The Bible reveals that there are two Adams. Paul says that: “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit’” (1 Cor. 15:45). Which one is the most important for us today? Someone can say: It is the first one, for we would not exist without him! But I affirm that the last one, Jesus Christ, is the most important, for if we did not exist we would not be conscious of anything. But as we are conscious, if Christ had not risen from the dead, we would be consciously condemned. Paul says: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Cor. 15:17-18). The first Adam left us the resurrection as an inheritance. In this way, since the first Adam, all men die, and therefore all men will be vivified in Christ, the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:21-22). Isn’t it clear that the last Adam is infinitely more important than the first one?
The thing worthy of notice is that both Adams have equal powers: one for good, and the other for evil. The first one has power for evil, and the last one, for good. The apostle Paul portrays with great accuracy and wisdom the two forces, which seem to come from different sources. Let us read the text:
1. “But the free gift isn’t like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many” (Rom. 5:15).
2. And the gift was not like the trespass, in which only one sinned. The judgment came through one offense only, for condemnation, but the free gift came of many offenses for justification (Rom. 5:16).
3. “For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).
4. “So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life” (Rom. 5:18).
5. “For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).
6. “The law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly; that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20-21).
The first Adam is considered by Paul as the sole responsible for the fall of all humanity and for the condemnation of all men. It is Paul who affirms that, saying: “Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). And the apostle added: “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Let us scientifically analyze the issue. The Physics teacher in school teaches that every force requires another force of equal intensity, but contrary, to cancel it: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). The one who kills or takes the life is Jehovah, for he was the head of men: “Jehovah kills, and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol, and brings up. Jehovah makes poor, and makes rich. He brings low, he also lifts up” (1 Sam. 2:6-7). “Don’t be envious of evil men; neither desire to be with them” (Ps. 24:1). “Jehovah looks from heaven. He sees all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions all of their hearts; and he considers all of their works” (Ps. 33:13-15).
Now, Adam was an instrument in the hands of Jehovah, for only Jehovah could take all humanity to sin and to death. The law that Jehovah gave leads men to the knowledge of sin and to the separation from God (Rom. 3:20). The law that Jehovah gave is the power of sin (1 Cor. 15:56). The law that Jehovah gave yields sinful passions in man, which destroy him. Jehovah is the first Adam!
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira