins and has also definitely placed the old man under judgment is fundamental doctrine, without which there cannot be any true progress in the divine life. It is the second part of this truth which cuts at the root of all that is not of Christ, but, thank God, also separates me definitely from the world, to walk like Christ in it. We much more readily accept the fact that in the cross we have the forgiveness of sins, than that in the cross we have also the judgment of sin — the nature of the first man. Both are true, and both together constitute what one called “a Christian” professes to believe, however short he may come as to the judgment of the first man practically.
Who is the man that God has definitely recorded His judgment against? It is the man who is “trying to get on” in the world, trying to make his rest here, where sin defiles everything. It matters not to him who goes down; his only effort is to get up and trample upon whom he may. Now God has determined never to set that man up again. Strive as I may, I have God against me, as to setting up that man again on earth. In doing it I am fighting against God.
The Second Man
As to the second Man, God will set Him up here in power and glory over everything (Eph. 1:9-10). One may be rejected today, and take cheerfully the spoiling of his goods without resisting, for such is God’s will for him who takes Christ’s path. “The offscouring of all things” may be the world’s opinion of him who is willing to be even accounted a fool for Christ’s sake (1 Cor. 3:18), yet “the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” (Pro. 19:21). “We see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor” — a proof of what God will yet accomplish for Him. And as to the world, “the world passeth away, and the lust [desire] thereof.” May the Spirit instruct us yet more and more in the fact that the old nature of the first man is, in the cross, definitely placed under the judgment of God and never delivered from it.
H. C. Anstey

