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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”—1 Corinthians 15:45 (HCSB)
Did you know the Christmas story doesn’t begin in Luke 1:26 when Gabriel visited Mary? It actually begins way before that . . . at the very beginning! That’s right, this story’s genesis is found in Genesis. It goes all the way back to Jesus’ first earthly ancestor (Luke 3:38), the ancestor of us all: Adam.
In Genesis 1:27 (NASB), on the sixth day of creation, “God created man in His own image.” The crowning jewel of the Lord’s good and perfect creation, mankind (hā·’ā·ḏām or “Adam”) took on the likeness of our Creator. But why did God create Adam, and by extension, all of us? What was the purpose for the creation of mankind? It’s a question we all have, at one time or another, wrestled with. It’s a question you may be wrestling with today.
The Bible provides some answers to this all-important question! Isaiah 43:7 claims that God created us for His glory, so we may bring glory, honor, and praise to His name. C.S. Lewis once said, “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” And that’s another reason why we were created, so we can enjoy God forever. The Bible tells us that we were created to be filled with joy. In John 10:10 (NASB), Jesus said, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." Psalm 16:11 (ESV) tells us, "In Your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
And before Jesus came, no one had ever experienced the purpose they were created for more than Adam and Eve! They walked with God, talked with God, and enjoyed the presence of God. They worked to accomplish their calling (Genesis 2:15) and enjoyed the fruits of the garden (Genesis 2:16).
And then came the fall. Adam and Eve allowed their pride, their desire to be like God, to cloud their judgment and be deceived by the serpent, and so, they fell from grace. Sadly, the very thing they were seeking, to be like God, they already had. They bore His image and likeness, His seal, His imprint. Thus, “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people” (Romans 5:12 NIV).
And it was in this, in the most tragic moment of human history, where we see the first step of God’s plan of salvation revealed, the first major domino of the Christmas story. Although they sinned and were judged, God promised that this wouldn’t be the end of the line.
In his book The History of Christians Doctrines, Louis Berkhof explains, "By His incarnation and human life He (Jesus) thus reverses the course on which Adam, by his sin, started humanity, and thus becomes a new leaven in the life of mankind. He communicates immortality to those who are united to Him by faith and effects an ethical transformation in their lives, and by His obedience compensates for the disobedience of Adam."
You see, Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus about being born again wasn’t just metaphorical; it was an explanation of His work. The Son of God is the first of a new humanity. He is a new Adam, and He invites us to be new, too, to be free from the stain of sin that came from the first Adam. As we begin to walk through the Christmas season, we invite you to reflect on what it means to be in Christ—to be a new creation; to be born into the family of God.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.