The Two Adams
The Science of Life
To show what I saw, I want to ask a couple questions. Whose life do you have? You may be thinking, “What a silly question – I have my life!” But stop for a moment and consider: where did you get your life? “Well, from my parents of course!” Where did your parents get their life? Now if you follow the question all the way through, it takes you back to the very first parents, Adam and Eve. In fact, when you check the Bible account, you will find that life was given to only ONE man, Adam, and all humanity has gotten their life from him – even Eve came out of him! (Gen 2:21-23) So God only ever created one human life. (Acts 17:26) Every person born on this earth has received this same original life, for it has been passed on through the process of procreation and birth down through the generations.
Here is the next question: what kind of life is this? Well, if you answer “human life,” you are correct. We are humans because we have human life. What is the condition of our human life? Since all life came from Adam, the condition of our life depends on the condition of Adam’s life, which is sinful. By the simple act of being born, we become sinners – not by our actions, but by the life we are given. (Rom 3:23) We are destined to be what the life given to us dictated we would be: sinners.The Bible puts it this way, “… by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom 5:12) This verse tells us that Adam, by passing on his life to others, passed sin to others, so death passed to all. No human being will ever be anything other than a sinner, because that’s the kind of life we got.
But there is another person that the Bible also calls “Adam”. Why? Because he, also, has an original life that he could pass on. His is not a sinful life – it is perfectly pure and good because this other “Adam” is Christ. The life he inherited was passed on to him from God, his Father, and is the exact same life that God has. He is called the Second Adam or, sometimes, the Last Adam, because since he became a man he is able pass his life on to others just as the first Adam passed on his life. But more about that soon.
The Bible makes a big contrast between these two men, Adam and Christ, or, the first Adam and the last Adam. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1Cor 15:22) “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1Co 15:45) “Therefore as by the offence 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.” (Rom 5:18) According to these verses, the first Adam’s life condemned ALL humanity to death while the last Adam’s life redeemed us back to eternal life by the resurrection of the dead.
Man’s Real Problem
As an SDA I had grown up with the Law. The 10 commandments were our guide. Its principles were practiced and by them we were judged sinners or saints. We were taught obedience to the law. Verses like, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14) and “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 Jn 5:3) would be used to prove this point. SDAs live by this rule. If someone sinned, we believed his problem was that he did not choose to obey the law of God. Righteous living was a constant struggle and effort, trying to control one’s behavior to match God’s expectations and overcome the tendency to wrong.
But now I realized that man’s problem was very, very simple: the problem was the life that he possessed. The big question was, “Which life do I have? Do I have the life of the first Adam, or the last Adam?” Life is manifested in a certain way; in fact, the principle outlined in Genesis is that each will produce “after his kind.” Why does humanity behave a certain way? It’s the life it has which determines its behavior. Man’s problem is not his actions. Man’s problem is only manifested or demonstrated by his actions. What causes man to behave that way is his real problem. This great discovery was made possible to me because of what I had learned before about the Trinity error, and what I understood now about how life works. In the context of the Trinity we could only ever see Jesus as a God, nothing else. We could not know the true way of righteousness, the beauty of the plan of salvation had been hidden from our view. But now the amazing perfection of God’s miraculous plan was opening to me everywhere I looked!
New Life – After His Kind
The sinner’s greatest need is that of a new life. Since his old life is corrupt and sinful, he needs a new life that is pure and righteous. For him to receive that life he has to be born again. Seeing the degradation to which Adam brought himself and all his descendants by his own choice, God, because he loves, made a way so that man would have the opportunity to choose again and be saved from death. This second chance is not forced upon us but is freely available for anyone to choose another life where the consequences of the first no longer exist.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1Cor 15:22) There are two men, who provide two lives, and these two lives have two distinct qualities: the first has death working in it; the second possesses the power to destroy death. We understand that when we are born we receive the life of our parents. In the same way when we are born of God we receive the life of God. Human life produces human behavior. Sinful, evil thoughts fill our mind. The body is naturally the servant of our nature and produces sinful and evil actions. God’s life produces God-like behavior. Pure and perfect thoughts fill our minds, and our actions naturally show the proof of God’s life. Here is a verse that tells of the fruit of those whose lives are born of God:“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jn 3:9) They live according to his life because the seed, which is the Spirit of God through Christ, dwells in them and directs their lives. (Jn 16:13) They do not live their lives apart from Him because that is sin. Their perfect behavior is not produced by an effort to do good or right, but is the natural means of new birth which is the miracle of the Spirit living in them, producing God’s goodness in their lives. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cor 5:17) To be born is to receive life, so to be in Christ is to have the life of Christ in us fully and perfectly. Our bodies then begin to produce new attitudes and behavior, not because we are trying to be Christians, but because Christ is living in us.
This life is a gift! Not a reward for our good works, or even our efforts to try to obey, but an inheritance – an inheritance! – freely given from God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:8) “… by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom 5:18) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:23) This is the truth. It is not something we work towards, or strive to achieve, we are born into it. The life of Christ produces “after His kind”. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” (Rom 8:17) Just as we received the hopeless condition of sin in Adam’s life with its natural consequence of death, so we can receive Christ’s righteous life with death eternally abolished.
One Master Only!