Adam and Christ

Romans 5:14-21
The sin of Adam and the consequences of that sin are strikingly exhibited in the latter part of Romans 5 in contrast to the grace that is manifested in Jesus Christ. The very important position that Adam held displays the character and work of the Lord Jesus Christ who is contrasted with the first Adam. Adam in his innocence was a type and figure of Christ. The Lord Jesus is the head of all grace and truth, the representative of all believers, while Adam is the head of all sin and misery, a representative of all sinners by nature. This distinction is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15: “The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven,” and in Romans 5:14 he is said to be “the figure of Him that was to come.”
The over-abundant love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is testified of in the next verse: “If through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” And the contrast is very striking as we continue: “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
Here we have, in a perspective view, the effect of Adam’s sin and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see the way in which He met the whole question of the controversy between God and man.
The Head and Root
We have in Adam the head and root of a sinful world lying in wickedness and misery, and in Christ the head and root of a world of blessedness, reigning in life, opening a “new and living way,” prevailing over man’s sin and ruin — not merely the saving of souls to God, but positively triumphing over man’s evil, over the utmost evil man could do. He is not only undoing what man had done, but over-abounding in blessedness the ruin man had brought on himself — not only setting aside the work done by man, but manifesting the riches of divine love over evil, sin, ruin and misery, which were allowed for the purpose of displaying more astonishingly the greatness of God’s love and His direct contrast to man in all things.
Now this is what we are to look for in Christ, a remedy adequate to the evil sin had wrought, a remedy that should meet and overbalance the weight of iniquity, and we have it in Christ, in the exceeding riches of His grace. The way and means were of His own devising and His own executing, to display His goodness to us in Christ Jesus, that He should be the substance of the joy of His people, the rest of their souls, the object of their hopes, and the desire of their affections. And such He is. Evil has abounded, and sin has taken its full, free course. We trace its root, rise and progress in the first Adam, in whose sin we have the complete and entire alienation of man’s heart from God. We have the virtual denial and rejection of God as a God over him and the practical consequences of that denial — the taking of Satan as a god in preference and trusting and confiding in him rather than in God.
The Present World
Now, I say this is just the position the world is in at present. They have practically and decidedly taken Satan for god, to the rejection of the Lord; they have lost all hopes of favor; they have forfeited all claim to any blessing God can confer. All the world has done this positively and willingly, and every individual is doing so, until Christ calls him out of the world and brings him to rest on Him for all things. Christ undoes in his soul what the sin of the first Adam has done, makes him an heir of God, and puts into his heart the Spirit crying, “Abba, Father.” He enables him to know and understand the association of principle, feeling and actual position in which he stands with Christ when exclaiming, “My Father and your Father, my God and your God.” From thence is all our hope and happiness; we are brought over to trust Him, to live in His life, and no longer to live under the dominion of the devil who works in “the children of disobedience.” We actually “become  ...  sons of God,” are delivered from the offenses of the first Adam, and are no longer in the position of the world.
God’s Representative
The sin of Adam induced the wrath of heaven’s offended majesty. The work of the Lord Jesus Christ met, in every circumstance and in every position, this situation. Let us view Adam first in his creation, as he came out of the hands of God — the image of God — in His own likeness; he was God’s representative, and everything was subordinate to him, put in authority under him.
Psalm 8 evidently refers to this: “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” (vs. 4). But in Hebrews 2, where this is quoted, we find it was typical of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels” (in His humiliation). “We see not yet all things put under Him” (but that we shall see at His coming). “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” He became practically the head and root of a new creation, manifested so at His resurrection. The Lord was doing for His people, in His humiliation, all that was necessary to put away sin, suffering what was due to sin, even suffering unto death. Being then quickened according to the Spirit of holiness as a risen Saviour, He becomes the Head of a new creation, as Adam was of the old.
Adam in Eden
View Adam in the garden, and we shall discern in his conduct that he had everything that qualified him to be the head and root of a sinful world. So Christ, as manifesting the very opposite conduct under the most difficult circumstances, is eminently qualified to be the Head of His people. Adam was placed in an innocent world, surrounded by every blessing, and with every holy and righteous feeling which could call forth his love and gratitude to the great Giver. It ought to have led him to confide in Him. God had placed trust in him; He put him as a steward over His goods. He reflected His own image on him and made him capable of conversing with Himself; he was the link, as it were, between God and this world.
The Second Man
Now we pass to the Second Man —the character and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall see how in thought, word and deed, He perfectly vindicated the truth, love and majesty of the great God of heaven, which man had shamefully and willfully dishonored. How did He vindicate the truth of God? The Lord God had said, “Thou shalt surely die.” Christ came as the great witness to His people that “the wages of sin is death,” though it was by imputation only, for He was perfectly and entirely holy. But He took our sins; He bore our iniquities. He was willing to be looked upon as the guilty and to bear the penalty God had annexed to sin, “Thou shalt surely die,” in order to vindicate the truth of God.
We see again how He fully vindicated the love of God. That God — whom man looked upon as a grudging God keeping back from him that which was desirable — that God gave His only begotten Son for man’s transgression! How eminently conspicuous is God’s love in the sufferings and death of Jesus! The more righteous and holy Jesus was, the more God’s love was displayed in giving Him for sin. He needed not to die for His own offenses, for He had committed none, nor for His own sins, for He “knew no sin.” He was brought, nevertheless, to the extremity of suffering and shame, and yet trusted and confided in God, in circumstances all opposite to those in which Adam was placed.
Now we see our glorious Head by faith alone, but soon shall we see Him as He is, in all His glory, and be changed into that same glory. In the meantime, “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” May we, then, be filled with the fullness of Christ! The Scriptures open out all the blessings that are in Him, all fullness dwells in Christ, and we, the brethren of the Lord, have a part in it by a union which commences in time but consummates in a never-ending and blissful eternity!
J. N. Darby, adapted

A Man in Christ

“As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). This points us to two headships. In Adam all die — even so in Christ shall all live. This speaks of the resurrection, but “a man in Christ” refers to a man’s being in Christ while in the body. Our Lord said, “Except a [the] corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24), showing that the death of Christ was needful before His people could be brought into the closest association with Himself.
The Two Creations
In another passage Christ is called the last Adam: “The first man Adam was made [or, became] a living soul; the last Adam  ...  a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). Here it is as two heads of creation. Yes, we can speak of two creations, for we read that “if anyone be in Christ, there is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17 JND). Such a one is united with the last Adam, and as to his standing before God, he has been severed from the first Adam.
Another passage will confirm this: “The first man out of the earth, earthy [or, made of dust]; the second man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:47). Now why does the passage speak only of two men when there have been millions? Surely because the first man, Adam, and the second Man, Christ, are the heads of two races or generations, and every human being belongs to the one or the other. All did belong to the first, but through the new creation, some, by God’s grace, are taken out of that and made a part of the second.
In the Flesh
Let us look at another expression, when the Apostle speaks of a past condition and says, “When we were in the flesh” (Rom. 7:5); “they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Rom. 8:8-9). Now what can the expression “in the flesh” as a bygone position be except that the Christian has been lifted clean out of that standing and has been placed into an entirely different one — in Christ?
It is true that the expression “in the flesh” is used in the Scripture and by the same Apostle with the simple signification of being alive in the body, as “nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Phil. 1:24). But when a living man says, “When we were in the flesh,” it must refer to a position which has been left.
Many a Christian has very vague ideas of what is meant by the expression, “When we were in the flesh.” Some seem to take it to mean that sometimes we are in the flesh and sometimes we are not, and they make it to be Christian experience, the same as is explained in Galatians 5:17: “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” But in Romans 7 there is not a word about the Holy Spirit. The converse of being formerly in the flesh is, “But now we are delivered from the law, having died in that wherein we were held” (as verse 6 should read). There is a dying out of the old position of the first creation in association with Adam and under the law, and a being brought into a new position in Christ Jesus and under grace.
Our Standing and Our Walk
The standing or position of the Christian is very apt to be confounded with his walk and ways. But the two things are quite distinct. This is seen under many figures in Scripture. We have to thank God that He “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13). We are emancipated from the authority of darkness, ruled over by Satan, and are brought into the kingdom of God’s dear Son — an entirely different place. We are not simply changed in character and left in the old place, but we are brought into the kingdom of which Christ is Lord and Master.
Again, we who were the children of wrath, being also dead in sins, God has quickened together with Christ and “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). This is our place and inheritance, and, though we are still in the body, in Christ we are already there. We are not with Christ until we are actually there. But this is an entirely new position or standing from being children of wrath, when we were willful followers of our first parent Adam, and as to any life God-ward we were dead in sins. We were then in Adam, but now, if Christians, we are “in Christ.”
In Christ
“Therefore if any man be in Christ [there is a new creation]: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:17-18). The new creation here spoken of entirely refutes the thought of our being restored to the status of Adam in innocence. The status believers are brought into far exceeds this in blessedness, and it is entirely and emphatically a new creation, brought about for us by the death of the Lord Jesus, by our being quickened together with Him, and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the new position into which we are thus brought may be summed up in two words: “In Christ.”
Now it is important to see that as this is true of one Christian, it is also true of all Christians. Thus the epistle to the Colossians is addressed “to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ”: Scripture does not recognize any middle place. As heads there are only the first man and the second Man; the first Adam and the last Adam — the Lord Jesus Christ.
With which head is the reader connected? The thought of a mortal man being “in Christ” is something entirely beyond what we could have conceived, and it doubtless seems to some to be presumption to take such a place, but if God says this of us, it is unbelieving not to own it, and dishonoring to Him who in grace has declared this respecting the believer. It may seem to some to be humility to want to take a lower place, but it is not. True humility takes the place assigned to it and forgets itself, in love and admiration of the One who has accomplished it all.
Privilege and Responsibility
Privilege and responsibility flow from relationship. If God has placed us in a position, we cannot shirk its responsibilities, nor should we think lightly of its privileges. This would be despising our birthright. Let none think that by shutting their eyes to what God has revealed respecting them, they can avoid much being required of them. “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). The high position of the saint should affect all the details of life.
Once in that position, by being quickened together with Christ, nothing can bring them back again into the old standing of being “in Adam.” Disciplined they will be, and if need be they may be delivered by God unto Satan for the breaking them down, for the destruction of the flesh — not that they may be finally lost, but “that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5).
May all God’s beloved people know and understand better and own the high and holy position He has placed them in, and then seek grace that their state, their condition of life, should correspond to that position. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [your mind] on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Adapted from
Things New and Old

