The Infinite Superiority of Jesus Christ
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned; (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:12-21)
In the alphabet lessons of the New England Primer the letter A is followed by this sentence: “In Adam’s fall we sinned all.” The fall of Adam (Genesis 3) brought what God had promised … sin and death entered the world, and infected/affected the entire human race.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
There are two men who represent all of humanity: the first Adam (his name means “mankind”), and the last Adam (the God-man, Jesus Christ). Every single person is either in Adam (natural born with a sinful nature); or in Christ (born from above, with a new nature).
The first Adam:
- Brought sin and death into the world
- Committed the one offense that brought judgment upon everyone
- Was disobedient so that many were made sinners
- Introduced the reign of death
The last Adam, Jesus Christ:
- Brought the grace of God and the gift of eternal life to many
- Took upon Himself an incalculable number of offenses committed against God so that believing souls could be justified
- Was obedient unto death so that many could be made righteous
- Introduced the reign of life to those who believe
Anything that happened through the first Adam was much more greatly surpassed by what was done by our Lord Jesus Christ. Abounding sin … from Adam onward, has been overcome by much more abounding grace through Him who loved us. Where sin increased and dominated men’s lives, God’s grace through Christ has been a new king, reigning over the believer unto eternal life.
For Further Review
1. Take a sheet of paper, draw a vertical line down the center, and in the first column mark all the deeds of Adam (and their repercussions). In the second column jot down the deeds of the last Adam, Jesus Christ (and what has been gained through His works).
2. What is “gained” by remaining in Adam?
3. What is gained by being in Christ?
4. Consider the importance of the coming of Jesus Christ, and how His coming brought what God intended for humanity, and introduced the potential for living that God planned for us. Are you currently walking in the ways of Jesus Christ? Spend some time talking with God about your answer.
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