Two Adams

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“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #181

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20–22).

From the time of Adam on down, the saints of God had been gathered to their fathers. They had fallen asleep. They had returned to the dust. Christ descended to death, just as they had, but after a brief time in the grave, He returned to life again. Paul says here that He did this as the firstfruits of those slept. Those who had slept represented a huge amount of seed in the ground, and the Lord Jesus came back from the dead as the harbinger of what was to come.

It was fitting that a man would bring about the resurrection of the dead because it had been a man who had brought about the problem of death in the first place. What Paul says here makes an implicit comparison between Adam and Christ, a comparison he makes explicit in the next breath. All men die because they are in Adam, and in the same way, and on the same principles, everyone who is in Christ will be made alive.

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Jason Pearson
Jason Pearson
8 years ago

I hear
The knives of the heathen
The lies of the elite
The dreams of the theorists
The wails of the damned
And my heart faints
What is our fate?

But He has promised
That we may
Listen
Love
And hear Him

doug sayers
doug sayers
8 years ago

This life and death subject begs a question or two in my mind. Paul said “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” (Rom 7:9) In what way was Paul “alive” before the commandment came? How did the commandment lead to his death? Is Paul saying that he became dead in trespasses and sins when the guilt of his sin was justly imputed to his own account? (Rom 4:15;5:13) Or, is every baby born *dead* in sin and culpable for a sin committed by someone else…before they were born? Anyone… Read more »

timothy
timothy
8 years ago

Hi doug sayers.

I forget where I read this, (Exodus?) that before the law was given man could not know he was dead in sin. I do remember that scripture was quite specific on the point (or maybe it was some footnotes in my ESV Bible).

I am confident one of the learned commenters can provide more specifics.

Doug Sayers
8 years ago

Timothy, if it is of any consolation, I have gotten the same kind of non-answers and silence on this question from my Calvinistic friends (old ones and new) for the last 3 years. This question of the imputation of Adam’s guilt to his posterity (apart from the law) has largely contributed to my *relenting* of the Reformed teaching of irresistible salvation (and irresistible damnation.)

S
S
8 years ago

Doug, my understanding is your former interpretation: that the death was the consequence of a just imputation of Paul’s sin. The curse we inherit from Adam is not, in my understanding, an imputation of an ancestor’s sin outside of a lawful responsibility, but one of consequences. We all carry influences from our families. Psychology tells us, for example, that people all carry different ways of valuing money, food, possessions, other people, etc. depending on the general economic class we belong to and, thus, what our primary concerns are. When someone then changes their class, it can take five generations for… Read more »

doug sayers
doug sayers
8 years ago

S, I definately lean your direction: Consequences not culpability. But we would be in opposition to most Reformed creeds, which teach that the guilt of Adam’s sin is imputed to our account by the time we are born. The Potter has every right to ordain (as part of His curse on Adam’s sin) that we are each born with sinful inclinations (of varying types and degrees) but He does not impute guilt where there is no law. You can’t be born guilty of something.