New Creation

Creation is God’s work, an act of divine and sovereign power. Man may, within limits, shape and fashion physical materials, but God alone can by His word call into being that which never before had existence. “He spake, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast.” This, being quite outside all man’s experience, is only known by revelation: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
The first creation came perfect from God’s hands. He “saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” But, in His wisdom God was pleased to put everything so made under the man whom He had created and to leave that first man, who was of the earth, earthy, in a position of responsibility. This man, when tempted, disobeyed and fell, and not only did he himself thereby depart from God, becoming subject to death and condemnation, but he brought the whole creation into groaning. “The creature has been made subject to vanity, not of its will, but by reason of him who has subjected the same.”
God’s Purposes Fulfilled
The purposes of God in reference to this creation will have their fulfillment when the rights and power of Him who is the second man, the last Adam, the Lord from heaven, shall be displayed (see Psalm 8; Acts 3:21). “The creature [creation] itself also shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21 JND). God will yet have glory for Himself in that very creation where His glory has been set at nought.
There is more than this presented in Scripture. God is not content, if one may so speak, with rehabilitating the old creation. He brings in a “new creation,” which now is a reality, morally or spiritually, for men that believe in Christ. He will hereafter “make new” the whole of the physical heaven and earth, so that everything may be unalterably according to Himself, and not dependent, like the first, on the responsibility and power of an earthly man to maintain, but on the absolute perfectness and immutability of Him who was the last Adam. It is a sphere in which not only all His glories can be displayed, but in which God Himself can rest eternally.
New Creation Displayed
The “new creation” will not have its real display until after the day when the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, shall “transform our body of humiliation into conformity to His body of glory” (Phil. 3:21 JND), or indeed, in its fullest sense, until the new heavens and new earth appear when there will be no more “sea,” that emblem of unrest and instability. But spiritually it is a reality now for the believer in Christ, though it be only “by faith” we can understand it, just as it is only by faith we understand what creation meant at first (Heb. 11:3).
The fact that this is really a “new creation,” and not the improvement or modification of something already existing, may well be the reason this wonderful truth of which we speak is so little entered into. The soul that does not receive it as revealed by God cannot know it, for it is outside of his experience like the physical creation.
The Old Passes Away
It is written as to the physical heavens and earth that before the new are introduced, the old pass away. “The heavens shall pass away,” says Peter; “the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up ... but we look for new heavens and a new earth.” But this is equally true as to the moral or spiritual “creation” of which we speak. The simplest statement as to it is contained in 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (JND). “So if anyone be in Christ, there is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new: and all things are of the God who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ.” Thus we see three things: Old things pass away, all things become new, and all things are of God.
When the Lord Jesus was on earth, we find that in His teaching recorded in the Gospel of John, He is careful to bring out prominently that the moral condition of man towards God is one of death. His own rejection by His people (John 1:11) proved it. Before introducing the subject of the new birth in John 3, there is a thorough exhibition in John 2 of man’s wretched state, whether considered naturally or religiously. And there is a very clear statement in John 12:24 that “except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
In 1 Corinthians the natural man is set aside as being totally incapable of receiving the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14). The death of Christ proves all to have died (2 Cor. 5:14). In Ephesians 1-2, man is looked at as dead when God begins to work with him. And so indeed Christ died, though with Him it is as having laid down the life which He had as a man upon earth. So too, if it be a question of putting on the new man, it is preceded by having “put off the old man.”
The Old Does Not Improve
There is no improvement, no modification of the life or nature which man possesses in his old standing before God as a descendant of Adam. It is wholly set aside in the cross, as much spiritually as the heavens and earth will hereafter be physically. The Lord Jesus Christ, who alone stood before God as perfect in that condition of life, must have remained alone had He not died. But He died voluntarily in it, and so it ended, except for those whose sins are not put away by Him.
But if old things have passed away, all things are become new. Where death entered, God introduced a new life. It is not the restoration of an old one, but the actual communication of a new life, just as truly as when God first breathed into that body which He had formed of the dust of the ground, and it became a living soul. The first had this earth as its sphere; the second belongs to heavenly places. The first was natural; the second is spiritual. It is not only spoken of as a new life and nature, but as a positive new creation. And it is good for us that the simple fact that there is such a new creation should impress itself on our hearts.
If Any Be in Christ
There is immense power in the ten opening words of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and surely there is no less power for the soul that ponders over these other words: “If anyone be in Christ, there is a new creation.” They speak to us of divine and creative power exercised in associating the believer indissolubly with Christ Himself, and it is in that sphere where He is as raised from the dead. The corn of wheat has died, and now it has much fruit, fruit pleasing to God.
And “all things are of God, [the God] who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ.” The Lord God might visit Adam in Eden, God Almighty might make Himself known to Abraham and call him “friend,” Jehovah could dwell among Israel, exclusively and behind a veil, but this Scripture speaks of a condition in which there is perfect knowledge of God as fully revealed in grace and nearness to Him, even as Christ Himself is near. It is now to faith that which will hereafter be true to sense: “God Himself shall be with them and be their God”; He will dwell with them.
The Divine Nature
And not only is there nearness of person, but perfect moral suitability. The believer who is of this new creation partakes therein of the “divine nature.” “God is light,” and so the believer is addressed as a child of light and called to walk so because he is “light in the Lord.” “God is love,” and so the believer is told to walk in it, and “he that loveth not, knoweth not God.” These points are largely dwelt upon in the epistle of John. But it will perhaps be most readily apprehended when we see that as this “new creation” is never apart from Christ, but always “in Him,” so the moral characteristics belonging to it are those which are perfectly expressed in His own blessed person. To “know Him” is to know what they are, and there is no other way of knowing them.
It is needful, however, to remember here that it is only as risen from the dead that He has become both the type and the head of this new creation. He came, as regards the first creation, “born of a woman,” though indeed the Lord from heaven and the “Son of Man which is in heaven,” but in that order of things He died, and it is only as risen from the dead that He takes the place and character of which we speak.
It must, however, never be overlooked that as to fact the believer is in this world in a body which is of the first creation, and consequently that he is in the midst of divinely appointed relationships connected with it, none of which can be ignored without despising the Word of God and God Himself by whom they were appointed.
May the Lord give each of us to see what a wonderful thing it is to belong now, in Christ, to a new creation which is all of God, and may we be enabled practically to say with the Apostle, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
J. S. A., adapted