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matt 6:24) There are only two masters that exist in the universe: Self and God. If Self rules, sin and death are the result. If God rules, righteousness and everlasting life are the result: these are simply the natural consequences of a life in which God lives. “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”(Rom 6:16) We are servants of the master we choose, and our bodies flow in accordance with our nature.
How do we receive this second life? A man had a conversation with Jesus, who told him he had to be born again. He misunderstood what Jesus was saying so Jesus explained what it means:“… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (Jn 3:5) Notice that to be born of water only is not enough unless we are also born of the Spirit. To be born of the Spirit is a supernatural experience: it is a work of God performed on, and in, the heart of the individual. There is a clear distinction between those born of the flesh and those born of the Spirit.“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”(Jn 3:6) Flesh people can’t be Spirit, and Spirit people can’t be flesh. You are either one or the other.
Do you recognize that our lifetime is really a probation period to choose God? “Probation is the suspension of a sentence of a convicted person for a period.” God has suspended the sentence of eternal death and placed us on probation. We have been given a period of life either to choose another master than ourselves or remain king of our own lives. If we use our probation to choose God, allowing him to perform the miracle of the new birth in us, he will live his life in us and make us a show-piece to the world – real, true Christians in nature and character. May your hearts be drawn by Him to this reality!
The Law Versus Jesus
Once, I asked my pastor about Jesus and why when I read the Bible I saw so much in the apostolic church about Him, yet it in our church we preached the Sabbath more than we preached Jesus. He sat me down and explained that, in the apostolic age, Jesus was the “new kid on the block”. Not many people knew Him or knew about him so the apostles had to introduce him to the world; but today, since everybody knows about Jesus, they don’t need to be told anymore. Instead, as the commandment says “Remember the Sabbath day”, it means many have forgotten it, and that is why we preach the Sabbath more today. That was his explanation.
The Real Purpose of the Law
When we are born into this world, we do not know who we are, the kind of people we are, we simply live our lives each day fulfilling our natures. We are merely becoming what we are. God designed a system to reveal to us the kind of beings we are. This system is called the Ten Commandments, or The Law. The Law is a perfect description of righteousness, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Rom 7:12) When sinful man beholds this perfect law, it reveals to him his state because it is contrary to the kind of being he is, “…for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom 3:20) “For to be carnally minded is death…. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:6-8) The purpose of the law is to let us know that we are sinners and have a huge problem. This problem is revealed by giving us rules to obey that are impossible for us with our carnal nature, causing us to see that we need a Savior.
But instead of seeking for a Savior, we stop with the law. We start trying to keep the law as if the law becomes our savior. That is why the SDA church speaks so much about the law and so little about Jesus. They fail to see that the law leads us to Christ. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ…” (Gal 3:24) With my pastor’s approach we never, ever meet the person Jesus; we stay with the description of him and never find him.
I am amazed at how we miss this most important point but I realize Jesus had the same problem when he was here. I am sure you have heard, read, and even quoted this verse, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) This was Jesus speaking of how the people loved the scriptures and searched them daily, but they failed miserably to reach the goal of the scriptures: Jesus. In fact, what might be more surprising is the verse that follows, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:40) If we are honest, most of us have never seen or heard that verse, yet it is the main point of what he said in verse 39 – eternal life is not in the scriptures, it is in the person Jesus! Salvation is not in the law, it is in Jesus.
The Strength of Sin
Wouldn’t it be delightful to be able to destroy the reason we sin? What would our lives be without sin? Here is a short, simple verse, so powerful, yet many miss the great value of its words. “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” (1C0r 15:56) What is this verse saying? When sin stings you, death is the result. “The wages of sin is death…” What then of the second part of the verse, “The strength of sin is the law”? The scriptures teach that where there is no law there is no sin (Rom 5:13) for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:21) To live a life based on obedience to the law is to live in condemnation and sin all the days of our lives.
A Deadly Mistake Uncovered
“But,” you say, “isn’t the law righteous?” Yes. “So keeping the law will make me righteous too!” No! Obedience to the law will never bring salvation: if this were so we would never have needed Jesus. Of course we all say we need Jesus, but that is because we want him to help us keep the commandments so that we can be good. Let me ask a question: Did Jesus keep the commandments to be saved or was it the life that was in him that made him live a righteous life? How do we harmonize what the scripture says, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man…” ? (1Tim 1:9) If you are righteous then the law is not for you, and the rest of the verse we just quoted tells us that the law was made for sinners of all sorts. Notice that before you are righteous you need the law to show you your state, but after you realize your state the law cannot then make you righteous. That is not its purpose. You need a new life, a righteous life. Then, and only then, can you be righteous.
Freed From Sin
The great freedom that exists, exists only in Jesus. Listen to the sweet sounding words of this passage. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom 8:1) All who are in Christ are freed from ALL condemnation because there is an experience now that results in a different life. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (v.2) There are two great principles at work in every person alive in this world which this verse calls a LAW. There is law of sin and death which is the natural life of every individual that is born once, and there is the law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus. This law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus cancels and nullifies the other law that produces death by sin. The law could not produce life, but “…what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom 8:3-4) This is a finished work! Sin is condemned (Declared unfit for use) in the body of every Christian. A Christian is no longer a carnal being but a Spiritual being with a new Spiritual nature in Christ Jesus. The righteousness of God is the righteousness of every Christian. Sin is ended and only righteousness exists. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jn 3:9)
(Source: by Howard Williams, from Restoration Ministry)