JESUS: Salvation in No Other (The Act of Adam and the Act of Christ, Part 2)
We were in Romans 5 a couple weeks ago when we began the series titled, “JESUS: Salvation in No Other” and the sermon was titled, “The Act of Adam and the Act of Christ, Part 1” which means there is a second part and we will get to it today. In Romans 5 we were shown that God’s one-and-only answer for the problem of sin the world over was/is the obedient death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Christ’s redeeming work on the cross is a universal necessity for salvation. There is no salvation apart from what God did in the person of Jesus at Calvary. Jesus’ one act of obedience corresponds to Adam’s one act of disobedience. Adam’s one offense resulted in condemnation for all men. Likewise, Jesus’ one righteous act resulted in justification for all those who receive the gift of righteousness.
Today, in 1 Corinthians 15:21-23 we will see that God’s one-and-only answer for the universal problem of death is the resurrection of Jesus. The Apostle reveals how Christ is the second Adam. He is the head of a new creation marked by resurrection and life, obedience and righteousness. Every person born to this world inherits from the first Adam sin and death, but those who are born again by the Spirit become part of a new creation where death no longer has a sting and Hades no longer has a victory.
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
V21] Adam = Death // Jesus = Resurrection
We can plainly see that the one act of Adam resulted in death and that, by the grace and might of God, the one act of Christ results in the resurrection of the dead.
“For since by man came death” refers to the penalty of the first sin. (SEE Gen 2:17)
We all know that Scripture that says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).
This death included physical death and more. It also includes spiritual death.
Adam’s act of sin had far-reaching consequences, but so has Christ’s act. It is through the one Man, Jesus Christ, that resurrection from the dead has come. Here is God’s answer. Death is not final. The victory is God’s because He raised Jesus from the dead on that third day.
Jesus said to Martha with the death of her brother Lazarus looming over the community, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
It is amazing that we know the first part of Rom 6:23 so well and not the second part.
Turn with me there and let’s read the second half of the verse.
V22] Made Alive
“For as in Adam all die” alludes to the curse of Adam (SEE Gen 3:19).
“…even so in Christ all shall be made alive” is a special statement. First of all, to be made alive means more than just resurrection. It has the idea of renewal. We are new creatures in Christ. The old has passed away and the new has come.
It also bears the idea of abundant life (SEE John 5:24; 10:10b).
Secondly, to be made alive means that it is someone else doing the work in you. No person can make himself/herself alive. It is the work of God. Let me show you a couple Scriptures:
--Eph 2:4-5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…” God made us alive!
--Col 2:13 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…” He has made us alive together!
V23] Those who are Christ’s
In the Old Testament, God called for the “firstfruits” to be brought to the Temple and offered to Him. This was a sign of obedience and submission to God as the source of all blessings.
“The first-fruits were a sign of the harvest to come; and the Resurrection of Jesus was a sign of the resurrection of all believers which was to come…the new harvest of life could not come until Jesus had been raised from the dead.”
So, those who are Christ’s come after the first-fruits. There is a particular order.
“The all that are in Adam are not identical with the all who are in Christ.”
Paul is saying that all those who are going to die are in Adam (and we know that is every individual because all have sinned and there is none that escapes death) and all those who are to live are in Christ. Yet, all those who are going to live are only “those who are Christ’s at His coming.” We saw this in Romans 5 where the “all men” was defined as “those who receive abundance of grace.” In the same way, here the “all” is defined as “those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
So, to be resurrected unto abundance of life only comes to those who have received grace, to those who are Christ’s at His coming. This is one way of saying what Jesus said in the Gospel of John in the fourth chapter- “You must be born again (or from above).” And throughout the New Testament we see that Christians must endure until the end.
The Lord Himself directly says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
In Romans five the problem of sin was discussed and the obedient death of Christ on the cross was put forward as God’s unique answer. Here, in 1 Corinthians 15, the problem of death is discussed and the resurrection of Christ is put forward as the divine answer. An integral part of the Gospel message is the resurrection of Christ. What Paul adds to that fact is the word “frist-fruits.” Christ is only the first among many to be raised from the dead. This is God’s answer for death. This is how victory over death is achieved- Christ was raised from the dead. Rom 6:9 teaches us that having been raised from the dead, Christ dies no more. Death has no dominion over Him.
There is no salvation from God’s wrath apart from Christ’s death and resurrection.