Christ, the Last Adam and Second Man

1 Cor. 15:45-47
There is a remarkable contrast between Adam and Christ, as given us in this passage. Christ is called “the Second Man” and “the last Adam.” There is a volume of truth in each of these designations, much needed for this day in which we live. On the one hand, what a sentence is upon all that is of man! On the other hand, what rich comfort there is in such a Christ! Surely this is needed when the energies of men are put forth with increasing pride and self-confidence, when there seems nothing withheld from the domain of man’s power as far as human hopes and expectations can measure. “The second man” writes death and condemnation upon all that has been in or of man morally. Before God, and therefore before the eye of faith, humanity is summed up in Adam. And whatever may be the pretensions of men, the Holy Spirit closes all in Adam with sin and death, for the judgment of God was rendered necessary by sin, though it was, one may surely say, most painful even to God. God in His own nature is not a judge: It is what sin has morally compelled Him to be. “God is love.” No circumstances made Him to be such. He was love entirely apart from all causes. But had there been no sin, there would have been no judgment. Therefore I say, sin made it needful that God should become a judge, but it would be most derogatory to His nature to suppose that God became love. God is love as truly as He is light: The divine judgment is a necessity created by sin. But as to man, all that the Holy Spirit can say about him is contained, as it were, in the man that transgressed God’s command and thus rendered it due to God’s majesty that He should be a Judge, for when the Spirit of God calls our Lord the “Second Man,” it is as good as telling us that all other men are only the reproduction of the first man. When you have known “the first man,” you have all that can be said about man as such. When Christ appeared, then, for the first time, there was another man. All others were of the same stock, and you had the sample of the common character in him who first of all broke down and went away from God and was driven out afterwards in shame by the command of Him who is love. Such is man.
But what a joy for us to know that He who was made flesh is “the Second Man” — a new kind of man altogether, as risen from the dead. Although he was truly a man as much as you or I, yet the Holy Spirit gives Him this term of new and special honor. And as now entered into the resurrection state, He is another sort of man, for whom the Holy Spirit reserves this remarkable title — “the Second Man.” Generations upon generations of men there might have been, but they were no other than “the first man.” Generations are going on still, whose associations are only with “the first man.” But I look up, and by faith I behold now, risen from the dead, at the right hand of God, another, even “the Second Man.” Man has broken through death; man has spoiled Satan; man has entered into a new region altogether; man is the object of the delight of God, of the worship of all heaven.
What a wondrous thought this is for that poor, weak creature! Man as he was disappears before the eye of faith. We know what he is: He is “the first man”; he is like Adam. But now we know another man altogether. And, thanks be to God! He who is “the Second Man” is “the Last Adam.” There is no other man — no other state or condition into which man can be brought. There can be no advance upon the risen Man at the right hand of God. Humanity in Him is fixed in blessedness and glory before God, so that if “the first man” sweeps the whole world into one common grave of death and pronounces condemnation upon the ways of the race, “the Second Man” lifts up our hearts and rejoices them in the apprehension of what He is in heaven and of what we too shall be with Him, for He who is risen from the grave, the conqueror of death, has lifted us up along with, and in, Himself, and as sure as He is in heaven, we shall have our portion with Him there. And we should desire practically that our place now and our ways and conversation should not be with Adam that fell, but with “the Second Man,” “the Last Adam.” Is it so with us? Let us ask not only for ourselves personally, but for our belongings, for there is many a man that shows the world, not so much in his own spirit, as in what he desires and seeks for. And you will often see pride or vanity, not so much perhaps in the parent personally, as in that which he gives to or winks at in the child. The Lord grant that we may neither do nor allow a single thing that would grieve Himself! It matters little whether we stand firm in twenty things, if there is one in which we deliberately sanction what is contrary to the Second Man. What a shame this should be for us! Let us look well to it that we stand having our eyes fixed upon Him to whom we belong, even “the heavenly,” for this is another term used of our Lord here. “As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” These blessed titles or descriptions belong to Him in their fullness only as risen from the dead and entered into glory; as such He is “the Second Man, the Last Adam,” the heavenly one. No doubt He was and is “the Lord from heaven,” else neither could have been said of Him. And in this too is another element of our joy and glory, that He who as the glorified Man is the object of heaven’s delight and praise is the mighty God Himself — the only-begotten Son. Hence man’s blessing is secured forever in His person. We are bound up with Him with an indissoluble bond that has already passed through death. But He is risen from the dead, and we stand in His own resurrection life and wait for the day when “we shall bear the image of the heavenly.”
Meanwhile, be it ours to walk as those that are consciously His and one with Him even now.
From the Bible Treasury

Oneness and Union

When Christ comes, human nature in us will participate in the victory of the Second Man, the last Adam, as it now shares in the weakness and ruin of the first man. Then will be the time when human nature will be promoted to a good degree, that is to say, it will be raised out of all the consequences of the fall of the first man and will be placed in all the power and glory of the Second Man as He is now in the presence of God.
Never shall we be made God; this could not be and ought not to be. It is impossible that the creature can overpass the bounds that separate the Creator from it. And more than that, the renewed creature is the very one which would most abhor the thought. No matter what the church’s blessedness and glory may be, it never forgets its creature obligations to God and the reverence due to Him. For this very reason, he that knows God would never desire that He should be less God than He is, and he could not indulge or tolerate the self-exalting folly which the miserable illusion of Buddhism cherishes, along with many kinds of philosophy which are afloat now in the West as well as the East — the dream of a final absorption into deity. This is altogether false and irreverent. All approach to such thoughts we see excluded in the Word of God.
In heaven the lowliness of those whom the sovereign grace of God made partakers of the divine nature will be even more perfect than now while we are on the earth. Human nature under sin is as selfish as it is proud. Fallen humanity always seeks its own things and glory, but the new nature, the perfection of which is seen in Christ (that is to say, the life given to the believer), will only make perfect without a single flaw or hindrance that which we now are in Christ Jesus our Lord.
W. Kelly

Worthy the Lamb

‘Tis the church triumphant singing,
Worthy the Lamb;
Heaven throughout with praises ringing,
Worthy the Lamb;
Thrones and powers before Him bending,
Odors sweet with voice ascending
Swell the chorus never ending,
Worthy the Lamb.
Every kindred, tongue and nation,
Worthy the Lamb;
Join to sing the great salvation,
Worthy the Lamb;
Loud as mighty thunders roaring,
Floods of mighty waters pouring,
Prostrate at His feet adoring,
Worthy the Lamb.
Harps and songs forever sounding,
Worthy the Lamb;
Mighty grace o’er sin abounding,
Worthy the Lamb;
By His blood He dearly bought us;
Wandering from the fold He sought us,
And to glory safely brought us;
Worthy the Lamb.
Sing with blest anticipation,
Worthy the Lamb;
Through the vale of tribulation,
Worthy the Lamb;
Sweetest notes, all notes excelling,
On the theme forever dwelling,
Still untold, though ever telling,
Worthy the Lamb.
J. Kent